Many famous people through history are best remembered by nicknames. You might be familiar with authors who adopted pseudonyms (George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, etc.) but what of those people known only by epithets? Take our quiz and see how well you know the real names behind historical nicknames.
‘Old Blue Eyes’. ‘The Queen of Soul’. ‘Muddy Waters’. ‘The King’. Nicknames are an integral part of the history of popular music in the United States. They not only lend musicians a distinctive identity, but they also serve to create a sense of familiarity between musician and listener. Nicknames connect audiences to performers who, on […]
Lots of cities in the United States have nicknames, ranging from monikers largely rejected by their populace (New Yorkers are famously impatient with the nickname ‘the Big Apple’) to those nicknames shouldered with pride – Pittsburghers, for example, proudly claim the nickname ‘The Steel City’, which references the city’s major role in the Industrial Revolution […]
Many iconic buildings have over the years been given nicknames, often with the intention to criticize their modern design. Mockingly naming skyscrapers has become a popular activity in London in particular, which is why the city features especially heavily in today’s quiz. So, do you know where to find the ‘Gherkin’, or which city has […]
The debate around Margaret Thatcher’s political and social legacy will no doubt continue for some time yet. But what of her linguistic legacy? Did she leave her mark on the English language? Iron Handbags It’s fair to say that Margaret Thatcher’s linguistic legacy lies more in what others have said about her and her politics […]
What’s in a nickname? Corruption, initially. Which is not to say that there is anything inherently dishonest about nicknames; the history of the word stems from an error. Originally “an eke-name”, meaning an additional name, “a neke name” formed out of an incorrect word division that blended the noun with its indefinite article. By the […]