Nickname, do you have any, how did you get your nick names?

Image of Joe Soap.

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How did I get my nickname?

The story behind my nickname is of some interest and a story of great miss fortune, bullying, torment and success.

It is a true story and lies behind the full origin of my nickname.

It leads me often to think of myself, as a real, live, walking miracle, that statement you might think, is a little over the top but just continue reading to find out that it isn't at all.

The story starts when I was 2 years old, a small baby who fell head first, into a Dolly Tub of boiling hot water, as if that wasn’t enough but I was saved in a case that can be easily described as pure happenstance.


A walking miracle.

What caused this to happen?

My mother had taken me to the kitchen area and taken my trousers off to go to the toilet, the kitchen outside door was closed. She returned to another part of the house which was a bungalow to attend to my little sister who was a 1 year old.

A friend of my mothers who was heavily pregnant was a little hungry and decided to make her self a sandwich so went to the kitchen to do so. Whilst doing this she heard an odd noise outside and went to look, outside the kitchen door was a wooden shed, built onto the side of the bungalow house. Inside it was a large steel dolly tub of boiling hot water, that had only just minuets earlier, been put out.

The tub was full of dirty nappy’s that where being boiled, this was 1963 and washing machines where too expensive and disposable nappy’s had not been invented. Next to the tub was a tea chest, about a foot high off the floor, with a thin board over the hole, on the top of the wooded tea chest.

A Dolly Tub and Tea Chest.

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How it may have happened.

I as a baby it is thought, climbed onto the tea chest to reach up, to get at some of my fathers tools that where on the shelf above. The board over the top was not secure, so when my full weight had stood on it, the thin wood collapsed and I fell head fist into this boiling water. Just at the same time, as my mums guest, had been going to the kitchen to make a sandwich and heard the noise, to be able to sound the alarm and save me.

There would have been no chance of hearing or knowing anything otherwise from the far side of the house because it was a long way from the kitchen area, as it was the insides of 3 bedroom bungalow.

The country side.

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Help was a long way away.

We lived out in the countryside and about three quarters of a mile from the nearest houses and about a mile from the nearest public telephone box. My mothers guest who was heavily pregnant ran to the the telephone box to phone for and ambulance. The nearest hospital was about 8 miles away, so in all it was about an hour before I was attended to by medical staff in a hospital.

Ambulance

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Thoughts about the kitchen door.

It is thought that in the moments between me going to the toilet and my mums guest going to the kitchen somebody had opened the kitchen door to the outside of the bungalow .

Next to the bungalow, quite close by was a large building where an old couple lived and the old man used to get water from our kitchen often. It is said that he just as often left the back door open. It is thought that this man had done this and that was how the kitchen door was left open.

Kitchen taps.

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Survived

Even when I did get to the hospital they had problems, more than half of my body had been burned with 3rd degree burns. My body was weeping vital fluids faster than they could replace them and the hospital did not have the specialist staff or facilities to deal with burns of this degree. I was eventually sometime later rushed about 35 miles to another hospital in the city of Liverpool by ambulance.

My mother was told to not expect me to pull through the night because of the extent of my injuries, burns only one quarter as bad as these in 1963, where killing many people, grown ups, let alone 2 year old baby's, it was not looking good but I survived.

1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

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I had a difficult time as a child, all attributable to the results of this horrific accident, that is as near as could be described, as a miracle to be found and survive.

I was only 2 years old, in pain, in need for love and tender care from those closest to me but because of circumstance my mother could not afford to stay in Liverpool, so I was alone, hurting and only having complete strangers to comfort me.

I spent a lot of time in hospitals, away from my family with complete strangers, at times when it is important to feel and be part of the bonding between you and your birth mother/family. At least a loving bond with another close human being but I spent a lot of time away from this situation, in hospital getting surgery, to make my body operable, usable.

I was left with visible scars on my neck, which was like a cobweb from my chin to my collar bone as a younger child, until it was removed some years later but I was lucky as the rest could be hidden with my clothing.

Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK

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Victim of bullying

These visible scars made me the victim of bullying and after the accident, my family had moved into the nearest town, which meant we now lived in a small street with other families, all with older children, who bullied me, physically and mentally. This happened because I was younger and an easy target, with my unsightly scars, that where visible, it also helped to make me intolerant to bully's, large or small. I became hardened by it, with little fear of grown ups because I had been in hospitals fending for myself to a large degree and was a difficult child to manage because I was going through traumatic times alone often.

During this time leading up to the age of 7 I was given the name Bog as another way of being horrible to me, it is ironic really because the person who give me the name, was probably the only child I liked in the street where I lived. I hated his brother, who was about 3 years older than me, very big and not easy to defend myself against, he used to bully me and hit me a lot as I can remember. Although I did manage to take advantage once and hurt him so bad he never bullied me again easily because he remembered what I would do if given the chance.

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Nickname.

My father was a handy man, always making and building things, I was a nuisance always wanting to be helping him, getting in the way of what he was doing, this was how I got burned in the first place trying to get to his tools. His favourite words for telling me off and warding me off, was to say bugger off Gareth, Gareth will you bugger off. As I was bullied by other children in the street mostly boys, they always made horrible names up for me and called me things like snotty, smelly, bin man, ugly and what ever.

The older boy who I liked, happened to put the first letters of what I was being called together from my dads words to make Bog, Bugger Off Gareth, B, O, G.

It was just another horrible name to call me, like all the rest because in the UK many people call the toilet a bog. It is odd really because even now, I am 51 years old and many people who I grew up with in the town where I live, still call me Bog and do not know my real name as Gareth. In fact if you mention Gareth to them, they often do not know me but if you say Bog, they know me right away because I am a fairly well know person in the town where I live as Bog.

I liked the name Bog as I got older because it was unusual enough to remember and odd enough to be interesting, a good combination for an artist.

Do you have a nickname or nicknames, how did you get yours?


The Spirit of Ecstasy was secretly the whisperer.

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This is the emblem or mascot from a Rolls Royce motor car, which is been considered a status symbol and a statement of elegance. A one ton fortress, with a power house to match, the choice of kings, queens and princes, the world over. | Source

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Comments 16 comments

JayDeck profile image

JayDeck 4 years ago from New Jersey

What a story! I am glad you survived to tell the tale, and with the perpective time offers.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Thanks, JayDeck, you are so right about time, everything seems so much different in retrospect.

Gareth


JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Bloody hell! What a story; it serves as a reminder of how cruel kids can be eh? Really glad you took the time to tell the time.

My nickname as a kid was Baloo, there was nothing malicious behind it. I have a rather stocky build,so my friends used to just call me by that name, based on my appearance. I didn't mind it though. Voted up etc.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Hi JKenny,

Yes but as a grown up I have leaned that children are just the victims of their own environment and grow up as such. Its not until they grow up and reflect upon things that they begin to realize. Plus they learn form each other and copy each other, so it only needed one to be that way, who was older and more dominant, and all the rest would follow. Not bad people or children, just a bad situation really.

Baloo what a cool nick name I am fond of Baloo even at 51 I still am and mentioned it the other day to somebody.

Thanks for the comment and revealing your nickname, Gareth or should it be Bog?


TENKAY profile image

TENKAY 4 years ago from Philippines

You have been so brave. Could I give you a hug?

My name is Veronica, my father gave me that name and my nickname is verok, also given by my pa. He wished for me to be as saintly as Veronica, hence the name. Only members of the family call me Verok, my name inside the house and that was since I was a kid. I don't know how my nickname originated but according to my husband, in their dialect a 'berok' is an old woman who cannot bear a child. I have no child so probably giving me that nickname is a premonition for my future childless state.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Hi Veronica,

I know somebody with the name Veronica, I like the name my self and they call this girl, Ron, which is a shortened version, I think, but it seems quite cool, also Veron, seems familiar.

