Don’t be a “Richard”…

Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t be a Richard”? It is a play on the multiple meanings of the sometimes utilized casual name for Richard – Dick. I have never understood how it made sense to shorten Richard to Dick. Rich I understand – even Rick I get, but Dick…where does the “D” enter into the picture? And how, pray tell did Richard’s casual name get associated with not only a body part, but likewise with being a jerk?

I also wonder where Bob came from. Shouldn’t the shortened version of Robert be something like Rob? Or perhaps Bert?  How did the “B” end up in front?   Did some drunk person slur their speech years ago when trying to say Robert and instead said Bobert and it stuck? I wonder if that person realizes what they started based on one too many beers.

What about calling a John – Jack? How does that even make sense? No shortening even occurs. I cannot tell you how confusing I found this as a kid when they talked about John Kennedy and Jack Kennedy – I always wanted to know where Jack was amongst the Kennedy brothers. Of course this is the same family that used Ted for Edward. I guess that being a Kennedy is all that ultimately matters – the first name is likely less relevant.

Then there is calling a Henry – Hank…or calling a James – Jim.  At least the first letters stay the same on those two.  One of my all time favorites in this casual misname game is calling a Margaret – Peggy. It is that leap that has influenced my own new casual name selection for Carol. In the future you can call me “Lena” in casual conversation.

Ah…but I digress. Back to the phrase, “Don’t be a Richard.” That phrase comes to mind today as I see that Hurricane Rick has reached a Category 4 and is threatening Mexico with winds near 135 miles per hour (ouch, that is a four can hairspray day – and yes, that is what the categories represent – the number of cans of hairspray you need to use in the event – that is the Lena hurricane scale – who needs Saffir-Simpson with me around?).

So at this point Rick is apparently intending on making it formal when he hits land; he intends to be a full-blown “Richard”. And that is what brought me to say out loud while reading the press update, “Don’t be a Richard…” (disregard the talking out loud to inanimate objects part – don’t get bogged down in the minutia of my nuttiness). I hope Rick rethinks this whole thing and mellows out prior to hitting land. Lots of folks live and vacation in the areas that are vulnerable and the devastation a Cat 4 hurricane can cause is mind-boggling.

So Rick – from me to you, don’t be a “Richard”…just be you, a plain simple Rick. Take it from me, Lena, there are strings attached to adopting another name and persona. I just became a Lena and already I am feeling a gravitation toward a fella’ named Ole…think how far wrong that can go. Let my experience serve has a warning to you Rick…move back down to one or two cans of hairspray before you officially become a “Richard”.

Day one hundred and four of the new forty – obla di obla da

CC

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to Don’t be a “Richard”…

  1. Far Side of Fifty says:

    I have a son in law named Richard..you can only imagine my thoughts some days:)

  2. remrafdn says:

    How about the Jacobean Era when James was king of England. My cousin Jacob was called Jim all his life.

  3. Melissa says:

    I am switching your name from Carol to Lena in my phone!

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