Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 01:34:03 PM

Title: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 01:34:03 PM
My cousin J has a son, M who is without a doubt one of the prettiest, sweetest mannered children ever. He is friendly, cuddly and due to his mother not wanting to cut his hair if she can avoid it, has long slightly curly hair. But its still pretty obvious he's a boy.

Some how he got the nickname "prissy boy" (I personally think it evolved from "Kissy Boy" because he at about four months started to become a kisser. He still greets people he loves with hugs and kisses. But his father says he thinks it came from "pretty boy" and he might be right too. the kid's been called both at times.) While I'm not sure what other people think when they hear the phrase, its never meant anything in our family, other than a boy who's a bit fussy over his looks, or M himself.

We were at a park and M was running around with a blue blanket held over his head like a hood. (Think little kid wrapped in a towel.) he was having a good time swooshing around and tumbling, and when the food was ready someone called the kids back and M didn't hear us at first, so I walked over to him and said "C'mere Prissy Boy, let me hold you." Which he did immediatly, squealing. (he lieks being carried around.)

Some woman lit into me about how I was a homophobe (??? Have I missed something?) and terrible. She also made M start crying because he thought she was yelling at him. I ignored her but she followed me to our picnic table, and at that point another cousin told her she was out of line and needed to stay away from us. She huffed off.

So, is M's nickname offensive? Was this woman nuts? Both? J has commented that if the name is gonna set people off, maybe we should call him something else, but if not, we'd like to keep using it. M is used to it and seems pleased to be "special" to us.

If it matters, M is about six, and responds to "Prissy Boy" happily. Most of the little kids in the family get called nicknames, some others include "Chicken Girl", "Baby Bootsie" and "Toad"
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Suze on August 03, 2010, 01:37:51 PM
for the record I don't like nicknames like that at all.

while they might be cute now

you know family is still going to call him "Prissy Boy" when he is grown up

and somehow at 20ish prissy boy takes on a whole new meaning.......
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: gentlebutterfly on August 03, 2010, 01:40:43 PM
If I had heard it, I would think it was a mean nickname, but I wouldn't have said anything.

If the child likes it, then it's nobodys business what you call him.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 01:42:41 PM
for the record I don't like nicknames like that at all.

while they might be cute now

you know family is still going to call him "Prissy Boy" when he is grown up

and somehow at 20ish prissy boy takes on a whole new meaning.......

Our nicknames seem to stick, yeah. But at some point we can drop them. My cousin J (M's father) kept his ("Snowflake" He was a REALLY pale little boy) but his sister dropped hers because at the time she got it it was innocent, but now is sometimes used as a euphamism for a body part. No one uses his sister's. Ever. Its family courtisy.

A diffrent cousin ("Big Boy") decided that family could use it, but he wanted us to call him by his name if we introduced him. We've abided by it.

I don't know if M's nickname will persist, but its a family joke that he's gonna end up like our uncle, who was given the nickname "Bitty babe" as a toddler because he was so small, and ended up being a 6'3 bulk of a man. And yeah, we still call him "Uncle Bitty"
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: bah12 on August 03, 2010, 01:43:52 PM
To most of us, "prissy" is not a derivative of "kissy", it is a word used to describe a feminine male and it is usually used in a derogatory manner.  I think this is what the woman was responding to.

Obviously the family is not using the nickname in this way, but it may open the child up to unwanted chastising by other children in the future. Something to think about it.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: PeasNCues on August 03, 2010, 01:44:46 PM
It actually does kind of sound offensive to me.

Prissy Boy = OTT Feminine Boy to me.  I've only heard the word "prissy" used negatively and only when refering to people who are gay or towards a male who the name-caller was accusing of being gay. Might only be a regional thing (SE US).
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Sharnita on August 03, 2010, 01:46:29 PM
I have heard girls called prissy - kinda makes me think "wimpy, needs to be coddled, etc".  Not genrally kind and very possibly mean.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 01:48:24 PM
To most of us, "prissy" is not a derivative of "kissy", it is a word used to describe a feminine male and it is usually used in a derogatory manner.  I think this is what the woman was responding to.

Obviously the family is not using the nickname in this way, but it may open the child up to unwanted chastising by other children in the future. Something to think about it.

Hmm. That's true. Admittedly our family in the past have figured that family nicknames are just that, family names, not used in school or anything like that. And after awhile, i guess we get kinda jaded to them.

Maybe I'll point this all out to J. It'll be hard on M getting used to being called vby his own name, but if it spares him hardship down the road...

@PeasNCues: Where we are, girls and the occasional guy get called Prissy if they are a bit on the vain side(but not in a bad way, there are lots of words for VERY vain folk, but prissy isn't one of them) or for cats. Maybe that's why it didn't occour to any of us. I've never heard prissy used for a g*a*y person, but maybe that was what the woman associated it with.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Judah on August 03, 2010, 01:49:11 PM
I can't think of a positive connotation to the word "prissy" whether it's used for a boy or a girl.  I wouldn't want it as a nickname.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: kherbert05 on August 03, 2010, 01:49:38 PM
In this case the family nickname is innocent because of the history - but can quickly turn nasty in the hands of school mates. I would be concerned that the child was being bullied by family if I heard it without back story.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 01:55:05 PM
I can't think of a positive connotation to the word "prissy" whether it's used for a boy or a girl.  I wouldn't want it as a nickname.

I never realized how many people disliked the word. I've alwasy assumed the word itself comes from "pretty" I mean, it kinda sounds like pretty, and the way its used in oru area is for a person who is trying to be pretty.

Maybe we should just call him Frog. His sister is Toad after all.

@kherbert- We definatly don't bully him.  ;D M is our family baby, he's so super sweet and pleasant that I can't remember the last time he even got scolded for something. (His brother on the other hand.... I love his brother but they two couldn't be more diffrent. Only thing they have in common is both are mostly polite and good natured.) The name is always used in a loving tone.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: blue2000 on August 03, 2010, 01:56:57 PM
Prissy boy doesn't sound bad to me for a very small boy, but for an older child it would be mean.

Could you dial it back to Pretty Boy?

ETA - Frog is good, too, if his sister is Toad.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Jobiska on August 03, 2010, 01:57:15 PM
First off--yelly park lady was rude, no question.

That being said--

Except as a nickname for Priscilla, I would assume anyone being called prissy was (seen by the name-callers as) fussy about their clothes and about not getting dirty, was wimpy, etc., and that most people barely tolerate this in a girl, but judge it as a moral failing in a boy ("what kind of boy doesn't want to get dirty?  It's not natural!") etc. and from there many make the leap to connect those traits to being gay, effeminate, etc. and from THERE make the leap that those are further moral failings.

