Created By: AFP on December 27, 2010 Last Edited By: AFP on January 3, 2011
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Hometown Nickname

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Exactly What It Says on the Tin: When a character is referred to pretty much exclusively by where he comes from.

This is Truth in Television, if you look in historical documents, you will find that many people were distinguished by where they came from (other common identifiers included trade or profession and distinguishing features). When surnames became common, towns of origin were often assigned as family names.

Sub-Trope of Only Known by Their Nickname.

Examples:

  • El Dorado: Mississippi, born on the river, and mostly called that because of his Overly Long Name.
  • Kasuga Ayumu in Azumanga Daioh is only known as Osaka.
  • Lois calling Clark "Smallville" in Superman: The Animated Series.
    • Followed by her doing the same thing in Smallville
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: Brisco goes undercover using the name "Kansas Wily Stafford" ("Kansas" for short). Then the real Kansas Wily Stafford shows up...
    • Brisco, however, is an inversion. People keep assuming Brisco County is where he's from, a point which he has to clarify not to be the case.
  • Yosemite Sam, possibly.
  • Indiana Jones is at first assumed to be this, until the third movie, where we learn he took his name from his dog.
  • Nevada Smith, an Indy parody, in Apogee Software's Pharaoh's Tomb.
  • Medicine Man, Dr. Rae Crane is known as Bronx.
  • Almost every character in Zombieland. At first it's just something that Tallahassee insists on to avoid emotional ties with other survivors, but through the course of the movie, almost every character ends up only being referred to by where they are from (or, in the Flash Back, by their apartment numbers), with the only exceptions being The Cameo and, at the end of the movie, Wichita.
  • The old TV show, The Virginian.
  • Subverted in Forrest Gump.
    "There was Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland - he was from Detroit; and Tex... well, I don't remember where Tex come from." (Played straight there, Tex was from Texas.)
  • Played with in Gunhed with the character "Brooklyn" who's Japanese...and wears a Dodgers baseball shirt. He doesn't get it because by that time the team was in L.A.
  • Hudson Hawk. The title character's real first name is Eddie, he grew up in a town called Hoboken on the Hudson River in New Jersey.
  • Coyote Ugly - When Violet first takes a job at the bar she's know as Jersey, her home state.
  • Superted - The Big Bad Texas Pete.
  • Santiago of Twilight is from Santiago. Given her age, not only does no one call her by her given name, almost no one knows it.
  • Doc Pseudopolis is a high ranking member of Ankh-Morkpork's guild of gamblers on Terry Pratchett Disc World. He makes a living of people whose fathers never warned them not to gamble with a man named Doc or anyone named after a city.
  • CSI: New York: Danny calls Lindsay "Montana". Only a partial example as he seems to be the only one on the show to call her that.
Community Feedback Replies: 45
  • December 27, 2010
    archie
    Alternate title suggestion: Hometown Nickname

  • December 27, 2010
    randomsurfer
    • Smallville: Lois calls Clark the mocking nickname "Smallville."
    • The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr: Brisco goes undercover using the name "Kansas Wily Stafford" ("Kansas" for short). Then the real Kansas Wily Stafford shows up...
      • Heck, Brisco County himself maybe.
  • December 27, 2010
    TonyG
  • December 27, 2010
    Jonti
    • Medicine Man, Dr. Rae Crane is known as Bronx.
  • December 27, 2010
    brogaglas
    Everyone in Zombieland is given a town-based nickname by Tallahassee. He based his own and his partner Columbus' on their respective hometowns. How he named nomadic sisters Wichita and Little Rock isn't revealed.
  • December 27, 2010
    AFP
    Actually, Columbia explains the Theme Naming to the girls and they introduce themselves thus. Wichita's real name Watch the movie, is revealed at the end.
  • December 27, 2010
    JoeG
    Azumanga Daioh: Ayumu Kasuga, better known as Osaka.
  • December 27, 2010
    AFP
    Is it Ayumu Kasuga or Kasuga Ayumu? Gotta love Eastern-Western naming conventions.
  • December 27, 2010
    JonnyB
    • The old TV show, The Virginian.

    • Subverted in Forrest Gump.
      "There was Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland - he was from Detroit; and Tex... well, I don't remember where Tex come from." (Played straight there, Tex was from Texas.)
  • December 27, 2010
    SKJAM
    Played with in Gunhed with the character "Brooklyn" who's Japanese...and wears a Dodgers baseball shirt. He doesn't get it because by that time the team was in L.A.
  • December 27, 2010
    Generality
    Alan a Dale in the Robin Hood mythos.

    Real Life example: Leonardo da Vinci. (There's a lot of this in the middle ages, where last names hadn't been invented yet)
  • December 27, 2010
    SomeGuy
    I like Hometown Nickname, maybe Homeland Nickname so it's a little broader.
  • December 28, 2010
    Koveras
    I think the prominent pagans in The Mists Of Avalon often refer to Jesus as "Nazarean"... Can anyone confirm that?

    Do partial examples count? Ilya Muromets from Russian Mythology And Tales is nicknamed after his hometown Murom (though his given name Ilya is used just as if not more often).
  • December 28, 2010
    archie
    @AFP: It's Kasuga Ayumu.
  • December 28, 2010
    Worldmaker
    Why is the fact that, in Zombieland Witchita's real first name is revealed spoiler-tagged? It's not like this is an important plot point for the movie or anything. Seem's stupid and unnecessary to me. Just sayin' is all.
  • December 28, 2010
    Arivne
    Film
    • Hudson Hawk. The title character's real first name is Eddie, he grew up in a town called Hoboken on the Hudson River in New Jersey.
  • December 28, 2010
    CrypticMirror
    Truth In Television, if you look in historical documents that is how lots of people were referred to (other common identifiers were nationality, trade or profession, and distinguishing features) and when surnames became necessary, towns of origin were assigned as family names.
  • December 28, 2010
    JonnyB
    Another RL: Famous pool player Minnesota Fats.