Verok, when I run it through my head few times and then said it, rolls out of the mouth quite nicely, I can rattle my tong a little when saying it.

I can imagine a small child trying to say her name but saying Verok because the word is multiple syllables, 4 in fact, Ver-on-ic-a, so not be an easy word to speak as a child learning, I would think, but good practice for learning to talk perhaps.

I imagine as parents it could be quite comical, sweet and a very sticky pleasantry, hearing a child trying to say her own name, as parents do tend to copy their children's mispronounced words, something like, Verok, Verok-ina.

I don't think its meant to be 'berok' your farther seems to have chosen the name Veronica after Saint Veronica and it seems unlikely he would have anything but good intentions for his daughter.

Unless you have confirmed medical reasons for not having any children, then it doesn't mean you will never have any children, it takes to two to make a child and even people who have been told by the medical profession that they can't have children, still have them, medical science or any science isn’t perfect. I think that premonition stuff is fuelled by frustration and a bit of a gloomy practice, not the best way to think.

Thank you for talking nicknames and making a contribution to this hub, in my own experience the future is brighter than we think, more often than not, BoGareth.


TENKAY profile image

TENKAY 4 years ago from Philippines

You are welcome BoGareth. I had accepted my childless state, you see I am already 55, a good number, easy to remember.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Hi Tenkey,

Thank you again for getting back to me and informing me of how things really are, 51 is good age, so 55 must be even better, that's cool, the future is bright.

BoGareth.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hmmm ... this wolf starts showing fangs when the topic of bullies comes around. I go (and have gone) after bullies anytime, my pleasure.

I`m glad You overcame all that nonsense.

Regarding nicknames ... I have so many ... I don`t judge and people can call me whatever they wish, it`s a label anyway and if tomato sauce was labeled honey it would still taste great and I would still eat it ...

Mr. Happy came from the owner of a caffee-deserts place, here in Toronto where my buddies and I used to hang around in our early twenties.`One day, as I entered through the back door he turned to me and said: `Heeey, it`s Mr. Happy!!` I think it had something to do with me smoking a lot of grass too ... haha ...

I have lots of other nicknames that people have given me over the years though. It seems everyone makes-up a nickname for me. It`s all good.

The White Wolf comes from the fact that the Great White Wolf Spirit guides me and has been guiding me since childhood. I feel at home in the forest and I walk alone: no wife, kids, girfriend, etc ...

Enough of nicknames or I`ll be writing my own blog in your comment section. Haha!

Thanks for the conversation. All the best!

May Wakan Tanka guide your path. : )


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Hey Mr. Happy, thanks for a great giggle, the comment sure made me happy and very fitting of the name Mr Happy, thanks for the blessing of great mystery to guide me I couldn't ask for more, very welcome.

Blessings BoGareth.


sheilanewton profile image

sheilanewton 4 years ago from North Shields, UK

When I voted across, I hesitated at 'beautiful' - but then I added it, because in its own way this is such a beautiful piece, Gareth. There's such a lot of unkindness and sadness here and i could feel every pain (emotional AND physical) you felt. 3rd degree burns are maiming and horrific. I think you have coped well with the nickname - but it's sad that no-one seems to know the true Gareth. I would want to punch anybody who called you Bog. It's unfair and uncalled for.

But you DID cope - and here you are - a brilliant writer and artist - and I love ya to bits, Gareth Pritchard.

P.S. I was in Alder Hey hospital to have my appendix out when I was a very young 'Scouser' - and that's one of my nicknames in the north East - 'Scouser'!

