Beware of self-proclaimed nicknames

Don’t you love people that give themselves their own nickname?

Yeah, I know it sounds kind of desperate and I’m thinking I should steer clear of them.

I knew a guy in college who told people to call him “King.” Yeah, you can tell the guy loved himself and thought others should do the same.

I never did call him “King” but he was able to get one guy to call him that.

Some people just love nicknames and love to cram their nickname down your throat.

There can be awkward times when nicknames are inserted when you are doing a business email. Instead of leaving their name at the end of the message they leave their nickname.

This nickname might not be self-proclaimed, but it sure seems like it if you don’t know the person.

So am I supposed to reply back in the email to your real name or nickname?

You see why that is uncomfortable, especially if you don’t really know the person.

I had a nickname in college that was not self-proclaimed. It was one of those things when someone says it once and then it sticks. I guess that’s how nicknames spread.

The self-proclaiming nicknames don’t come by that organically, which is why they usually don’t tend to spread.

While doing extensive research on this topic (OK, just Google) I stumbled upon a website which asks the question if self-proclaimed nicknames are better than ones given to you by others.

Most people seemed to be on my side on this one.

“They don’t really count if you give one to yourself, that’s sort of lame,” said someone named MmmmBabi.

Other people chime in on the site and say self-proclaimed nicknames are cheesy and not likely to stick.

Even George Costanza on “Seinfeld” tried to give himself the nickname “T-Bone.” Well, his co-worker got the nickname “T-Bone” and he ended up getting named “Koko” the monkey for the way he flailed his arms in protest. So even Costanza found out the repercussions of self-proclaimed nicknames.

So there you go, if you are looking for a nickname for yourself, just stop. The best ones happen organically.

Yes, most likely it won’t be the nickname you want, but that’s life.

I was called “Opie” for the better part of decade and still am today by certain college friends.

But, I guess as far as nicknames go it could have been worse than that.

Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or