David was talking about nicknames a couple of days ago and his misnomer "Tall Dave". Well at least he has an adjective attached to his name that isn't too offensive. I mean it's hard to be offended by being called "Tall". I have a much worse one.
When you're young, your parents give you your first name. It's only in later life you get given your 'adjective name'. And usually you're the last to know (if you ever find out at all). Adjective names are often flattering "Gorgeous Tony", "Sexy Pete". They can be simply descriptive; "Essex Simon", "Little Steve". Or they can be alarmingly frank (and sometimes cruel); "Big Nose James" or "Acne Kurt".
Last year we were planning a birthday trip for my friend Sarah. Her husband Ben and I sitting in their sitting room (as you do) calling round our circle of friends to see who fancied a weekend away on Dartmoor at a Landmark Trust place. I stepped out of the room to grab a couple of beers from the kitchen. Just as I was walking back into the sitting room I heard something that shocked me to my core.
Ben had been making a final phone call to one of Sarah's less close friends and was trying to persuade her to come for the weekend. "Everyone will be there", he was saying. "You know. Sarah, me, Mark and Jonathan". "Jonathan?", she must have said, "which Jonathan?" Ben said, "You know. Camp Jonathan."
I froze. I'd stumbled upon my adjective name and I was in shock. "Camp?", I shrieked. "CAMP?! Who are you calling camp?" soon realising I was rapidly flapping about like a quintessential camp thing.
Count yourself lucky with "Tall", David!
(this posting is reprinted here by kind permission of me)