“Glow worm”

From the obvious and well-used to the corruptions and bastardisation of your first name through to the downright bizarre, pet names are a standard feature of relationships. Parents may have a nickname or pet name for their child, we use nicknames for our friends but most often they are used in the context of an intimate relationship. Their use is to denote endearment and to highlight something special and unique (although using babe is not going to win awards in that category) between that person and their significant other. When used in the context of a non-narcissistic relationship they are relatively harmless, perhaps hinting at something which teases and might be mildly embarrassing (e.g. calling someone glow worm because they go red and become embarrassed easily) but generally they are used as a fond and kind epitaph. That situation becomes corrupted and entirely different in our hands. We regularly use pet names for our primary sources, but our motives for doing so are not about being genuinely endearing but for a host of more nefarious reasons.

  1. It is done to appear to endearing to you so that you think you are special to us. You merit being given a pet name and therefore you are led to think that we naturally care and love you since we have taken this step. This is done because it is a standard step in many intimate relationships and all we are doing is mimicking that for the purposes of making you think that the relationship between you and us is wonderful, special and marvellous.
  1. You are our possession. By giving you a label in this manner we are branding you and stamping on you that you belong to us. It enables us to exert control over you.
  1. We objectify all of our appliances and by giving you a pet name we are reinforcing that. We may call you “angel” but in our minds you are just an angel, one of hundreds no thousands out there. In the way that those who find themselves in a perilous situation might use their name with an aggressor of kidnapper in order to humanise themselves and the other person, we utilise pet names to dehumanise you. It is our stand point that you are an object to us and it is far easier to control and abuse an object.
  1. We use the same pet names for many of our appliances. There will be differences when for example the pet name plays on your name, so if you are called, Rebecca, we may call you Beccipops, but if it is a pet name which is nothing to do with your actual name or a distinct attribute of yours then you should be aware that several primary sources before you all got the same name and the ones that comes after you will as well.
  1. By using a pet name and keeping it the same for all our primary sources we minimise the risk of calling you, accidentally, by the wrong name and bringing about questioning and a challenge. Thus, if we call you “Sugarbumps” and we are having an affair, the other person will also be called “Sugarbumps”. If you were ever granted access to a narcissist’s phone, do not be surprised to see Sugarbumps1 and Sugarbumps2 in the directory.
  1. As with many things narc, what we grant we then take away in order to upset you and exert control over you. Thus if we always referred to you as “Hot stuff” you can expect that come devaluation you would be referred to by your actual name instead of there may even be a corruption of the pet name, for instance calling you “Cold stuff” instead. This is done to make you react and feel hurt by this change in the affectionate pet name.
  1. In some instances, the pet name may actually seem like a compliment to you but actually has a hidden meaning to our kind and whilst you smile when you hear this name being used, we are actually laughing at you on the inside because you do not realise that you are being insulted. One example might be by jokingly referring to you as the boss. Thus in front of you and our coterie we may say,

“Thanks for asking, I will have to run it by the boss.”

You smile at this affectionate deference to your authority oblivious to the fact that my coterie and I know is means Best Of Seven Sluts, being a reference to how we regard you sexually.

  1. In some cases, we forget who you actually are (because we regard you as an object) but if we call all objects “Munchkin” then we can fall back on that and refer to you by this name without appearing stupid for forgetting what you are called.
  1. We may invent new and different pet names which are insulting, disrespectful and unpleasant when we embark on our devaluation of you. We may call you The Rash because you keep appearing everywhere when we do not want to see you. We may call you The Pirate because you have small breasts, e.g. a sunken chest. We may label you as The Thorn because you are a pain in our side or we may just go for It as regular readers will know from my treatment of Lesley.
  1. We will also insist that you use a pet name for us but we will choose it. Nobody normal chooses their nickname and then tells people to use it. Nicknames and pet names evolve from characteristics witnessed by those around the recipient of the name. The fact that we appear and tell you to call us “Goldenballs” is evidence of our sense of entitlement and grandiosity.

The use of a pet name by our kind is never to be regarded as pleasant and complimentary. It is a device for demeaning you, upsetting you and exerting our control over you, in the same way that one keeps a pet animal, that is how you are regarded as we keep you in one of our gilded cages.

