Just a few seconds ago, I tweeted: "I love that I have a friend that I genuinely call 'Boo'. " And by "genuinely", I suppose I mean that there's real affection associated with that nickname. (The friend in question is also the only person I routinely call by the nickname "Boo". I might casually throw it around, but the same person hardly ever gets it twice.)
This made me remember something formative from my summers in Destin, FL with my grandparents.
My grandfather (a.k.a. "Bapa") would more often than not refer to me as "Bunkie". He'd use it with probably 99% regularity when he put me to bed, but it would come out at other times too. It made me feel special and loved. I worshiped that man, and he had a fancy name for me - how awesome is that?
I only recently found out that "Bunkie" comes from the military barracks -- the guy with whom you shared your steel and cotton bunk bed was your partner (whether you liked him or not); he was your bunkmate - your bunkie.
Bapa earned the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Air Force (Army Air Corps back in WWII), you see. His military background is stronger than some family trees. He found the nickname honestly, even though I had no idea at the time.
In a strange way, that makes it even more special to me.