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I was visiting the blog at Brighid’s Place and she discussed monikers. I thought about that.
Almost everyone that I worked around had one. The Prince of Darkness (Prince), WoFat, Monkey King, and others earned their nicknames. There was Taz (Tazmanian Devil), Cue (Cue-ball), Super Six, Genghis, Nemo, Badger, Short Stack, Eagle, Monkey Hands, Earp, Dimples, Lightning, Daisey, Nig, Hyde, County Slut, Fish, Strut, Lucifer, Plug, Horn, the White Dove, and I was either called Lambo (a take-off from Rambo) Mr. White (only the Prince of Darkness called me that), or Scary Larry, depending on the time, place and peer group. One guy named Jason, kept his given name because of the horror movie character, Jason.

Nig – dated a black girl once and the guys found out about it.
Hyde – turned from Dr. Jekyl into Mr. Hyde after one drink of demon rum.
Monkey Hands – liked to fiddle with his and other people’s equipment. Some people called him “Rat Claws”.
Eagle – had a nose like an Eagle’s beak. Sometimes called “Snout”.
County Slut – chased every woman that he ever met – almost always with success.
Horn – packed impressive gear.
Earp – liked to quickdraw.
Dimples – good looking lady slayer
Fish – shortened from Fish-Face, was part Chinese.
White Dove – went to church at some point in his life, but nobody could remember that happening.
—-and so forth.
Any nickname could be shortened for ease of use. Rat Claws became Rat. County Slut became Slut, White Dove became Dove, Scary Larry became Scary, Cue-ball became Cue.

If you have red hair, you could be called Rusty or Torch or if you gained weight, any nickname could be instantly changed to Shamu.

Guys gave other guys girlfriends nicknames too: Assquatch, Butterface (killer body, but-her-face), Clearing Barrel, Poke-a-hauntas (looked like the Disney character, actually Italian), Sleeping Booty, Panther (her given name was Becky Panther, and she was part Blood Indian from Canada), Muffin, Poptart, Crack of Dawn, Dumpster, Cherry, Tag-Team (two identical twins, both of the same name. Sometimes referred to as Alpha and Beta, but nobody could tell them apart) —- I left off the really insulting nicknames.

There was a flap in the Navy a few years ago where an administrative officer assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 136 picked up the name, “Romo’s Bitch”(voted in by the squadron) because he was a fan of Dallas Cowboy’s quarterback, Tony Romo, believed to be gay. Sometimes they stick forever. Another aviator who participated in the 1991 Las Vegas Tailhook blow-out had his moniker changed from Grouper to Groper. So no moniker is necessarily forever.
I nicknamed my daughters Mouse, Wishbear, Angel and Elmo the Magic Baby — or just plain Elmo. They still answer to those names. My daughter’s named their mother “The Wicked Witch” and called me “The Handsome Prince” or “Mr. Moneybags”…
Monikers don’t always tell a story but they usually do. Military Pilots and aviators all have nicknames and they often paint them on their aircraft.
When Asiana Flight 214 smashed into the sea wall at San Francisco International Airport a month or so ago,  the media released fictitious monikers, tacked onto the hapless air crew as a joke. It went viral.

Some navy squadrons have collective names for their aviators. Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 members are called the Screwtops.  

The Pukin’ Dogs of Fighter Squadron 143 were originally known as the Griffins, which is a mythical creature that had the head and wings of an eagle and a body of a lion. Squadron lore holds two versions of how it got its new name, both of which involve someone mistaking the Griffins insignia’s down-turned head and open mouth for a vomiting dog. 

There was VA-12, the Flying Ubangis (changed to the Clinchers in 1982 because of possible racial overtones); VF-191, Satan’s Kittens; VXE-6, Puckered Penguins; and HS-8, Eightballers.

American Indians only had monikers – Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Man Afraid of His Horses, etc. And they named their adversaries. Col. George A. Custer was called, “Son of the Morning Star” by the Cheyenne because he liked to attack before dawn. They called Gen. George Crook, “Gray Wolf”.

9 thoughts on “Monikers

  1. When I was in the service (over-seas) I was called Whip, Whipper or Whip Lash. Not sure why.

  2. Yeah, callsigns ARE their own little world… Mine was Cajun, I know a Rat, Snap, Puke, Avon, Snake, Dick, Flake, and T-ball.

  3. Whoa, your monikers are much better than any I know. Enjoyed getting the background on some of them.
    If I had a callsign I have a feeling it would be "Dammit"…

  4. Sadly, I've been "stodgy" all my life – at least that's what my wife says . . . . been "Keller" as long as I can remember, regardless of locale . . .

    Most memorable name I know was "Jumper" – an A7 jock who bellied his aircraft when his gear collapsed. Jumped out of the cockpit just as his aircraft stopped moving . . . forever known from that day forward as "Jumper".

  5. That's when you were WoThin — and yes, you're back to being a whip these days, so maybe I need to call you that?

    Bill still goes by "Prince of Darkness". Some things never change.

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