Created By: dogwolfman on June 14, 2012 Last Edited By: Routerie on November 1, 2012
Nuked

English Aristocrats with childish nick names

English Aristocrats in historical fiction with very childish nick names

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This is when English aristocrats (particularly ones in historical settings) typically in positions of power and/or respect, instead of using their own dramatic sounding like say…... Bertrand Augustus Maximinus Plantagenet…. or at least respectable sounding like say…. Thomas Chamberlain full names choose instead to go by incredibly childish sounding nicknames like Bertie or Tommy, names you could easily imagine seeing on the label of a Teddy bear
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • June 14, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    I don't think it's just a British thing.

    • Sex And The City had Bunny, matriarch of the aristocratic and super-wealthy Mac Dougal family.
    • On Friends Mike's wealthy mother is called Bitsy (I think)
    • In Brideshead Revisited everyone refers to Brideshead, the eldest Flyte, as "Bridey". Sebastian doesn't have a particularly childish name but he does carry around his teddy bear Aloysius everywhere.
  • June 14, 2012
    peccantis
  • June 14, 2012
    Bisected8
    A lot of those names just sound childish because of the way they're used now. At the time they were just the typical familiar form of the names (after all, Bertie is a diminutive of Herbert, which sounds quite silly by contemporary standards itself).

    • Subversion; the nickname "Tommies" for British soldiers of all classes in World War I and World War II (mostly working) came from the default/example name on the sign-up sheets for the army. Played straight in that the form would probably have been designed by someone of at least middle class.
  • June 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Jeeves And Wooster stories are filled with these. Bertram Wilberforce "Bertie" Wooster himself, and friends Hildebrande "Tuppy" Glossop, Oofy Prosser, Rev. Harold "Stinker" Pinker, etc. Mostly these are names from when they were in Boarding School, continued on into adulthood.
  • July 11, 2012
    FruityOatyBars
    Definitely used by the American upper class as well, particularly among women who went to private boarding schools with names like Muffy, Buffy, Chichi, and such.
  • July 11, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    In Have His Carcase, Lord Peter Wimsey refers to his cryptographer friend in the Foreign Office as "Bungo". Since Bungo had to go off to China for a month or two, Peter and Harriet take on the task of deciphering the encrypted letter found on the dead man.
  • July 11, 2012
    kjnoren
    These types of nicknames are very common within the Swedish upper crust as well.
  • July 11, 2012
    peccantis
    ^ do Hasse, Nicke and Nalle come from boarding schools as well?
  • July 11, 2012
    kjnoren
    Hasse and Nicke are "normal" nick names (familiar forms of Hans and Niklas) - I'm more thinking about Noppe or Aje. Some of them apparently come from boarding schools, but they might have been given early in childhood as well.
  • July 11, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Not just a British thing. Winston Niles Rumfoord of Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens Of Titan was informally called "Skip."
  • July 11, 2012
    Alvin
    ^^^^Doesn't Lord Peter sign his telegram to Bungo with a silly nickname, and the reply contain other examples? I've read it, but don't have a copy. (The soldiers under his command in WWI called him 'Winderpane', but that probably doesn't count for this.)
  • July 16, 2012
    peccantis
    ^^^ out of curiosity, is Jonte "normal" too? :D
  • July 17, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ Had a looksee via Google (I too lack a hard copy, and I have yet to get an iPad for reference works like these). According to canon, Wimsey writes to "Clumps" asking that the cipher letter be passed on to "Bungo" for "a construe". Clumps' reply to "Wimbles" breaks the news of Bungo's inconveniently timed trip to China. I think in the TV production, Wimsey just mentions said inconvenient China trip and Bungo but not Clumps.

    That said, I'm pretty sure Bungo and Clumps were school chums of Wimsey's. Which reminds me, this should be a subtrope of Affectionate Nickname, with some possible overlap with Embarrassing Nickname (if the nicknamed person dislikes the "cute" sobriquet).
  • July 17, 2012
    morgulknight1
    Not a historical example, but in Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant 'verse, Lord Thornbuckle is known as "Bunny" among his peers, and his daughter spends the first book going by "Bubbles."
  • July 17, 2012
    kjnoren
    ^^^ Jonte is on a more nicknamey level than Hasse (which is so established that it can be used as the given name, compare Bob) or Nicke, but much more common than Noppe or Aje.
  • July 17, 2012
    Alvin
    ^^^Thanks.
  • July 20, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Related to Preppy Name, I think.
  • September 4, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    • Sir Percy Pelham in Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea: "...Haven't enjoyed anything so much since Tufty Wiggins dropped a water balloon on the bishop."
  • October 31, 2012
    PaulA
    • From Girl Genius: Martellus von Blitzengard, known to his peers as "Tweedle".
  • October 31, 2012
    MrRuano
    Jojos Bizarre Adventure's first protagonist, Jonathan Joestar, is the groomed birth son of an English gentleman, who is given the nickname of "Jojo" considering the Added Alliterative Appeal of his name. This name becomes a trademark for each following Joestar.
  • October 31, 2012
    CarrieVS
    Lampshaded in Discworld by Vimes, who remarks that all of Lady Sybil's schoolfriends (upper class females) are known by names like Bubbles.

    Also what about the fact that if anyone over the age of ten calls their parents Mummy and Daddy (instead of, e.g. Mum and Dad) it's a sure-fire sign that they're upper class.
  • October 31, 2012
    Bisected8
    ^ Or Mumsie.
  • October 31, 2012
    robinjohnson
    This trope is omnipresent in the works of PG Wodehouse (not just the Jeeves stories as someone already mentioned).
  • November 1, 2012
    robinjohnson
    I think this may be a case for a (sort of) Trope Namer title such as Lord "Chuffy" Chufnell. The point isn't that you've heard of the character (most people won't have; he's a friend of Bertie Wooster's in one of the Jeeves stories) but that it portrays the concept more concisely, and not much less clearly, than a mouthful like Posh People With Childish Nicknames.
  • November 1, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Also from Discworld, also from Vimes, also about associates of Sybil's, the Interchangeable Emmas. They're the upperclass women who help Sybil with her dragon charity, and he can never remember their names.
  • November 1, 2012
    robinjohnson
    ^ I don't think that's an example, as Emma isn't a childish name.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=uq7j0bf76ftokcw9ivc58cg0&trope=DiscardedYKTTW