The History of the Word.

29 Dec

"I talk funny? YOU talk funny."

When I was little (and I mean really, REALLY little), I struggled to pronounce my S’s. The less sensitive readers among you might even call that struggle a Lisp. Oh, I never had to attend speech therapy, and no one ever nicknamed me Thindy Brady, so it all turned out fine. Actually, you wouldn’t even know it had happened, were it not for my nickname: Wis.

Or potentially the fact that my blog is named PithyPants. When in fact, my pants are more often dotted with… nevermind.

That’s right. I couldn’t say my own damn name right. Instead of Alison, I was Awison. Which, cutely, got shortened to Wis (which – coincidentally? – rhymes with piss). And my sister? Alicia? Became Aweeta. And thus her nickname – Weet – was born.

To this day, we’re known to our immediate family as Weet and Wis. It’s a comfortable name and not anything I think about, until I refer to myself in a story as “Aunt Wis,” (which is how my nephews know me) and I find myself explaining the whole etymology of the name to a stranger. Sort of like this.

Ironically, the first time my eldest nephew heard someone say, “Alison” while I was home, he looked around in confusion and said, “Who?” then completely cracked up when I responded. It was the best joke he’d ever heard. He couldn’t fathom that my real name was anything other than Wis.

Why am I telling you this? Because tonight I received a thank you note from my youngest nephew, with the best opening line ever:

Now I bet you’re wishing YOU had a cool nickname like Wis. Sorry, it’s taken. It’s mine. And you know…

I’ll be back.

BTW – can someone tell me why that Corgie puppy on the stationery is using a pillow like a yoga bolster? 

11 Responses to “The History of the Word.”

  1. Dan Bain December 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    “And now, Perry the Platypus, BEHOLD! And tremble before the might of the WISANATOR!”

    • pithypants December 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Perry’s nickname is Puth, just in case you were curious.

  2. thesinglecell December 30, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Oh, I so get it. My nephews call me by a nickname really just because it’s easier than trying to pronounce my real name in a tiny mouth… but unfortunately I have lots of nicknames and often the least explainable one winds up written in Christmas cards or on Facebook. But I love that your nephews call you Aunt Wis. It’s sweet. And I’ve always loved the irony of your blog name.

  3. allenavw December 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    That is an incredible nickname! I’ve never had any cool nicknames… but I chalk that one up to my friends being uncreative lol. As for the Corgi puppy doing yoga I believe there is no explanation, it’s just one of those “huh?” things.

  4. The Byronic Man December 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    The corgi is doing the lazy, lazy version of “downward dog”

  5. Curly Carly December 30, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I couldn’t say my R’s, so I would say things like “huh” instead of “hair” and “buh” instead of “bear.” My family likes to remind me of that often.

    • pithypants January 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

      Good thing you outgrew it, because with a name like Curly Carly, you’d have to start a blog called Cully Collie.

  6. Lorna's Voice December 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Interesting insight into your past and blog name. I’m always interested in why people name their blogs as they do.

  7. Anja@ January 2, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    We all go through that stage of learning how to speak and how to pronounce correctly. The fun part begins when you start saying your own name correctly while family members remain calling you by your nickname. My parents still call me by my nickname and I love it when they do that. It keeps my childhood alive.

  8. Alicia January 3, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    a) I must be thick — never caught the blog name irony, but I love it; b) look closely at that stationary. It’s Japanese and really odd (to my Western sensibilities) in other ways, too. ❤ you, Wis. –Weet

    • pithypants January 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      I know… that’s why I bought it. It makes NO sense. I have two other packs of random Japanese stationery… one features cheeseburgers and says things like, “Yum. I eat.” “Hungry food!” I kind of thought those would be too random for James. Apparently the dog stationery was too, since he thought it was a potty-training chart.

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