Monday, July 11

Nicknames

Do you have a nickname?  Has it changed over the years?  Does it reflect your "brand"?

I had a really interesting conversation last week with my friend Sharon at work.  We were talking about nicknames and how they often change through the years -- and how they could be indicative of how your "brand" changes through the years as well.

I myself have had a ton of nicknames through the years.  Now I am known as "Jim" - certainly not James.

But when I was a kid, I was clearly "Jimmy."  And my childhood friends still call me that, as odd as it sounds to my friends who only know me as an adult.

Then in high school, it was "Jimmy Joe" - sounds so throw back now.

In college, "JJ" -- especially in the fraternity.  Such a fraternity name.  A few even called me "Jimbo" - I think it was Biff that started that nickname for me.  Seriously.

Then in grad school and in all my jobs since, I've been known as Jim.  I do have a few people that call me James, and although it doesn't fit my "brand", for some reason it works coming from certain folks.  I even like it coming from them but from no one else!

It's an interesting perspective to see how your nicknames may have changed through the years, and how they reflect that moment in your life and who you were.  The fun part too, is that when I talk to people and they use the nickname that they know me by, it instantly brings me back to that part of my life.  "JJ" instantly take me back to my time on the hill at Cornell.

Tracking our nicknames is like walking through the evolution of our life, and of our "brand".

What are your nicknames?  What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect

4 comments:

  1. A very clever insight Jim! Well done for thinking about the often overlooked 'personal brand'. I've also been through Jimbo, Jim, Jay and James and totally relate to liking certain people to call me things I often wouldn't associate with my 'brand'.
    Great thoughts :)

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  2. My family started calling me "Mare" the day I was born. That carried through college with friends as well. But then when I moved to the West coast no one ever picked up on it and was always "Maryanne." Same for my professional life.

    Over the past few years I've made a lot of friends through cycling and a lot of them have been calling me "Mare."

    I'm a relatively casual person so I feel very comfortable when someone calls me "Mare." It's more fitting for my personality. Plus it reminds me of when I was a kid.

    Funny story: I have picked up another nickname through cycling. Some of my fellow riders call me "Cougar" because I ride with a lot of guys who are younger than me. I'm cool with that too. :)

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  3. Amusing, Jim/Jimbo/Jimmy... And so true. Individuals' names probably *should* evolve over the years with the person's personality, age, likes, etc.

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  4. I guess with Twitter handles, the nicknames are growing for all of us. Many people I only know by their Twitter handles! JIM.

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