    A lot of cowboy movies have cowboys named "Tex." It's almost cliche.
  • December 28, 2010
    Jonti
    Alternate Name Suggestion: Placename Name.

    • Coyote Ugly - When Violet first takes a job at the bar she's know as Jersey, her home state.
    • Superted - The Big Bad Texas Pete.
  • December 28, 2010
    randomsurfer
    @Jonny B: Minnesota Fats named himself after the character in The Hustler (which he claimed was based on him); he was previously known as "Triple-Smart Fats," "New York Fats," "Broadway Fats," and "Chicago Fats."
  • December 28, 2010
    KingOHearts
    Literature: In a novel by Max Shulman, he refers to this when he says all the guys in his army platoon went by their home state as a nickname. "Kentucky", "New York", etc. He builds on the joke by talking about his buddy, "District of Columbia".
  • December 28, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
  • December 28, 2010
    RedWren
    • Santiago of Twilight is from Santiago. Given her age, not only does no one call her by her given name, almost no one knows it.
  • December 28, 2010
    dangerwaffle
    Aren't the Zombieland nicknames the places they're trying to get to, not where they're from? Am I remembering wrong?
  • December 28, 2010
    AFP
    Bit of both, I think. If they were called by where they were trying to get to, I guess the girls would be collectively known as "Pacific Playland"
  • December 30, 2010
    Worldmaker
    Played with in Forrest Gump: "There was Dallas, from Phoenix. Cleveland - he was from Detroit. Tex... well, I don't remember where Tex come from."
  • December 30, 2010
    AFP
    Any votes on titles? I'm fond of "Only Known By Their Hometown" or some variation of it in reference to Only Known By Their Nickname, but I'll go with the majority on it.
  • December 30, 2010
    CrypticMirror
  • December 30, 2010
    c0ry
    In Doctor Who (the new series), at the end of Last of the Time Lords, it is heavily implied that Jack's nickname, The Face of Boe, will become his only name in about 200,000 years.
  • December 30, 2010
    TBeholder
    • The Chief of Secret Investigations in Labyrinths of Echo during his early carrier as a hired killer was known as "The Hunter of Kettari", because a provincial strong mage was noteworthy. It was frequently reduced to "Kettarian", his theory being that this version was easier to say between teeth, as if spitting -- he was rather unpopular in the city even despite ongoing civil war.
  • December 30, 2010
    Zulfiqar
    How about Mr Hometown for a title?
  • December 30, 2010
    foxley
    Legion Of Super Heroes villain Tyr, from the planet Tyrraz. It is explained that this is the equivalent of someone from Texas being nicknamed Tex.
  • January 1, 2011
    AFP
    Considering that a lot of these are for nicknames in addition to singular names, I'm fine with "Known By Their Hometown". Anybody want to pitch in votes for the possible names? We've got Only Known By Their Hometown (snowclone of Only Known By Their Nickname), Known By Their Hometown (bonus points for being just that little bit less to type when potholing), Mr Hometown, Hometown Nickname or Homeland Nickname. Any preferences?
  • January 1, 2011
    RedWren
    ^ I like Hometown Nickname, and dislike Mr Hometown because it implies gender, a more rigid way of putting the hometown (Mr. Chicago, Chicago, and Chicago lass would all work for the trope), and it would require a ptitle or something odd.
  • January 1, 2011
    DAN004
    Does calling somebody "the slouch from <hometown>" or "<hometown> hobo" count?
  • January 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In the Human Target episode "Taking Ames" all the perps in a big museum heist job have city Code Names a la the Colorful Theme Naming in The Taking Of Pelham 123: Chicago, Memphis, Boise, London, Dallas.
  • January 2, 2011
    Zulfiqar
    I support Hometown Nickname.
  • January 2, 2011
    JoeG
    In Buckaroo Banzai, Jeff Goldblum's character is known only as "New Jersey".
  • January 2, 2011
    randomsurfer
    "My name's Tex, officer," said the cowboy. "eh?" said the police officer, "Are you from Texas?" "Nope, Louisiana." "Louisiana? So why are you called Tex? ...

    [contributed by andjam; I just fixed the formatting. What's this from, BTW?]
  • January 2, 2011
    AFP
    So, Hometown Nickname it is I guess, launching in 12 hours.
  • January 2, 2011
    LokiL
    Doc Pseudopolis is a high ranking member of Ankh-Morkpork's guild of gamblers on Terry Pratchett Disc World. He makes a living of people whose fathers never warned them not to gamble with a man named Doc or anyone named after a city.
  • January 2, 2011
    Scooter007
    in CSI New York Danny calls Lindsay "Montana". Only a partial example as he seems to be the only one on the show to call her that.
  • January 2, 2011
    JonnyB
    @randomsurfer: after a quick Google, it appears to be a joke, with the punchline being, "I don't want to be called Louise." Can't find any indication that it was ever in a film, TV show or comic.
  • January 2, 2011
    DavidChaos
    • Survivor has an example in three different seasons with "Boston" Rob. Justified due to his first season running into the One Steve Limit
  • January 2, 2011
    peccantis
    Kasuga Ayumu in Azumanga Daioh is only known as Osaka.
    • Trope was enforced in-universe by one of her new friends, whose idea the nickname originally was. Also lampshaded/discussed as said friend declared on the spoit that shows have characters from Osaka only known as Osaka (and that such is funny).

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