35 thoughts on “Pet

  1. kel says:

    My mother secretly made up the nickname “Dear” for my daughter to call her. She always told everyone Kate thought it up, but I heard my mother in the other room repeating it over and over to her telling her call her that. I kept my second daughter distanced from her, and she called my mother Nana, her grandmother name.

    1. kel says:

      Lol, my second daughter ended up calling her Naners which my mom wasn’t keen about, which she thought up herself. Then the two of us would sometimes refer to her as Naners Bananers to ourselves.

  2. amsodone says:

    Thanks for levity and so funny… cause this BOSS will forever refer to him as DH; so apropos, for so many reasons.

  3. elimurguia1 says:


  4. Stephanie Farlow says:

    This is funny because he got a shit load of fuel from me by simply using my first name. He always called me Stephie or Stephers which our close mutual friend that passed also called me. I only ever allowed the two of them to call me that as I prefer my given name. My maternal grandparents and sometimes my other family members called me this also. That was it. I corrected anyone else that attempted to refer to me as such. He knew this and he knew I allowed it with him and our friend too. So when he started to devalue me he called me Stephanie and it was the inflection of his voice that also got me. I went insane !!! You would have thought he called me a filthy whore. Other people couldn’t understand. This was prior to my knowing narcissism but it still drive me nuts because I knew he was trying to hurt me, intuitively.

    1. AH OH says:

      The narc called me Stephie and only my father used this for me. Most use Stephanie or Stevie (my nickname) to address me. But there are a few who use Bitch, but never to my face. 🙂

      1. Stephanie Farlow says:

        Lol I am sure that I have been called worse as well. Narc Face had many names for me . The one that would also ignite my own fury if you will was Jody. A mess of a girl that he damaged beyond repair. He would use her last name too for maximum effect.

      2. Christine Coughlin says:

        I don’t mind being called a bitch but once you start calling me a c u next tuesday you’re done. I don’t care who you are. I was either called a cunt or a whore in the middle of a parking lot. But nothing hurts worse than the person saying “No wonder why your kids hate you, the whole world hates you, I hate you.” Right now typing it out is like he’s saying it all over again.

      3. Indy says:

        I remember when you went by StevieAnn here, right? God only knows what I am called behind my back…LOL

        1. AH OH says:

          I know what I am called behind my back and one way or another in time I will confront the person. I just did a few weeks ago. I love their reaction when I do.

        2. AH OH says:

          Ann is my middle name Stephanie Ann. Stevie is the childhood nickname and yes I was very much a tomboy and I liked beating up the boys. I grew up in a neighborhood of 12 of them and two girls, We were a gang so to speak, but not hardcore. I was the leader of the pack. Fun times.

          1. Stephanie Farlow says:

            Anne is also my middle name. I have to say I was never called c u next Tuesday word. Lol I know for sure over a 20 year span that he has called other girlfriends that when we were just friends.

  5. Lisa says:

    I had cause to go looking for him one day HG. I found him at the pub (as usual). There were a few people outside so I asked if he was in there. No one seemed to know or care. Eventually he came out. I asked “why did no one know you were in there?” (He was well known around town). He said “because you didnt ask for ‘Pirate’.” WTF??? He has NEVER been known as this nickname. EVER!!! I believe he was trying to make his own nickname up, and in actual fact, other people in the bar had no interest in him.
    Why would he want to give HIMSELF a nick name?? I found it rather odd at the time. He never mentioned it again after that. TY HG.

  6. Flickatina says:

    Pffft! I said it before and I’ll say it again – pet names are cringeworthy!

    1. Sarah says:

      I agree, schwumpty-woo-woo.

    2. AH OH says:

      I like the sound of some words, so if this is the case than a pet name is OK for me to have and give. My only for a minute ex-narc had the name Crypt keeper, and this was bestowed on him by my very good friend.

  7. Wow, this explains a lot. Thanks, HG.

  8. Sarah says:

    Mine didn’t have one for me, but he did have a habit of calling everyone by their surnames. “Hello Smith”… “How’s Andrews?”… etc

    I think they’re cheesy.

    1. Indy says:

      Was he military? Military folks often do this too. My father was always referred to by his sir name by his friends in the military.

      1. Sarah says:

        He’d never take such harsh orders, Indy. Too lazy for a physical job, which I partly liked because he wasn’t a somatic. Looking back, I think it was a control thing – also, repetitively using someone’s surname like that might give the victim the effect of a closeness of some sort. I’m still learning 🙂

        1. Indy says:

          Yeah, I am still learning too. It could be a distancing thing too. Refer to last name, less personal.