Let me hasten to add that I do not, but that it is common enough that I would hesitate to use such a nickname in public lest people make the same assumptions yelly park lady did.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Hushabye on August 03, 2010, 01:57:45 PM
Honestly, even if someone dislikes the name, there's absolutely no excuse for the woman's behavior.

We called Spartacus "Polly Prissy Pants" for a while after he got a particularly horrible shave at the vet's.  I don't know that I would call another person "prissy," but it's the nickname that's evolved in Kimblee's family; their use of it is not at all mean, and they've already shown that they're more than willing to drop the use of a nickname should the person thus nicknamed no longer like it.  So I'm not seeing meanness or anything wrong here.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: MDefarge on August 03, 2010, 01:59:15 PM
I'd go with frog.  I think prissy boy is pretty offensive - even if you don't mean it that way.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 02:02:50 PM
First off--yelly park lady was rude, no question.

That being said--

Except as a nickname for Priscilla, I would assume anyone being called prissy was (seen by the name-callers as) fussy about their clothes and about not getting dirty, was wimpy, etc., and that most people barely tolerate this in a girl, but judge it as a moral failing in a boy ("what kind of boy doesn't want to get dirty?  It's not natural!") etc. and from there many make the leap to connect those traits to being g*a*y, effeminate, etc. and from THERE make the leap that those are further moral failings.

Let me hasten to add that I do not, but that it is common enough that I would hesitate to use such a nickname in public lest people make the same assumptions yelly park lady did.

Hmm. I wonder if six is old enough to understand that we call him one thing at home and another in public.

He understands that his brother's friends call him by his name, and calls his brother by his name in public, would that indicate he's old enough?

Oh, and he has no provblem with getting dirty. But when he's done he wants help to take a bath, comb his hair and put on clean clothes. On the brightside, I never have trouble getting him dressed nicely for picture taking.  >:D

And while i can try to convince his father to use Frog, i kinda was joking. Though its a cute name. Hmm.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jibby on August 03, 2010, 02:02:56 PM
The woman was rude.  It was not her place to decide what you call the child with you, assuming you're not being abusive (and from the way the child responded, it's clear he didn't feel uncomfortable).

The nickname does rub me the wrong way, personally.  I think it is only bc DH's father is a backwards, homophobic ogre who thinks any male who cares for his appearance is g*a*y, that of course being the world's worst offense.   ::)

Of course, DH, my parents and I all have nicknames for Lil Jib that will cease the moment he reaches "repeat everything I hear"' stage (Jabba, for his big ol' baby belly, comes to mind).   ;)

And your story about "Uncle Bitty" cracked me up!
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: magician5 on August 03, 2010, 02:08:25 PM
I would suggest keeping "prissy boy" as a family-only, in-private-only nickname (perhaps you could even phase out its use altogether). So many nicknames aren't nearly fit for public use, for this and similar reasons. Their origins are lost to time, but I'd hate to see what strangers would think if they heard some of the nicknames used in my family.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Amava on August 03, 2010, 02:12:55 PM
To be honest, frog and toad aren't exactly flattering nicknames either.

Me, I'd just call children by their real name.

But it would never occur to me to butt into someone else's business like that woman did.  :o She was completely out of line.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Shiraz_Much? on August 03, 2010, 02:13:30 PM
I have to agree with the rest of the posters.  I like Frog...it's kinda cute....and not offensive in any way.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 02:16:11 PM
To be honest, frog and toad aren't exactly flattering nicknames either.

Me, I'd just call children by their real name.

But it would never occur to me to butt into someone else's business like that woman did.  :o She was completely out of line.

We don;t do "given names" very often. We have six Carls, five Roberts, several variations on Kay...

Well, you get the point.

And Toad is from Princess Toadstool. Who the baby apprently resembles, at least in her brothers' minds.

Uncle Bitty IS the ultimate in awesome, if I can say so in my oh so unbiased opinion. (Gotta appreciate a guy who thinks being a human climbing tree is not only acceptable, but a fun activity for one and all.)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: kherbert05 on August 03, 2010, 03:56:04 PM
I can't think of a positive connotation to the word "prissy" whether it's used for a boy or a girl.  I wouldn't want it as a nickname.

I never realized how many people disliked the word. I've alwasy assumed the word itself comes from "pretty" I mean, it kinda sounds like pretty, and the way its used in oru area is for a person who is trying to be pretty.

Maybe we should just call him Frog. His sister is Toad after all.

@kherbert- We definatly don't bully him.  ;D M is our family baby, he's so super sweet and pleasant that I can't remember the last time he even got scolded for something. (His brother on the other hand.... I love his brother but they two couldn't be more diffrent. Only thing they have in common is both are mostly polite and good natured.) The name is always used in a loving tone.

@Kimblee sorry I wasn't clear. I meant if I just heard someone calling a child that, without hear the back story first - then I would worry. It is obvious from your posts he is a cherished and loved child.

Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 04:03:06 PM
I can't think of a positive connotation to the word "prissy" whether it's used for a boy or a girl.  I wouldn't want it as a nickname.

I never realized how many people disliked the word. I've alwasy assumed the word itself comes from "pretty" I mean, it kinda sounds like pretty, and the way its used in oru area is for a person who is trying to be pretty.

Maybe we should just call him Frog. His sister is Toad after all.

@kherbert- We definatly don't bully him.  ;D M is our family baby, he's so super sweet and pleasant that I can't remember the last time he even got scolded for something. (His brother on the other hand.... I love his brother but they two couldn't be more diffrent. Only thing they have in common is both are mostly polite and good natured.) The name is always used in a loving tone.

@Kimblee sorry I wasn't clear. I meant if I just heard someone calling a child that, without hear the back story first - then I would worry. It is obvious from your posts he is a cherished and loved child.



Oh I know.

You're a nice person. You'd be concerned for a kiddo being called what apprently is a more mean name than we realized.

I was just giving extra assurance that M is not and will not ever be bullied in the family. WSe may hate each other sometimes, be we LOVE our kiddos. (I especially love the one that called me this morning to tell me he loves me and wishes I would come feed him cake. Its not M, but it was a hilarious way to wake up this morning.)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: wheeitsme on August 03, 2010, 04:04:20 PM
First off--yelly park lady was rude, no question.

That being said--

Except as a nickname for Priscilla, I would assume anyone being called prissy was (seen by the name-callers as) fussy about their clothes and about not getting dirty, was wimpy, etc., and that most people barely tolerate this in a girl, but judge it as a moral failing in a boy ("what kind of boy doesn't want to get dirty?  It's not natural!") etc. and from there many make the leap to connect those traits to being g*a*y, effeminate, etc. and from THERE make the leap that those are further moral failings.

