Can you believe I’ve NEVER, EVER, EVER told the story of where the name “Zoot” came from? Most people assume it’s because I’m trying to remain anonymous, but in reality? It’s just not that exciting of a story. And not even one that I know the TRUE origin of, because a lot of the variations were in place as far back as I can remember.
This is what I know: When I was in first grade, there was another girl in my class named Kimberly. To keep us straight they called HER Kimberly and ME Kim.
(Just for the record? Her dog bit me one time. BAD. I thought a dogbite reference might make this story seem a bit more exciting.)
Now, I’m not sure where it started, but at some point my parents and the parents of many of my friends in school started calling me “Kimbo”. (Yes, it later turned into “Dumbo” and “Re-tard-o” and “Bimbo.” Kids are nice.) At home “Kimbo” also took on variations of Boze, Bozie and Bozoot. I think my Mom was responsible for most of those as she’s a nickname generator. She has periodically addressed cards to me as “Bozie” or referred to me as “Boze”. My Dad? Was more prone to use “BoZoot” but he didn’t rely on it as much, and since I lived with him, it didn’t become a nickname that anyone other than family knew about.
(Although “Kimbo” stuck. Several years ago I was at a wedding of a childhood friend. Her Dad called me “Kimbo” when he saw me there. I kinda loved it.)
Fast forward to the early days of the internet when you needed logins/anonymous screenames for things. Kim is such a common name I couldn’t think of any variation of that and so when I was playing around with past nicknames and variations of them I had heard from over the years and decided Zoot was one that I felt had enough roots in truth that it had some reality and some anonymity to it.
Oh my god. That story is sooooo terribly boring. I really should have jazzed it up a bit. Should we go back to the dogbite part and try again? Maybe add in some celebrity encounters and run-ins with the law? I’ll work on that and get back to you.
Update from 2020: I made so many contacts with people on message boards back in the day and through my blog that I kept the “Zoot” part even when the world stopped using anonymous avatars for socializing on the internet. For example, my Facebook is under Kim Zoot Holmes in case anyone from the internet world is looking for me. Now everyone I meet in real life thinks my maiden name is Zoot.