->''"Given in scorn, adopted in pride."''

When a person (often a superhero, villain or more grounded criminal) takes his name from a nickname, an insult, or a botched pronunciation, spoken or spread in print by someone else.

In real life, this could extend to criminals who adopt the moniker given them in the press. A subversion could be a criminal corresponding with the press to "correct" the error like Son of Sam or Jack the Ripper.

Can be a form of InsultBackfire when the name was meant to be derogatory. Arguably a form of in-universe AscendedFanon.

Compare: LineOfSightName, {{Namedar}}, TitleDrop, AscendedMeme. Compare and contrast NamedByDemocracy where someone is often forced to accept the name others use instead of willfully adopting it, possibly even lacking the ability to appropriate or protest the name. When a whole group of people does this it's NWordPrivileges.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* "Chad" of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' got his name when Ichigo met him, and mispronounced his real name "Sado" (the Japanese version uses "Chado").
* In ''Manga/RaveMaster'', the name of the [[TheSyndicate Demon Card]] organization was originally supposed to be Demon ''Guard'' instead (as they were an anti-demon security force before their StartOfDarkness), but the original founder painted the sign the wrong way in the middle of the night and failed to notice it in time. However, the name stuck.
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Light is quickly dubbed Kira ("killer" approximated in Japanese) by the media, and decides to use that name in his dealings with others. He dislikes how it's obviously derived from "killer", but it's what the world already knows him as, so he might as well go along with it.
* ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'' got their name from reporters mishearing Ichigo's introduction of "Uh, we're from Cafe Mew Mew in Tokyo...", partially thanks to Minto, who, having some sense, muffled her to protect their secret identities.
* Played straight in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' with Patrick Colasour. He survives getting his ass kicked by the Gundams enough that he earns the nickname "Colasour The Indestructible". He seems oblivious they're disparaging him. [[ColonelBadass Kati Mannequin]] tries to explain it to him once; apparently, he doesn't know what "disparage" means.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Zoro was frequently called the Pirate Hunter, as he was a bounty hunter, and pirates were the most likely people to hold bounties. But the reality was that Zoro needed their bounty money to pay for food and to repair his swords. Also, this could have easily been the epithet for any other bounty hunter.
** Now that he's one of the most wanted pirates in the world, he's STILL called "Pirate Hunter Zoro", which doesn't really make sense considering he's, well, a pirate. Unless you consider that plenty of the people's he's fought have been ''other pirates''. It's only been in his more recent incidents where he's attacked the government.
* Jeremiah Gottwald of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' lands the nickname Orange in association with the scandal to which he was linked by Zero. Eventually he takes it as a symbol of loyalty [[spoiler: once he learns of Zero's identity and motives]].
* Gon, the main character of ''Manga/HunterXHunter,'' names his Rock-Paper-Scissor (Janken) move Jajanken after he stutters on the first syllable and his opponent thinks he called it Jajanken on purpose (Jajan! as a surprise, and Janken for the rock-paper-scissors)
* In the backstory of ''LightNovel/SaiunkokuMonogatari,'' Ko Houju was called "kijin (weirdo)" as an insult. After he was rejected by a woman for being [[SoBeautifulItsACurse too much more beautiful than herself]], he began wearing masks constantly and calling himself Ko Kijin, which is the name that most of the other characters of the series know him by.
* Izuku Midoriya of ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' spent his life being insulted with the nickname "Deku" (an AlternateCharacterReading of his name) by [[FormerFriendOfAlphaBitch childhood friend-turned-bully]] [[StuffBlowingUp Bakugo]]. Bakugo meant "Deku" to mean "weakling," but [[GravityMaster Ochako]], Izuku's crush, interpreted it with another meaning, "[[{{Determinator}} never gives up]]." This causes Izuku to not only like it, but even adopt "Deku" as his Hero Name.
* In ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'', it's standard practice for the [[HunterOfMonsters CCG]] to assign an alias to unknown Ghouls. Many embrace them and start using these nicknames as their [[RedBaron alias]] among their own kind as well. Perhaps the most famous example is the One-Eyed Owl, who gleefully embraced this title as their own.
* Osaka from ''Anime/AzumangaDaioh'' is named this by her classmates in lieu of her real name, Ayumu. Osaka (the place) has a reputation for being backwards.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': Princess Hisui commented that the dragon Zirconis' hide was colored jade, and that her own name also meant jade. Zirconis decided "The Jade Dragon" had a nice ring to it, and it became his RedBaron.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Creator/DCComics, ComicBook/BoosterGold got his strange name when he flubbed his own intended name, "Gold Star", along with his college football nickname "Booster", when asked by UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan. He also gave Doomsday his name in ''Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman'' when, after Franchise/{{Superman}} caught an airborne Booster, he mentioned that "It was like Doomsday is here!" When Superman confronts him, he says "What did you call him? Oh, yeah: '''''Doomsday'''''."
* Subverted in ''ComicBook/SupergirlCosmicAdventuresInThe8thGrade''. A reporter asks Kara if she is some kind of Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}. Later she chooses to call herself Supergirl, but she gave no indication she got her name from that random reporter.
* Modern age ComicBook/PlasticMan got his name from flubbing "[[RubberMan Elastic Man]]", also when asked by a reporter. This is actually a retcon; when the character was created, "plastic" meant the same as "elastic", before plastic was so well-known and widely used as the material. There is a song by The Fall called, "How I wrote Elastic man"; in one verse it says "How I wrote elastic man" and ends with "How I wrote Plastic man" Coincidence?