Let me hasten to add that I do not, but that it is common enough that I would hesitate to use such a nickname in public lest people make the same assumptions yelly park lady did.

Hmm. I wonder if six is old enough to understand that we call him one thing at home and another in public.

He understands that his brother's friends call him by his name, and calls his brother by his name in public, would that indicate he's old enough?

Oh, and he has no provblem with getting dirty. But when he's done he wants help to take a bath, comb his hair and put on clean clothes. On the brightside, I never have trouble getting him dressed nicely for picture taking.  >:D

And while i can try to convince his father to use Frog, i kinda was joking. Though its a cute name. Hmm.

You could always call him "Frog Prince"...I heard he was a "kissy" fellow... ;)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: shhh its me on August 03, 2010, 04:07:54 PM
Prissy boy sounds like a real insult.  IT could sound as if you were saying you look like a *derogatory for gay person* go get a hair cut , man up! you *other P word that ends with ssy*
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Starchasm on August 03, 2010, 04:08:14 PM
First off--yelly park lady was rude, no question.

That being said--

Except as a nickname for Priscilla, I would assume anyone being called prissy was (seen by the name-callers as) fussy about their clothes and about not getting dirty, was wimpy, etc., and that most people barely tolerate this in a girl, but judge it as a moral failing in a boy ("what kind of boy doesn't want to get dirty?  It's not natural!") etc. and from there many make the leap to connect those traits to being g*a*y, effeminate, etc. and from THERE make the leap that those are further moral failings.

Let me hasten to add that I do not, but that it is common enough that I would hesitate to use such a nickname in public lest people make the same assumptions yelly park lady did.

Hmm. I wonder if six is old enough to understand that we call him one thing at home and another in public.

He understands that his brother's friends call him by his name, and calls his brother by his name in public, would that indicate he's old enough?

Oh, and he has no provblem with getting dirty. But when he's done he wants help to take a bath, comb his hair and put on clean clothes. On the brightside, I never have trouble getting him dressed nicely for picture taking.  >:D

And while i can try to convince his father to use Frog, i kinda was joking. Though its a cute name. Hmm.

You could always call him "Frog Prince"...I heard he was a "kissy" fellow... ;)

What about "Princey" Boy?  It sounds similar, but has a slightly less negative connotation! (And I still don't think "prissy" has anything to do with being gay).  

It goes without saying that the woman was INCREDIBLY rude.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: mj on August 03, 2010, 04:24:52 PM
I had a nickname (kinda similar to prissy boy but tailored for a girl) that was a play off my real name and actually, there's a poster here who uses that as their username!  It wasn't until I was in my late 20's and someone pointing it out to me -- that I realized that it also meant something else relating to the male anatomy  :o  Whatever though, it was always meant as a term of endearment and that's how I've always took it.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Lisbeth on August 03, 2010, 04:33:56 PM
Well, the woman in the park was definitely rude, but I have to admit that the word "prissy" conjures images, none of which are positive, in my mind that I think would appear in the minds of anyone who heard that nickname if it's not meant to be short for Priscilla.

For a very small kid that's one thing, but as he or she gets older, a nickname of "prissy" could make him or her a target for bullying.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: magiccat26 on August 03, 2010, 04:40:32 PM
I often refer to Kitten as "Brat" or "Bratalicious"**.  It is ALWAYS said with affection/love and she knows it.  While I get some strange looks when we're out in public for using the term...honestly, I really don't care what others think.  Kitten knows we love her, she has no insecurities about our terms of affection for her.  I think the women from your OP was very rude and needed to mind her own business.

**When I was a kid, my Mom referred to my brother and I as the "Brats of her heart".  I always knew it was said with love and have no negative feelings about the term.**

Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: JoanOfArc on August 03, 2010, 04:42:21 PM
The woman was rude.  That said, I can sort of see her reaction.  Prissy, in my experience, is not a positive descriptor.  If I heard a kid being called prissy boy, I would think the person calling the kid that was being mean.  And I concur with the other posters- in 3-4 years, when he enters school, that nickname could be a real liability.  And they have a way of getting out- all it takes is a slip of the tongue around the wrong person and he won't lose the nickname until he finishes high school or moves away.  Prissy just doesn't seem like a positive thing to call anyone, boy, girl, man, woman.  I know your family is not being mean, but I strongly advise you to change his nickname in public, if not in private.  

And I think Frog or Frog Prince are both OK.  I like frogs, as do many people.  My Dad calls me Katydid sometimes, though he is the only one. Insects, amphibians and reptiles are not bad- I doubt anyone would object to the kid being nicknamed Kat or Kitty, so why the prejudice against amphibians?  

Sorry, I've been working nature camp and trying to teach kids about the joys of snakes and toads this week!  
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Lisbeth on August 03, 2010, 04:49:50 PM
I often refer to Kitten as "Brat" or "Bratalicious"**.  It is ALWAYS said with affection/love and she knows it.  While I get some strange looks when we're out in public for using the term...honestly, I really don't care what others think.  Kitten knows we love her, she has no insecurities about our terms of affection for her.  I think the women from your OP was very rude and needed to mind her own business.

**When I was a kid, my Mom referred to my brother and I as the "Brats of her heart".  I always knew it was said with love and have no negative feelings about the term.**

You know that about yourself, and you're lucky.  Unfortunately, many other kids just don't have that security.  I think giving a kid a name or nickname that is likely to make them a target of unkind teasing and bullying is not doing them any favors, and shrugging it off as "I don't care what others think" sounds kind of dismissive of what such kids go through.  My last name made me a target and I was told "Just ignore it."  That advice did absolutely nothing positive for me-to this day it's still very hard for me to meet strangers due to being teased unmercifully.  It made my life in grade school hell.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Nox on August 03, 2010, 04:56:20 PM
Park lady was totally rude. However, I'd dial back on public use of Prissy Boy, since I think it generally does have a really negative meaning (even though it's loving in your family). The negative version is bound to catch up with him in an ugly way, and I'd hate that to happen to as sweet a boy as he seems to be.

Perhaps you could shorten it to PB and have that be your "secret code". A lot of kids really love the idea of a shared secret. Plus, you all would know what it means and it would still be a loving family in-group thing, but without the potential for backlash or teasing if his friends heard it.

Also, you said he was 6, right? 6 doesn't seem to old for a basic conversation about the differences between public and private aspects of a person's life, or for a follow up about how you're going to call him family nicknames at home and <whatever else> in public.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: magiccat26 on August 03, 2010, 05:17:42 PM
I often refer to Kitten as "Brat" or "Bratalicious"**.  It is ALWAYS said with affection/love and she knows it.  While I get some strange looks when we're out in public for using the term...honestly, I really don't care what others think.  Kitten knows we love her, she has no insecurities about our terms of affection for her.  I think the women from your OP was very rude and needed to mind her own business.

