Nicknames



  • @Crucial said in Nicknames:

    The read below in Spinoff had me wondering whether the writer's conclusion that nicknames are dying out through generations is correct. We seem to have a few different age groups on the fern so thought it may make for interesting comment even if we probably have a bias toward rugby playing and the inherent nature of nicknames among teams.

    As for myself (teenager in the late 70s/early 80s) our 'gang' at school certainly had nicknames even among the non sporting. I think one poor bloke still wears the tag 'Dogshot' and even at the time no one knew how it stuck.

    **Pongo, Bonzo, Bubsy and Spud: A eulogy for the great New Zealand nickname

    By John Harnett
    February 10, 2017
    On playing fields, in classrooms and at workplaces across the country, the colloquial Kiwi nickname once ruled the roost. But now, writes John ‘Nick’ Harnett, those who go by a nickname are members of a dying breed.

    What happened to nicknames? Almost everyone had one when I went to school and, most of the time, they continued into adulthood. Nicknames were part and parcel of growing up. But ask a youngish man about them now – they were never so popular with girls – and you draw a blank.

    That change suggests school is no longer as central to a young man’s development as it used to be. A person’s individuality, which once took shape and developed at school – and which a nickname highlighted – is being eroded by social media, where self-selected usernames rarely make the leap into real life. And that’s a shame, because a nickname tells us more about a person than their social media accounts – or, for that matter, their birth name – ever could. It implies an identity that is unique to the individual.

    The great English essayist William Hazlitt, said, “Of all eloquence, a nickname is the most concise. It is the only figure of speech that can excite a strong idea without any evidence.” Take my friend ‘Cork’ McAra, formerly of Hastings, now living in Brisbane, His nickname implies the opposite of what a cork does. At farting, he was unrivalled. His proper name is Robert.

    THE NICKNAMED, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: RICHARD ‘PADDLES’ HADLEE, JUDITH ‘CRUSHER’ COLLINS, PETER ‘POSSUM’ BOURNE, WAYNE ‘BUCK’ SHELFORD, ALEX ‘GRIZZ’ WYLLIE AND ROBERT ‘PIGGY’ MULDOON.

    I have a theory that nicknames are disappearing because the digital world is making people increasingly alike. A recent survey in the United States showed that students between the age of eight and 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using social media outside school and that 12 to 17 year-olds use text messages more than any other form of communication. They engage with a screen – mobiles, iPads, computers, tablets and TV monitors – every chance they get, whether they’re on buses, in cars, at the beach, at dinner or in bed.

    The habits of New Zealand students are almost certainly comparable.

    At least people stay in touch, and that’s absolutely a good thing. But there is no eye contact, visual or vocal clues contained in their communications. The opportunities for face to face interaction – the nursery for nicknames – have been dramatically reduced.

    My nickname is Nick. I was given it by ‘Fang’ Kavanagh – birth name Pat – in St Patrick’s Church, Greymouth, when I was about 12. Mass was a Thursday morning ritual for pupils at Greymouth Marist and the girls at St Mary’s Convent next door. Fang and I were in a pew next to one another behind a large pillar and I was doing something he didn’t like. Maybe I was paying more attention to the convent girls than what was taking place on the altar. He turned to me and said, “Nick’s got hold you,” meaning Old Nick, the devil – which is itself a nickname.

    What surprises me most about nicknames – and this goes for most of them – isn’t the name itself, or how it came about, but the way it takes hold after one person utters it in a single moment in a random setting. Fang probably repeated the name on the way back to class, then at playtime someone else heard it, and it was passed on like a cold. I’m still known as ‘Nick’ in Greymouth.

    Giving someone a nickname is also taking a liberty. The donor assumes the right to condense an individual’s persona to a single characteristic, and get it established through repeated use.

    As for Fang, his father gave the name to him because a couple of teeth popped through at a very young age. He retired a few years ago as a police inspector in Christchurch; he’s still known as Fang.

    There is nothing you can do about getting nickname either. They are awarded, not chosen, and can be dispensed with affection or malice. Andy Hobson, an Australian living in London in the 1960s, told a flatmate he had been to see a doctor about a sore backside. The doctor diagnosed piles. To this day, he is known as ‘Andy Loose Tubes.’

    Nicknames are still popular in sports teams – half the All Blacks and Black Caps have one, for example. Otherwise, I haven’t come across a young man or woman with a nickname in years.

    I’m from Greymouth originally; I left in the early ’60s. Since then I’ve lived in Christchurch, and worked on daily newspapers in Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland. I can say without a doubt that Greymouth cultivated nicknames at a greater rate than those cities and, quite probably, more than any other part of the country.

    Which suggests to me that there is more individuality in Greymouth and the West Coast than any other part of New Zealand. I’d love to be proven wrong.

    I know of Greymouth blokes who answer to the names (all genuine) Onion, Pongo, Boofer, Buck, Moose, Mussa, Snigger, Baggy, Salty, Budgie, Brun, Fox, Zeke, Bonzo, Gibbie, Smacker, Sniff, Buster, Bomber, Chooky, Bung, Spaz, Dingdong, Honker, Bubsy, Spacey, Kooser, Dusty, Mocky, Mousie, Barrel, Crash, Drac, Sos, Rinty, Possum, Buddha, Cocky, Boxer, Whoop, Cheezey, Beef, Tinker, Toocey, Pug, Spud, Dooley, Glossy, Tua, Locker, Ham, Chang, Tunny, Hoot, Snowy, Bottly, Sixfoot, Tojo, Shorty, Bones, Fizzer and Jockey.

