What’s in a Name?

Trent in High School Band

When I was in high school I wasn’t just a Math Nerd, as most of you expect, but also a Band Nerd. I was in choir, the yearly musicals, symphonic band, pep band, jazz band and, of course, marching band. I once calculated out that while attending high school I was doing some type of music practice or performance between five and ten hours a day, every day. Whichever way you looked at it, though, I was a nerd with all of the nerd ways. I was ultra-introverted, which I still am, and extremely shy, which I’m now only slightly shy. And I was totally clueless, particularly when it came to the bane of all high school boys, particularly nerdy ones, high school girls.

I was very rebellious in my quiet way, the last “respectable” boy who wore long hair. I did things my own way, no matter what we were doing. My mom still tells the story of asking my band director what it was like having a field full of kids marching in a toga for Toga Day during “Spirit Week”. He laughed and informed her I was the only one!

Being in all of these musical endeavors meant selling stuff. While I was in high School the cartoon Funky Winkerbean ran a series where they were selling “Band Zucchini”. The creator of Funky Winkerbean lived in a neighboring town and so knew the band dynamic well.

When I look back at my high days I seem to think most fondly of marching band. It was a great time. We went all over northern Ohio to football games and band festivals. We worked hard and were very good. And the practices were great fun. Although a very shy nerd, I enjoyed being in an organization that actually had a few popular girls.

My junior year I had a freshman girl standing on either side of me. I thought they were pretty cute at the time. They were good friends and half flirted with me and all of the way good-naturedly teased me. I enjoyed the attention but had no idea how to do anything more than halfheartedly tease them back. Early in the year they started to call me “Jiggles”. “Jiggles”? Who? Why? I had no idea. At first I was paranoid that I was doing something strange. After a while I grew used to it.

The rest of my junior year and all of my senior year I was affectionately called “Jiggles” by these two. Sometimes people who weren’t in band would give me weird looks, but it was OK. I wasn’t the only one who thought these two were cute and I didn’t mind the attention. And since nobody else called me “Jiggles”, I didn’t care. It was their pet name for me.

At the end of my senior year they finally took pity on me and told me the story. The choir was selling M&Ms in boxes. I was carrying boxes around trying to sell them. For a few days as we did our high-step, vigorous march I made a jiggling noise. Jiggle, stomp, jiggle, stomp. So the two of them, trying to find a new way to tease me, started to call me “Jiggles”.

This was one of the few nicknames I ever had. The only other time I can remember a nickname was when I was a very small child some people called me “T.P.” for “Trent Patrick” and it eventually got stretched to “Teeps”. This nickname was gone by the time I was school age and never heard by any of my school mates.

So why did I bring this up? Well, it seems I have been calling Eloise the wrong name. Well, maybe I wasn’t good enough friends with her. See, she recently went through all of her nicknames and said the one that stuck was “Mello” and that her friends still call her that.   In fact, she doesn’t like “Eloise” as much as “Mello”.  Well, Mello, I hope I’m now a good enough friend to call you by your rightful nickname. Just don’t call me Jiggles in return, OK?

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85 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. aladywrites4u

    Jiggles eh? That’s a fun one. I’ve had a whole string of nic-names. For some reason people tend to choose a name for me. I don’t mind. Most of them have to do with my height (5ft).

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  2. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee – 4/25/2015 | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think most writers were pretty shy growing up. So yes, we would be standing next to each other in band, I’d glance at you and you’d be studying your shoes, then you’d glance at me and I’d be playing with my trumpet to make sure it was working, but if one of us got the courage to say “hi” I’m sure we would have been friends. Well, one of us would have had to have access to a time machine since I’m sure you’re a lot younger than me, but since i sometimes write sci-fi I’m sure it could be arranged.

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      1. Candace Habte

        So funny because I’m writing a sci-fi story that has some time traveling that takes you back to high school. Of course I pulled a little from my life and have some band memories in there. I should throw in a character named Trenty Poo just for fun. You already started the scene for me ;)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          That’s so funny. Somehow that vibe must have been floating in the ether. Can’t wait to meet my fictional alter-ego once you finished your story ;) Now make sure that this ultra shy guy can peel the paint off wood with his trumpet, in a good way…

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  3. Candace Habte

    Haha! I like TP, but I also like Trenty or maybe Trenty Poo (though I’m sure that may not sound ah adult enough or something). I have a bunch of nicknames somehow. People just start calling me stuff (nothing bad) and I roll with it. I like how some folks confidently call me Candi without asking. Some other Candaces’ hate it but I don’t mind it.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      “Trenty Poo”? I don’t know. It sounds like, “Hey Trenty Poo, if you do this for little ‘ol me I’ll make sure there’s something in for you,” wink, wink. I’m not saying that’s how you’d use it, but I have pictures of Ginger on Gilligan’s Island… ;) I rarely use someone’s knickname unless everyone does or it’s a “pet name” or special name that I use. Truthfully, I like Candace more than Candi. So if we ever met in person I’d most likely call you Candace and only turn a few shades of red if you called me Trenty Poo :)