**When I was a kid, my Mom referred to my brother and I as the "Brats of her heart".  I always knew it was said with love and have no negative feelings about the term.**

You know that about yourself, and you're lucky.  Unfortunately, many other kids just don't have that security.  I think giving a kid a name or nickname that is likely to make them a target of unkind teasing and bullying is not doing them any favors, and shrugging it off as "I don't care what others think" sounds kind of dismissive of what such kids go through.  My last name made me a target and I was told "Just ignore it."  That advice did absolutely nothing positive for me-to this day it's still very hard for me to meet strangers due to being teased unmercifully.  It made my life in grade school hell.

It's not meant to be dismissive at all.  I'm the kid who was always the shortest in our class and didn't hit 100 lbs until I was married at age 23.  I was called "Runt" by my friends and family and less kind names by kids who were not my friends...so I get name calling can be hurtful.  But it's all about intent and instilling a strong sense of self confidence in the boy.  Kimblee's family is using a term of affection for the boy that they all love.  If he was bothered by it, my answer would be different...but he's not.  So it really is not anyone's business.  The lady was out of line.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Lisbeth on August 03, 2010, 05:28:57 PM
I often refer to Kitten as "Brat" or "Bratalicious"**.  It is ALWAYS said with affection/love and she knows it.  While I get some strange looks when we're out in public for using the term...honestly, I really don't care what others think.  Kitten knows we love her, she has no insecurities about our terms of affection for her.  I think the women from your OP was very rude and needed to mind her own business.

**When I was a kid, my Mom referred to my brother and I as the "Brats of her heart".  I always knew it was said with love and have no negative feelings about the term.**

You know that about yourself, and you're lucky.  Unfortunately, many other kids just don't have that security.  I think giving a kid a name or nickname that is likely to make them a target of unkind teasing and bullying is not doing them any favors, and shrugging it off as "I don't care what others think" sounds kind of dismissive of what such kids go through.  My last name made me a target and I was told "Just ignore it."  That advice did absolutely nothing positive for me-to this day it's still very hard for me to meet strangers due to being teased unmercifully.  It made my life in grade school hell.

It's not meant to be dismissive at all.  I'm the kid who was always the shortest in our class and didn't hit 100 lbs until I was married at age 23.  I was called "Runt" by my friends and family and less kind names by kids who were not my friends...so I get name calling can be hurtful.  But it's all about intent and instilling a strong sense of self confidence in the boy.  Kimblee's family is using a term of affection for the boy that they all love.  If he was bothered by it, my answer would be different...but he's not.  So it really is not anyone's business.  The lady was out of line.

Well, if my mother had called me a nickname that got me teased in front of others, she might not care what others think, but I certainly do!  I'm the one who's getting teased. 

I think instilling a strong sense of confidence in one's child is undermined by making them a target and then telling them "just ignore it" or "just deal" because "it's not anyone's business."  Perhaps not, but by teasing, they make it their business and it has to be dealt with.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: browzer11 on August 03, 2010, 06:21:55 PM
I would suggest that the boy be called by his real name.

PrissyBoy ??? ... if this continues, he'll be in counseling for the rest of his life.

It's a rude ignorant nickname. Sorry to be blunt, but you don't call a boy that , ever.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: wheeitsme on August 03, 2010, 06:30:07 PM
I would suggest that the boy be called by his real name.

PrissyBoy ??? ... if this continues, he'll be in counseling for the rest of his life.

It's a rude ignorant nickname. Sorry to be blunt, but you don't call a boy that , ever.

FYI:

I know you probably didn't mean to, but your post came across as very rude and judgemental.  You might want to dial it back a little next time.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: browzer11 on August 03, 2010, 07:02:58 PM
My apologies. Didn't mean to offend.
I will rethink what I write in the future.

Again, sorry.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Elfmama on August 03, 2010, 07:39:13 PM
Hmm. I wonder if six is old enough to understand that we call him one thing at home and another in public.

He understands that his brother's friends call him by his name, and calls his brother by his name in public, would that indicate he's old enough?
More than old enough. 

As an example, Grandson #1 has the same first name as his father, a very common English name.  In the family, he has always been called by a Russian diminutive, rather than the English.  (Slavic heritage on both sides.) But when he went into Kindergarten at age 5 1/2, he chose at that time to be called by his given name, not the diminutive.  So the diminutive is only for the family.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Venus193 on August 03, 2010, 07:45:19 PM
The woman in the park was rude, but I can understand why.  She probably thought your son was a Niles in the making.

Please reconsider this nickname.  Don't put this off because the last thing your son needs is a nickname that others will use as a weapon against him (regardless of how you arrived at it).  "Life ain't easy for A Boy Named Sue."
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: immadz on August 03, 2010, 07:47:03 PM
Is it a mean nickname? Imo, yes it is a mean nickname. It is a word that is usually associated with homophobic slurs. No one can stop you from using it but using it to call your nephew could lead people to think that you were (a) insulting him (b) diminishing the hurt caused to LGBT community or (c) the kind of people who would indulge in offensive name calling. I would suggest rethinking nephew's nickname.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Shoo on August 03, 2010, 07:51:03 PM
That woman was wrong to intrude, but that is about the worst nickname for a boy I can imagine.  Please don't call him that anymore.  Poor kid.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: blarg314 on August 03, 2010, 08:19:11 PM

If I heard someone use the nickname Prissy Boy, I would assume that it was an insult, and that it was meant in a mean way. So yes, it's a mean nickname. And I wouldn't be surprised if more people tried to intervene in what they will see as a family attaching a cruel and potentially damaging nickname to a small child.

Once the kid starts school, if anyone other than the family hears this, they will latch on to it and make the child's life hell.

I'd equate a nickname like this for a boy to be similar to having a chubby child whose nickname is "Fat Boy". The initial root of the name might be innocent, but it's better to drop it as fast as possible before you are unable to do so.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 08:26:35 PM
The woman in the park was rude, but I can understand why.  She probably thought your son was a Niles in the making.

Please reconsider this nickname.  Don't put this off because the last thing your son needs is a nickname that others will use as a weapon against him (regardless of how you arrived at it).  "Life ain't easy for A Boy Named Sue."

He's my cousin's child. I did not give him the nickname, and I kinda feel bad about everything now. I don;t want to insult the little tyke, he's a great kid. (Not that any six year old is deserving of being called mean names.)

