Why do British squaddies have such shyte nicknames?

Goatman

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We had a lad with a Polish surname who was just known as 'Trotsky'and another lad had bad acne as a teenager and spent the next 22 years being called 'Spot'. Both refuse to this day to answer to their 'proper' names
We had an ethnic Chinese Lance-jack called L****ngnam who was consistently referred to by SNCOs as 'Lance Corporal 69 '. There was also a determined effort on the part of some of the Scousers to change this to 'Semtex'

Asked why? 'Cos he'd blow any fúcker up mate'

And a WO2 with a double barreled surname jocularly referred to -out of his hearing- as Smiff-Emptyhead.

Also a lad from Nottingham of Ukrainian heritage universally known as 'Ski'.

In answer to the OP's rhetorical question - it's cos they're pongoes. Navy does better nicknames, some of which go back centuries.

Check numerous threads on the dark blue side.

When I was in the RNR, my unit boasted one 'Windy' Gale, one 'Shiner' Wright, one 'Tansy' Lee and several 'Sharkey' Wards. And a rail thin chef - inevitably known to all as 'Split-pin'

I also served with a guy called Lammiman, known throughout the ship as 'Doc' - refers to an early Medical Director General (Navy) of the same name. Tall skinny lad, liked to wear a frock coat when he went ashore.

On the same short draft, a big intimidating killick stoker called 'Blood' Reid - he being fae Glasgow.
 
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I quite liked one of mine (I've been given a few).

I'm half Geordie and half Japanese; I was born in Maizuru to a Japanese mother and my father was a Geordie engineer building ships in Kyoto at the time.

I ended up being brought up in North Shields, looking Japanese, but with a strong Geordie accent.

Anyway, I walked into the troop office one morning to check to see if I had any mail and my troop sergeant starts calling me Whey-Aye-Banzai and it stuck.

Banzai for short.
 
If Waterproof of 156 Co RMP circa 1985 is reading this, I'm so sorry I've completely forgotten your real name.
 
I quite liked one of mine (I've been given a few).

I'm half Geordie and half Japanese; I was born in Maizuru to a Japanese mother and my father was a Geordie engineer building ships in Kyoto at the time.

I ended up being brought up in North Shields, looking Japanese, but with a strong Geordie accent.

Anyway, I walked into the troop office one morning to check to see if I had any mail and my troop sergeant starts calling me Whey-Aye-Banzai and it stuck.

Banzai for short.
My CO in ATC epitomised everything negative about RAF VR(T) officers. He was the most obvious nonce imaginable, but never did anything that crossed the line. Plus, he was an utter bastard, but not in a good way.

He was bald, but effectively hid the fact by careful use of a comb-over. So well hidden was his baldness, that he was known by all as 'chrome dome'. We had other balding officers who just trimmed their hair short; they didn't get the same treatment.
 

Sixty

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My surname with a Y on the end. Honestly, neither David Niven nor Peter Ustinov would have topped the raconteur-esque invention required for such witty badinage.
 

Helm

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Worked with a bloke everybody called Moose, couldn't for the life of me work out why. Finally asked WTF is the moose thing, to be told it's moose as in Thermoose he's got a vacuum between his ears
 
My surname with a Y on the end. Honestly, neither David Niven nor Peter Ustinov would have topped the raconteur-esque invention required for such witty badinage.
My last name sounds a bit like 'onion' which is a handle that has been bestowed on three generations of us onions at least.

On learning of my last name, people often point and go "onion!" and then laugh uproariously as though they are the soul of originality and wit.

That said, the word 'urine' also sounds a bit like my last name as well. In my brief dalliance with military organisations, I was first given that as a handle before it was foreshortened simply to 'piss'.

Sigh......

Edited to add: I may regret mentioning this on Arrse......
 
In my first unit during the early seventies, one of the gun fitters in the LAD was nicknamed Tojo......not because he was Japanese, he was actually from Yorkshire, but he wore the cheap wire National Health specs and looked like the Emperor Hirohito when he wore them.
 
Knew a guy called 'Bratty'. He was allegedly caught red handed knocking one out while sucking on a Bratwurst.
No idea if the story was true but the name stuck.
I had one similar to that. I remember a private who was called Superman - because he was found doing a hand shandy in a phone booth behind the bowling alley at Camp Ripley, MN. Dunno if he was sucking on a bratwurst through the vinegar strokes though. :?
 
One of ours was called 'Gobbler' because his job before enlisting was as an Artificial inseminator' for a well know Turkey Twizzler producer and he was proud of that job. He loved his nickname and would tell anyone willing to listen all about it. Real name, not a bloody clue ...... I'm lucky I can remember yesterday never mind over 40 years ago
 

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