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How to earn yourself a cool nickname

High-quality nicknames do not just fall into your lap — you must work hard for them

Unless you want others to choose your fate for you, you must be the one to select your ideal nickname.
Unless you want others to choose your fate for you, you must be the one to select your ideal nickname.

Everybody longs for a cool nickname. A good nickname is more than simply a word — it is a lifestyle. Picture this — you are out on a first date, trying to make a good first impression, when your friend passes you and says, “Sup, Knuckles.” Your date would certainly be impressed by your tough reputation. However, nicknames can also backfire. Imagine this scenario — you are walking down the street, minding your own business, when a friend shouts out, “Hey, Zip! Your fly is down!” To avoid these sorts of embarrassing situations — I’m embarrassed for you — you must take nickname-crafting into your own hands.

You may be wondering what credibility I have to guide you towards earning yourself a cool nickname. My expertise in nickname creation began at the Thanksgiving dinner table with my cousins. I, like anyone else, had been longing for a cool nickname. I said, “Hey guys, I have a fun idea! We should give each other nicknames.” Without skipping a beat, one of my cousins said, “How about ‘Doofus’ for you?”

I laughed off the joke, hoping that I would get a real nickname later. We went around the table and came up with a nickname for each cousin. One got “Buzz” for his energy, another got “Slowwww Rollll” for his chill vibe and a different cousin got “Top Dog” for his competitive nature. I gifted my older brother with the nickname of “Little Bird” for his constant chirping.

Despite many attempts to replace my own nickname of “Doofus” with a different one, though, it stuck. I will forever be known as “Doofus” at family gatherings. 

Looking back, I made the mistake of letting others choose my nickname for me. To protect you from this life of regret, I am here to guide you through the delicate process of earning yourself an awesome nickname.

Unless you want others to choose your fate for you, you must be the one to select your ideal nickname. This task requires honest self-reflection — what do you want to be known for in this cruel, cruel world? To guide you through this decision, I have outlined several respectable ways to choose a great nickname.

One approach is to choose a word or phrase that encapsulates your personality. I encourage you to get creative here. Jot down a list of 200 ideas or so to get started. To help with your brainstorming, I used several nickname generators and consulted many trusted sources, such as Facebook and magazines I found in my eye doctor’s lobby. I was extremely satisfied with the results. I have listed the coolest ones below.

  • Crazy Baby
  • Rizz Muffin
  • Hashbrown
  • Hellfire
  • Pee

Another approach is to pick a word that starts with the same letter as your name. For example, a person named Pete might be nicknamed “Prankster Pete,” while someone named Reese might have a nickname of “Rocket Reese.” To save you some time, I have listed a cool word for every letter of the alphabet. Use the word that corresponds to your name’s first letter.

A — Applebee’s

B — Booty Patrol

C — Cheez Whiz

D — Dental

E — Effed up

F — Filthy

G — Grape Man

H — Hank

I — Incumbent

J — Jingle Jangle

K — Killjoy

L — Loofah

M — Milkboy

N — No Good

O — Oinksalot

P — Pickpocket

Q — Quilt Square

R — Rinky Dink

S — Sporky

T — Turn it up

U — Unemployed

V — Velcro

W — Wigglebot

X — Xerox

Y — Yippee Ki Yay

Z — Zoinkerson

If your only personality trait is being a student at U.Va., do not fret — simply select a nickname that represents which type of U.Va. student you are.

  • “Cram Risk” — for the student who always waits until the due date.
  • “Crinkle” — for the student who is always snacking during class. They reach into that chip bag like their life depends on it to rescue the last few crumbs.
  • “Emergency Exit” — for the student who has not yet mastered the art of drinking water. It “goes down the wrong pipe” and they run out of the classroom to save themselves from a humiliating public coughing fit.
  • “Jet” — for the student whose computer is so old that it sounds like a tiny jet takes off
  • “Note Wrangler” — for any classmate who asks for notes more than five times per week.
  • “Public Health Hazard” — for the student with the worst cough you've ever heard in your life who always chooses to sit directly behind you during lecture.

Once you’ve picked your desired nickname, the next step is to plant a seed. If sown correctly, this seed will grow into a beautiful flower, and people will begin to call you by your nickname. A subtle example of how to plant a seed might be, “Man, I eat Captain Crunch cereal so much. I guess you could just call me — oh, I don’t know — Cap’n?” Keep in mind that there is absolutely no guarantee that your desired nickname will stick — brace yourself to be called “Crunch” instead if you have mean-spirited cousins.

Finally, once people are referring to you by your nickname, you must live up to it. For instance, if your nickname is “Knuckles,” you should probably punch a minimum of seven people every day. If your friend calls you Knuckles while you are out on a date, prove your worth by punching the nearest bystander — most likely your date. They will certainly appreciate it. If you fail to live up to your nickname, you could risk losing everything you worked for. 

I, for example, work very hard every day to live up to my nickname of “Doofus.” With enough dedication, you can live up to your nickname too.


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