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    2. Candace Habte

      I didn’t even think about that! lol Yeah, I guess Trenty Poo is a bit affectionate but I’m loving with my friends (in a non-weird way I hope). I like Candace better too, but I don’t mind Candi since some people seem partial to it. One of the ladies that lives below me is actually named Kandee (not Candace). I think she’s about in her 60s and she was like she has no idea why her mom did that to her lol.

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      1. trentpmcd Post author

        OK, if you call me Trenty Poo I’ll take as platonic affection ;) I’ve met a few Candi/Candee/Kandy etc before. I think some were named that while others may have been Candace. The worst two were (I don’t remember spelling) Candi Barr and Candi Kane. Evil parents!

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  4. Master of Something Yet

    Oh, Trent, that outfit!!

    We don’t really do the school marching band thing here. Concert bands, yes, but no marching. So imagine my excitement in New York when there was a parade with a high school marching band. They’re real! And not just in tv shows! ;)

    Nerds are cool now, you know that, right?

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yep, marching bands are real and I was really in one. For Halloween the year that picture was taken I wore a fake handlebar mustache and said I was Sgt. Pepper….

      Nerds are cool? I remember several years back hearing an interview with Gwen Stephani (or however you spell her name) and laughing when she said she hates it when people call her cool because she’s a nerd and always has been one.

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  5. charlypriest

    Jiggles….well that’s a curious one. I thought about what nerd is and I got to the conclusion that nerds tend to end up having in general passion for something which leads them to have a drive to achieve their goals.
    Nice story Trent- Jiggles. Actually if you put both names together does have a nice ring to it.

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  6. prior

    fun share and I like both the name Jiggles and teeps – and I might have to use the teeps one – or just stick to T
    anyhow, the picture is great – seeing the younger you….

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          1. prior

            I really don’t like Y that much – even though the few bloggers that use it seem to be followers that started following me when I posted about that – and so in a way it has a bit of history (if that makes sense)
            but I am seriously NOT picky – I do like ‘prior’ a lot – and Susan was one of the first bloggers to call me that – but I think my favorite “handles’ are ones that unfold naturally – like my sweet blog friend amy calls me lady blue ski and that is just fun….
            thanks for asking T

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                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  Yo prior!… nah, doesn’t seem right. I go back to what I previously called you, you know, before this discussion. I think prior to this I called you prior so, for now ;) Sorry, can help saying a pun on occasion…

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Pudding? Is there a story behind that? I can see Jussers. Old pictures like the one I posted are funny. How much I’ve changed in the last xx years, and yet the hair is almost the same as in my profile picture ;)

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Thanks! Actually, I think the naughty but nice came to mind first… But now that you said you like nicknames and Pudding is your favorite, I guess when I’m “talking” to you in comments if I want to tease you I’ll have to use Pudding ;)

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              If I did use it it would embarrass me more than you ;) It just sounds too much like something a boyfriend/husband/lover/whatever would call someone – “Hey Pudding, that movie you wanted to see is playing in town. What say we go see it, maybe have dinner? What’d you say, Pudding?” ;) Of course I could try stupid puns, like, “You stay away from my chocolate, Pudding!”

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                    1. trentpmcd Post author

                      I was talking about a job coming up soon, work. I say the most innocent things and, well, I think someone’s mind is back with the chocolate in her drawers, I mean nightstand.

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                    2. trentpmcd Post author

                      Yes, and I’ve already dug myself in a hole big enough to fit that giant spider and I’m sure if I try to make it up by calling you Pudding it would only make it worse….

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                    3. trentpmcd Post author

                      I’m feeling a bit mysterious. Actually, it wouldn’t be fun right now. It would be better if I “pulled out the Pudding” on something totally unrelated, like one of your posts about (non-pudding) food. Hmmm, not the one you posted today because you’d be expecting it, but….

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                    4. trentpmcd Post author

                      It looks like any chocolate loving spider will be busy over at your place for a while so I can breath easy on that account for at least a short time ;) (Yes, I’m in the middle of your Baru post)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Like an Irish Jig? Any story that can be shared on line behind that one? Jig is pretty close to Jiggles, though this is the one and only time I’ll ever lay claim to -that- name!

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      1. jackiemallon

        It’s indeed a play on the Irish jig and the fact that I foolishly divulged how when I lived in Italy Italians pronounced my name as a sort of Jikkie which morphed into Jiggy, then the more distinguished Jig…

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