Nicknames have been around probably for as long as naming. Depending on the culture of origin, the tradition varies. Sometimes it’s the use-name that a person has with everyone. Other times it’s something private, only used by close family and intimates. Maybe it’s a pet name from a lover or a parent. Whatever the source, nicknames are a very personal gift from one person to another.
My own nickname came about online when I was in a forum. I was new to the forum and forum culture, and learning my way around. I went by A. Catherine Noon, and assumed people would just call me Catherine. I should point out here that I type 120 words a minute.
You probably know where this is going. The nickname “Cat” came up, which doesn’t fit me at all. I wondered why I couldn’t just be called Catherine, and someone said, what about Nooner?
(In case you don’t get the slang reference, a “nooner” in American slang is going home on one’s lunch hour to have sex.)
Someone else suggested, Noony, and here’s where Rachel comes in. She liked it, along with some of the other folks, and poof. The name stuck.
That might have been the end of it, but then Rachel and I met up outside of the forum. We met other members too, and now meet every year to have a writing retreat and friends weekend. Because of that, I started answering to Noony in real life, and now it’s as much my name as my, well, name.