And I am still unsure how it has anything to do with homophobia, but since it appears a lot of other posters associate it with that, I'm gonna mention it to my cousin.

@blarg: "Fattie" is my great aunt's nickname. Come to think of it, some of our family nicknames are really weird.

I'm lucky. Until i was 12 I was just "Cheeto"
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: kareng57 on August 03, 2010, 08:36:05 PM
First off--yelly park lady was rude, no question.

That being said--

Except as a nickname for Priscilla, I would assume anyone being called prissy was (seen by the name-callers as) fussy about their clothes and about not getting dirty, was wimpy, etc., and that most people barely tolerate this in a girl, but judge it as a moral failing in a boy ("what kind of boy doesn't want to get dirty?  It's not natural!") etc. and from there many make the leap to connect those traits to being g*a*y, effeminate, etc. and from THERE make the leap that those are further moral failings.

Let me hasten to add that I do not, but that it is common enough that I would hesitate to use such a nickname in public lest people make the same assumptions yelly park lady did.

Hmm. I wonder if six is old enough to understand that we call him one thing at home and another in public.

He understands that his brother's friends call him by his name, and calls his brother by his name in public, would that indicate he's old enough?

Oh, and he has no provblem with getting dirty. But when he's done he wants help to take a bath, comb his hair and put on clean clothes. On the brightside, I never have trouble getting him dressed nicely for picture taking.  >:D

And while i can try to convince his father to use Frog, i kinda was joking. Though its a cute name. Hmm.


Mean, no.  Somewhat ill-advised - yes. While the woman was butting-in to something that was none of her business, I think it's still an indication that you need to rethink this.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Venus193 on August 03, 2010, 08:37:43 PM
The more threads I read about nicknames the happier I am that I never had one.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Balletmom on August 03, 2010, 08:39:24 PM
The woman in the park was rude, but I can understand why.  She probably thought your son was a Niles in the making.

Please reconsider this nickname.  Don't put this off because the last thing your son needs is a nickname that others will use as a weapon against him (regardless of how you arrived at it).  "Life ain't easy for A Boy Named Sue."

POD!

"Prissy" is a negative adjective; it doesn't make the family unloving for using it, but it's right up there with "Motormouth" and other nicknames that take a child's behavior or trait and turn it into a teasing name.

The woman was rude, but like the other posters, I do understand where she was coming from.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jimithing on August 03, 2010, 08:44:31 PM
And I am still unsure how it has anything to do with homophobia, but since it appears a lot of other posters associate it with that, I'm gonna mention it to my cousin.


I agree with the PPs. I don't think this is a kind nickname.

The homophobia comes in because "prissy" if often associated with being really feminine, kind of like "sissy." And there is still that stereotype that g*a*y men are effeminate and "sissy boys."
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 03, 2010, 08:48:52 PM
And I am still unsure how it has anything to do with homophobia, but since it appears a lot of other posters associate it with that, I'm gonna mention it to my cousin.


I agree with the PPs. I don't think this is a kind nickname.

The homophobia comes in because "prissy" if often associated with being really feminine, kind of like "sissy." And there is still that stereotype that g*a*y men are effeminate and "sissy boys."

Makes sense. I think our area has some weird word combos anyway. A lot of phrases we use mean something totally diffrent everwhere else.

Talked to Cousin J, and he says he's been mulling over the nickname too, and worries it might end up being embarassing like his sister's turned out to be. M can't go by his own name (because there are four older guys with the name in the family) but J says he thinks Frog is kinda cute, but only if they can convince the eldest boy to be Newt.

I'll tell you guys what his new nickname ends up being.

(For the record, M's real name doesn't actually begin with an "m"... M stands for "My baby, MineMineMine!")
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: ladiedeathe on August 03, 2010, 10:07:42 PM
In my experience and in my neck of the woods calling a little boy prissy is essentially saying "I think he's g@y, and that's not a good thing."  There is no positive conotation that can be given to the word when used for a boy, and here, at least, it would be a vicious and cruel thing to call a child.

I also guarantee that when he reaches school the names he will be called, anywhere in the US, will be almost unprintable.


ETA: My DH just came in and I asked him if he thought this was a mean name- he just said "Wow, the kids are gonna call him Pi$$y Boy or P*$$y Boy; that's sick."
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Balletmom on August 03, 2010, 10:23:31 PM
Kimblee, it's very encouraging that your family is beginning to think twice about the nicknames. That is is a good sign that the tradition can continue but in a better way.

The family nicknames, if not negative, can continue as a tradition that reinforces family bonds.

As a side note, Mr. Balletmom's cousin was nicknamed Little Joe as his father had the same name. Fifty years later, and he's still.. Little Joe.

(Extra points to anyone who ever watched the tv series that actually had LIttle Joe as a character.)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on August 03, 2010, 10:23:46 PM
To me, a prissy person is someone who is rather cissy, fussy and stuck up. So I do see the nickname as having negative connotations. If I heard someone call a boy that name, I'd assume they were teasing him (even if they meant no real nastiness by it).

I realise that your family is doing this in a loving, private way, but as a PP said, all it takes is one slip of the tongue to make the nickname public. I remember as a kid reminding my mum over and over not to call me [Silly Family Nickname] in front of my friends. Unfortunately, she'd inevitably forget, and I'd cop some teasing from the other kids! So it can happen easily.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Shoo on August 03, 2010, 10:29:46 PM
My husband says that calling a boy "prissy" is emasculating. 
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: kudeebee on August 03, 2010, 10:56:47 PM
Gald you are rethinking "prissy".  Be careful with nicknames--family may think they are cute, but all it takes is one other little kid to get hold of the nickname and the nicknamed child can be in for years of teasing.  Kids can be very cruel and come up with all kinds of variations!
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Oscar1 on August 04, 2010, 02:10:26 AM
OP, as a total outsider looking in, it does seem that your family has a habit of giving nicknames based on something that could possibly be construed as negative. You've mentioned someone being called Snowflake because they were pale and also someone called Big Boy, presumably because of his size or something? And why is Chicken Girl called that?

I'm sure your family doesn't mean anything by it but maybe it would be better to find nicknames that only have an entirely positive basis.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: blue2000 on August 04, 2010, 03:16:35 AM
Kimblee, it's very encouraging that your family is beginning to think twice about the nicknames. That is is a good sign that the tradition can continue but in a better way.

The family nicknames, if not negative, can continue as a tradition that reinforces family bonds.

As a side note, Mr. Balletmom's cousin was nicknamed Little Joe as his father had the same name. Fifty years later, and he's still.. Little Joe.

(Extra points to anyone who ever watched the tv series that actually had LIttle Joe as a character.)

