Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's in a name?

Nathanael Thomas Gibson: My full name.

Nathanael: Hebrew; means "God has given"; named for the disciple of Christ.
Thomas: Aramaic; means "Twin"; named for my paternal grandfather.
Gibson: Scottish; means "Son of Gilbert"

Nathanael Thomas: What I heard when I was in trouble as a child, often spoken briskly in dynamics ranging from forte to fortissimo by my parents.

Nathan: What people who have only just met me, or who do not know me very well occasionally call me.

Nate: Default setting; Friends & family alike typically use this shortening of Nathanael to address me.

Nator: About half of my friends in high school gave me this nickname, short for Nator-Gator (which they would sometimes use). Most of these friends still call me Nator to this day, and even some of their parents use this nickname when they see me.

Gibby: What the other half of my friends in high school called me. Interestingly, it seems to be totally random as to which friends called me "Nator" and which called me "Gibby"--must have been a strange matter of preference. One of my friends attended the same college as I did, and carried the nickname with him and so to my college roommates, I was known as "Gibby". I found out on the last day of class this past school year that my Humanities class affectionately referred to me as "Gibby" when talking to each other throughout the school year, after hearing me talk about nicknames once in class.

Gibbs: A shortened version of "Gibby" used by only a few of my friends during high school. I much preferred the aesthetic sound of this nickname.

Pancho: My self-selected moniker for 2 years of high school Spanish. No relationship to my name, but whenever I would speak in Spanish with my friends, they would refer to me as Pancho (irregardless of whether they usually addressed me as "Gibby" or "Nator")

Nibson: Portmanteau of my first and last names, created by the JAM leaders three years ago when they weren't sure whether to call me "Nate" or "Mr. Gibson" (I wasn't actually teaching at the time). Still used by my former JAM leaders to address me, and even some of my freshmen who attended JAM when I was leading.

Mr. Gibson: What I hear the most these days. I'm amazed that I've gotten used to it.

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