We was always taking long walks, and we was always looking for a guy named "Charlie."
What's in a name? What's in a nickname?
Some good bull for your Friday. The author of this article laments the decline of nicknames in American culture & sports, their drop off in usage and their drop off in originality. (HT Thabiti Anyabwile)
"I don’t know why I’m surprised. 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. The same country that came up with the Splendid Splinter, the Say Hey Kid and Mr. October now settles for A-Rod, T-Mac and AI. (Don’t even get me started on the San Diego Chargers’ franchise running back LaDanian Tomlinson, whose nom de plume, LT, is not only lame but recycled, too. Excuse me, LaDanian, but Lawrence Taylor called and he wants his nickname back.) What passes for creativity these days is taking the word “big” and sticking some physiologically or descriptively appropriate term after it. Which is why the sports landscape has a Big Hurt, a Big Papi, a Big Unit—which has never been confirmed, by the way—and even a Big Fundamental. That last one is Tim Duncan’s nickname. Or if you prefer, you can call him by his other nickname: Timmy."I'm a big fan of nicknames and many in our congregation have them (e.g., King Pin, Oilcan, Shock (and Awe), Smokin' Joe, Tank, Double J, Mama J & Papa J, Horhay, and St. Nick).
My nickname is "Gunny," which I picked it up in college, but before that I was "E-Rock(er)" and "Rookie" around the extended family (much better than my cousin's "Farquar").
Some are too sophisticated for such tomfoolery, but it's fun and endearing, a sign of affection, it seems to me. You don't waste a nickname on someone about whom you are apathetic.
What are some good nicknames?
My favorite was when in high school, we had a gal in computer class who preferred to be called by her nickname. So, the first day when her name was called, she said to the teacher, "You can call me "Sweets."
What are your favorite sports nicknames?
In Cardinals baseball (2006 Champs), I liked "Stan the Man," the "Wizard" (Ozzie Smith), "Dizzy" Dean, and the "Mad Hungarian," (Al Hrabosky). Elsewhere in baseball, I like(d) "Charlie Hustle" (Pete Rose), "Shoeless Joe Jackson," and "Pudge" (Ivan Rodriguez).
In Cowboys football, Staubach was "Roger the Dodger" and "Captain Comeback," while Randy White was the "Manster," half-man, half-monster. Michael Irvin was "the Play Maker."
In basketball, there was "Magic Johnson" of the Mighty Lakers, George "the Iceman" Gervin (not to be confused with George "the Animal" Steele), and "Dr. J."
The whole ?-Rod thing is so silly and very unoriginal. I'd scrap all of those, or at least fine the players/commentators for encouraging such shenanigans!
Any good suggestions for sports nicknames?
Many of us had nicknames as kids, some we shed, some we kept. Did you have a childhood nickname? Do you have one now? If you had/have a nickname, what's the story behind it?