With a smile, I countered, “That’s because your other grandma is the nice grandma; I am the wicked one.” We both started to laugh. From that day on, he’s called me “Wicked.”
Gabe is now a 28-year-old social worker in San Diego. My days now often begin with a text or an email from him saying, “Good morning, Wicked,” or “Wicked, how are you today?” Recently, he came to pick me up from the airport. As I walked outside the terminal searching for him, Gabe called out, “Wicked, I’m over here!” People looked at us strangely, with no idea that “wicked” is another word for love. — Linda Carroll
My partner Floyd told me for years his nickname back in Louisiana was “Fuzzy Love.” “Because,” he said, “my hair was fuzzy and I was born full of love.” His maternal grandmother gave him that name at birth in June 1950. I didn’t believe him, but when I visited his people in Jennings, La., everyone called him Fuzzy. One day we took a walk in the neighborhood and as we passed by a small house, someone opened the screen door and shouted, “Fuzzy! Fuzzy Love!” Fuzzy Love is bald now, but he’s still full of love. I call him Fuzzy, and so does almost everyone else. (Bonus: His father’s name was Curly and his big brother’s name is Curly Jr.) — Susan Parker
One of our terms of endearment began 20 years ago as a typo in an email. Typing hastily, she wrote “my vole,” rather than “my love.” (A vole is a small prairie rodent similar to a hamster.) This typo, with its transposed letters, became a term we have used ever since. It soon spawned a variant, “Vole of my file” (i.e., “Love of my life” with two more transposed letters), that we often use in correspondence. Later we learned that prairie voles are monogamous and also comfort one another when one is injured. Which makes this the perfect term of endearment for us. — Edward D. Sheffe and Andrea C. McKenzie
Married 31 years, I have always been a shopper, often buying gifts for friends and family, even though we had only one income, my husband’s (I was a stay-at-home mom). But that never stopped my buying and giving, and, unfortunately, I didn’t always let my husband know about it, leading to surprises and anger when he would see our checking account.
One day while we were sitting in the den, he got a call from the bank, saying they believed our account had been hacked because there were so many consecutive purchases on different websites. My husband said, “Yes, my account has been hacked, and I’m sitting next to the hacker right now.” The caller had a loud belly laugh over that, and my pet name was born. — Ann Brooks