I used to get called 'Chink' when I was a kid in the un-PC days - because my eyes are slightly slanted. Suppose I was lucky to get sort of 'acceptable' nicknames.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Hi Sheila,I appreciate what you have said but 'Chink' isn't any better really, it is still a derogatory name both ways, to you and Chinese people but it only works if you take it that way. I didn't and neither did you, I don't think, I don't think children do, it's just a laugh. I don't think children really understand that kind of stuff fully. In my case I was only about 5 or 6 at most, the oldest boy was perhaps 10, so it wasn't as vindictive or derogatory as we might think as adults. I do realize that this stuff had an effect on me as a child and an adult but I would not change my life for anything. Thank you for your comment, concern and everything. BoGareth.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

After putting up with bullying for so many years I totally understand where you are coming from. I was different because of a number of things, illness asthma and bronchitis caused me to be in hospital a lot, and the fact that I would, under no circumstances bully, bitch or be nasty to anyone, and thats the worse thing you can be when you are surrounded by bullies! but you had a talent, and that to me is one in the eye for the bullies. My mum was going to call me Melanie Jane, but thought I would get called smelly drain! lol!


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 4 years ago from North Wales Author

Bullying is a difficult one and being in hospital for longish periods of time when your young, is a life changer, we get a different type of advice from strangers. The spiteful ones never like success and invented the word talent, sorry I don't do talent, determination, sometimes desire, even lust but no talent, not around here.

I remember a little girl I used to call Smellanie, she didn't like it when she got a bit older, I told her, there was not any bad intent, it was only a friend name, I told her, it was a name I called her because I liked her. She still didn't like it and I, for the life of me couldn't understand why at the time because she didn't smell at all.

I call my sister Bendy and her middle name is Jane, Bendy Drain, I like that.

Bendy Drain, Smellanie and me, all went home for tea.

Mummy, Anne and Stan, where all sat under the tree.

No one mentioned my name, so I made em agree, we don't do dat round ear and the next thing you know was, I was on the Antiques Road Show, doesn't time fly quickly?

I have a Spirit of Ecstasy and your very interestingly fabulous Hub, about glass art reminded me, inspired me,

thank you for looking me up, its been a pleasure.

No shite!

I really don't like Gaz but get called it a lot nowadays.

Thanks again Nell and I will round it all up into one word, cool, Gareth.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I found your article because you don't have that many hubs yet, but I would have preferred if you gave me the link. Sharing links in the comments is not considered spamming unless you dump ten of them with no text whatsoever.

I am sorry to hear that you had such a terrible experience. Accidents happen to many children, but burns are a nasty things as both my parents (medical doctors) would often tell me. In fact, my father started out as a dermatologist and there was one friend in his department whose very young daughter overturned a kettle with boiling water unto herself. I know it is hardly a consolation that some other people have to go through this as well.

But there are far many more victims of bullying than there are of physical incidents and people end up committing suicides.

So, I think I can congratulate you on the fact that you survived both - the physical calamity and the humiliation of bullying.

Some people are not capable of emotional bonding or they were never shown enough love.

"Bugger off, Gareth" is a tough thing, but I think of names in terms of associations. I am sure it was your artistic nature that let you choose your own vision and your own way of dealing with Bog.

I do think of names in that light, as a poetry of words, colours and associations.

And, yes, I have a nickname - kallini - and I wrote about it, too - because it has both pleasant and unpleasant associations, yet I chose to love it.

I am not quite, sure, why you chose though the section of English and Irish Literature for this hub. It don't see the connection. Maybe, it is an artistic association. Maybe.


Gareth Pritchard profile image

Gareth Pritchard 3 years ago from North Wales Author

I will only share links if somebody asks me to because there are lots of crafty publishers out there who for all the world look like they are not only interested in posting a link but they are and I am not. Often there is no need for putting links in anywhere because your name is linked to your profile and that was how I came across your pages.

I intend to take a look at more of your hubs as time permits as I am interested in names but I am not a fast reader and my writing is not good either so it will not happen quickly.

I was not aware of the English and Irish literature section of the hub being something I had control of but I am now so I might change it, now that I know, thank you for the education and the comment/interest shown.

Thanks again, Gareth.

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