Friday, July 06, 2007

Fun with Nicknames

It's Friday! So, do what most of the world's office workers will do at some point today: enjoy some good banter on a completely trivial topic. Here's a cleverly written piece on the demise of the art nicknames in American culture. One of my favorite lines: "Over the years, our culture’s gift for nicknaming has slowly vanished along with so many of our other celebrated American skills, like nation-building and math." Ooohh... Ouch! The article is rated PG-13 for two objectionable and unflattering lines about one celeb. Otherwise, it's a good piece.

Trivial Pop Quiz (answer one of the following):

What's your nickname (if you dare!)?

Or, do you have a favorite nickname of all times?

Or, what athlete or celebrity would you re-nickname and what would it be?


GUNNY said...

My nickname is "Gunny," and I picked it up in college. I'm a big fan of nicknames and many in our congregation have them.

Some are too sophisticated for such tomfoolery, but it's fun and endearing, a sign of affection, it seems to me.

In baseball, I liked "Shoeless Joe Jackson," "Stan the Man," the "Wizard" (Ozzie Smith), "Dizzy" Dean, the "Mad Hungarian," and "Charlie Hustle" (Pete Rose).

The whole -Rod thing is so silly and quite a whippin. Very unoriginal. I'd scrap all of those, or at least fine the players/commentators for encouraging such shenanigans!

LouLove said...

Brother T.
You remember what I told you about a professor who wanted to do the nickname thing and someone came out of it with the nikename

__________________ Love

You fill in the blank

FellowElder said...

Man, you remembered some good ones! I'd forgotten about Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabozky (not sure about the spelling). If we're talking the same guy, he was an interesting pitcher to watch for the Braves. Loved the way he stormed all over the mound!

Brother Lou, to protect the innocent I'll leave that one blank :-)!

GUNNY said...

Oh yeah, that's the same guy. He was so intense!

" But for sheer theatrics, one reliever remains in a league of his own: Al Hrabosky, known as the "Mad Hungarian" when he pitched for the Cardinals, Royals, and Braves from 1970-82. With his Fu Manchu mustache, long hair, and a silver ring, Hrabosky would turn every outing into performance art. He'd stomp off the mound toward second base, eyes blazing, the fury practically seeping through his uniform as he turned his back to the hitter who was left waiting at the plate until he was done working himself into an altered state he called his "controlled hate routine," then whirled around, pounding the ball into his glove while the home crowd generally went nuts.

Occasionally, so would an opposing batter, like Bill Madlock, who on one occasion waited until Hrabosky finished his routine, then walked to the on-deck circle for some pine tar to apply to his bat. He stepped back in, Hrabosky went into his routine again, Madlock went back to the circle, the umpire called a strike when Hrabosky threw the ball to a vacant batter's box, and a brawl was set off."

He's actually a mild mannered broadcaster now for the Cardinals.

Taliesin said...

I was "Buddha" in high school and "Lightnin'" among the people I worked with in Dallas.

Among personal favorites was "The Sponge" for a friend who made the mistake of saying (when we were just out on the field hitting balls) that, "The sponge soaks up another one" after scooping up a grounder. Add in his red curly hair and he'd created his own nickname.

In sports "Sweetness" (for Walter Payton) and "Magic" Johnson always seemed appropriate. For Johnson the nickname is so famous most people don't know his first name, just like "Dizzy" Dean.

FellowElder said...

I see you really like the nickname thing, huh? Great stuff.

here's a few from my earlier years:
Dookieshoot (his pants were really saggy... well before that was a "style")
ski'lope (he had a head like a ski slope)
We had the habit of calling guys by their mother's first name. So, I was Frances and one of my best friends Sylvia. Never knew where that came from.
Ice (a backcourt teammate who ripped that one from Gervin)
Fishbone (he was as thin as a fish skeleton with the head on it)
Chicken (cause he could eat a bucket!)
Bubba (you don't friend many African American bubbas)
KeKe (no idea why)
There was funnybutt Honeycutt
Just among my siblings were: DeeDee, Sissy, Blossom, Pap, Geno (his name was Victor), and Oogie. Every one of my siblings had a nickname. In fact, most folks don't know their real names. My dad was called "Batman." You didn't mess with my mama.

Anonymous said...

Ha, my nickname is Jenn. Easy one :) But a lot of my brothers and sisters in the Faith call me 'Re:Jenneration'... lol.

LouLove said...

Here are a few from my Childhood and some that still linger:

jbud, sugar babe, poopie, fat man
baby girl, cheese, poota, jet
june bug, lisa girl,
dc - short for Denise, poochies,
lil man.

Sometimes nicknames came by way of shortening and doubling for example:
Louis became "Lou, Lou"
Curtis became "Curt, Curt"

Then of course like in your case T, whatever part of the body that stuck out became your name like:

In my case, "nose" was my nickname and certainly not by choice (sometimes kids can be so cruel)

Anonymous said...

I was "Captain Hook" in college because of an accident that should have put my rowing career on hold for a few months, but because of an overly enthusiastic attitude, only ended up pausing for about 2 weeks. That was the first and only nickname that has ever stuck to me for some reason.

Did you ever wonder why nicknames stick to some people and not others?

Unknown said...

This isn't a direct answer to any of your questions, but I'll throw it out anyway. I found it rather amusing.

Apparently the habit of giving nicknames is very old. In a recent study of the gospel of Mark, I came across Mark's "nickname" in an ancient document:

"Mark declared, who is called 'stump-fingered,' because he had rather small fingers in comparison with the stature of the rest of his body."

Anonymous said...

my nickname is gail the whale. i got it at a 4th grade birthday party and it stuck.

J to the F - EEE - door! said...

Nicknames are essential if people are my friends. If you don't have a nickname.... well... then.... you're not my friend ;)