One of the things I like about the South is all the unusual names we come up with for various family members. Some of them are given names: names like Flossie, Madora Alabama, Una, Daisy, Dixie, Verba, Clovis, Cletis, Lottie, Wyndel, Dovie, Merlee, Ola, Zula, and the list goes on and on. You won’t find a “Jeb” or a “Dixie” living up north.
We can also come up with some pretty creative nicknames, too: Peanut, Tiny (sometimes given to the really BIG people), Boo, Mo, Squirt, Tic, Slim, and too many others to list here.
Family names are often revealing, too. I’ve been a bit of a War of Northern Aggression (American Civil War to those north of the Mason/Dixon line) addict since Mom and Dad took me to Shiloh Military park when I was about 7. I saw the rows of cannons and became entranced with the idea that a nation fought itself (of course, that’s before I realized what secession was all about).
So when I first got into genealogy back in the middle 80s, I learned that I got my passion for that time in our history honestly. Y’see, when Abraham Lincoln was elected, my ggggrandpa William Montgomery Mann picked up his family in southern Illinois, moved to Arkansas and joined the Confederate army. He survived The War and proceeded to have a boatload of kids among which were the names Madora Alabama, Dixie, Jeff Davis, Robert Earl, and yes, Stonewall Jackson Mann.
But I digress. I called my paternal grandparents Grandma and Grandpa; my maternal grandparents Ma and Pa. BJ called all of her Pawpaw (appropriate last name) and Mawmaw (appropriate last name). Yeah, you can get many variations down here, Meme, Memaw, Nanny, etc., etc.
So when Brittany began to learn to speak, we’d decided that my parents would be Grandma and Grandpa, BJ’s parents Mawmaw and Pawpaw.
Brittany had other ideas. Seems she couldn’t actually comprehend “grandma” and “grandpa,” so it came out being Magoo and Paco. No, don’t ask me how she got that, I dunno. But, it stuck and now my parents are called Magoo and Paco. The interesting thing is that you can generally tell which kid is calling when you hear those names being hollered. Very little question about where it’s coming from.
For those interested, Brittany performed fantastically in Memphis. Truthfully, it was her best performance: she sang well, moved well and really had a rapport with the audience. She competed in the 13-21 age division, and unfortunately, being one of the youngest, was up some very slick and polished competition. Ages weren’t announced, but if I were to guess, all those who won that night were 16 and up. And some of them were very good, too. I don’t have it on videotape to show you—they didn’t allow videotaping—instead, they wanted to charge $100 for a “professionally” made dvd. Yeah, we thought it was outrageous, too. You’ll just have to take my word for it on how well she did!