LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||21/SET/2005 11:36 AM|
Q: Is that correct to refer to a friend who is a big guy as Big ol'Fulano... Let's say his name is Tim..... Oh, that's my friend Big ol' Tim?
A: I'd suggest that you NOT call him things that his other friends are not calling him. If others call him Big Tim and he doesn't mind or he likes it, great. If not, I suggest that you not use the term. Big Tim, Big Old Tim... The word "old" here is meant as a term of affection, but it's hard to predict what someone likes to hear.
He is dead now, but when I was a kid I had a brother-in-law whose name was also Dale. He became "Big Dale" and I became "Little Dale". I came to hate the nickname. In fact, I came to hate him. I knew a father and son, both named Paul. People called the dad "Big Paul" and the son "Small Paul". When the son went to school and he was asked his name, he said, "I'm Small Paul Hartman." Yes, he thought that "Small" was part of his name.
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