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** In at least one version of his origin, Jonathan Crane was called nasty names, one of them being "Scarecrow".
** Ditto with Harvey "Comicbook/TwoFace" Dent, at least in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
** ComicBook/TheJoker himself, according to ''The Man Who Laughs''. This is initially what the media calls him, since they don't know anything about him except for his clown-like appearance -- he loves the name and decides to embrace it.
* The UrExample with the DCU was the entire, original ComicBook/DoomPatrol. The press gave them superhero handles, which they initially rejected as "freak names," but eventually embraced. (Though they never called ''each other'' by those names.)
* ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' got his name from someone saying to him "What do you think you are, invincible?"
* The ''ComicBook/HeroesReborn'' ContinuityReboot attempt had the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk and ComicBook/IronMan do this to each other when their origins were mashed up into a single storyline. (Tony used the H-word when he first saw the mutated Banner, and the Hulk liked the sound of it; the other side was just applied HulkSpeak.) Similarly, when ComicBook/BettyRoss first saw the Gamma-transformed Emil Blonsky, she described him as "some kind of... abomination!" Guess what his supervillain name became...
* ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica's ComicBook/TheAtom got this name for his short stature. He kept it after he became a vigilante.
* ComicBook/{{Daredevil}} was a mocking name Matt Murdock received back in school for not playing sports. Later parodied in a ''ComicBook/MiniMarvels'' comic.
* This has become the default way of explaining why superheroes have their superhero names: somebody in the media giving it to them. The 80s reboots of both Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/WonderWoman have them get their names this way.
* Hollis Mason of ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'' was given the sarcastic nickname "Nite Owl" by a co-worker irritated by Mason's early bedtime. At the same time, he was looking to become a "costumed adventurer," but was stuck for a name...
-->"'Nite Owl.' I liked it. Now all I had to come up with was the costume."
* ComicBook/YoungJustice -- somehow surfaced when team {{Cloudcuckoolander}} ComicBook/{{Impulse}} tried explaining to the press that he, [[Comicbook/RobinSeries Robin]], and ComicBook/{{Superboy}} weren't the Comicbook/TeenTitans, but "just us".
** ComicBook/{{Impulse}}'s own name is an example, he adopted the name after Batman called him impulsive.
* ComicBook/{{Hawkman}} villain Ira Quimby was called IQ by his criminal associates not only because of his initials, but [[IronicNickname as an ironic statement about how stupid he was.]] When he discovered a trinket that gave him incredible intelligence, he decided to keep the name.
* The ComicBook/UltimateMarvel version of Mysterio.
--> "'But you can keep calling me Mysterio. I like that. I would have never come up with that name myself but it's out there now... and I like it.'"
** [[spoiler: This may have been a ruse by Ultimate Mysterio, who was revealed to be an android controlled by the mainstream Mysterio.]]
** It should also be noted that in an early issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, when somebody made a movie about the hero, the villain/monster was a fictional-in-universe Mysterio.
* ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'': The term "The New Scum" was coined by presidential candidate Gary "The Smiler" Callahan as an insulting reference to Spider Jerusalem's audience; the term was appropriated to a degree during the scandal that broke out after Spider leaked that outburst to the public.
* Inverted with Marvel's adhesives-based villain The Trapster, who ''started out'' calling himself Paste-Pot Pete! [[NeverLiveItDown/ComicBooks He's regretted it ever since, as everyone uses his old name as an insult and ignores the new one.]]
* In ''ComicBook/PS238'', the MostCommonSuperpower isn't big boobs, it's [[FlyingBrick F.I.S.S.]]. CuteBruiser Julie is the eighty-fourth of these documented and as such feels a little inferior until she gains some [[CharacterDevelopment confidence]]. She then registers "84" as her official hero name, possibly because [[ShroudedInMyth Moon Shadow]] was the first one to call her that.
* ''Magazine/{{Mad}}'' artist Don Martin created ''ComicBook/CaptainKlutz'', whose name derived from the insult ("You Klutz!") of a robber he captured by accident. (Young Ringo Fonebone had actually been attempting suicide when he landed on top of the fleeing crook.) When a police Captain asked for his name, the dazed Fonebone replied, "I'm a Klutz, Captain." Perhaps not a pure example, as Fonebone was briefly amnesiac, and actually thought it was his real name, at least at first.
* The Comicbook/NewWarriors got named when a random reporter referred to them that way, and Night Thrasher hurriedly announced they'd be sticking with that before any of his team could come up with anything more embarrassing.
* It's often said that Batman gave [[Franchise/TheFlash Bart]] the codename "Impulse" as a warning. This is actually a {{retcon}}; he created it himself during ''Comicbook/ZeroHour'' (though all-but-confirmed in his second appearance a month before and reinforced a few issues later in the main ''Flash'' ongoing), a fact even his [[Creator/MarkWaid creator]] forgot.
* In Chapter 2 of ''ComicBook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'', we see the Beagle Boys evolving from river pirates to who they are today, except they had a bit of trouble naming their group -- throughout the comic they considered naming themselves "the Mardi Gras Gang" (their employer, Porker Hogg, got their masks from said event), "the Dirty Double-Crossing Dogs", and "the Masked Marauders". Eventually, when Scrooge tricked the gang and saved the day, he announced to the nearby government ship, who came to investigate, "These are the awful '''Beagle Boys!'''"
-->'''Beagle Boy 1:''' "The Beagle Boys"! Catchy! Simple, yet elegant!\\
'''Beagle Boy 2:''' Not bad! Rolls off the tongue!
