As a young woman, I had friends that called me Blaise (modesty was not something one would have necessarily applied to me).
Later, I had a boyfriend that called me "darlin'". And another that called me "sweetpea".
I love nicknames. I love giving them to people, I love the the way they make me feel when I am given one, I like invoking the diminutive in the names of folks who are dear to me as well.
Of course, the underlying assumption is that they are all nice and don't include words that translate into words that look like: %$#$.
I make up nicknames for many folks, and many seems to be heartily bothered by them... I mean I call one nephew "Mo" and I don't think he appreciates it. My son has told me that he is not overly fond of Squink, though we had a long talk about what the name means and where it came from and now I (AND ONLY I - emphasis his) am allowed to call him that... which is funny because most of my friends have forgotten or don't know his real name. I am puzzled by this whole "don't-call-me-that" thing,because nicknames are an indicator of love.
My mother is the one who comes up with the most awesome nicknames though and she is a tough act to follow. I try, and I think I am getting better.
I have a Goofus (or Gallant, depending on behavior), a Squink, a TanteTia, a Jojoberry, a Squid and an AnnieA.
Each one of those names comes from a place in my heart that melts, just like mine does when I hear myself being called a "nombre de cariño".
When I go out with the ladies (sic), I don't force them to pronounce my name. I tell them I like to go by the nickname of Kitten.* Note to "Kitten" - Dude, what is up with using the term "the ladies" - how gruesome!
~ Joaquin Phoenix*