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Nicknames: Interesting Stuff

Here are some more stories and facts about nicknames that you might find cool.

Why are they called "nicknames?"
Hundreds of years ago, many people believed that names were a person's private property and that they shouldn't be spoken too often. Because of this, people started using extra names to call each other, and in Old England, these were called "eke names," which means "added names." Over the years, people began pronouncing the word "eke" wrong, and it eventually changed to "nickname."

Unknown actors
In the early days of Hollywood, many actors and actresses thought that starring in movies would hurt their stage acting careers, so they kept their names out of the credits. Movie fans, not knowing the real names of their favorite stars, began calling them by nicknames, like "the Cowboy." Even after the actors learned that movie fame would not hurt them, the guys in charge of the studios refused to release their real names because they were afraid that fame would lead to big salaries. They were right about that one!

Cops and robbers
The FBI has a habit of giving wanted bank robbers memorable nicknames so that police can be on the lookout for them. One San Diego robber got labeled "The Bad Breath Bandit" because his breath was so stinky. A famous gangster was called "Pretty Boy" because of his good looks, and a more recent robber was nicknamed "The Ugly Robber." He probably wasn't as good looking as Pretty Boy!

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