  9. Tiny Dancer says:

    It hurt to find out my pet names were recycled but surely just because I wasn’t the first, I’d be the last. She married me and not them, right? Such an innocent time that was.

  10. Christine Coughlin says:

    I have a nickname that he gave me.. and I made a comment on how he never used my first name and he got all defensive about it…and then called me by my first name. I noticed what he addressed me as and it kind of bothers me.. A LOT.

  11. Indy says:


  12. Indy says:

    Well if I was called the pirate I would assume it was because of that seeet booty.

  13. Patricia says:

    Mine loved to introduce me as “The boss” which he thought was amusing because firstly, we both knew who was really the boss and secondly, it gave those that didn’t know better the impression that he was a nice, guy…ha! It amused the hell out of him. I realized eventually it was his way of mocking my real position as his appliance. Other times I was baby, snookums and other dumb nicknames. He rarely used my actual name with me.

  14. K says:

    He called me by my last name. But here’s where it gets fun because I had pet names for him:

    Martha Stewart (perfectionist)
    Norman Bates (Psycho)
    Linda Blair (Exorcist)
    Jabba the Hutt (he kicked my ass for that one)
    Damien (Omen)

    His mother:
    Ursula the Sea Witch (Disney’s Mermaid)
    The Yeti (he got me for that on too)

  15. gabbanzobean says:

    Ahhh typo talk to text. That sentence should’ve said “out of ‘respect’ for him” he asked me to stop calling him by the nickname I gave him. 🙄

  16. gabbanzobean says:

    Mine called everyone “kiddo”. Me, his wife, his daughter…lol. Kiddo. I pointed out to him that I’m 5 1/2 years older and he still called me kiddo anyway.

    He did have another nickname for me though, Paloma (means Dove in Spanish).

    He let me pick his nickname. I called him “sunshine” because of that magnetic smile.

    Eventually he stopped referring to me by my nickname asked me to do the same I have “respect” for him.

    The final email he sent me, where he told me that if I loved him that I’d leave him alone, he actually had the audacity to sign it with the nickname that I used to call him.

  17. ISeeYou says:

    Yep. My mother continues to call me “babygirl” to this very day even though I have specifically told her to stop. She does so with a sick, twisted smirk on her face. I am in my 30’s and was used as bait as a child for her to blackmail men. I have tried to get away from the family, but due to illnesses caused by my history of abuse, I have been unable to do so. Of course it was my mother who abused me the most.

  18. Scout says:

    I was given different pet names throughout the ‘relationship’: Love, Lovely (which he called every woman), Mother of All Whipets, and when he was angry I got my proper name but during devaluation I was demoted to Kiddo which I hated. He was older than me but my replacement was younger, and it was around that time I was labelled with that contemptuous name. He very rarely used my name in a text and would offer up a little kiss reluctantly on rare occasions. I noted the local land lady received more kisses in an email reply about a poetry event in her pub.

  19. Kris says:

    “Their use is to denote endearment and to highlight something special and unique (although using babe is not going to win awards in that category) “–This bit of writing made me laugh out loud. Well done, my dear. (note: I drop nicknames like my hugs. On everyone.)

  20. 12345 says:

    Number 8. I worked for him prior to my ensnarement. Every female caller was answered by “hello beautiful” and closed with “take care, sweetheart”. When it was my turn to be ensnared I wanted new pet names so bad, alas, they were always the same. I hated “take care”. Take care means you are excused. At least it does to me. We even had a fight about take care. He said it means “take care because I love you” he just doesn’t say the rest. He said I should’ve known what that meant. “Take care” is the same as “See you never” to me. I prefer good-bye to take care.

    1. Narc affair says:

      I never get take care and i agree id hate it too its super impersonal. You say take care to an acquantance not a love interest.

      I have to laugh at this bc im the guilty one using nicknames. Im notorious for it and not just with the narc with my kids and close friends too. My using nicks are coming from a place of loving that person whereas with a narcissist there could be a sarcastic or ill meaning to a nickname given. Hes called me canukums, sugarbumps, baby, pookie wookie pie lol
      My nicks to him are numerous…sweetness, sugar pie, sweet cheeks, sweet pea, booky bye, sugar lips, sweet cakes, good lookin, beach boy, honey, lol ill spare you the rest 😂

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