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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

SIR – Whatever happened to nicknames?

Letters to HM Telegraph:

SIR – Whatever happened to nicknames?

I recall that among my late father’s military friends were Squeeler Wheeler, Splosh Jones, Boy Browning, Tiger Urquhart, Tinny Dean, and Pudding Pye.

Simon Pike
Witney, Oxfordshire

Comparatively ungallant nickname for a military hero

SIR – Those with experience of the old Stock Exchange floor will readily recall some of the nicknames (Letters, August 22) bestowed upon its habitués.

Among them were two brothers, both with highly distinguished military careers and both winners of the Military Cross, one with bar and one without.

The latter acquired the sobriquet of “The Coward”.

Quentin Smith
Dunley, Hampshire

SIR – Many years ago, we had a police inspector at Eastbourne who was nicknamed “Kipper”. The reason: he was yellow and had no guts.

Roger West
Appenzell, Switzerland

SIR – In the Welsh borough police force in which I served, one bobby was nicknamed “Gurkha” because he took no prisoners.

Charles Nunn
Upton, Wirral

SIR – My daughter worked with someone nicknamed “Exocet”. They could see him coming and couldn’t do anything about it.

Wendy Mellish
Bradford Abbas, Dorset

Why Clarks are always 'Nobby’

SIR – If your name was Walker in the Royal Navy you were always called “Hookey” Walker after Admiral Sir Harold Walker, who had a hook instead of a hand.

All Clarks were “Nobby” because nobby hats (top hats) were worn by the clerks in the City of London. Woods were “Slinger” because sailors loaded and unloaded freight with wooden slings.

Wilsons were “Tug” because Admiral Sir Arthur Knyvet Wilson first demonstrated the use of tugs to bring big ships in and out of harbour.

To this day I have been unable to fathom where the name “Sharky” Ward came from.

Trevor Metcalf
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

SIR – I’ve always thought that the greatest nursery of nicknames was the police. In my county force there was a sergeant nicknamed “The Olympic Torch” – because he never went out – and an extremely ill-mannered inspector nicknamed “The Large White”, a well-known breed of English pig.

Richard Cowley
Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire

1 comment:

Demetrius said...

Boy Browning? Tiger Urquhart? Would that be Lt. Gen. Frederick Browning, Commander of Airborne Forces and Maj. Gen. Urquhart, GOC 1st Airborne Division? Interesting but could it be imaginative?