Bonanza. I never watched it, but can I have the point anyway? ;D

OP, as a total outsider looking in, it does seem that your family has a habit of giving nicknames based on something that could possibly be construed as negative. You've mentioned someone being called Snowflake because they were pale and also someone called Big Boy, presumably because of his size or something? And why is Chicken Girl called that?

I'm sure your family doesn't mean anything by it but maybe it would be better to find nicknames that only have an entirely positive basis.

While I'd pass on Prissy boy, I don't think all those names are a problem. My name is one letter off from a disease, and my middle brother still calls me that sometimes. It was mildly annoying as a kid (and that's why he did it, of course ;D ) but it isn't mean - just a family thing. I wouldn't change a family nickname unless the child seriously objects to it.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: JonGirl on August 04, 2010, 03:51:54 AM


My brother when he was younger was skinny and had curly hair which caused some people to call him "Shirley".  :o
He hated it. Now he is older and bigger and he shaves his head!  ;D
Prissy boy is a horrible nickname and that woman was rude. Especially without knowing all the facts.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 04, 2010, 11:03:05 AM
OP, as a total outsider looking in, it does seem that your family has a habit of giving nicknames based on something that could possibly be construed as negative. You've mentioned someone being called Snowflake because they were pale and also someone called Big Boy, presumably because of his size or something? And why is Chicken Girl called that?

I'm sure your family doesn't mean anything by it but maybe it would be better to find nicknames that only have an entirely positive basis.

Snowflake, yeah because he was pale. When my mom met him for the first time, she commented on what a pretty baby he was "He's a little snowflake!"

Big Boy: He has his father's name, so he couldn't go by that. So at first he was "Junior" but his mom hated that. As a toddler he would do something, and when he was praised he would answer "Aren't I a BIG BOY!?"

Chicken Girl: At age 2 was found sleeping in the chicken yard with all her brother's 4H hens swarming her. She now has six (or seven, I forget) ribbons from raising her own chickens.

I was Cheeto because my cousin made that ut of my given name.

The cousin with the unfortunate nickname got hers in a really mean way. Her dad is a [deleted word] and started calling her "[unfortunate name] Brown" because she was a really gawky little girl who sometimes saggered around like she was drunk. That's one nickname the family shut down the minute she expressed a dislike of it.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Peggy Gus on August 04, 2010, 11:16:29 AM
I would suggest keeping "prissy boy" as a family-only, in-private-only nickname (perhaps you could even phase out its use altogether). So many nicknames aren't nearly fit for public use, for this and similar reasons. Their origins are lost to time, but I'd hate to see what strangers would think if they heard some of the nicknames used in my family.

We have a friend who is the only girl out of 15 boys, brothers and cousins included. They called her Cooter, (to those who have never heard it used that way, cooter can be used as a euphanism for the female anatomy) she is now 34 yrs old and half the town calls her that. I'd say 90% of the time family nicknames get out, all it takes is for one outsider to hear it and it's out there.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kimblee on August 04, 2010, 11:24:02 AM
I would suggest keeping "prissy boy" as a family-only, in-private-only nickname (perhaps you could even phase out its use altogether). So many nicknames aren't nearly fit for public use, for this and similar reasons. Their origins are lost to time, but I'd hate to see what strangers would think if they heard some of the nicknames used in my family.

We have a friend who is the only girl out of 15 boys, brothers and cousins included. They called her Cooter, (to those who have never heard it used that way, cooter can be used as a euphanism for the female anatomy) she is now 34 yrs old and half the town calls her that. I'd say 90% of the time family nicknames get out, all it takes is for one outsider to hear it and it's out there.



THATS my other cousin's unfortunate nickname.\

And as a little girl, she liked it. Beause he daddy gave it to her. After she realized what a jerk her dad is, she dropped it and the family obediantly followed suit.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: dragonflies on August 04, 2010, 12:29:05 PM
Prissy isn't a good word for a girl and its an even worse name for a boy. DD's name is on the top 10 list for a while now but she has middle name that could made into a nickname.  I am guessing the child can't go by his middle name?
My nephew is a second.  My brother and my nephew both go by the same name.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Twik on August 04, 2010, 12:31:44 PM
My father used to refer (privately, of course) to a business colleague he didn't like much as "the prissy (insert alliterative descriptive word here)". It was in no way an implication as to his sexuality, but that he was fussy, and rather snobbish about things. So, I wouldn't consider prissy means gay, but it does have some negative connotations.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on August 04, 2010, 10:06:52 PM


My brother when he was younger was skinny and had curly hair which caused some people to call him "Shirley".  :o
He hated it. Now he is older and bigger and he shaves his head!  ;D
Prissy boy is a horrible nickname and that woman was rude. Especially without knowing all the facts.


I have actually heard of males being called "Shirley". Shirley Straughn, the late lead singer of "The Skyhooks" comes to mind... and he was a pretty cool guy!
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Lisbeth on August 04, 2010, 10:09:39 PM


My brother when he was younger was skinny and had curly hair which caused some people to call him "Shirley".  :o
He hated it. Now he is older and bigger and he shaves his head!  ;D
Prissy boy is a horrible nickname and that woman was rude. Especially without knowing all the facts.


I have actually heard of males being called "Shirley". Shirley Straughn, the late lead singer of "The Skyhooks" comes to mind... and he was a pretty cool guy!

Wasn't there a sportswriter called Shirley Povich?
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: C0mputerGeek on August 04, 2010, 10:56:20 PM
When we were very little, both my brother and I came up with made up nicknames that we wanted our family to use. Mine was "DeeBeeDee." My brother's was "Scotty Watty Potty Do Do." No amount of dicussion could get him to change his mind. Since I got my choice of nicknames, my brother got his.

Maybe it's because my brother and I had more than one nickname, but I don't see why Prissy would stick forever. My brother's nickname certainly did not.

I don't recall any incidents of teasing. However, I am pretty sure my mother would have handled the bully directly.

My brother has not needed counseling. So, no, a child having a controversial nickname will not require "counseling for the rest of his life."

My nickname from my line sisters when I was pledging was Miss Priss. We keep in touch to this day; there is lots of affection. I can say that the nickname was never intended as an insult or intended to be homophobic.

The woman was out of line.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: blarg314 on August 05, 2010, 03:27:21 AM


My brother when he was younger was skinny and had curly hair which caused some people to call him "Shirley".  :o
He hated it. Now he is older and bigger and he shaves his head!  ;D
Prissy boy is a horrible nickname and that woman was rude. Especially without knowing all the facts.


I have actually heard of males being called "Shirley". Shirley Straughn, the late lead singer of "The Skyhooks" comes to mind... and he was a pretty cool guy!

