Jul 082013

216px-Pittsburgh_Pirates_MLB_Logo_svgWhile reading about the surprising success of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates, I noticed that the columnist referred to the team with the familiar insider’s nickname of the “Buccos” a few times. That reminded me of how the Montreal Canadiens were sometimes called the “Habs” instead. It’s odd because a team name is a nickname already. Why would you need an insider’s nickname to the nickname?

A band’s name is a nickname too, but sometimes the hippest of the hipsters need to prove their deeper band loyalty by referring to their favorites by their second-level nickname. Are there a lot of these? Ask your friends Whitey and Lumpy for the band nicknames that can only be associated with a single band and must be obviously recognized as that band’s nickname. Easy one: Everyone knows your talking about The Beatles when you say the Fab Four.


  48 Responses to “What’s My (Nick) Name?”

  1. Suburban kid

    As a Cubs fan who hates the sub nickname “Cubbies”, I also dislike “Buccos”. But not all second level nicks have to suck.

    It’s pretty dumb, but I like “Da Brudders”, and also the “Forest Hills Four” for the Ramones.

  2. The ‘Mats.

    I refuse to refer to Teenage Fanclub by their nickname: The Fannies. No thank you.

  3. I can’t stand it when people call the Twins — the “Twinkies” — alhtough they’ve been playing soft and mushy of late. For some reason, I don’t mind when the Vikings are called “the Queens” — and it’s pretty common in my family to ask “what time are the Queens on?”

    I do call The Replacements “The Mats” — just about everyone did and with a reunion afoot, they will again.

  4. Ahh — you beat me to it. You are The King.

  5. cherguevara

    Another easy one: The Stones

  6. I never heard “the Queens” for the Vikings. Maybe that’s a term that was only local?

    Along those lines, I don’t like it when the Phillies get referred to as “the Fightin’s.” Even our AA team has some stupid official name, now, that incorporates what started as a fun tag line by one of our announcers following a victory: “Chalk up another one for the Fightin’s!” or whatever Tom McCarthy says. I’m pretty sure that’s where that tradition started. Maybe Harry Kalas started saying it in his final years. Growing up I don’t recall hearing that term on any regular basis.

    As for rock band insider nicknames, 2 highly annoying ones quickly come to mind: The Q (isn’t that was fans of NRBQ are known to call them?) and The Dan (ie, Steely Dan).

    Hockey fans: I know “the Habs” is short for “Les Habitants,” right? Is that why there’s an H on the Canadiens’ logo (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U2ht0SwIVHw/TlMsDT9JiGI/AAAAAAAANQE/Ma3YU5j7fK4/s400/habs.gif)? I was just thinking about this yesterday, while I took a few seconds to figure out what cap Jay Baruchel was wearing early in This Is the End.

    What do locals call the team? Why do they have to have a special French Canadian insider nickname when their official nickname is already spelled the French way, with an “-ien” ending?

  7. Or, The Glimmer Twins

  8. I find the New York Giants nickname of Big Blue odd because it’s all the nickname of corporate giant IBM.

  9. bostonhistorian

    “Les Habitants” are a specific group of people who settled in Quebec. So I guess the team is telling the world that the only true Canadians are from Quebec. I suppose Habitants is like “Yankees” except historically it makes little sense for New Yorkers to be “Yankees”. The should be the “Nederlandsemannen” or something.

  10. The Queens is pretty local — I think it was coined by the late great Steve Cannon on WCCO radio.

    Here in DC — The Nats, Nattitude, etc. rule. The Nats doesn’t bug me. What used to bug me is when they dreamed up “Natstown” — dropped for Nattitude, which they’ll probably ditch next year if they don’t catch Atlanta.

    The ‘Skins of course is another kettle of fish, with some now refusing to even use any form of their team name (i.e. The Washington NFL team)

  11. Prince is sometimes referred to as “His Purpleness” or “His Royal Purpleness”

  12. Yet another easy one: Mike Love – the Douche Nozzle

  13. hrrundivbakshi

    The hottest band in the land: KEE-YUUUHHHSSS!

  14. The ‘Mats seems to be the most used one, possibly used more than The Replacements name itself. Where does that come from?

  15. Captain Trips
    The Boss
    The Big Man

  16. Most pompous: The Holy Triumvarite for Rush. Yuck!

  17. cherguevara

    AC/DC get called Acca Dacca, don’t they?

  18. Supposedly Paul Westerberg once said in an interview they were “The Mats” when they played drunk.

  19. ladymisskirroyale

    – “The Godfather of Soul” for James Brown

    – We call Al Green “The Cat” due to the tendency of his yowls to sound somewhat feline.

    – “Moz” for Morrisey

    – “Macca” for Paul McCartney

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    Mr. Royale just chimed in:

    – “The Material Girl” or “Madge” for Madonna

    The Brits love to do this nickname stuff for bands/musicians. But then again, they do that for regular folk, too. For example, my cousins James, Charles and Andrew are known by friends as “Chalks” (due to his last name being White, hence chalk white), “Chuck,” and “Pig” (due to his raising pigs on his farm).

