SOLC 2018–Day 3: It’s a Nickname


March 2018 SOLC–Day 3
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

515BixCGnvL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTables lined the hallway, covered with an assortment of paper backs and picture books from last night’s Read Across America celebration. As we walked by on our way to recess, my fourth graders eyed the books. K started giggling, nudged her friend and pointed to the first word in a large hardcover titled “Dick and Jane and Friends.”  Her friend smiled but didn’t respond much.

As we exited the building, K approached me. “Mrs. Hogan, one of the books back there had the “d” word on the cover!”

I felt fortunate that I actually knew what she was talking about.

“Yup,” I said, “That’s a name. It’s actually a nickname for Richard.”

“What!?!” she cried. Her face was a mirror of astonishment with “You have to be kidding me!” written all over it.

“Yeah,” her friend chimed in, “I have an uncle with that name.”

“I have an Uncle Dick, too,” I added.

K. looked back and forth between the two of us skeptically, weighing whether to believe us or not.

“Well,” she finally announced emphatically, “If I ever have a child and name him Richard, I am NEVER EVER going to use that nickname for him!”

Then she swept outside for recess.  I laughed the whole way back to the classroom.


21 thoughts on “SOLC 2018–Day 3: It’s a Nickname

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Ah, the evolution of our language sometimes takes a wrong turn. I have a friend named Gay. She named her daughter Gay, but by the time the daughter was in high school, she changed her name to her middle name. It’s a sad commentary, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I love your first line, and your story about your friend makes me wonder what other names have been lost to changes in language. For whatever reason, K’s astonishment (horror?) just cracked me up. Her face was a picture!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tbreitweiser says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those conversations are priceless. Recognizing that language and references do shift over time is a great realization for students. A bit of nostalgia to things that are not used much anymore. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kids! I can only imagine their conversation before they reported this supposed wrongdoing to you. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mkrueger says:

    Haha! These moments with kids are my favorite. It reminded me of yesterday when one of my students, completely serious, asked me if girls are born with holes in their ears for earrings. I love their innocence!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cindaroo42 says:

    HAHA! I’ll place a bet that that child will marry a man named “Dick” one day 🙂
    I love when you describe K looking back and forth skeptically. I can completely picture this happening!
    Write this down and put in a random drawer so you will giggle when you remember it one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laughed and laughed throughout my reading of your posting to Hannah. By the way, I have a brother Dick!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alice Nine says:

    Still laughing… As always you crafted your story so well. Love the line describing her exit: “Then she swept outside for recess.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Isn’t it amazing what we understand without thinking and take for granted, is a revelation to our students. I once had a similar conversation with a 1st grader about the word pot! Thanks for the chuckle!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dick Rothermel says:

    I don’t get it?


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