Wasn't there a sportswriter called Shirley Povich?

Actually, Shirley used to be primarily a male name, but over the past century has shifted over to primarily female.  There have been a batch of names like this - Leigh, Ashley (think Gone with the Wind), Tracy and so on.

Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: JonGirl on August 05, 2010, 05:04:30 AM


My brother when he was younger was skinny and had curly hair which caused some people to call him "Shirley".  :o
He hated it. Now he is older and bigger and he shaves his head!  ;D
Prissy boy is a horrible nickname and that woman was rude. Especially without knowing all the facts.


I have actually heard of males being called "Shirley". Shirley Straughn, the late lead singer of "The Skyhooks" comes to mind... and he was a pretty cool guy!

I'm very aware of Shirl and The Skyhooks, my husband has ALL their albums!  :D
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: PeasNCues on August 05, 2010, 07:05:05 AM
Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.
--Airplane

LOL! Sorry, I couldn't resist!
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: JonGirl on August 05, 2010, 07:17:15 AM
Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.
--Airplane

LOL! Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Couldn't help yourself, could ya?!  :D
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Kaire on August 05, 2010, 10:34:03 AM
The woman was rude, no doubt, but I know if I heard it I'd be thinking "why are you calling him g-a-y boy?" because in my circle prissy is often used as a not so nice way to say someone is homosexual.

That being said my nickname with a few friends is Super Gimp, because I was handicapped in a car crash, but I've never let it hold me back.  I wear a 2 1/2 inch lift on my shoe but can leg press 310 lbs.  If someone heard me being called any kind of gimp they might feel a need to defend me, but to me gimp isn't a bad way of discribing my condition, especially when being said with affection!

(I'm also sometimes Gimpy Girl or Magic Legs, depending who I'm with.  My cohort is Curb Jumper, which is a friend who fell off a curb and injured herself.  :D)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Bethczar on August 05, 2010, 11:07:22 AM
My father used to refer (privately, of course) to a business colleague he didn't like much as "the prissy (insert alliterative descriptive word here)". It was in no way an implication as to his sexuality, but that he was fussy, and rather snobbish about things. So, I wouldn't consider prissy means g*a*y, but it does have some negative connotations.
Yes, that's more how I think of Prissy as well - as fussy or prudish. I've never heard of it as meaning g*a*y, but it's not a word I hear much anyway.

At any rate, it's not something I would use as a nickname.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: nolechica on August 05, 2010, 11:23:32 AM


My brother when he was younger was skinny and had curly hair which caused some people to call him "Shirley".  :o
He hated it. Now he is older and bigger and he shaves his head!  ;D
Prissy boy is a horrible nickname and that woman was rude. Especially without knowing all the facts.


I have actually heard of males being called "Shirley". Shirley Straughn, the late lead singer of "The Skyhooks" comes to mind... and he was a pretty cool guy!

Wasn't there a sportswriter called Shirley Povich?

Yes, worked at the NYT for years.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 05, 2010, 11:42:14 AM
My cousin's son was dubbed "Fuzzy" as a baby, mostly because he looked so much like his grandfather, and that was his baby nickname.

Fuzz is now 21 years old, and has always insisted that everyone call him Fuzz or Fuzzy.  I wouldn't be surprised if he changed it legally.

I cannot imagine why someone would just love the nickname Fuzzy, but who am I to say.

Prissy by itself sounds to me like an odd nickname, but I have to admit that Prissy Boy sounds like an insult.  But then what do I know?  I don't like Fuzzy.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Peggy Gus on August 05, 2010, 11:54:44 AM
My cousin's son was dubbed "Fuzzy" as a baby, mostly because he looked so much like his grandfather, and that was his baby nickname.

Fuzz is now 21 years old, and has always insisted that everyone call him Fuzz or Fuzzy.  I wouldn't be surprised if he changed it legally.

I cannot imagine why someone would just love the nickname Fuzzy, but who am I to say.

Prissy by itself sounds to me like an odd nickname, but I have to admit that Prissy Boy sounds like an insult.  But then what do I know?  I don't like Fuzzy.


Wasn't Prissy the chicken who was always hot for Foghorn Leghorn?



edited because I was thinking one thing and typing another.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 05, 2010, 11:56:48 AM
My cousin's son was dubbed "Fuzzy" as a baby, mostly because he looked so much like his grandfather, and that was his baby nickname.

Fuzz is now 21 years old, and has always insisted that everyone call him Fuzz or Fuzzy.  I wouldn't be surprised if he changed it legally.

I cannot imagine why someone would just love the nickname Fuzzy, but who am I to say.

Prissy by itself sounds to me like an odd nickname, but I have to admit that Prissy Boy sounds like an insult.  But then what do I know?  I don't like Fuzzy.

Wasn't Prissy the chicken who was always hot for Longhorn Leghorn?

I'm pretty sure Prissy was the name of the character that Butterfly McQueen played in Gone With the Wind.  And thinking about it, I would rather be called Butterfly than Prissy.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Peggy Gus on August 05, 2010, 12:06:32 PM
My cousin's son was dubbed "Fuzzy" as a baby, mostly because he looked so much like his grandfather, and that was his baby nickname.

Fuzz is now 21 years old, and has always insisted that everyone call him Fuzz or Fuzzy.  I wouldn't be surprised if he changed it legally.

I cannot imagine why someone would just love the nickname Fuzzy, but who am I to say.

Prissy by itself sounds to me like an odd nickname, but I have to admit that Prissy Boy sounds like an insult.  But then what do I know?  I don't like Fuzzy.

Wasn't Prissy the chicken who was always hot for Longhorn Leghorn?

I'm pretty sure Prissy was the name of the character that Butterfly McQueen played in Gone With the Wind.  And thinking about it, I would rather be called Butterfly than Prissy.

I typed Longhorn, but I meant Foghorn Leghorn.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Twik on August 05, 2010, 07:00:58 PM
Speaking of odd men's names, there was Marion Morrison, who wasn't particularly effeminate.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Balletmom on August 05, 2010, 07:10:27 PM
Speaking of odd men's names, there was Marion Morrison, who wasn't particularly effeminate.

I'd think  not, Pilgrim!

Although who could blame him for changing his name?

Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 06, 2010, 07:53:50 AM
Speaking of odd men's names, there was Marion Morrison, who wasn't particularly effeminate.

I'd think  not, Pilgrim!

Although who could blame him for changing his name?



