Call us whatever you want to; just so you call us for breakfast, dinner and supper.
Names are the most personal title anybody has. Everybody, without exception, likes to be referred to by name. A few really have a problem with their given name. We all remember the boy named Sue, who was aggravated because his dad stuck that handle on him. Yet, he grew up strong. Others with a similar dislike go by preferred nicknames.
Mom and Dad named us Frankie Jay. According to the story we were told, they asked Grandma Buchman what we should be called, and she instantly responded: Frank. It was her husband’s name, our grandpa who was already deceased. Mom always hollered Frankie or Frankie Jay. Many referred to us the same, but a few said Frank.
After grade school, most started calling us Frank the majority of the time, even though we continued to be Frankie to many lifelong acquaintances. Today, a notable number still refer to us as Frankie, or maybe even Frankie Jay. Now we like the ring to it more than when we were a teenager. It gives us sort of a feeling we might be young again.
Aunt Lu often called us Petey, but we don’t know why. Thus when a nickname was asked for, we’d say Pete. Our college judging teammates usually dubbed us Buck or Buke, from pronunciation variations of our surname. A friend referred to us as Neighbor, so we titled our weekly column Hey Neighbor, thus it became a nickname as well.
A few acknowledge us as Cowboy, and we appreciate that. For some reason, we like waitresses who christen us Honey or Sweetie, far better than Hey You. Somehow the way we say Frank must come across the phone lines sounding like Mike, because frequently we’ll be called Mike, after identifying ourself to someone we’ve elephoned.
Lots of folks label us, and everybody else they see, Buddy. A long acquaintance referred to us as Virgil several times recently; we smilingly responded.
Truthfully, we don’t care what we’re called, but some get offended when identified by other than what they prefer. Seldom can we go wrong recognizing one as ma’am or sir. Certain women don’t mind Good Lookin’, and Young Lady is appealing to most ladies.
We know several fellas who are John Boy, even though some don’t like that bidding. To us, Bob is Bobby, Jim is Jimmy or Jim Bob, Joe is Joey, Ron is Ronnie, Tom is Tommy, and on and on. Most seem to enjoy the variation more than being offended.
What is there in a name? It can be much more valuable than a word by which one is designated. According to Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” In Ecclesiastes 7:1: “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”