Take heed, biographers:  Through tracing roots of a nickname, we can learn something about someone’s workplace, home and school, friends and kin – and even about early childhood and babyhood.

My former boss Jim Finley’s nickname T-Bone, for example, goes back to his infancy. Because he wasn’t a large baby, his aunt Mattie Lee Vaughn said he looked like a T-Bone. Thusly began “The Life and Times of Jim Finley a.k.a. T-Bone.”

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