You gotta love a web forum where someone mentions Marion Morrison, and no one has to explain who is being referred to.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: noexitwounds on August 08, 2010, 08:18:19 AM
Being seen as prissy is often considered a serious moral failing in males. It's also used as a slur against homosexuals quite often. Even beyond the possible offense to anyone who overheard it (and I can definitely see where someone might be offended you yelled it out) as M ages up he's going to be socialized into these sort of beliefs if he goes to school or attends activities with other children (gender roles are a constant in society), which might lead to self-esteem issues (because of feeling he's not the "right" type of boy since the family calls him that and he trusts them so they must be calling him that for a reason).

I mean, the woman was out of line. A polite "Hi. I overheard you calling that little boy Prissy Boy and thought you might want to know that prissy is often used as a slur by people who are homophobic." is one thing. What the woman did was another. But she still had a legitimate point.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jaxsue on August 08, 2010, 08:29:33 AM
I can't think of a positive connotation to the word "prissy" whether it's used for a boy or a girl.  I wouldn't want it as a nickname.

ITA
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jaxsue on August 08, 2010, 08:37:58 AM
Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.
--Airplane

LOL! Sorry, I couldn't resist!

That's the first thing that popped into my head!  :)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jaxsue on August 08, 2010, 08:43:00 AM
Nicknames can start out logically, but in later years seem rather silly.

Case in point: X-DH had an Uncle Bill (UB for short). UB had a grandson who was named after him. UB became "Big Bill" and grandson became "Little Bill" (LB for short).

By the time LB grew up, the monikers didn't make sense because UB was 5'6" and 150 lbs. dripping wet, and LB was over 6' tall and weighed well over 250 lbs! For family, it was habit, but I have to say that coming into the family years after the names were adopted gave me a different POV.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: kherbert05 on August 08, 2010, 10:20:20 AM
Nicknames can start out logically, but in later years seem rather silly.

Case in point: X-DH had an Uncle Bill (UB for short). UB had a grandson who was named after him. UB became "Big Bill" and grandson became "Little Bill" (LB for short).

By the time LB grew up, the monikers didn't make sense because UB was 5'6" and 150 lbs. dripping wet, and LB was over 6' tall and weighed well over 250 lbs! For family, it was habit, but I have to say that coming into the family years after the names were adopted gave me a different POV.

My Dad was Little Harvey for years and he hated it with a purple passion. We moved when I was 5 and sis was in PK. There was another girl younger than sis with the same name. Her parents wanted to use big and little to distinguish between them- Dad said no way. They ended up going by First and 2nd names for a while. Then we dropped it and rarely was there confusion because they were 2 different people and it was pretty obvious from the conversation who was who.

They started calling J little (first name) because he is named for his grandfather. His grandmother (dad's sister) put a stop to that also. (I not sure but I think Aunt was little firstname and then switched to middle name later)

My parents made a point of not nameing us after anyone because of the grief they got for their names.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: klm75 on August 08, 2010, 12:40:09 PM
I have lived in many different areas of North America.  Two, very different, places have siblings calling their sisters "Sissy".  At least one other area that I lived this would be a major insult.  Words mean different things to different people.  I always thought prissy to mean uptight and meticulous.  But, I would never assume that it means that to everyone, too much experience tells me that the English language is much to flexible for that :)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Elfmama on August 08, 2010, 02:49:13 PM
I have lived in many different areas of North America.  Two, very different, places have siblings calling their sisters "Sissy".  At least one other area that I lived this would be a major insult.  Words mean different things to different people.  I always thought prissy to mean uptight and meticulous.  But, I would never assume that it means that to everyone, too much experience tells me that the English language is much to flexible for that :)
I called my older sister 'Sissy' up until I started to read at 4, and then found out that 'sissy' was an insult.  She became 'Sister' after that, and still sometimes signs her emails that way.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Balletmom on August 08, 2010, 07:36:19 PM
I think "Sissy" gets a pass, only because it's only used with sisters, and as an actual dimunitive for Sister, now.

Decades ago, it was a common term of endearment in the South for younger relatives, much like the use of "auntie." It drove me nuts when my DH's grandmother called DD "sissy" but then I just saw it a charming old-fashioned thing.

I think it's pretty easily understood when someone is using "sissy" to imply a weakling or cowardly person, as opposed to "Sissy" as a form of "Sister."

I have a very fond memory of younger DD, around age 4, crying in her sleep, and sleep talking. She said, "Dissy (sissy) won't play with me."

Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jaxsue on August 09, 2010, 01:51:46 PM
I admit that I never like the name "Sissy" because it always reminded me of the older daughter on Family Affair (yes, I know I'm dating myself). She was really irritating (very SS, as I recall).  :P
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: baglady on August 09, 2010, 07:01:54 PM
Sissy (or Cissy, as the girl on "Family Affair" spelled it -- I think she was a Catherine) is an OK nickname for a girl. Sissy Spacek (christened Mary Elizabeth) doesn't seem to have a problem with it -- and she's 60. It's sort of the female equivalent of Bubba (brother). But for a guy -- no.

As for the OP's nephew, Prissy Boy is one of those nicknames that has outgrown its use, IMO. It might have been cute when he was a toddler, but it's time to retire it, or change it to PB. (If his friends overhear family calling him PB, and they ask, he can always tell them it's short for Peanut Butter.)

Bagman has a nephew named Matthew. His childhood nickname was Fergie. Matthew evolved into Massey, someone made the connection to Massey-Ferguson (tractor makers), and Fergie evolved from that. I'm not sure exactly when the family stopped calling him Fergie, but he's been Matt as long as I've known him.

He also has an old friend nicknamed Chub. He was a junior and inherited the nickname from his dad, who *was* chubby. Chub the Younger never has been. He was on the gymnastics team in high school and may be the only gymnast in the history of the sport called Chub! (Then again, only those who knew him back in the day -- like Bagman -- still call him that.)
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: Balletmom on August 09, 2010, 08:02:28 PM
DH's cousin was nicknamed "Little Joe" as his dad was Joe senior. Decades later, Joe Sr. had passed away, Little Joe had done very well for himself with several franchise restaurants and was still called..."Little Joe" by the rest of the family.
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: LibraryLady on August 10, 2010, 08:57:10 AM
Oddly enough, my sister-in-law and I shared the same name.  One is referred to as "pretty" name and the other is just name and this was the family joke.

I also have a sister and niece that share the same name. One was referred to as  "little" Sarah when she was still young and at home; the other is Sarah.  We have now gone to SarahE and SarahM.

Pluse my older sister was sister and brother was bubba.  Nieces refer to bubba as Uncle Bubba now,.

LL
Title: Re: Is it a mean nickname?
Post by: jaxsue on August 11, 2010, 07:17:31 AM
Sissy (or Cissy, as the girl on "Family Affair" spelled it

Oops! Thanks for the correction.  :)