As a child, I learned a quickly that names have power, growing up as I did with fey-folk, Norse Gods and rednecks who were mostly named Junior.  I recall one rather spirited discussion where I repeatedly failed to convince a friend that Tom Wopat’s ‘Dukes Of Hazzard’ character wasn’t named ‘Duke Duke’, an argument that still irks me 30 years later.  I have luckily mellowed somewhat in my old age (enough to appreciate Rodrigo calling Bruce Willis ‘Die-Hard,’ though NOT enough to stop correcting Stephen’s pronunciation of Kaneda) and have reached the point where the child and I have nicknamed all the Agents of SHIELD and really don’t know (or NEED to know) their real names.  This, in turn, begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) likes to watch the adventures of Dunderhead, Computer Pretty, Nerd 1, Nerd 2, Fighty June and Phil, asking: What is your favorite unofficial nickname for a favorite character?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. November 6, 2013 at 11:38 am — Reply

    For what it’s worth, I distinctly remember that Tom Wopat was good friends with Anthony Edwards, such that we even had a game based on the names of their most famous characters: “Duke Duke, Goose.”

  2. HipHopHead
    November 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm — Reply

    Can a co-worker be a “character”, though not a “favorite”?

    “Monkey-Paws” – woman with hands like a small monkey (wrinkled with pigmentation in the palms?)

    “Commander McBragg” – for the knucklehead who thinks he KNOWS everything

    “Ravishing Ronald” (The Nature Boy) – for male worker who wears to much perfume (can’t be cologne)

    “The Troll” (from Billy Goat’s Gruff) – looks just like the troll sans the bridge

    “McFunky” – do I need to explain

    “Jack Tripper” – yes, like the roll John Ritter played, except he aint playing

    “Baby Jane” – as in “What Ever Happened to…” if you dig up Bette Davis…they could be twins…TODAY

  3. HipHopHead
    November 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm — Reply

    “Jack Tripper” – yes, like the ROLE (not roll) John Ritter played, except he aint playing

  4. November 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    Does it count if my teenage goddaughter calls Felicia Day “The Future Mrs. Ali”, or occasionally calls me “Alisha Day”?

  5. November 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm — Reply

    “Swarley” Barney Stinson’s nickname for an episode, the jokes that came from that were wonderful.

    My top favorite is Sam Winchester of Supernatural being affectionately called Moose.

  6. Kirby
    November 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm — Reply

    I can only think of Superboy as ‘Tom Welling’ thanks to Major Spoilers. And as kind of a blanket statement when ever I see Christopher Lambert, I will systematically call him Highlander.

  7. Oldcomicfan
    November 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm — Reply

    “Big Ol’ Jed and Lionel”??? Boy, Matthew, some times your references escape me, and this is one of them. You’ll have to explain that one to me. Unless your friend was prone to stuffing coffee grounds in his ears, how could he have thought the guy’s name was Duke Duke? They were Beau and Luke Duke (except for the season where they brought in replacement actors [Coy and Vance]). I only watched the show for Daisy, and even I got that much out of it.
    But to answer your question, back in the sixties, when I was in junior high, I drew a parody comic strip called “Star Wreck” in which Captain James T. Jerk commanded the starship “Booby Prize”. Every time he pressed the button on his chair and called out “Captain’s Log…” a tree trunk would fall out of the ceiling and crush him. It wasn’t a very good comic – I was only twelve at the time, but Captain Jerk was my favorite nickname for a pop culture icon. And it’s not like William Shatner deserved anything better…

  8. Hannah Jones
    November 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    My brother likes to call Spiderman Webhead, I like that too. Kind of classic Lee.

    My brain however, went immediatly to changing the simple Ben Kingsley into Deepak-Obi-Rashti-Ben-Kingsley(say it fast like it’s one word). This is the name of a character Eddie Izzard plays in Eric Idle’s What About Dick. This may have only com to mind because I saw Ender’s Game a couple of days ago and I called said actor by said nickname and confused the hell out of everybody.

    On a related note if you haven’t seen What About Dick yet, you should and it’ll be the best six dollars you’ve ever spent. It has pretty much every prominant, Non-Python commedian in Britain in it and it’s absolutely hillarious.

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