I watched a Chinese drama a few years ago and one character was called 啊金. Then I got to know that it wasn't his name, but 金 sure was his name. Is that some kind of nickname? My Chinese teacher told me sometimes they call each other 小+surname, 老+surname. I am very curious O.O
啊+surname，means that person is not important. 啊谁=no body (谁=who).
小+surname，means that person is a kid. 小朋友=little kid.
老+surname, mean that person is an old man. 老师=teacher. (A person with a lot of knowledge generally speaking is much older.)
So language is interesting, but if you are not sure, just call anyone with last-name + 先生，or 小姐。for example, 黄先生，陈小姐。
I watched a chinese drama ... Is that some kind of nickname? - Answer to this is yes. Calling someone by their full name is considered alienative (and also inconvient for too many syllables) in Chinese. To get rid of this, people ask to permit to call by such nickname, after they intrduced each other.
Just like the way English user do:
- Hi. I’m Christopher Stetson Wilson. Nice to meet you.
- Hi. I'm 林树森. May I call you Christ?
- Yes. So can I say 阿森?
- Never mind.
啊 is equivalent. Word-choosing varies with regions.
老B is an extended usage of above talking. But mostly use family-name instead of surname(
老林 but not
Considered there are two persons A and B, B is elder (in age/title/etc.), They are both adults.
Then B can choose to call A as
老B is applied alike contrarily.
A secondary usage is, when B talking to a third person C, he may refer A as
老B is applied contrarily.
A thirdly usage is, both A and B are old but close in age. They may call
小X is NOT applied this way, for this is impolite.