I said I would write about nicknames, so I’m going to start. This is actually rather a broad and deep topic with my Dad, so it will take several posts to cover everything. I’ll start with my own nicknames.
I’ve rarely heard my dad use my real name, even when talking to others about me, which figures, because Dad always just assumes that everyone speaks his lingo. For years he most often referred to me as “Vinegar.” I think the story goes that my dad’s uncle Mart (aka Julius Garfinkel the Fairy Godfather or Uncle Julius) dubbed me Vinegar when I was a baby because I was crying and making such a sour face. However, Uncle Mart never called me Vinegar to my face; he always called me Linament. But, to my dad I was Vinegar, or Vinegar Ben Maisel, for long. Dad often will elaborate on his nicknames rather than shorten them. A Google search tells me that Vinegar Ben Maisel was a longtime San Jose high school baseball coach, but that connection seems really out of left field, pardon the pun. I will have to inquire further. He also called me “Weiner,” and I have no idea why. Or “Sis,” most recently he calls me “Sis.” Maybe I’ve finally outgrown “Vinegar.” For the record, my mom has never called me any of these names. She calls me Lynn.