Nicknames are so useful! For one, they are shorter than full names and take a lot less time to say. Plus, if you hate your given name, you can pretty much make up any BS name you want, and call it a "nickname." My favorite use for nicknames by far, though, is dating.

In a big city like New York, dating can have a rather quick turnover rate. Because of this, it can be hard to keep track of who's who and what's what. Might I suggest my patented, all-in-one, stain-removing 'Nickname System?'

It's pretty simple: When you meet someone, you'll learn their name. Don't like, clamp your hands over your ears and shout "lalalalalala" as they tell you, because that's rude and also crazy, but don't listen too hard. While you'll want to know it for the future, you'll also want to be on the lookout for more important clues, in order to establish the proper catchy nickname. Catchy is important, because if you choose a bad nickname, you'll be embarrassed and possibly tarnish your opinion of this veritable stranger, blaming them for making you stupider by mere proximity. Hence the death of my short relationship with "The Cowboy."

Once you've found a good one, save them in your phone under the nickname. When speaking to your friends about them, use only the nickname. If you are "communicative," feel free to tell your friends about the system, but I prefer to make people figure things out about me on their own, it's more exciting. It was actually a friend who told me that I had a nickname system. Aren't friends just the best?

Clearly, clever nicknames don't last forever, but that's the beauty of the system. When you start to feel silly using it (say, in bed, or when introducing them to your parents, or when introducing them to your parents in bed, you sick freak) you'll know that you actually maybe like this person enough to keep them around for a while. If you're like me, you maybe need all the help you can get in figuring things like that out. It also eliminates the need for a conversation with your friends about your "feelings." Instead, just slip the person's real name into casual conversation, and wait. Actual example:

"Jon and I went to Blue Ribbon last night, and...'

"Back up. Who is Jon?"

"Subway Jon is just Jon, now."


This is a terrible example, since in this instance the nickname includes the actual name, but leave me alone, ok?

Some tips for establishing a solid nickname:

Were they wearing something weird when you met them? Perfect, run with it. Take "Bolo," for example: I met him he was wearing a bolo tie, roughly ten minutes after being asked by my best friend if I would "ever date a man wearing a bolo tie." In this instance, my nickname differed from the one my friends gave him, "handlebars." Are you getting a mental image? You're probably dead-on.

Do you have a theory about the person that you're not quite ready to confirm? I had one about "The Vampire," which ended up being spot on. At first meeting he sort of resembled one, so there was that. Then he came over to my house with a bottle of red wine a DVD of 'Interview with a Vampire,' and the whole thing really just came together. When I mentioned it while we were making out, he flipped me on my back and sunk his teeth into my neck, confirming my suspicions.

Having trouble narrowing it down to one? Compound word nicknames are a great way to be clever! A few years ago I ran a gala fundraiser at the Science Museum of Virginia, and the next day i was approached by a coworker who told me that one of the guys at the museum had asked her to pass along his phone number. We went out on a few lovely dates, and at the time I was in an exclusive relationship with dirty martinis, which he bought me many of. "Science Martini" and I are still friends, and I even call him that to his face, now.

Things to avoid, when choosing a nickname: 

Too obvious: -- If they ever hear you say it, you don't want them to be completely  sure you're talking about them. "The Brazilian" was, uh, Brazilian. Not my best work.

Insulting: Ideally, it will be 2-3 dates before you find something memorably unpalatable about the person you're dating. "InJustice" (real name: Justice) was a guy I only saw once, because I looked him up on Facebook and found out he had a girlfriend. In this case, the insulting nickname would be completely appropriate.

Names Which Sound Creepy: I received a text message from a friend urging me to meet her at a party because "my soulmate was there." When I grudgingly showed up, he was a charming, handsome, smart...shadow puppeteer. She was half right, but he never made it past the nickname stage, maybe because "The Puppeteer" was a poor choice.


Already in a relationship? Don't worry, you can still use the system! I have always had nicknames for a ton of people in my life who I don't hang out with, like my neighbor "Ghost Cat;" an old woman who solved the mystery of who was leaving plates of wet cat food all over the neighborhood when I ran into her at 4am in a rainstorm, soaking wet on the street in a white nightgown. Aptly named?

Jackie Mancini is the associate editor of GuySpeed and an unabashed lover of large breasts, porno, foul mouths and loud music. Her childhood diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder is most likely responsible for her current position as the only female employee of a men’s website. Her column ‘The [Fairer Se]X Files’ appears every Wednesday. You can read more of her work here, and you can also follow her on Twitter.

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