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Learn English with this nicknames English lesson

Date: Dec 13 2017

Themes: Friend

Grammar: Present Perfect Progressive


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People have been getting and giving nicknames for as long as people have had names. Nicknames are sometimes used because a person’s name is long or hard to say, so we call them something shorter. We might use Alex for Alexander, or Liz instead of Elizabeth. Nicknames can be used in an affectionate way, to show a person that we love them. Those nicknames are often common within a family or between a couple.

Nicknames can be used to shun people as well. If you were picked on or made fun of as a child, you might have had a nickname that made you feel terrible. Children and adults will bully each other by using rude nicknames, and unfortunately, it can be hard to get people to stop using them.

Is Marni giving Amanda an affectionate or a mean nickname? Read more in this English lesson about friendship.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  You know what? I’ve got a special nickname for you.

Amanda:  I’ve been waiting all day. What?

Marni:  Demanda, because you’re so demanding and your name’s Amanda. Get it?

Amanda:  I actually think that’s pretty hurtful, Marni.

Marni:  Really? I thought you loved inside jokes, and you could really take it. I thought it was funny!

Amanda:  You know, my whole life I was a minority and I felt like I was picked on. And apparently that never changes.

Marni:  I’m sorry. I just like to give everyone nicknames, you know? Like Shorty, and Scooter, and High Five!

Amanda:  I just want to feel accepted, I guess, and not be made fun of and given a label. The name’s Amanda.

Marni:  I certainly didn’t mean to shun you. I just thought it was kind of fun and funny.

Amanda:  I remember someone gave me that nickname when I was five, and I just haven’t been able to live it down.

Marni:  Well, I’m sorry about that. I guess I should have asked you if there was any history, you know?

Amanda:  And I guess you don’t realize how good you have it by being popular.

Marni:  I guess I should think about that. I certainly didn’t mean to pick on you. I’ll certainly spare your feelings, you know? Can I come up with another one, though, and run it by you?

Amanda:  Sure, Barney. Barnacle.

Marni:  Ooh. Ouch!


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Marni has the best nickname for Amanda. She thinks that Amanda is a little demanding, so she’s got it… Demanda! But while Marni thinks the nickname is clever and funny, Amanda feels differently. The name hurts her feelings and doesn’t make Amanda laugh at all.

Marni says that she’s sorry, and she explains that she gives nicknames to all of her friends. She didn’t want to hurt Amanda’s feelings. Amanda shares that when she was a girl, she was given the same nickname and was unable to live it down. It’s not something that Amanda can forget.

Even though Marni tells Amanda that she’s sorry, Amanda is so angry that she gives Marni the nickname Barney (or Barnacle). She wants to hurt Marni, too, and it works.

Have you ever called someone by a nickname that was unkind? Did you ever have a nickname given to you that was unkind? How did it make you feel?



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I think young man likes nicknames all over the world. It is fun and can be made friend more close.so ,why not have a good nickname? It is cool.

03:29 PM Jan 03 2014 |

1 person likes this



Well, im not sure whether ive called somebody by a nickname that was unkind. A nickname that is apparently lovely doesnt always make the guy feel good. Actually, ive been given a terrible nickname by my friends who dont feel like they dont have intention of teasing me.

It’s a really difficult topic.

03:21 PM Jan 03 2014 |



Syrian Arab Republic

Simply it doesn’t hurt to call me by funny nicknames at all especially my friends cuz that comes from the love not from making fun of me 

01:44 PM Jan 03 2014 |




Seiyf, you have green eyes!

Me too! :))

01:41 PM Jan 03 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

A Nickname can be good or bad ,if sb has a name who is  longer or difficult to call and we prefer to choose a simple name for sb but we use a nickname  for humiliating people sometimes ,personslity I think that’s too bad of course that’s possible that somebody becames famouse for her/his job and after that people call him by the nicknames

.for instance driver dennis or ice cream arian


See you later

01:33 PM Jan 03 2014 |

2 people like this




I haven’t had a good nickname so far… I’m 19 now, but when I was a kid, people liked to pick on me by calling me things that I didn’t really like.

Nowadays, I don’t actually have one, but if I had, I’d like it to be Lens. I’ve always used it on my characters on the MMORPG games and, for this, I got used to it. :D

Besides, I don’t remember myself using nicknames on anybody (as I know how harmful it can be, I just rather to avoid it.), except on a maid that we had a long time ago. Her name was Josefina and since she didn’t like to be called this way, she asked us to call her Jo. That was the only time I think.

Anyway, that was a good lesson! I’ve just added 2 new words to my vocab.  \o/

01:21 PM Jan 03 2014 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

Demanda ! It’s so fun, I like so much giving people nicknames, that makes me feel good even if the person I give the nickname doesn’t like it.

but Demanda is a great  nickname for Amanda, she likes demanding a lot from Mason !!!

01:01 PM Jan 03 2014 |

1 person likes this



green eyes – green eyed man – rainboy- rainman- Caucasian- Parion – Soulmate- Seiyf 


10:49 AM Jan 03 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Well, I gotta say nicknames are awesome…most of people around me have nicknames (I sometimes forget their real name. :D)

I also have nicknames, for example:sutul (s.th which has the same color as milk), white fish & my uncle calls me Masmanis…I have no problem with my nicknames, they’re so funny.:P

10:20 AM Jan 03 2014 |




I got an unkind name when i was in middle school after i had cut my hair,Wow,It had been a long time that i got rid of it .My hair grow.I had never give someone an unkind name .Because that behavior is very impolite and i know the feelings is so bad and hurtful.

10:13 AM Jan 03 2014 |

Marcel We

Marcel We


I havn’t a real nickname, but my cousins and some of my uncles which still live in Russia (and some also in Kazakhstan) and visit us from time to time always give me some nicknames, but not only just one I think they have almost five, for example “Marcelinho”, “Marcelo” and “Marsic”. I think it’s quite funny and I don’t feel to be send away by them or something like this, so I would say that they don’t want to bully or tease me. We always make fun of each other and I think none of us feel bullied by this :-D

09:51 AM Jan 03 2014 |

Mohammed H. Al-sadi


the nicknames better and easy to save it, some of my friends i dont know their real name.. lol

09:07 AM Jan 03 2014 |

1 person likes this




It should be very carefull with nicknames. Some of them are just like the inside jokes and not hurting at all, but some are quite a big issue and it’s very difficult to live it down. Moreover all the rest ones will join to pick on very fast. I don’t know why. The crowd syndrom? Never used nicknames on others but have been an object of ones. And it really hurts!

03:04 AM Jan 03 2014 |

david yun

South Korea

When i was young, i had a nickname and it was something that ive never forgot. it is nose wax. At my left cheek, there was a mole, it was not that big, but like a 1 millimeter -round something like that. A boy, a bad boy called me nose wax. i really hated it. because of that, i didn’t want to go to school. well. thats it.

01:54 AM Jan 03 2014 |

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