Nicknames are lovingly given to replace someone's real name. For example, is there anything more endearing than "Schmoopey"? (It's what I sometimes call my dog. A pet name, so to speak.) Or, the diminutive for someone who is "ace" at something might be my daughter, Annaclaire. Her initials are "ACB," thus the spinoffs "Ace," or "Acey." For those not in a rush, they go for the full three-syllable, "A-C-B."
My entire name is Bonni Dee Kogen Brodnick. Over the years, I've accumulated multifarious sobriquets:
BB (pronounced "BeBe")
CloBon (a derivation of "Cloudette Bonni")
Scoop (This was particularly clever because it was rendered when I wrote a weekly newspaper column, "Talk of the Town" for the Bedford-Pound Ridge Record-Review. I'd hear from across the street, "Hey, Scoooooop!" and knew exactly who was calling me.)
Benni (I think Elton John wrote a song about me. Click here.)
I love all of them. I truly appreciate that someone wants to bestow me with a moniker other than Bonni Dee Kogen Brodnick. That they should feel close to me. Love me, if you will.
But, if you don't know me well, don't call me by a nickname. E.g., don't call me "Bon" too soon in our relationship. Also, if I'm at a business meeting, say I'm discussing the media tactics for a new campaign and someone whom I just met asks, "So, Bonnzi, what do you think?" I think you're getting a little too personal. You might as well add, "Old friend, old pal" and whack me on the back.
So, play it safe. Keep a distance. Call me "Bonni." You'll know in your heart when the time is right to use one of my nicknames. I promise you, Flippy.