Rob at Gut Rumbles is talking about Southern nicknames, and judging by the ones mentioned by his commenters, weird nicknames are not just a Southern thing. Canadians certainly have 'em too. Whenever someone mentions nicknames though, I always think of one of my father's boyhood friends.
The kid had the misfortune to suffer from epilepsy. I got to meet him once, and even then, after all those years, and with a totally straight face, dad introduced him to me as Fit Tuttle. Poor bastard had gone through his whole life with that handle. To this day, i don't know his real name.
As a teenager, I had both the good and bad fortune to work with 2 of my sisters at a camp as pool staff. It was an unbreakable tradition that every staff member had to go by a nickname. Not just to the other staff, but to campers as well (so they had to be reasonably tame). If you didn't already have one, one was assigned to you during the couple of days before camp started. Poor Pete ended up with Ralph, for reasons we could never explain to the kids. I didn't have any choice about mine, as my sisters made sure to bring up the childhood nickname that had never failed to make me angry as a kid. Fortunately Pollywog got shortened to Wog, and it became kinda cool. It wasn't until years later that I learned the potentially pejorative nature of the word.
To this day, each of us siblings refer to each other by our camp nicknames, (confuses the hell out of the nieces and nephews) and I am always hard-pressed to remember the real names of those we worked with, when they are met in person or come up in conversation. It was like a secret code for all of us - a tie that bound us together. Many of us were very close during those years (I worked there 3 years) and went through a lot together. One of the disadvantages of living so far away... I've lost touch with most of them.
If you want a really good giggle, there's a pic of the lifeguard team below the fold.
So, what was your nickname as a kid? Do people still use it?
Typical swimmer's build. Check out the abs huh? Haven't seen those in... awhile.