Nicknames vs. name calling: at what point is the line drawn?

An unwanted nickname crosses the line.

An unwanted nickname crosses the line.

Albert Turner, Staff Writer

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Odds are during your lifetime to have been called a name that is not your birth name; normally these are referred to as nicknames or in some cases they become so synonymous with who you are as a person that you strictly go by that name.  However, with bullying being an epidemic in some high schools, and teen suicide rates not looking like they will drop anytime soon, at what point do we draw the line for nicknames, and at what point do school boards think that it will be perfectly fine to punish students for giving another student a nickname, or calling one by their nickname.

 

 

It may be obvious to some, nicknames become name calling when they are mocking and the person in question feel as if they are being disrespected and, treated differently due to this. For example a student may have a nickname which they like and feel like represents them in a positive light one that makes their colleagues happy and they respond to well.  Senior Warren

“Stony” Hooker is a good example of this. However, there are nicknames that people respond to despite them not liking the name, due to pure habit of being referred to as a certain name for a long time. They want to distance themselves from this name and the potential treatment due to having a name they don’t like.  This can be personified by football player Will “Wendy” MacKenzie. Then you have some people whose birth names you may not even know due them going

by another alias for such a long time, this can also be seen in Stony Hooker and other newspaper writer Sandy Hutchins, whose real first name is David and is listed twice on MaxPreps, a football scouting website, as two different players.

 

 

So at which point is this name calling exactly? The answer is obvious, when it isn’t habit to call someone something, then it is not a nickname. Referring to someone as “Bert” once every few days is technically name calling despite it causing no real problems between the caller and the name calling recipient, in this case myself, Albert Turner. No one gets harmed by this name calling but it is not seen as a nickname, it seems that this can only ever arise as a problem if the person receiving the name calling, even if it is so frequent that it may be considered a nickname

 

is uncomfortable with them being associated with such a name.

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