Nickname dropping

Nickname dropping

Dear Ace: What’s a good nickname for me? I’ve never had one.—Nick Namor

Nick: Sorry, but Ace has never had to suffer the misfortune of coming up with a suitable nickname for himself, as he was born presobriquetted. No Eustace or Cuthbert here; Ace has always been just plain Ace. And let Ace tell you, it’s not always easy having a great name. It’s hard to cash checks. People mistake you for being a superhero’s alter ego. Census takers get fed up quickly. But if you are ready to take the plunge, Ace has some suggestions. He’ll use his own name as a template.


Give ‘Em Hell Harry, a.k.a. Harry Truman—or is it Harry Truman, a.k.a. Give ‘Em Hell Harry?—is just one example of how nicknames add spice to a person

How about something regal? Louis I of France was also known as Louis the Pious, but he had the right idea with his other nickname: Ace the Debonair has a certain Scarlet Pimpernel sort of air to it that’s bound to drive the ladies wild (right, ladies?). Ace with the Good Memory, borrowed from John I of Portugal, is also pretty complimentary, and quite appropriate—though maybe not entirely so on Friday nights. Ace would advise, however, against taking up the nicknames of Eric II of Norway, a.k.a. the Priesthater, Arnulf III of Flanders, a.k.a. the Unlucky, Sviatopolk I of Kiev, a.k.a. the Damned, or least of all James II of England. His not-so-reverent Irish subjects called him Séamus á Chaca—Gaelic for "James the Shit." And not in the cool, hip-hop way either.

If you’re not that continental, maybe something presidential. Give ‘Em Hell Ace (a la Harry Truman) has a nice ring to it, as does Honest Ace (after Lincoln), or Lighthorse Ace Atkins, after Lighthorse Harry Lee, George Washington’s righthand man and Robert E.’s father. Not so much His Rotundity (John Adams) or Queen Victoria in Riding Breeches (Rutherford Hayes).

Maybe you’re a big Scorsese fan? Try a mafia nickname. Ace "Acey Ha Ha" Atkins (after mobster Louis Attanasio) or Ace "Bubble Gum" Atkins (John Silvestri) both have a certain lighthearted menace to them. Ace "Gazut" Atkins (Vincent Calderazzo) is cool, but it might get a little tiresome thinking someone’s just sneezed every time you hear your name called.
 
The Old West has some good ones too. Buffalo, Calamity and Wild Ace Atkins all have the potential to strike fear into the hearts of city slickers the world over. Ultimately, though, these things have to develop organically. If someone dubs you Horseteeth, you’ve just got to grin and bear it. With that massive, Chiclet-filled grin of yours.

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