* CorruptCorporateExecutive [[ComicBook/{{Bamse}} Krösus Sork]] ("Croesus Vole") apparently adopted "Krösus" as his given name based on an ironic derogatory nickname in school (as TheUnfavourite, he never had any money). AFAIK, we have never seen his real name - but an earlier version of him was called "Sigge", so [[WildMassGuessing presumably]] he was Sigmund Sork or something.
* Arseface from ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'', after hearing Cassidy say he has "a face like an arse" and then seeing his father shoot himself. He takes up his new moniker in a straight send-up of many classic scenes:
-->- "Uh wuh huh vuhhyuh uh Juhh Cuhh! Vuhhyuh fuh uh bluh uh muh fuhh! Uh uh uh huh uh fuh luh uh uhh -- ''suh buh uh!'' Uh wuh becuhh '''Uhhfuhh!'''" (I will have vengeance on Jesse Custer! Vengeance for the blood of my father! And if I have a face like an arse -- ''so be it!'' I will become '''Arseface!''')
** It's worth pointing out that Arseface [[DidNotDoTheBloodyResearch doesn't actually know what the word "arse" means]].
* In ''ComicBook/PunisherNoir'', Detective Martin Soap nicknames the mysterious vigilante who's been wreaking havoc on the Manhattan underworld "The Punisher", after a popular radio drama he theorizes inspired the man. He's partially correct -- our protagonist took a few pages from his favorite radio show when he started his RoaringRampageOfRevenge, but he never really had a name for himself before he heard the one Soap gave him.
* ComicBook/CaptainMarVell made his debut when he stopped a killer robot sent by his own superiors in the Kree army that was sent to KillAllHumans. During the battle the robot kept addressing him by his rank and name "Captain Mar-Vell". Bystanders misheard and assumed that Mar-Vell was a new superhero named "Captain Marvel". Mar-Vell decided to go along with it. Used again with his ComicBook/UltimateMarvel incarnation, Marh-Vell. When interrogating him, Carol Danvers hears his name as "Marvel", and thinks he's a new superhero (and a Native America to boot). In fairness, with his armour, he does look like a superhero.
* According to ''The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix'', Comicbook/XMen [[Characters/XMenRoguesGallery enemy]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Mr. Sinister]] got his name from the curses of his dying wife. Appropriately enough for a guy who became a supervillain in the 1800s, you don't get more gothic than that.
* ''ComicBook/FantasticFour''
** The Thing got the idea for his codename when Sue had called him such after he first transformed.
** Stretched to the breaking point for the Impossible Man. The Thing, amazed by [[GreatGazoo the new alien's metamorphic powers and glib attitude, says the alien is "impossible", as in exasperating.]] The narration automatically claims it as a moniker, calling the alien the Impossible Man.
* ''ComicBook/AstroCity'': Infidel took his name from the insult his enemies had hurled at him countless times across the centuries.
* [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] first got his nickname, ''Big Red Cheese'', from his ArchEnemy Dr. Sivana, but it was quickly adopted by both his friends and his fanbase.
* When Bruce Banner first turned into the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk, nobody else realized, besides Rick Jones. And so, a superpowerful being of unknown name and origin destroyed the military base while leaving it. The soldiers deployed to locate and kill the creature, and one unnamed soldier said, "We've got to find that... that [[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Hulk?r=75&src=ref&ch=dic hulk!!"]]
* UsefulNotes/{{The Silver Age|of Comic Books}} [[Franchise/TheFlash Flash]] gained his name when a reporter interviewing him noted Central City's mysterious new hero "sure caught that guy in a flash...what did you say your name was?" Barry responds, "you just said it--the Flash!" It helps that Barry also idolized UsefulNotes/{{the Golden Age|OfComicBooks}} Flash, Jay Garrick.
* [[SuperZeroes Butterball]], one of the most pathetic heroes of the Marvel setting got his name from a rather surly Comicbook/{{Taskmaster}} taunting him about his weight. Evidently it stuck and became his official name.
* Marvel D-list superhero ComicBook/{{Darkhawk}} got his name from a crazy old hobo. Before that, he'd seriously been considering calling himself "Edge-Man".
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': When the man once known as Judge Sidney shocked even his fellow Judges with his tendency towards [[HangingJudge executing every single offender brought before him]], they called him "Judge Death" as an insult. The Judge subsequently took the name for his own, and [[OmnicidalManiac lived up to it]].
* ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo:'' Doctor Dinosaur got his name during his first encounter with Robo, when Jenkins [[BigDamnHeroes burst in on him about to cut Robo to pieces]] over an insult, and declared "it's some kind of... doctor dinosaur!" Dinosaur had just moments ago been told by Robo his "given" name was utterly unpronounceable, and would just make people think he had something stuck in his throat.
* ''ComicBook/{{Bane}}'': Bane got his name after a warden called him one after he killed while still a child, in prison:
--> "He is a bane to everything holy!"

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': After Shinji rescues a crashing airplane, dozens of newspapers publish headlines about the mysterious saviour of Toyko-2. However, a headline stuck out most of all: "Who is Franchise/{{Superman}}?". People started calling Shinji's hero identity "Superman" and the name stuck.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': When Asuka started out her super-heroine career, "Tokyo Tattle" -a tabloid- called her ''Comicbook/PowerGirl''. She liked that name. Later she resolved to change her costume and heroine identity, and she asked Shinji what they were calling the new superwoman. Shinji told "Tokyo Tattle" had baptized her ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'', and she chose that name for herself.