  21. Ms.Jade just piped in with “The Other One” for Andrew Ridgeley.

  22. Suburban kid

    The Motor City Madman
    The Lizard King
    The Ox

  23. Suburban kid

    Can’t think any more band ones so here’s a couple more individuals.

    Rod the Mod
    The King

  24. Who are the Bad Boys of Rock and Roll? I think I’ve heard it applied to both the Rolling Stones and to Aerosmith, or is that like a rotating name depending on who’s been especially bad that year?

  25. trigmogigmo

    The Toxic Twins (drug addled Aerosmith bandleaders)
    The King of Pop (please)
    The Thin White Duke
    Fat Bob (Robert Smith — that’s not nice!)
    The Mac (Fleetwood Mac)
    The Oils (Midnight Oil)
    Van Hagar

  26. trigmogigmo

    that one is an all-time classic

  27. hrrundivbakshi

    The Thunder from Down Under

  28. hrrundivbakshi

    The J. Geils Band and Aerosmith have both been called “those bad boys from Boston.”

  29. Who should not be confused with those M.I.T. boys from the band Boston.

  30. The super annoying “Jacko” (UK only)

  31. I thought it was short for the Place Mats, a drunken goof on the band’s name.

  32. Suburban kid

    Van the Man

  33. hrrundivbakshi

    You mean the super-excellent “Wacko Jacko”!

  34. cliff sovinsanity

    I never liked it when locals referred to the Detroit Tigers as the Bengals. Always reminded me of that loser football team from Cinci. Back to the topic

    Shakey, The Godfather of Grunge and a few others for Neil Young.

  35. Some guys used their nicknames as album titles.

    I guess they really did call Clapton “Slowhand” — and Todd Rungren “Runt”

  36. Funny, I just came across that nickname for the first time yesterday and thought “why are they talking about the 70’s band “Fanny?”

  37. 2000 Man

    I know people have called The Stones The Greatest Group on Earth, and The Clash The Only Band That Mattered.

    Here in Cleveland everbody knows that the acronlym for Sensational Alex Harvey Band is SAHB, and you can call them that and it’s good enough. Kid Leo always had nicknames for artists. I think he coined The Boss for Bruce, and he used to call Pat Benatar Miss Reet Petite (I don’t know how you’d spell that). I actually knew a guy that just called Peter Wolf The Woofagoofa. And that’s the only band he talked about, so that’s what you got.

    Baseball wise, Everyone here generally calls The Indians The Tribe. “The Tribe signed Nick Swisher, The Tribe lost tonight, The Tribe needs a bullpen” etc.

  38. Don’t the English have a derogatory nickname for Oasis that’s like Oarses?

  39. machinery

    CCR. Lazy acronym.

  40. 2000 Man

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  41. Thunderfingers (aka The Ox), Moon the Loon (or Moonie), The Birdman (or Towsers), and Duchess (from back when he was known for using Dippity-Do to straighten his non-mod approved curly locks – aka Rog) of The Bloody ‘Oo, another one of “The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World”s.

    Robert Plant aka ‘Percy’

    ‘Brenda’, ‘Miss Jagger,’ and ‘Her Ladyship’ for Jagger (all from Keith, of course)

    Elton ‘Sharon’ John, by Rod Stewart

    Rod ‘Phyllis’ Stewart, by Elton John

    Moondog & Mr. Rock & Roll, Alan Freed

    Eric ‘God’ Clapton – also known as ‘That Drunken Racist Fuckwit’ by some, after his rambling onstage rant in 1976 about ridding England of “wogs” & “coons”, followed by an impassioned endorsement of Tory racist, Enoch Powell. He has never fully recanted on these statements, only offering up the, “I was drunk” defense. Funny for a guy, professionally, so closely identified with ‘The Blues’, and whose first solo hit was a Bob Marley cover. I guess he thinks black people are OK as long as he doesn’t have to live next to them.

    Nicky ‘Topper’ Headon

    Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister

    Mick Jones & Steve Jones, both aka ‘Jonesy’

    Ron ‘Woody’ Wood

    Johnny ‘der Furher’ Ramone, by his bandmates.

    Steve Perry aka ‘Weaselface’….Well, that’s what I call him, anyway.

  42. Weird that this posted up here…

  43. diskojoe

    The Kinks have been called The Muswell Hillbillies.

    Also: Little Richard-The Quasar of Rock & Roll
    Elvis: The King of Rock & Roll or just the King
    Solomon Burke: The King of Rock & Soul

    As for the Bosstown teams:

    Red Sox: the Sox (or Sawx), Flop Sox (especially on this West Coast road trip!)
    Patriots: the Pats, the Patsies, the Brady Bunch
    Bruins: the Big Bad Bruins
    Celtics: the Celts, Gang Green

  44. 2000 Man

    The Stones used to call Brian Mr. Shampoo. He liked to be clean.

  45. misterioso

    …and since they never played sober, the name stuck. I kinda hate that nickname and could never bring myself to use it.

  46. Here’s Hamish Grimes (at :27) introducing Clapton as “Slowhand” in 1964.


  47. I’m sure I’m the only one that’s kept up an early-80s Chicago DJ’s schtick (!) of referring to the Police as The Cops. Last Friday was the sixth anniversary of going to Wrigley to see The Cops.


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