a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

A Family Nickname

< by Nate >

Over the years, I’ve had many nicknames – some good and some bad.

There was “Kareem,” awarded to me for my jump hook in high school basketball. College friends from Milwaukee called me “Big Country,” and so on and so on.

But no nickname has ever, or will ever, be more important to me than one I received at a very young age. And for a good portion of my childhood, I despised it.

The backstory: My Grandpa Carey’s first name was Norbert, a funny name that brings out giggles and chuckles in most people upon first hearing it. My parents chose to honor my grandfather – who died before they even met – by making it my middle name: Nathaniel Norbert Carey.

Sigh … you already know too much.

Grandpa Carey’s name came with the interesting nickname of “Nubs,” and from the time I was a wee-little boy, my dad referred to me as “Little Nubs.” The tantrums I used to throw when called that should go down in history. If that energy could have been properly utilized, entire states would have had a surplus of electricity.

But as I grew older, and learned more about the man that grandpa was, the nickname’s initial sting dulled. Before I knew it, I was using the name “The Nubs” to represent such extremely important things as fantasy sports names. At one point, the Nubs were the nickname for a college football team on a video game.

I never knew my grandpa, but thanks to my middle name, I feel a connection to him.

I guess that’s why they call me “Nubs.”

2 Comments»

  Larry Who wrote @

It’s better than Sue.

  northmelbournemum wrote @

Our daughter has my mother’s middle name for a similar reason, though not an associated nickname, but you’ve given me an idea!


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