Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My friend Susan said I ought to do an entry on the “Dumb Mama” moniker of my blogger fame and it started me thinking of all the nicknames I’ve had in my life (and there have been a few). 

My brother Tom, who is only a year older than me, started called me “Beeb” when we were babies and it lasted all through my childhood.  To this day he can’t wrap his tongue around Kathy but he has refrained from Beeb so I’m happy.  He usually over compensates now and addresses me as “Kathryn Lois”...go figure.

When I was in grade school “Henny” was pretty popular, or “Henny Penny.”  With a last name of Henderson it was hard to escape the “Hendo” designation that had plagued my siblings as well.  When I was in college I left behind my favorite dog, and for some unknown reason my friends started calling me his name, “Pooties.” In my early 20’s I lived in a geodesic dome shaped house with some friends and everyone called us the “dome dogs”.......I’m sensing a trend here, by themselves none of these names sound particularly flattering but one must take into account the spirit in which they were intended!   Then I had a friend in Haines whose name was Jeff but I started calling him Jeffery and he started calling me “Thryn” as in Ka-thryn.  That name stuck and pretty soon everyone called me that. After I moved to Juneau a former boyfriend always called me Kathers and soon his family and others picked up on that name, except for his brother-in-law who always called me “Kathreenst” and still does. 

Probably the most prolific nickname came in my early 30’s.  I was at my friend Sandra’s house one night and her brother and former husband were there and they started calling me “Hollywood” much to my dismay.  I had known them for years at the time and this came completely out of the blue.  Nicknames can really take on a life of their own sometimes and pretty soon everyone was calling me that.  Some people didn’t even know what my real name was.  It wasn’t until much later I found out it came from Hollywood Henderson, an NFL player.  Monstrously huge, black, famous and male.....it’s easy to make that association I guess!!  It definitely brings back good memories though, it was a fun time in my life.  The most common pronunciation was “hollyWOOD” – it makes me laugh to write this.  I bet Sandra will chuckle too!

Chris has actually called me “Pokers” for the entire time we’ve been married and I have no idea how that evolved but he literally never calls me Kathy.  One day after we got Oscar, I did something clumsy and almost ran over the puppy and Chris said, (speaking on behalf of Oscar), “dumb mama!” and now, forevermore, any time he speaks to me channeling the animals, that’s the name he uses.  It appears we have four rather talkative pets because I hear it a lot! The envelopes of my cards are always lovingly addressed to “dumb mama” as well.  I have even heard myself refer to myself as such.  I guess it just stuck!

So there you have it.  I’m sure I’ve been referred to by a few other names than these but that’s for someone else to post!


  1. Can I just say ... this is the best post ever!!!! I had no idea you had so many aliases! I do remember Ted calling you "Hendo" all the time. But "Pooties"?? So funny!

  2. When I recently hooked up with a college friend after 35 years I tentatively put out a message "remember me?" and she wrote back, "Pooties?" It pains me to admit this.

  3. Oh girlfriend, I won't even admit what one guy from high school gave me for a nickname .. well ... not out here on a blog. Look for an email from me. It will make you feel so much better about Pooties.

  4. I'm finding out ever so much more about you than I ever thought there was!! ha. Beeb was for baby of the fam you know...I AM glad you explained Dumb Mama...I WAS wondering...