* In ''FanFic/SexNote'', a ''Manga/DeathNote'' AU where [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Light Yagami picks up a Sex Note instead of a Death Note]] the media gives him the name Kougoukan (literally "anti-rape") instead of Kira because instead of using a Death Note to kill people Light is using his magic sex toy to prevent rapes from occurring.
* ''Fanfic/WeasleyGirl'': Snape uses the term "Potter's Gang" as an insulting description of Harry and his friends. It catches on, first among the students, then among the newly-dubbed Gang themselves.
* In ''Fanfic/{{Wonderful}}'':
** Taylor's fans came up with the “Wonder Red” name. She didn't like it, but she accepted it anyway.
** Averted with “Crimson Fists”. Taylor found out about that name after she was stuck with “Wonder Red”.

* In Creator/RebBrown ''Film/CaptainAmerica1979'', it's explained that "Captain America" was originally a derogatory nickname that the bad guys gave Steve's father. A friend of Steve's father urges Steve to use it to honor his dad's memory.
-->Jam "Captain America" down their throats!
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'': Harvey Dent started his career in InternalAffairs prosecuting dirty cops. The cops, none too happy about that, called him "Comicbook/TwoFace" behind his back.
* ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}''
-->[[spoiler:Elijah Price]]: In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero, and most time's they're friends, like you and me! I should've known way back when. You know why, David? Because of the kids! [[spoiler: They called me Mr. Glass.]]
* In ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', a student on the news says "It was like some kind of... Hulk!" Also, [[spoiler:when Blonsky is forcing Sterns to give him Hulk powers, Sterns warns him that the combination of the SuperSerum and Gamma Radiation might result in "An ''Abomination''". Both of these are straight out of the comics]].
* ''Film/IronMan'':
** Iron Monger gets his name from a comment Stane makes about being "Iron Mongers" whose weapons help keep the world in balance.
** Tony gets the name Iron Man from a news headline. [[NonIndicativeName Stark first comments on how his suit isn't even made of iron]], but later grows to like and use the name himself. In the novelization, he mentions the Music/BlackSabbath song of the same name and has the chords playing in his head during his announcement.
** In ''Film/IronMan2'', when Rhodey puts on the earlier suit and gets into a brawl with Tony, Tony asks him, "You wanna be the Comicbook/WarMachine?" Rhodey grows to like it, even after his Pentagon backers rechristen him Iron Patriot in ''Film/IronMan3''.
* Played straight in ''Film/{{Superman}}'', when Lois Lane decides to call the guy in a cape flying around "Superman".
* Similar to the animated example below, Meredith Dimly accidentally gives the Bratz their name in [[Film/{{Bratz}} the live movie.]]
* ''Film/SpiderMan1'':
** When Peter Parker tries out at an underground fight club just after he gained his super powers, he calls himself "The Human Spider". [[Creator/BruceCampbell The fight announcer]] thinks that is a stupid name and instead introduces him as "The Amazing Spider-Man". The rest is history.
** [[ComicBook/NormanOsborn Green Goblin]] is also named by the press, as is Comicbook/DoctorOctopus in [[Film/SpiderMan2 the sequel]].
* ''Film/RainMan'' was named by his little brother, who couldn't pronounce "Raymond."
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', the name [[TitleDrop "Captain America"]] was given to Steve during the USO tours, but he would use that name during his first military mission. The soldiers he rescued would also use that name without any sarcasm. And by the time [[Film/TheAvengers2012 he is an Avenger]], he's still referred to as "Captain" (to the point some call him "Captain Rogers"). Given he uses this to pull rank early on, it seems that they actually made him an Army Captain even though he was mainly an entertainer at first.
* {{Subverted|Trope}} in ''Film/MysteryMen''. The protagonists spend most of the film without having thought of a name for their team. After saving the day at the end:
-->'''Reporter:''' Well, whatever you call them, Champion City will forever owe a debt of gratitude to these [[TitleDrop mystery men]].\\
'''The Sphinx:''' Wait! Wait, that's it! We are... '''The Super Squad!'''
* ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'': Time-travelling Cpl. Joe Bauers is re-named Not Sure by the bar code machine as he tries to explain that he doesn't understand how it's supposed to work. That's [[spoiler:President]] Not Sure to you, private!
* ''Film/CrazyStupidLove'' has Hannah called [[spoiler: Nana]] by her family because her little sister had trouble with her name.
* ''Film/TheDirtyDozen'': Sergeant Bowren nicknames the twelve convicts 'the dirty dozen' after they refuse to bathe or shave as a protest regarding their poor living conditions. The name sticks.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'': The team name comes from a sarcastic quip by the main villain during the final battle.
-->'''Ronan:''' But...you are mortal. HOW?!\\
'''Quill:''' You said it yourself, bitch. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy.
* In ''Film/DraculaUntold'', when he was initially reminded that he's the "son of the devil", Vlad corrected this: Dracula means "son of the dragon". However, at the climax of the movie he says "I'm Dracula, son of the devil".
* In ''Film/{{Cinderella 2015}}'', Ella initially despises her stepsisters' awful nickname for her, but eventually comes to accept it and then embrace it, to the point that she even introduces herself to the prince as Cinderella.
* In ''Film/ShesOutOfMyLeague'', the hero's best friend says that children taunted him with the name "stainer" after an accident, but the hero suggested he adopt it. Stainer's story is told near the end of the movie as an example of the hero's great qualities, after I'd spent 90 minutes thinking his name was Stayner.
