Ten Tellies, Megatron, G Force, Alley Cat—nicknames take on many forms, though some much kinder than others.
Ten Tellies, Megatron, G Force, Alley Cat—nicknames take on many forms, though some much kinder than others. I’m not sure it’s even possible to write a thousand words on this topic but I’m going to give it a go. It’s not like I have better things to do like study for the word’s hardest law exam or start filming a thirty minute documentary.
I’m feeling inspired though after hearing what can only be described as a top ten hall of fame nickname last night, “Feral.” Feral as in feral cat, an animal that lives in a wild or untamed state. This little beaut of a moniker has been not so kindly handed to a friend of mine who shall remain nameless (this is an article about nicknames after all) but who has, shall we say, slightly animalistic tendencies when it comes to members of the opposite sex. He has a feline ability to sniff out talent at fifty paces, and once he picks up the scent he doesn’t let it go.
Kudos to him, the man is an assassin; you can only admire that pure ability he has. Sometimes when I watch him I feel blessed to be in the stands, it’s like watching Chris Hoy circumnavigate a velodrome or Mo Farah complete half a marathon, sometimes you just have to wonder how he gets away with it. The nickname “Feral” actually evolved from another one by the way which is, “Alley cat”. Another great nickname but not as catchy I think—all the best nicknames are only one word in duration.
Hearing names like “Mouth” and “Megatron” is one of life’s little pleasures I would say. And best of all they cost nothing to come up with. It’s free fun when you think about it and a highly satisfying endeavour too. He who comes up with a legendary nickname such as “Ten Tellies” on a night out, literally has free run of the bar for the rest of the night whilst everyone buys him drinks. Ironically I can’t remember who came up with that one but it refers to a girl who once walked up and down the beach of Nah Trang in Vietnam (or back in “nam” as we so humorously refer to it now. Who doesn’t?).
I think it was a group effort to be honest, and we came up with it because she walked around like Desperate Dan with her arms and chest puffed out. Are you with me yet? Basically she looked like she was carrying ten television sets. What charming people we are to come up with that, it’s a miracle any of us ever pulled anyone on that trip. But let’s face it, boys will be boys. We named another girl Megatron because of her slightly gargantuan skyscraper like stature. Never to her face though, obvs.
When you think about it, nicknames are rarely flattering though are they? “Rapey Eyes” isn’t exactly the sort of pet name you want inscribed on your tombstone. Neither is “Creepy Chrimbo” but you have to admit, it’s fucking hilarious. If you have a terrible nickname at least you know you’re giving the person calling you it a small amount of pleasure every time they say it.
Nicknames I think are a modern day form of poetry. They are carefully thought out words which tickle our earlobes with their hidden meaning. Now these words don’t have to be particularly rare or complex by any means. Take “Tennis Racquet” for example. My mate came up with this one in Thailand and in my eyes deserves some sort of congressional medal of honour for his work here. He was describing a girl who had slightly horse like features, her teeth in particular which seemed to protrude from her mouth ever so slightly massively. Basically she looked like she could eat an apple through a tennis racquet.
When I heard that I spent about three hours rolling around in the sand in a gleeful state of happiness. How is it possible for one man to describe a person so accurately??? I felt like nicknaming him bloody Wordsworth. Wordsworth!!! Why the hell did I not come up with that at the time?!
The very best nicknames do certainly inspire others though. I ultimately failed to kiss Tennis Racquet (God only knows how I would have even made it past her front teeth) but my mate had a go, behind my back when I was rolling around in the sand in a gleeful state. In the process he earned himself the nickname “snake” for his somewhat serpent like antics. A nickname you can’t put a price on there, one that he’ll take to the grave no matter how well behaved he is between now and then.
That’s the thing you see, you can forget someone’s name, but you NEVER forget their nickname.