Sunday, August 1, 2010

How to Create a Good Nickname (or not...)

I managed to go through my childhood without any terrible nicknames which stuck. The only one I can recall is a drawn out version of the word "Stiffen", which sounded more like "Steee-ferrrrn", to match my English name "Stephen". Obviously, this refers to the male penis' shift from flaccid to firm. I was in an all-boys school so such references to male genitalia was deemed innocent and playful instead of homosexual. It's not that bad really, I didn't mind it much. I'd take Stiffen over Kesticles (or Kestes for short) any day, which was a nickname I gave to a good friend of mine called Kester. Yikes!

Anyways, "Stiffen" did not stick, so I managed to convince my friends and colleagues to call me SLAM, which sounds cool enough! You simply take the "S" from Stephen and stick it in front of my last name "LAM". Easy and explainable.

However, I wish to create a new nickname for myself. A handle that I will use for stage performances or as a pen-name. The nickname that I have come up with is:


I'll start with the last name Lamington. This one's quite obvious. I just added an "ington" at the end of my "Lam", creating a respectable and colonial sounding last name. Or more commonly, a sugary cubic pastry covered in coconut shavings, available for a dollar at Starbucks in lemon or chocolate flavors.
As for Rasta, it's a subtle yet symbolic way of showing appreciation for the Jamaican way of life. I toyed with the idea of the name Jamaica, but it sounded a little feminine. It brought to mind names like Jessica, Monica and Rebecca. To quote Wikipedia, "The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis and the rejection of western society." This statement succinctly captures the essence of my beliefs, and juxtaposes nicely with "Lamington", which screams western society and not cannabis. Plus, Jamaicans are cool by default! They are born with six-packs, dreadlocks, a vocabulary that's full of colorful slang and rhythm, and I bet they can bump 'n grind with the best of them. Even their flag has the meanest colors! And to have the fastest man in the World repping the black, green and gold, I and I will rock the name Rasta with livication against the downpress of the west, straight irie this is!

Besides, when the name "Rasta Lamington" is called to the stage, whatever image that comes to your mind will not do justice to who actually steps up to the mic. Unless of course, you were picturing an overweight and bespectacled Chinese twenty-something with dreadlocks.

Am I even allowed to get dreadlocks?

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