Gabbagoo and the Goobydoll


Catherine Huntley youngOk, so you're probably thinking I've had one too many judging from the gobbledygook title of this blog? Not so!

 I'm currently sat with a nice cup of tea reminiscing over a few old photos I came across. This is one of me when I was about three posing with my favourite dolly.

It's the only photo I know of which features this little, well loved, raggy doll. I have often heard family members talking about the 'Goobydoll' but only had a faint memory of her. When I found this piccy I exclaimed "it's the Goobydoll!"

Why the strange name? Well, dolly's name originated from my childhood nickname, Gabbagoo. Some of the family still refer to me as 'Gabba' rather than Catherine! So, why was I called Gabbagoo?


From a very young age I was a proper little telly addict and my first favourite tv programme was 'The Flintstones'. How could you not love them? I still love them even now, several decades later.  I'm told that I did a very good impression of Fred Flintstone and his famous catchphrase "Yabbadabbadoo!".

You can probably guess the rest…as I was still very tiny and not so good at pronouncing my words it came out as "Gabbagabbagoo!". Apparently I used to get very animated and would shout Gabbagabbagoo whenever The Flintstones came on tv! Thus it became my nickname and has stuck for almost 40 years since toddlerhood!

I'd love to hear from you. Do you have a nickname? How did yours come about? I'm looking forward to reading your comments! Keep it clean, ha ha!

Love Catherine x


  1. Chris Page April 29, 2013 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Dear Catherine
    I’m a bit older than you, and my Mum STILL calls me “Tissyfer” occasionally (probably because she knows it winds me up something chronic)! My favourite words as a little’un were “Fire Gin-gin” and “Gradgie”. I’m sure you can work out what I meant.
    Chris xx

  2. Anna May 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

    I had lots of nicknames as a child, mostly rhymes of my surname – some of which were funny, others of which could paint me in rather a bad light if taken out of context!! Most of my friends just refer to me by my surname these days, I’m not really sure why, but it doesn’t bother me!

  3. john clinton May 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

    hi catherine what cute child you where talking about nicknames mine was frytex it came from my teenage years when i had every greasy hair, its now grey ,your looking well, foot note nicknames can be really hurtful when it comes to girls

  4. Sarah P May 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    I was always called “fanny” – I have no idea why – I did manage to stop people calling me that at around 30 years of age!!!
    Sarah P x

  5. Tracy heighway May 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    My dad always called me AJAX (the powder cleaning product) he said it was cause I rubbed him up the wrong way…lol I was a good kid, honest..
    Tracy H x

  6. Catherine Huntley May 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Chris..or should I say Tissyfer?
    Lovely to hear from you. So sweet how children make their own versions of words they can’t say. My friends daughter used to say ‘Cowie Mis-Mis’ when she was tiny. It was her attempt at ‘Father Christmas’! Adorable!
    Catherine x

  7. Catherine Huntley May 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Anna,
    I’m intrigued wondering what your surname is now! I often wonder how celebrity children who are given very weird names get on in school. I had planned to call my son Luke but it didn’t work too well when married up with our surname…but I was cheeky enough to make it his middle name.
    Thanks for writing in, nice to keep in touch!
    Catherine x

  8. Catherine Huntley May 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi John,
    Nice to see you on here as well as twitter. I don’t like cruel nicknames. I’m sorry to hear you were given an unkind one. You’re a lovely person and hopefully you were able to rise above it to become to man you are today. I can identify with bullying as I was bullied and never fit in as a child. At least these days bullying is recognised and awareness has been raised in recent times.
    Keep well and I’ll see you on twitter.
    Catherine x

  9. Catherine Huntley May 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Sarah,
    Glad you put a stop to that nickname 🙂 Sarah is far more becoming! Thanks for making me smile.
    Catherine x

  10. July 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine
    My nick name was pear soap, why you ask, well I apparently looked a lot like the little girl in the bubble advert, we all ways used pears soap and I loved the smell so much I use to ask for the empty cardboard box it came in and I would carry it every were with me. so even at school the nick name spread. When I meet up with old friends I still get called Pear soap.
    By for now have a nice weekend.
    Yours sincerely

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