“mrbrefast” – an etymology

The oldest nickname I have* is written variously as “Mr. Brefast” or “mr_brefast” or its most common form: “mrbrefast.” Over the years (and with an ever-expanding constellation of user names and avatars bearing this nomenclature), I have had more than one person 1) ask what the hell that means; 2) make some joking remix of it (“more like MR BREAKFAST DOHOHOHOHO”; or 3) do both.  Time to clear it up!

This nickname stems from my days in Boy Scouting, when my troop was alongside a troop with my friends at one of the summer camps near us.  Their Scoutmaster, while a very nice fellow, has a fairly thick accent (of what sort, I am still not sure). We will return to him momentarily.

My dad and I had been participating in the “Polar Bear Swim,” an event which saw you crawl out of your tent at ungodly o’clock in the morning, stumble over to the lakefront, and swim more and more laps each morning until the Friday of camp, when you would swim a mile.  On that Friday, we had indeed swam the mile, and so were recognized for our courage foolhardiness in participating, during the pre-breakfast announcements in the communal mess hall.  As is often the case, our last name was mispronounced (instead of the proper REEP-PIS, this mangling of our name came out as “REPP-PIS”) as the swim area guy did his announcing. The Polar Bear Swim announcements were last, immediately followed by the call to start getting food on a table by table basis.

Almost simultaneously to the public butchering of my last name, the Scoutmaster of my friends’ troop got up, hiked up his pants (possibly involving the judicious use of his suspenders) and announced “well boys, lets go get some breakfast.”  With his heavy accent, however, it came out as “BREFF-FEST.”  Mark, one of the members of that troop, put 2 and 2 together and got 5: suddenly I was Mike Brefast.

Over time (not that much time, maybe 2 days?), that nickname settled into a more consistently-used form, Mr. Brefast.  It ossified and stayed that way for the first major username I needed as a high school student, for the Steam online gaming platform: Mr_Brefast.  I quickly began to dislike that underscore and streamlined it further, down to its pure form: mrbrefast.

Now, you know the rest entirety of the story.

 

 

*or at the very least, care to remember and share and own up to

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