Monday, September 25, 2006

Review of Unusual Words That I Learned From My Father, Part Two, By Johnathan

Today's Word: Squam.

The tale: So my Dad has two sons, a bad memory, and a fondness for nicknames. While the first two traits when combined lead to myself being referred to as 'Nick' half the time, a liberal addition of the third to our lives somehow solved everything. Fully a third of the time my brother and I are referred to not by our names but by a revolving selection of nicknames such as Worm, Toad, Tadpole, Weasel, Spook, Unscrupulous Creature, etc.* These names were not exclusive to either one of us, although I believe that Nick was/is referred to as Tadpole more frequently, while I am most often Weasel (Indeed, a perhaps-apocryphal family story holds that for a time in my extreme youth I thought that Weasel was my proper name). As well, I, by dint of my greater age, am sometimes given the prefix 'Super', as in Super Toad.

One word always stood out, however. Amongst this veritable zoo of nicknames stood one that basically made no sense: Squam. Though I have been referred to by this title (or it's Super variant) for much of my natural life, I have no idea what it means. I can't bring myself to ask at this late date, though, so I can only hope that my Dad read a lot of HP Lovecraft in his youth, and has simply abbreviated squamous.

Anyway... it has a nice ring to it.


*Upon reading this list I feel compelled to note that this was not a Boy Called It kind of situation - these were somehow very affectionate nicknames.

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