* In ''Film/BatmanReturns'', The Penguin gets called this initially by the press until he finds out his real name is Oswald. After his villainy is revealed, Penguin berates one of his goons for calling him Oswald.
-->'''Penguin''': "I am not a human being! I am an animal! Cold-blooded!"
* The characters in ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' are only known by the insulting nicknames [[DrillSergeantNasty Sgt. Hartman]] gave them in boot camp.
* Arms dealer Yuri is called ''Film/LordOfWar'' by one of his clients. He thinks the man mispronounced "warlord". Later he realizes that is exactly what he is.
* ''Film/DCExtendedUniverse''
** Subverted in ''Film/ManOfSteel''. Lois is ''about'' to suggest the name "Superman", but the military party watching their conversation interrupts her. Later in the film, after Clark in costume is on good terms with the military after protecting them during an engagement with the Kryptonians, a soldier is talking to General Swanwick and using the term "Superman" to describe him. Swanwick gives him a "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard" look. By ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'', Superman is his acknowledged superhero name.
** ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'' generally avoids using "Batman" directly as a name, instead suggesting [[IHaveManyNames he has multiple names]] given by the press, from the bat, to the Gotham Bat to The Bat-Man. This is rather appropriate, as in this setting Batman is not so much of an individual but a myth, an urban legend. By ''Film/JusticeLeague2017'' most of the names of the heroes are taken from the Lex Corp metahuman files seen in ''[=BvS=]''.
* ''Film/MajorLeague:'' Initially, the Cleveland Indians fans call Rick Vaughn "Wild Thing" because he has control issues and can't pitch the ball over the plate. After he gets glasses and becomes an elite pitcher, they still use the name, now in reference to his bad boy personality.
* Early in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'', Lightning [=McQueen=] tauntingly calls Chick Hicks "Thunder", because "thunder always comes after lightning". When Chick and [=McQueen=] meet a few days later, Chick has adopted the "Thunder" nickname as part of a new persona, much of which is stolen from [=McQueen=].
* ''Film/TheLastJedi'': In their climatic showdown, Captain Phasma furiously tells Finn "You were always scum". He immediately corrects her: "''[[YouRebelScum Rebel]]'' Scum". It signals his pivot from only caring about Rey to fighting for the Resistance and what it stands for.

* Bane from the ''Franchise/StarWars'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]]. To put this in perspective: the first person to call him this was [[AbusiveParents his father]], who was physically and emotionally abusive, calling his son the "bane of his existence." When he joined the Sith, he became Darth Bane.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is full of nicknames, some of them falling into this trope:
** Jon Snow is dubbed "Lord Snow" by Ser Alliser Thorne to cast him as a spoiled noble's bastard and estrange him from the other recruits. It quickly loses its negative connotations as the recruits start looking to him for leadership, and ultimately [[spoiler:he becomes the Lord Commander, making the name official]].
** Tyrion Lannister ("The Imp") actually tells Jon Snow to use this trope.
--->'''Tyrion''': Let them see that their words can cut you, and you'll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can't hurt you with it anymore.
** Sandor Clegane is known as the Hound due to the hounds on his coat of arms and his perceived total lack of ethical concerns interfering with his loyalty to his master. The self-loathing Sandor wears a helm crafted into a horrible dog-face.
** The ex-smuggler Davos Seaworth was knighted for delivering food to a besieged city. The other nobility look at him as a common thug who bought his knighthood with onions, dubbing him the Onion Knight, but Davos proudly put the onion on his coat of arms.
** Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish is lord of a tiny tract of worthless land on a group of peninsulas called the Fingers, and is also physically short. He goes by the name as part of his scheme to get people to underestimate him.
** Jaime "Kingslayer" Lannister got his name for murdering Aerys Targaryen, who he had previously sworn to protect. He hates the title, but uses the name and the reputation that comes with it to get away with a lot.
** Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully was labelled the BlackSheep of the family after he refused to enter an ArrangedMarriage set up by his elder brother and leige lord. Because the sigil of House Tully is a fish, Brynden said a "black fish" would be more appropriate, and adopted it as his own personal coat of arms.
** The warrior-slaves The Unsullied are given a different (and demeaning) name each day, to remind them they are so worthless they don't even deserve a real name. After the Unsullied are freed and allowed to choose their own names, their leader chooses to keep his current name, "Grey Worm," believing it to be lucky because it was the name he had when freed.
* Galinda in ''Wicked'' (both [[Theatre/{{Wicked}} the musical]] and [[Literature/{{Wicked}} the book]]) is called "Glinda" (notice the lack of an A) by her talking Goat teacher. When he is killed, she changes her name to Glinda in his memory.
* In ''Literature/EndersShadow'', Bean gets his name when some other street children are taunting him that he isn't worth a bean. He then immediately lampshades that the name sucks, but the mere fact that he has a name at all is enough of a sign of status that he'll take it.
* In ''Literature/EndersGame'', Ender gains his nickname because his older sister couldn't pronounce "Andrew".
%%* Midas Mulligan in ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''.
%%* Stereth Tarkrim (it means "rice thief") in the Ivory trilogy by Doris Egan.
* The Forsaken in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' were mostly given nicknames by people in the Age of Legends to reflect their deeds, such as Ishamael (The Betrayer of Hope), Sammael (The Destroyer of Hope), Moghedian (The Spider) and so on, and by the time of the series have embraces their names to the point of almost forgetting their original names, and certainly the names of most of their fellows. The exception would be Lanfear (the Daughter of the night), who coined her new name herself.
