- Paul White
- ARRSE Rating
- 4 Mushroom Heads
And every single one of them is right!" (Kipling)
This work is an entertaining, encyclopaedic, charmingly discursive, and very well researched (standfast the odd grammatical infelicity) analysis of all the crazy nicknames that attach to the surnames of British matelots. Paul White is to be congratulated on compiling this compendium. NB Wingnut for anyone with sticking-out ears and similar nicknames based on appearance or character are outside the scope of this volume.
Just to show I was paying attention I would offer up Basildon Bond, Bruno Brown, Knocker Grace, Davy Jones, Jonah Jones and Bill Sykes (some of those known to me personally). Admiral Bacon of WW1 was referred to in one quote I have seen as 'the Rasher'. Happy Day goes back before 1967; I seem to remember my mother knowing someone with that nickname from the 1940s. Similarly Buck Taylor certainly predates 'Gunsmoke' as I knew a Petty Officer of that name in 1965. Daisy May may relate to Daisy Mae, L'i'l Abner's girlfriend in the American comic strip of that name. It will be interesting to see how many names derived from 'modern' TV figures or footballers survive or indeed are superseded by other popular stars.
These are nitpicks. I learnt a a lot from this book including the origins of several nicknames which have always baffled me.