    Some no longer live there and a few have passed away. Even so, there is a unique story attached to each and every one of them.**

    @Bones Greymouth????

    The FUCK dude????



  • My mate was called Tragic after being named Magic for years due to being so shit at Basketball. I used to love that he was calledMagic and when it transcended into Tragic it was perfection



  • I heard a good one in local footy that a team gave one of their players as a bit of a joke. They called him Mailman because he never delivered on the weekends.



  • The best I've ever heard was a premiership footballer, Kiki Musampa. His nickname was simply Chris.

    Say his nickname followed by his last name out loud if you don't get it.

    I'm massively outdated as a person, and I think the nicknames amongst my closest groups of pals reflects that. Almost all of them are plays on being homosexual.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Nicknames:

    I heard a good one in local footy that a team gave one of their players as a bit of a joke. They called him Mailman because he never delivered on the weekends.

    Like Darryl Halligan was nicknamed Milo becasue he wasn't Quik



  • @MajorRage said in Nicknames:

    The best I've ever heard was a premiership footballer, Kiki Musampa. His nickname was simply Chris.

    Say his nickname followed by his last name out loud if you don't get it.

    I'm massively outdated as a person, and I think the nicknames amongst my closest groups of pals reflects that. Almost all of them are plays on being homosexual.

    I'm struggling with that still......

    said Chris Moo Sam Pah?



  • @Hooroo try Muss instead of Moo



  • we had a prop in our team (cant recall his real name anymore) and one game, it was tight, he had the ball, head stuck in a rolling maul, as he crossed the tryline, everyone else broke off, he saw space and gapped it, dead...and kept going for a bit before reasling...

    He is Forrest.



  • Reminds me of a winger that got the ball on the half ... over 40m line ... over the 22 ... over the 5m ... over the try line ... over the dead ball line ... over the NEXT dead ball ... over the NEXT try line ... around behind the posts !!!

    Seriously. Senior Reserves* in the Waikato. (* may have been called Sen B ... 2nd XV senior 1st div club rugby ... Putaruru v Tok HSOB ... thankfully they weren't very good and we won by 40)

    "Forrest" would have been ideal ... but it may have been before the movie came out ...



  • @Hooroo said in Nicknames:

    @MajorRage said in Nicknames:

    The best I've ever heard was a premiership footballer, Kiki Musampa. His nickname was simply Chris.

    Say his nickname followed by his last name out loud if you don't get it.

    I'm massively outdated as a person, and I think the nicknames amongst my closest groups of pals reflects that. Almost all of them are plays on being homosexual.

    I'm struggling with that still......

    said Chris Moo Sam Pah?

    And that's why its' the best nickname ever ... it's not immediately obvious and then you finally get it. To be fair, it's probably more a British thing than a NZ thing.



  • My best mate in Whangarei never called anyone by their real name. He made up nicknames for everybody and they always stuck. We had Fatpack, Bristlehound (and his girlfriend Pupnibbler), Scrotumtickler, Pixie, Handshandy, Flog-it, Threethumbs, Half-dose and god knows how many other. His own name was Weetbix, his elderly Mum was Doris the Wolf and his own girlfriend was called Flange when he was being nice to her and Blowhole when he wasn't.

    He called one of our mates' Dad (who was a permanent fixture at the bar at TR's old rugby club) "Mini Tanker" after he worked out one day how much beer the old boy put away in a year. We called him that forever after and he didn't mind.



  • @MajorRage said in Nicknames:

    @Hooroo said in Nicknames:

    @MajorRage said in Nicknames:

    The best I've ever heard was a premiership footballer, Kiki Musampa. His nickname was simply Chris.

    Say his nickname followed by his last name out loud if you don't get it.

    I'm massively outdated as a person, and I think the nicknames amongst my closest groups of pals reflects that. Almost all of them are plays on being homosexual.

    I'm struggling with that still......

    said Chris Moo Sam Pah?

    And that's why its' the best nickname ever ... it's not immediately obvious and then you finally get it. To be fair, it's probably more a British thing than a NZ thing.

    Yeah - does seem to be a British thing, or more common at least; I only recently discovered why a mate of mine calls himself "Mabozza". I overheard him telling somebody that everybody in Scotland with the surname Ritchie is called that.



  • I didn't read the original article, but considering most kids have an Instagram or YouTube account, they still probably use nicknames, even if it is just online.

    In high school I had a very ethnically diverse group of friends and our nicknames would probably have us in jail in these absurdly pc times. Being half Kiwi, half German I was called everything involving sheep and Hitler.
    Another mate was Burmese-Italian, the Greasie Burmesee.

    Malaysian Chinese: Yellow, Mr Slant or Monkey Magic.
    Indian named Russell: Rissole or Burnt Rissole
    Another Indian: Curry Muncher or just Curry.
    Bulgarian-Pole: Commie

    Incredibly enough, none of us have been irreparably scarred by these base insults.

    Another friend who was a rather large, hairy chap was called at various times: Horse Head, Meatloaf, Quasimodo, Yeti, Big Foot, and Bfnas (bum fluff needs a shave).

    But by far the worst was: Phantom Bogger.

    What happened is that during class at school, some sick bastard crapped all over the toilet seat in one of the toilets. Fark it was disgusting. My mate was jokingly accused of being the culprit. Unfortunately for him the name , or variants such as Bogger or Phantom, stuck like the shit on that toilet. The bizarre thing is he didn't protest at all, but it made no difference. I often wonder how he explained that one to his wife and how he'll explain it to his children.


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