** "Yes, Betrayer of Hope. So men have named me, just as they named you the Dragon. When they gave me that name they intended to revile me, but I will yet make them kneel and worship it. What will you do with your name? After this day they will call you the Kinslayer, what will you do with that?"
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', the Slytherians compose "Weasley Is Our King" thanking Ron for his terrible goalkeeping skills helping them win a match. Later the Gryffindors' use the song themselves after Ron's first successful turn as Keeper, much the same way the Americans adopted "Yankee Doodle," though the Gryffindors changed the lyrics to praise Ron and his Quidditch skills rather than keeping the insulting ones.
** In [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix the same book]], the Ministry attempts to restrict the amount of defensive magic students can learn out of fear Dumbledore wants to turn them into his own private army. Since the BigBad is out there building up his power base, the students form a secret Defense group and name it "Dumbledore's Army". [[spoiler: When they're discovered, Dumbledore goes along with the idea in order to prevent any blame falling on the students. He notes it's "Dumbledore's Army", not "Potter's Army."]]
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', Hermione is the first known character to utilize this trope in the series for the term "[[FantasticRacism mudblood]]."
-->'''Hermione''': I’m hunted quite as much as any goblin or elf, Griphook! I’m a Mudblood!\\
'''Ron''': Don't call yourself--\\
'''Hermione''': Why shouldn’t I? [[NWordPrivileges Mudblood, and proud of it!]]
* In ''Literature/CodexAlera'', it's a joke among veterans that new recruits are "fish," since their flailing around is more reminiscent of a landed fish than a ''legionnaire''. The legion Tavi was assigned to happened to have an outsized regiment of [[BlowYouAway Knights Aeris]]: namely, ones who were powerful enough to qualify but so short on practice that they couldn't fly (which is the entire ''point'' of Knights Aeris). Tavi dubbed them "Knights Pisces." It stuck. Then [[YouShallNotPass the battle of the Elinarch]] rolled around, when Tavi stopped the enemy army from sneaking across the river by having butchers and the like dump buckets of blood and offal in the river to attract sharks. Next time we see the Knights, [[ThreateningShark they've chosen a certain fish as their new insignia]]. They keep the name for the rest of the series.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', 71-Hour Ahmed might qualify. His tribe called him 71-Hour Ahmed because he had killed a man one hour before it was acceptable (his tribe [[BedouinRescueService offers everyone hospitality for three days]], i.e. 72 hours.) He explains to Vimes that the man was a mass-murderer, and that once all the evidence was in, why wait even a single hour? While clearly not meant to be complimentary, he lets people refer to him by that title because its meaning is [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast known and frightening to Klatchians]]. He doesn't let custom get in the way of doing what's necessary.
** Also applies to his tribe, the D'regs. The name is Klatchian for "enemy". It's "not the name they chose for themselves, but they adopted it out of pride".
** Mad in ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'' might also count.
--->'''Mad''': Most people call me Mad.
--->'''Rincewind''': Just "Mad"? That's ... an unusual name.
--->'''Mad''': It ain't a name.
* The Barrayaran Vor were an aristocratic military caste. They received the name (Russian for thief) from commoners, who thought they were being stolen from. The aristocrats adopted the name, and will steal everything from any who oppose them.
* In Robert Asprin's ''Literature/PhulesCompany'' series, the Legionaire who had chosen the name "Rose" for herself was usually called "Violet" (from "Shrinking Violet") by the others due to her crippling shyness in face-to-face contact. But when it's discovered that over the radio, she's phenomenally good as a communications officer (If she can't ''see'' the person she's talking to, she's fine) and very motherly to everyone in the company, everyone starts calling her "Mother" and she adopts it herself.
* In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Aragorn's alias ''Strider'' is initially a derogatory nickname given to him by the people of Bree, who see the Rangers as mysterious, dangerous ruffians. When he [[spoiler:becomes king of Gondor]], he translates the name into Quenya and uses it as his family name.
** In a minor but humorous moment with Gollum, Sam calls him a "sneak", causing Gollum to go on a sarcastic rant about Sam's rudeness, causing Sam to apologize. Then Frodo wakes up:
-->'''Frodo''': Hullo, Smeagol! Found any food? Have you had any rest?
-->'''Gollum''': No food, no rest, nothing for Smeagol. He's a sneak.
-->'''Frodo''': Don't take names to yourself, Smeagol. It's unwise, whether they be true or false.
-->'''Gollum''': Smeagol has to take what's given him. He was given that name by kind Master Samwise, the hobbit that knows so much.
* In ''Literature/TalesOfTheMagicLand'', the wooden soldiers are called Deadwood Oaks, after their creator's constant insults about their learning abilities. In the end, one of the soldiers called himself that, and Urfin Jus decided this is the perfect name.
* In the Chris Wooding young adult novel ''Literature/{{Poison}}'', the village children of Gull choose their own names when they turn sixteen. The titular character chooses hers as a jibe against her much disliked stepmother after she called her "a poison to their family".
** Also a bit of a StealthPun as her original name, Foxglove, is the name of a poisonous plant.
* To go with several other sibling mispronunciations, Beezus, who got her name when Literature/RamonaQuimby couldn't pronounce Beatrice.
* Several villains (and tragic heroes) from the ''Literature/{{GONE}}'' series seem to take pride in all the nasty things the Perdido Beach kids say about them;
** "Whip Hand" was originally a terrifying code word for Drake Merwin who has a tentacle for a arm (ItMakesSenseInContext , we swear!) He seems to like this analogy a ''awful'' lot, even elaborating on it and calling himself "Uncle Whip Hand".
