"Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive."
Thomas Chandler Haliburton,
(1796-1865), one of the first major Canadian authors
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Some Native Americans have two names, one of which is never made public because of the power it would give another person over them.
It is common in parts of West Africa for people to name their children for the day on which they were born. Sunday is Awushie, Monday is Adojoa, Tuesday is Abla, Wednesday is Aku, Thursday is Awo, Friday is Afua, and Saturday is Ama.
In seventeenth-century Europe people made anagrams from names and believed these words formed from rearranging the letters would give a clue to a person's characteristics. Teresa is a teaser, Pat is apt, Greta is great, Mona likes to moan, and Dora travels on the road.
There were tribes in the mountains of northwest Africa known as anonymi, or people without names. These small, isolated groups of people were described by Pliny, an ancient Roman historian.
The Ojibway Indians of North America once considered it dangerous to speak the names of their own husbands and wives.
The people of Indonesia may change their names after they have suffered some misfortune or have had a serious illness. They believe a new name will confuse the evil spirits that brought them grief.
ORIGIN OF ATHLETE NICKNAMES
Thomas “Pepper” Johnson - This New York Giants football player received his nickname from his grandmother. He loved pepper so much, he put it on everything he ate.
Sonny “The Drummer Boy” Liston - As a boxer, Sonny beat his opponents the same way a drummer beats a bongo.
Willie “The Say Hey Kid” Mays - Willie Mays was one of the most famous baseball players of all time. As a rookie, he would often shout “Say hey over there” to people whose names he did not know.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth - The New York Yankees' Babe Ruth is one of baseball's all-time legends. As a young boy, he wanted to play baseball with the older neighborhood children. When they wouldn't let him, he'd cry, and was called a baby.
Eldrick “Tiger” Woods - This golf star is named after one of his father's friends, who was a soldier in Vietnam.
Willie “Mookie” Wilson - His family gave this baseball player his name because of the funny way he said “milk” when he was a child.
STRANGE STREET NAMES
Tater Peeler Road in Lebanon, Texas
The intersection of Count and Basie in Richmond, Va.
Shades of Death Road in Warren County, N.J.
Unexpected Road in Buena, N.J.
Bucket of Blood Street in Holbrook, Ariz.
The intersection of Clinton and Fidelity in Houston
The intersection of Lonesome and Hardup in Albany, Ga.
Farfrompoopen Road in Tennessee (the only road up to Constipation Ridge)
Divorce Court in Heather Highlands, Pa.
Psycho Path in Traverse City, Mich..