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Military nicknames?

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by Biscuitsjam, Mar 18, 2008.


  1. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam
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    Why is it that soldiers in Hollywood movies always have nicknames? In my time in the Guard, including an Iraq deployment, very very few soldiers have ever had nicknames. It didn't matter that a guy was 6'7", or that he was overweight and had one leg two inches longer than the other, or that he was likely retarded, or that he used to be homeless and made money by volunteering for medical experiments. People just used their last name anyway...

    The only exceptions that I can think of are Behbehani (nobody could pronounce his name, so they called him "BB"), our former Sergeant Major (he introduced himself as "Shorty Pimp"), and one strange soldier that insisted on being called "Spanky." Others might have a nickname for a few days or weeks around the barracks, but those nicknames never became widespread. Out of hundreds/thousands of soldiers that I've known, only three went by a handle other than their own name.

    In books, movies, newspaper articles, and even some veteran's accounts, everybody gets a nickname though. Big John, Iceman, Joker, Elephant, Tex, etc. etc.

    Anybody been in a unit where the Hollywood stereotype is actually true?
     

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  2. dat19k

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    the unit i deployed with to iraq had a few, our plt.sgt was a huge indian and former marine and everyone including the commander knew him as big daddy. we had a guy called hillbilly by everyone. everyone knew me as big d. but i know what you mean it is not that common.
     

  3. Revelations

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    When I was in everyone just called each other by their last name. For awhile guys would call me "Easy E", just cause my last name began with an E.

    Although we did have one guy that we called Butthead.

    He looked, talked and acted just like Butthead from Beavis and Butthead.

    It was unreal.
     
  4. MrMurphy

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    Air Force, not Army, but we've had a few.

    Guy named Bohnenstingel gets called "B" or "B12" cause a lot of people can't pronounce it. Another guy was known as Tiny, because, well, he was tiny (about 5'3).

    A guy I was deployed with was named something like Al-Kharaekpen, which absolutely no one could pronounce (It's Nigerian) so he was known as A-Con, AK47 and various other A-sounding names.
     
  5. hokieglock

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    it's pretty prevelant in aviation squadrons. just about all aircrew has some kind of "call sign". fighter squadrons especially so.
     
  6. w5kxo

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    During my time in the Army (mid-1980s), I generally didn't see nicknames used in place of actual last names.

    One exception was my unit in the Ops Group at Ft. Irwin. We got to the point where we used our radio callsign suffix in lieu of names. Our unit callsign was Werewolf 21-(insert alphabetic suffix). This led to the platoon sergeant being Werewolf 21-A (Alpha)....I was Werewolf 21-S (Sierra). 21-H (Hotel), 21-J (Juliet), 21-K (Kilo) etc, etc.

    So in general conversation, I would often be called Sierra rather than my name. This was a unit-wide thing...no one called each other by name.

    Funny story. A buddy was Werewolf 21-K and applied for a personalized car license plate in California and wanted his plate to be "KILO". His application was denied due to the drug connotation of the word "Kilo". We laughed.
     
  7. md2lgyk

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    My active duty was in the nuclear submarine Navy. Practically everybody, officers included, had a nickname. Those who didn't, officers included, were usually called by their first name unless the CO or XO was around. Subs were a lot more relaxed than the surface Navy.
     
  8. gruntmedik

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    Honk Honk
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    We had a mortarman in our platoon that was 5'1" or 5'2". We called him Short Round.
     
  9. Sam White

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    In my Army Reserve unit, we had a Sgt who always kept his head clean shaven. Everyone called him Mister Clean, because he looked like the guy on the cleaning product label. There was a Spc everyone called Fez, who looked like a character from the '70's show. They called me Gene, after Gene Simmons. We also had a kid called Alphabet Soup because of his long, unpronounceable last name. And there was a guy from Africa we called Where Were You? because no one could pronounce Waweru correctly.

    In the Air National Guard, some call me SSgt Sam White, or White, but most call me Sam.

    For the most part, though, the trend in the Army was for people just to be called by rank+last name. In the ANG, not surprisingly to some, people are often/usually called by first name.
     
  10. fourdeuce2

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    With a last name like Simoneaux, I was more often called something other than my last name. In Basic Training, I don't think any of my Drill Sergeants bothered to learn how to pronounce it. They didn't need to. It was always either "Dip$hit" or some other term of endearment. Of course, that was back before the modern Army. I've heard they can only refer to the trainees as Private "whatever your name is" now.:whistling:
     
  11. BattletweeteR

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    i was airforce and everybody that had a "nickname" was based off there long last name.

    willi for williford
    mac for macdonald
    bogi for bogati
    spooge for spurgen


    although i knew one guy we called spanky...cause he was caught in the act.
     
  12. the iceman

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    My platoon was loaded with nicknames. Mine was "the iceman" My last name is Berg and at first, I was called "iceberg" then after many drunken nights of coming home with different european chicks suddenly I as being called "the iceman" because I was always smooth with the ladies.

    We had everything from dog****, eddie, flojo, poly, danimal, slug, PM (pogue marine- ex marine supply), ched 1, mikey (mikey from the old life commercial in the 80's who would eat anything because this guy would always be "eatin" at the red light)...I could go on and on.

    Fun times!!
     
  13. USMC1369

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    I knew they were talking to me when they said "Sir" & I knew they were talking about me 'cause someone would always refer to yours truly as "that Mother:wow:" but that was then...
     
  14. Fallguy173

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    The one that comes to mind, was in one of my units. We had a guy named Czerapack, simply pronounced serapack. I think the "z" confused everyone. We called him "6-Pack".
     
  15. mikeflys1

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    I think every unit i was in had one of those.
     
  16. 4TS&W

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    2A RKBA 4EVER

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    We had a comm guy named Stankie....

    He usually didn't smell too bad, but no one could consistently pronounce Stankiewicz....
     
  17. xxiv

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    Guys had nicks, "Gucci" for one of the idiot cherries that thought a full Gucci track suit was in style, stuff like that. Lots of abbreviated and bastardized last names.
     
  18. fourdeuce2

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    I was stationed with a lieutenant who had the last name Loiacano, and he was always going around telling people "I'm in charge here!"(if you have to keep reminding people, maybe you're NOT in charge:dunno: ). His nickname(behind his back) was Lieutenant Lock & Load. Guys used to call on the radio and mimic his voice saying "I'm in charge here!".:tongueout: Sometimes he'd be standing around the radio and hear them, but he never got it(I don't think). He did mellow out eventually.
     
  19. DaScotsman

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    We had a FSgt who was fairly certain every one of us was actually named "F-head". Does that count? :supergrin:
     
  20. Glock 21 Dan

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    Had an LT in 'Nam called "John Wayne" because that's who he thought he was! Went home without his much sought after Purple Heart.

    "Pineapple" was of course from Hawaii and no one could pronounce "Alphabets" name.

    Other than those it was mostly last names. If the person was higher in rank than you, his rank and last name was used. Close friends were usually called by their first names.

    Dan: U.S. Army 1966 to 1969. RVN '67-'68.