** An Orc is a type of troll. Before the FAYZ, Charles Merrimans nickname was this and he loved it. [[spoiler: When he actually becomes a stone monster, for once all he wants is for people to call him Charles and grows to hate the name, making it subverted. Lana remarks that when he was a boy he relished in being known as a monster, but when he was a monster all he wanted was to be recognised as a human being...]]
** The talking coyotes in the series (MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext), refer to Brianna as ''Swift Girl''. The coyotes hate Brianna and have tried to kill her a multitude of times. Which makes her take all the more pride in the nickname.
** Diana Ladris had no qualms with her reputation as a "Bitch", "Slut", "Mean-spirited", "bad girl" and seemed to refer to herself as it even more than the heroes who hold her in so much contempt for it. This is later deconstructed as Diana is slowly humanized and RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap , eventually leading to the fandom feeling sorry for her and yes, it did get her fangirls.
* In ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity'', the silent "[[BlackKnight Blackmail]]" accepts the nickname he is given.
* In ''Literature/ArtemisFowl: The Lost Colony'', the demon warlord Leon Abbott gives all the demons in his clan a name of his choosing when they metamorphose from imps into true demons, and refers to one of the imps as 'Number One' as an insult, because he is the only member of his brood who is reluctant to transform. By the end of the book, when it turns out that Number One is actually a warlock demon and will develop powerful magic and cerebral powers instead of transforming, he decides to take the name as his own.
* The eponymous character in the ''Literature/JackBlank'' trilogy never had a last name, so he'd leave a blank after his first on all his school papers. The name Jack _____ morphed into Jack Blank, and it stuck.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': In ''Defender of the Crown'', Rukenaw is called The Fairlimb, a name she shares with the morningstar she wields in battle. The origin of the nickname? A bad pick-up line. The guy was referring to her legs.
* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Relativity}}.'' The supervillain who can talk to bugs? The heroes always call him "Cricket". Even the ''narrative'' calls him that. However, he only refers to himself by his real name.
-->'''Cricket (I mean Matthew Morton):''' Seriously, who the hell came up with that name? Do I look like a cricket? I don’t even have wings!
* ''Literature/PleaseDontTellMyParentsImASupervillain'':
** Bad Penny adopted her name when a superhero called her that. Completely coincidental, in fact, that her real name is Penny.
** Penny calls Ray Viles "Reviled" in the heat of battle; afterwards, he decides that he likes is and adopts it as his name.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' [[Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] novel ''Prisoner of the Daleks'', the Dalek Inquisitor adopts the name Dalek X from Earth Empire reports.
* In ''Literature/TheCulture'' novel ''Literature/{{Excession}}'' the Affront is a xenophobic {{Proud Warrior Race|Guy}} who were so named when they ''ate'' a delegation from an Involved civilisation, since they were an affront to civilised species. They [[InsultBackfire adopted the name enthusiastically]].
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': When Szeth-son-son-Vallano was sent to assassinate the Alethi King Gavilar, his Parshendi masters made him wear white; they believe that if you are going to assassinate someone, you at least owe him the courtesy to let him see you coming. Szeth soon becomes known as "the Assassin in White," and when he gets a new monster who uses him for even worse slaughters, he is ordered to wear white so that people properly identify him as the one who killed Gavilar.
* ''Literature/TheYoungAncients'': The protagonist, Tor, becomes the subject of a play in Galasia after making them water filters that saved the city, after their sewers ruptured into the drinking water. Tor includes a warning that the new magic system will last only twenty years and if they haven't fixed the sewers in that time not to bother him. With this curt note (and the young girl who wrote the play wishing to star in it) Tor becomes a troll the heroine must beg the filters from, much to the amusement of Tor's friends. Later, after a misunderstanding results in Tor's being turned away at the palace gates, Rolph adds every possible nickname, appellation and title Tor might be known as to the list of guests who are always welcome at the palace, including "The Troll of Galasia." This title sticks with everyone who copies Tor's appellations from the list, though he is still mostly known as the Wizard Tor.
* ''Literature/TheThinkingMachine'': Professor Van Dusen acquired the nickname 'The Thinking Machine' when an angry Russian chess grandmaster hurled it at him after Van Dusen had beaten him at chess despite never having played the game before by using AwesomenessByAnalysis. The Russian says "You are not man; you're a brain - a machine - a thinking machine". Journalist Hutchinson Hatch picks it up and starts using it in his stories about Van Dusen. Van Dusen himself does not seem to care one way or the other about the nickname.
* The Iberian Orcs in ''LightNovel/TheWeaknessOfBeatriceTheLevelCapHolySwordswoman'' originally received the name from a human ([[spoiler:the Sage]]). It was meant as a BlackComedy joke - the Iberian Orcs are pig-like (like many examples in Japanese media) and Iberian ham (or ''jamón ibérico'') is an expensive type of ham. Much to [[spoiler:the Sage]]'s shock, they liked the name so much they took it as the official name of their race.
* In ''Literature/{{Everworld}},'' Senna's name is actually "Senda," [[MeaningfulName which means]] "[[LivingMacGuffin Pathway]]." She didn't meet her father until she was about eight, at which point her mother left her with him and [[MissingMom literally disappeared]]; he mistook her name for "Senna," and eventually she came to [[DoNotCallMePaul hate the correct pronunciation]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[HavingAGayOldTime Beaver]] from ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'' got his nickname from his brother, Wally, not being able to pronounce "Theodore" [his given name].
