At the root of how a boy’s name goes from simple to abstract is the moment we exit the womb. The world opens up, almost literally as an oyster, and our tiny little retinas see the light of life for the first time. The doctor’s rubber-gloved hand spanks the ass and away we go to get baptized, circumcised, or whatever barbaric ritual is necessary to receive a first name.
Let’s just say, for the sake of storytelling, that this soon-to-be-bro’s name is Alex. Once the holy water washed over his tiny dome piece in a torturous wave, he was known as Alex, and he remained Alex for a very long time.
From kindergarten all the way up to high school, creativity is essentially thrown aside in order to make room for Basic Humanity 101. The 13-year-long course known as Basic Humanity 101 consists of learning all the things needed to be a considerably normal person.
Early on, you have simple numbers. 1+1=2, 2+2=4, and so on and so forth. At such a tender age, the importance of knowing that two plus two does NOT equal cheese is stamped on our brains with such sledgehammer force that we can barely wait for naptime.
Concurrently, you have the alphabet, from beginning to end. Not backwards, because that comes several years later when your car’s on the side of I-95 at 11:30 on a Friday night. Learning the alphabet is the obvious groundwork for the absurd name transformations that eventually develop several years later.
Both of these fundamental lessons grow more complex along with the left and right sides of the brain. You learn algebra, which is meant to teach you that x also doesn’t equal cheese. You write essays about books like The Outsiders and The Giver and To Kill a Mockingbird, with each 500-word document more baffling and worthless than the last.
During these first 13 years of existence, no genuine kinships form among bros. All friendships up until the teens are nothing but unmitigated, malicious games where the losers are the ones who cry first. YES! We made our “friend” miserable enough to the point where he is soaking in tears and will eventually need therapy! WE WIN!
No, the real friendships materialize around the beginning of high school. You know, the kind of bond where you relentlessly target each other’s self-esteem and personal problems BUT maintain an underlying care toward one another.
That’s when the fun Darwinian stuff starts.
Now, back to Alex. Alex’s name underwent its first change when he entered the ensnaring world of Xbox Live during freshman year of high school.
When asked to create a gamertag, he realized he needed something that would intimidate and scare other players. Many ideas raced through his head: IEatBabies1992, IClubBabySeals1992, IFoldPageCornersInsteadOfUsingBookmarks1992. None of these worked, as they were all either too long or violated Microsoft’s decency policy, or something. Eventually, he settled on amac1992, the first domino in a lengthy evolutionary line of names.
Throughout high school, A-Mac became the preferred moniker by nearly all of his bros. One time =, one of them called him Alex, and it was weird, and now he’s not friends with him anymore. I think there was another time when someone called him Al, which made him projectile vomit for some odd reason.
It wasn’t until college that things REALLY got interesting.
Fast forward to one Saturday morning sophomore year of college, when A-Mac is playing Call of Duty in his buddy John’s apartment living room. Hennessy, their other friend from Virginia Tech, keeps bitching about going to get bagels, so eventually, they all get ready to leave.
As everyone is ready to leave except for A-Mac, who is still playing Call of Duty, Hennessy yells at him, “C’mon, let’s go, Slaymac!”
Hennessy, the disgruntled goon behind the incarnation of Slaymac, has his own idiosyncratic name lineage to be ashamed of. I’ll give it to you in a line instead of explaining it:
Hennessy ⇒ Henn ⇒ Hennebro ⇒ Hennetits ⇒ Tits
I can’t make this stuff up. Most of everyone just call him Tits now, and it’s absolutely hilarious.
Once A-Mac became Slaymac, all hell broke loose in terms of the name evolution. There was Slayberson, Slaybertooth, Slaybertooth Tiger, Slaybraham, and Slaybraham Lincoln, among many others. There was also just Slay, the shorter nickname for Slaymac.
Every time bros congregate, whether it’s to chill or get shithoused, more are made. Like biological evolution, name evolution is not static. It may be rapid or slow, but no matter what, our name is in a constant state of flux.
Having options is never a bad thing. Unless your only options are “shithead” or “ballstein,” in which case you need to reevaluate your social circles.
[Image via Shutterstock]
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