A Rite Of Childhood: Giving Teachers Silly Names. By Ms Kittens-bum.
My daughter’s new Grade One teacher is called Miss Mearing (well it’s not, I’m protecting her identity, but it’s similar). She is lovely and caring and bright...and within two days the kids had a nickname for her. What is it with pesky primary school kids and their endless compulsion for rhyming/shortening/extending teacher's names until they've devised a naughty toilet-y word to snigger over?
Of course I used to do it too. I don’t think I ever came up with the names myself (dare I say it was usually the boys), as I was quite the rule-abiding student at that age. But I was definitely there giggling behind my hands with wide, guilty, OOH-MA! eyes along with all the other Aussie primary school kids.
Admittedly we didn’t start the silly names in Grade One like the modern kids do, and the names we did come up with were very lame - I didn’t grow up in a very naughty part of town. We moved suburbs when I reached Grade Four though, and things got a bit more imaginative.
Here are some of the examples I remember:
In Grade One my teacher was Mrs Buck. Really. Mrs Buck. She chose well being a Grade One teacher in a sweet part of town. The things she would have been called if she was in charge of the naughty kids right? I can think of a few: Mrs Muck, Mrs Male Deer, or even Mrs Duckface?!!
No, no, I can’t think of anything else she would have been called. The 70’s were a pretty innocent time for us young folk.
In Grade Two my teacher was Mrs Bainbridge. We called her Mrs Brain-bridge. Brilliant.
Grade Three was Mr Brown. We called him Mr Brown From Out Of Town, natch.
Grade Four was when I moved schools. My teacher was Mrs Todd. She got Mrs Toad, of course, or just Toddie.
My Grade Five teacher was Mr Ash. His name was a nickname ready to go. Clearly he was called Mr Rashy-bum.
Unfortunately, poor old Rashy-bum had to leave us in Grade Five for 'reasons unknown.' We were joined by Mr Hare. He became Mr Hairy-bum (did I need to say?).
Grade Six was Mr Lyons. Yep, Lions-bum.
As I said, things got more imaginative.
Once I hit Grade Seven I moved into high school. For a short time things were more innocent again because rhyming was for babies, as was saying the word 'bum'. Not long after though, the nicknames were back. And at this age we really took it up a notch - the teachers were called things like The Piranha and That Science W*nker and The B*tch That Teaches Home Ec. (OOH-MA!).
Back to my daughter and their sweet new Grade One teacher. They (the boys of course) call her…wait for it…Miss Earing.
We don’t live in a very naughty part of town.