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Military nicknames?

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

  1. Biscuitsjam


    Jan 10, 2004
    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?
  2. dat19k


    Dec 23, 2007
    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

    Revelations Zombie Hunter

    Jul 29, 2005
    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

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    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

    hokieglock Proud Infidel

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


    May 19, 2003
    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 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


    Mar 23, 2001
    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

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

    Jan 2, 2005
    Taylorsville, KY
    We had a mortarman in our platoon that was 5'1" or 5'2". We called him Short Round.
  9. Sam White

    Sam White I miss you bud Silver Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    South Dakota
    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


    Nov 13, 2003
    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

    BattletweeteR dude and stuff

    Oct 17, 2005
    houston texas
    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

    the iceman Proud Veteran CLM

    Jun 2, 2007
    Northern Illinois
    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


    Apr 24, 2007
    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

    Fallguy173 Resident Freak

    Feb 10, 2008
    Black Hills
    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

    mikeflys1 Pastafarian

    Jun 19, 2007
    I think every unit i was in had one of those.
  16. 4TS&W


    Jul 20, 2002
    here and there...
    We had a comm guy named Stankie....

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

    xxiv NRA Member

    May 7, 2007
    Northern Virginia
    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


    Nov 13, 2003
    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

    DaScotsman D-FENS

    May 23, 2007
    KC, MO
    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

    Glock 21 Dan NRA Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    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.