Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I didn't know it was going to stick

French people love nicknames. Not in our American way of shortening regular names; no, they will never reduce Robert to Bob, or Jacqueline-Inès to Jacki. But funny, descriptive nicknames they like, sometimes ones you don't say to the person concerned.
So a while ago I was chatting with our administrative assistant over coffee, who asked me to describe the position of my 2nd-year Master student, Alex. And, for some reason I have no memory of, I said he was a sort of embryonic doctoral student.
And now the whole lab knows him as L'embryon.
Which he kind of likes.
Glad I could contribute.


EastwoodDC said...

It could have been worse. Much worse!

Reya Mellicker said...

I didn't know about french nicknames. I love this.

Brilliant of you. What's your nickname?

sciencegirl said...

If I have one in the lab, it's one of those you don't say to the person's face. Farther afield I'm known as The American.

Barry said...

French Canadian families do this too. In conversation they keep switching from their real names to their nicknames which makes it fun trying to keep up with the cast of characters!

Si's blog said...

Figured what it meant. Went to Google to translate, anyway.

Had a lot of students that would apply to, not as a compliment.