Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

How you got your nickname


In response to our piece about the significance of nicknames, a selection of the monikers and sobriquets you sent in, both loved and hated.

1. My first nickname in my secondary school first year was Vicar, given by a friend because he thought I spoke "posh". This became transposed by another friend to Viceroy, Vice-Squad, then Squadron Leader. It remained there until someone heard me answering the phone in a rather brusque manner and started calling me Donk after the character in the Crocodile Dundee movie. I still use it as a pseudonym on some social networking sites but as I'm 52 now I think I prefer to be myself and get called plain David.
David Grant, Baku, Azerbaijan

Johannes Spangenberg-Bakker


At school I was called Spanner because of my surname. My older brother was called (by RAF colleagues) Chewbacca - also because of our surname. When I joined the RAF in 1988, none the the drill staff could pronounce my name, hence my current nickname, Spang, which is used by absolutely everyone I encounter in Civvie Street - in fact some people assume it's my Christian name.
Johannes Spangenberg-Bakker, Brighton, UK



I gained the nickname Dimples from my work colleagues, due to the rather obvious craters in each of my cheeks. When one friend pointed out that because they were Giant Dimples I should be re-nicknamed Gimples I still took no offence. For me a nickname is used as a form of affection, fun and camaraderie.
Kenny, Edinburgh

Darren Walker


Nicknames start off at school as being just another way for children to be cruel to other children but as they get older the names adapt and become a part of who they are. At school I was always called Daz, even by teachers but now often get called Big Nose. At school it was an insult but now it is something that differentiates me from other Darrens or Dazs.
Darren "Big Nose" Walker, Leeds

Steve Korbey


As a child I was nicknamed Sludgeguts at school because I would eat almost anything served in the canteen. At home I was known as Splodge because of my floor-wiping behind my father as he painted the ceiling. Both titles are honest and descriptive, and I am sure most nicknames are.
Steve Korbey, Mississauga, Canada

Nik Chinook


I know of someone who is universally known to his friends as Dances with Chavs. And, a retro one here, I remember a kid at school called Spanglepack. My name Nik was corrupted by friends into Shhhhnik, which years later morphed into Chinook. Now I even use the name professionally.
Nik "Chinook", Exeter

Ian Hill


Forty-plus years on, and I am still known as Hog by my secondary school 40+ chums, the derivation being somewhat obscure and not related to my size or eating habits. And despite perfectly usable forenames, my daughters are variously known within the family as Milton, Li'l Bug, Elmlea, Possum, Wayne, Lupins, Slob... and others. And there are only three of them. Nicknames are invariably terms of endearment.
Ian Hill, United Kingdom

Stuart Holmes


At school I was known as Spiggy - because I read Enid Blyton's book Adventures at Spiggy Holes so many times the book fell apart.
Stuart Holmes, Leatherhead

Sean Booth


I was surprised when some people I play World of Warcraft with called me by my game character's name when I met them. His name is Wowbagger, I got called Wow quite a bit. Way better than (Sean the) Prawn, of course.
Sean, Portsmouth

10. I am 57 and from the age of about nine I was always known as Daisy. This stuck with me all the way through school and only stopped when I went to college at 18. Friends from my school days still call me Daisy and at the time some people did not know what my real name was. I didn't mind the name at all. I am not sure quite how it started. It may be because in a class register I would be Day C, but I remember at one time being called Daisy May after a ventriloquist's dummy called Daisy May.
Colin Day, Stone, Staffordshire



I love my nicknames, although they have no relevance in my life. My very close friends call me Zulu, for my ill-attempted dance at an all-African party (I am not African). Other friends and family call me Google, because my head is filled with really useless trivia (eg the width of cat hair, origin of a word, medicinal qualities of peanuts, etc). Other friends call me Brownie, for my undying love for chocolate brownies and the fact that I am of South Asian origin. I love them all.
Cyrus, New York

12. I have been called Groucho for most of my working life, some 30 years. Most of the people I work with have no idea what my real name is. Even my mother knows to call me Groucho. So much so that calling me Martin has now become a term of endearment used by the people closest to me the way a nickname used to be used.
Martin "Groucho" Horseman, London

13. I will forever be known as Maggit to my family and Batch to my friends. Nicknames are a way of creating a bond between people. It is a way of showing some that you know them, only people I don't really know call me Michael.
Michael Batchelor, Leicester

14. I was in the Royal Navy and my kit arrived ahead of me when joining HMS Glory, during the Korean war. My cases were adorned with my initials, JAS, so in the absence of any other information about me, it was decided that my name was obviously Jasper. The nickname stuck with no offence given or taken.
James Alfred Sibbet, Edinburgh, Scotland

Laura Legault


Laura is an exceedingly common name for young women of my particular year, and when I arrived at university I was one of seven Lauras in my dormitory and one of two from the same town, so I was told to choose a nickname. I've been known as Hobbes to my friends and even some of my professors ever since. I chose Hobbes as we'd studied his work in a philosophy class I had just finished, and the name sounded more agreeable to me than Hume or Descartes. I'm also an admirer of Bill Watterson's comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, so the name took on a certain amount of double meaning.
Laura "Hobbes" LeGault, Madison, WI, USA

16. Nicknames always have an undercurrent of endearment and reverence, even when unflattering. It involves the creation of a symbol which is the most profound and distinctively human cognitive activity. I was Bogbrush at university on account of my hair, and it was not always used nicely, but when someone really wanted to distance themselves in irritation or resentment they called me John.
John Bailey, Crowborough, UK

Rosie and Liz


I like nicknames - they don't normally pick on the most flattering characteristics but they do become terms of endearment. My sister Rosie is affectionately called Toes because of a rhyme I had when I was younger, "Rosie Tosey picks her nosey". It has stuck firmly for many years, but then so has Eliza for me (abbreviated from Eliza Dolittle and Lazy Lizzie). I would argue that I'm never lazy and I'm sure Toes would say she never picked her nose.
EKH, Kenilworth, England



My husband had the nickname Garfield from his friends. Mainly because he was short, fat, loved coffee, lasagne and the kicker a red head. At some point I let the cat out of the back (excuse the pun). He loved it. Even his e-mail address reflects his nickname. He spent most of his school life deflecting comments about his red hair, now he laps it up with a nickname that best describes him.
LJ, Warrington, Cheshire

19. During my school years I got the nickname Fish. I did not choose this and it annoyed me quite badly, considering it had started out as something worse. To this day six years down the line to a few people I am known as Fish. To my friends now they have grown up a bit I am known as Parky. It's a play on my name and I like it. Fish doesn't bother me anymore and these two names link me to my past and current friends. Even if I had not picked Fish I would not go back and change it.
Jason Parker, Kent

20. As a kid, my older friends called me Beverage. it came about as a transmutation of Steve-a-rino which became Bever-ino which became Beve then Bev and finally Beverage. I still hate all of these nicknames, especially Steve-a-rino.
Steve Ayres, Seattle, Washington, USA

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