If you deal with Jamaicans a lot you know that amongst their or our many eccentricities are nicknames. They have meaning, and real origins that mark a key characteristic of a person or their background. Common names are Lenky (tall, thin); Blacka (blacker); Flex (if you are a good mover)
Maxi (look like Maxi Priest); Slim (usually fat or slim–take your pick); Mawga Man (meager, ie slim); Bigga; Piggy; Chubby; Dimples; Flabba, and many more. I love the names that really stand out, such as One Finger.
I’ve used them for my children a bit. My little daughter asked me this morning “What’s my name today?” I had to disappoint her and tell her that the name I use for her often depends on mood and context. One of my favourites at the moment is Pongo. But I do like Sweet Bean, which is more a term of endearment rather than a nickname. If you know your 101 Dalmatians you will understand a little. My older daughter I often call Billy Bongo, or Lean Bean (another term of endearment, rather than nickname).
I have my own, which everyone in my family uses instead of my given name: it harks back to my maternal grandmother. In fact, I never had to answer to my Christian name until I went to school in England, and it was a time until I responded automatically instead of wondering “Who’s that?”. My father has a great one: “Cock”, which he constantly reminds me is still very fitting, even in his 80s :-). Why? Well, if you don’t know, I’m not telling you here…yet.