Friday, September 21, 2007
Hi, my name is........
(A special post for my friends at SundayScribblings)
"Have another Nutter Butter peanut butter sandwich cookie" - I would say I was first addressed that way 37 years ago.
....and I still get addressed that way occasionally today.
Imagine the torment that a young lad like myself had to go through. I was never a very large guy. I am 5'7" now and don't have short man's complex. The combination of those two things means that no one ever got their nose punched for the relentless taunting.
I learned to outwit the witless. After hearing that phrase for the millionth time, I took to acting totally surprised and would go into an astonished, "Oh my God! NOOOObody has ever said that before. You are SOOOO creative. Why aren't you on the tonight show. That's an Absolute riot!" ....and I wouldn't stop. You have to hear me go on and on. By the time I was done, the person wished that they never had been "so creative."
Beyond the Nutter Butter comes the pronunciation. Now, come on. Look at it. Nut...ter. It is pronounced just like it looks.
Think about a 15 year old boy sitting in his high school class as the teacher takes role:
"Newter" (a way too frequent mispronunciation of my fine name)........"what the hell do you put on your toast? Boo-ter? .....here". Of course, the "here" now had to have a voice inflection up an octave from the statement that preceded it.
Even today.....I still have people pronounce "Nutter" as "Newter." I'm not being sensitive when I say, "I DON'T GET IT!" Look at the darn word.....Nut...ter
No, a young man at a delicate age does not want his name confused with having no testicles during roll call with all of his peers present.
Of course, later on, there was the jokester asking about my dating life, "hey....did ya?"
"Did I what?"...I replied
Oh my....I wouldn't have even included that but we are doing the full name thing here.
People will often ask me if I am related to a certain Nutter. I often say, "No." They reply, "I thought you would be. It's an uncommon name." I then say, "tell that to the 35 million people in the UK alone that had that name in 1996." Another snappy one is, "well Mr Brownose, it's only the 185th or 285th most popular surname in the United States."
Where does the name come from? The name means nut merchant. Some say it is a derivative of "Naughter" which was a cow farmer way back when. I only know that it appears that the first Nutters in America seemed to land back in Virginia. They leeched inward and one strain went through the top of the United States. The other strain seemed to meander through the South. The ones in the South were known for their horse thievery. While I am not sure which strain from which I hail, why do I have this suspicion that I know? I don't think it has anything do with me liking grits either.
Another thing that Nutter means is a person lacking sanity. It's a British term. "Look at that guy over there. He is such a Nutter." Why do you suppose that fact actually makes me laugh and causes me to love my name even more?