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Nicknames make rhyming nicknames, like “Bill” for Will(iam) and “Peg” for Meg. So, perhaps Ted for Ed? Also, the letter “R” ~ a sound always a bit difficult to pronounce ~ sometimes was replaced with an “L” or a “D,” so Mary became “Molly” and Rick (short for Richard) became “Dick.” There are also the simple “y” nicknames ~ “Davy,” “Andy,” “Larry” and so on. But are these tweaked, pared-down or rhyming names really nicknames? I guess so, but to me, a true nickname carries a meaning, something more than just sound-play. They serve as a supplement to the real name ~ like Frank “Home Run” Baker, Edward “Blackbeard” Teach. Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Frank “Blue Eyes” Sinatra, or Jimmy “The Greek.” They say something about the person. Many describe physical characteristics, like Ed “Too Tall” Jones. Then there was Charles “Lef t y” Driesell, the only basketball coach to win over 100 games with four d i f fer ent te a m s, i nc lud i ng t he Maryland Terrapins. And who can forget the Chicago

Bears lineman, William “The Refrigerator” Perry? Of course, some physical nicknames are unkind, and others are downright hateful: “Fatso,” “Zits” or “Fou r -Eye s” (or wor se). But these aren’t really nicknames, are they? They’re labels or epithets, like “Bum” or “Jerk” (or worse). A real nickname needs to be “acknowledged” by the owner, even if he isn’t terribly thrilled by it. Some nicknames refer to a person’s likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, or their accomplishments. Hockey player Wayne Gretsky was so good he was nicknamed “The Great One.” Race driver Richard Petty was called “The King,” and “Slammin’ Sammy” Snead was known for his powerful drives. Frank Urban Zoeller was known as “Fuzzy” Zoeller, but that was only because of his initials. Similarly, Henry Winkler’s famous TV char-

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Profile for Tidewater Times

June 2018 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2018

June 2018 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2018