What’s in a Name?



My mother was a master at the subtle art of wrapping an admonishment up with a little guilt, a dash of shame and a good deal of keeping-a-child-in-her-place, and delivering it all in one concise phrase:

“Well, aren’t you the Smartypants!”

“Look at you, Miss Lazybones!”

“Here’s Little Miss Know-It-All.”

It was very effective. I tried it myself, with my own children, with less success. As usual, I talked too much:

“Well, Miss I-Should-Be-Able-To-Keep-My-Room-How-I-Want, if what you want is to keep your room messy, than what I want is for you to keep your door closed!

“Okay, Miss Can’t-Stand-Mixed-Food, here is your casserole…separated.”

“Well, if it isn’t Little Miss I’m-too-sick-to-go-to-school-in-the-morning-but-well-enough-to-be-up-playing-with-dolls-and-now-jumping-on-the-bed!”

It’s even less effective with the dogs, mainly because they don’t understand sarcasm. I forge on, anyway:

For Darla, there’s “Miss Garbage Breath” when she’s gotten in the trash, “Miss Growl” for the way she lets me know she wants to go out, and “Miss Bunny Rabbit” for the stuffed animal she loves to carry around in her mouth.

Miss Rosa Parks is “Little Miss Pee-Pee On The Floor” – for obvious reasons. “Miss Boy” is short for Miss Boy who Cried Wolf, when she goes to the door without really needing outside, in hopes that I’ll – in my distracted state – still give her a treat. “Miss Butt-In-The-Air” is for the position she assumes when she wants me to drop everything and go play with her. “Miss Bark,” is for when she torments my ears with her shrill, sharp bark. It always causes her to give me a raised eyebrow, wondering if I have simply mispronounced “Parks.”

They both have other names,that are not laced with sarcasm or ridicule. Baby-doll, Sweet Girl, Good Girl, Honey-Bunch and Sweetheart are ways I address each of them. Now that I think of it, those are also terms I used for my daughters…and that my mother used for her children, too!



About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

4 responses »

  1. “Little miss…” I make up names for all sorts of people I encounter in my life. Plus, sarcasm is one of my favorite forms of humor, even though it’s shunned so often. What;s in a name? Everything! We wouldn’t name things as such if it weren’t true, right?

    • Right! We do it at work for the hardware customers, and we did it when we worked at the bar, too. Thus, I’ve had Mr. Last Bar Stool with a PBR, Miss Over Easy and OJ, Mr. Cheapskate, Mr. Whiner and Miss Helpless in my circle!

  2. Cindy, I laughed so hard at this post. I’ve already started talking to Gracie in Cindyspeak: Okay, Miss have to go out at four in the morning, have it your way! or Okay Miss Toys all over the floor, see if you get a new one anytime soon! 🙂

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