I'd like to thank you for broadening my vocabulary.
I agree that someone should tell that person about it. I don't think he would like people to think of fish sperm every time they they talk to/about him. Is the convenience of not using two letters worth more than his pride?
I had to do some Googling to figure out what the heck this guy's nickname was, because I figured he couldn't be saying "Hey, call me 'Sperm', okay?"
Having done so, I found a word that I was completely unaware of as meaning anything but "a shortened form a male name" until now. I could have happily used this nickname for him until the salmon swam upstream to Capistrano without thinking anything odd about it.
Honestly, at this point? I probably still could. The association with fish sperm is just too new for me. Maybe my active vocabulary is just too restricted.
I had never heard that term before, and I like to think that I am fairly widely read and have an excellent vocabulary. Your acquaintance may just figure (with some justification) that it's an uncommon enough term that he isn't worried about it, and to the extent that people know the term, he may figure, "Yes, yes, you're emotionally 12, shut up." :)
In fairness, this is the same person who had a conversation with someone that went this way.
'Why did he say "I poked a badger with a spoon"?' 'Well, it's from a comedy sketch.' So far so good, right? Stick with me, this gets better.
'Oh. So is... is a badger like, a cat?' 'You know, I'm not sure... *bit of wiki* Nope, they're a different order, their closer relatives are the weasel.' 'Oh, so they're not cats.' 'No.' 'So they're not related to wolverines.'
Even though I am reading this after the comment on psybelle's journal and thus already knew about this, I am still convulsed with that hysterically pained laughter-wincing. Owie and oh dear. (And I'm sure I knew about this before now, and just keep blotting it out.)