Last week I wrote a post about how I find it annoying that when I sign my name as Jim at the end of an email, many people will write back with “Dear James”.
To me, it’s a sign of lack of caring, a lack of paying attention to the details, and disrespect. I was surprised at how many people wrote back saying they have had the same experience and the same feelings.
I also mentioned at the end of that post how my nickname is Quincy, and some people were curious about how that nickname came about.
Some astute readers also noticed that the icon that goes with my WordPress name is the letter Q – that is indeed in recognition of my nickname.
I guess it all started about 50 years ago, in grade school. As young, immature boys are wont to do, we would often call each other the stupidest name we could come up – while keeping it clean, of course. I went to Catholic school after all 🙂
As an example, the name of one of the guys in the board game Mystery Date was Poindexter, and nobody wanted to get him as their date (side note – I had two older sisters…). So that was a good name to insult the other guys in my class with at recess. There were also the usual names like “four eyes”, “stinky”, and “weakling”.
Our teacher, Sister Dolores, seemed to be aware of our naming game. I have a clear memory of reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, starring Ichabod Crane, and in the middle of a discussion, Sister Dolores turns to me and says “Now there’s another name you can use Borden”. And I’m sure I did.
But by far the name I used most often to insult other people was Quincy. I just thought it was the weirdest and funniest name I had ever heard. I would say things like “You’re such a Quincy!’ or “Don’t Be a Quincy!” Of course, these had no specific meanings, other than to ridicule the other person.
And I guess I must have used it way too much because I became known as the Quincy guy. And before I knew it, that’s what everyone was calling me.
When I graduated from eighth grade, I thought it might be all over. But that did not happen. One guy from my grade school went to the same high school as me and continued to refer to me as Quincy at high school. And soon enough, that became my nickname in high school.
And then, as fate would have it, two guys from my high school went to the same college as me, and before I knew it, everyone I knew on campus referred to me as Quincy. I’m guessing many people didn’t even know my real name.
I even had a weekly advice column in the college newspaper for two years called “Dear Quincy”.
When I met my future wife at a college party, I was introduced to her as Quincy. And that is what she has called me for the past 40 plus years. As have all her relatives, and all our neighbors.
When I dressed up as a clown to perform at a few kids parties when our kids were little, my moniker was “Quincy the Clown”.
In fact, just about the only people who call me Jim are the people I work with.
So that’s the story of how I got my nickname; I guess it proves that old saying:
“I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you…”
And it’s stuck to me for over 50 years…
*image from Pinterest