* This is briefly {{inverted|Trope}} in one episode of ''Series/{{Selfie}}'', as Henry says to his assistant 'just call me Henry Potter' because he's a workplace wizard. He regrets this almost instantly, saying he'd dislike it immensely if people called him that. In another scene, Charmonique calls him Henry Potter to Eliza, saying that it spread like wildfire that morning.
* Richard Hammond of ''Series/TopGear'' was nicknamed "Hamster" by Jeremy Clarkson and eventually came to like the name. He even refers to it with his production company, [[VanityPlate "Hamster's Wheel"]].
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** The Unsullied, highly conditioned slave soldiers, are given names like Red Flea or Black Rat in order to remind them that they are nothing but vermin. When [[spoiler: Daenerys frees them and allows them to take whatever names they wish, Unsullied commander Grey Worm decides to keep his own, considering it lucky: it was the name he had when he was freed.]]
** Tyrion recommends this to Jon Snow: "Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you."
** Davos was knighted for his services smuggling food (onions among it) and was disparagingly called "the Onion Knight" by other nobles, who disliked him for being lowborn. Davos doesn't mind this at all and his response was to put an onion on his personal arms.
** The Blackfish's name is derived from a snarky retort to his brother Hoster calling him a BlackSheep. Now he freely admits, "People have been calling me 'Blackfish' for so long they don't remember my real name." Indeed, his real name Brynden is only AllThereInTheManual.
** {{Inverted|Trope}} in "Kissed By Fire" when Jaime specifically rejects his sobriquet in his delirium:
--> '''Brienne:''' Guards, help! The Kingslayer!
--> '''Jaime:''' Jaime... my name is Jaime.
** {{Discussed|Trope}} by the "High Sparrow", who's aware the name is generally derogatory but takes it in stride, noting there are far worse burdens to bear.
* A minor version in ''Series/BabylonFive'' when [[spoiler: the Centauri Republic reconquers Narn with Shadow backing, they imprison all government officials and appoint a puppet regime, including a new ambassador to Babylon 5]]. G'Kar is replaced and no longer able to call himself "Ambassador G'Kar", and [[spoiler:Londo]] makes a point of calling him "Citizen G'Kar", intended to demean him and mock his being stripped of his position. Nonetheless, G'Kar actually begins to regard the title as something of an honorific, and continues to use it when [[spoiler:he becomes a rallying point for Narn resistance.]]
* Several times on ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' , as a MythologyGag. When Clark Kent joins an underground fight club, the manager calls him "The Man Of Steel" because he earlier demonstrated he was bullet proof. ComicBook/GreenArrow called him "Boy Scout" because of his simple-minded idealism. When he becomes an active superhero, the media calls him "The Good Samaritan" (because he helps people in trouble for no reason), "The Red-Blue Blur" (named for the only thing visible when he uses SuperSpeed), and finally, "The Blur". Also, when he reveals his secret to Jimmy Olsen, Jimmy goes, "Wow! You're some kind of Super... Super... Guy."
** There was also "Clark Kent, the Man of Tomorrow" when he was running for high school president, though it was the ''other'' guy who photoshopped his face into what is basically [[MythologyGag superman's suit]]. There was also a time when Lana found him reading something by Creator/FriedrichNietzsche and asked him if he was "Man, or Superman?", though he said he hadn't really decided. [[OverlyLongGag Also]], he sometimes calls himself "Naman" in the early seasons, when interacting with people who know the [[AncientAstronauts local ancient legends about kryptonians]].
** Much like the movie and animated TV show, in ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'' ([[OlderThanTheyThink from the 1950s]]), Superman gets his name from the Daily Planet. His first public heroic was rescuing a man who had fallen off of an airship, and the man later described him as "some sort of... Super-guy...", and shortly afterwards Lois calls him Superman.
** In ''Series/LoisAndClark'', Lois names him after the "S" insignia, which is supposed to be in an alien language.
** In the fandom, there is the "[[WildMassGuessing Unholy Cult of Chlois]]".
* ''Franchise/{{Buffyverse}}'':
** Spike was known as "William the Bloody" during life, because his poetry was ''bloody awful'', and one critic said that he'd rather have a railroad spike driven through his head than listen to it. Upon becoming a vampire, he took up those insults and "granted the critic's wish".
** Angel. Liam took his vampire name from his sister, who mistook her resurrected older brother for an angel.
* Shotaro Hidari and Philip received the name "Kamen Rider" from the citizens of Fuuto, which they use with pride. Interestingly, it's the villains that refer to them as ''Series/KamenRiderDouble''.
** Most of the "Neo-Heisei" ''Kamen Rider'' shows have the main character adopt the Rider name in this fashion. [[Series/KamenRiderFourze Fourze]] learns about his predecessors from his school's PerkyGoth and closet Rider fangirl, and himself becomes a Rider fanboy, eagerly looking for any opportunity to meet his [[SempaiKohai Sempai]]. In TheMovie, Fourze explains the name to [[Series/KamenRiderWizard Wizard]], who decides it [[RuleOfCool sounds pretty cool]]. And then in his [[PostScriptSeason Post-Script Episodes]], Wizard turns around and introduces [[Series/KamenRiderGaim Gaim]] to the term (though in his own show, he's referred to as ''Armored'' Rider Gaim, which is still an example of this trope).
*** ''Gaim'' has another example: When dealing with [[spoiler:DJ Sagara]], Ryoma Sengoku asks what his real name is, and he responds "Why don't we go with the name that you gave me: [[spoiler:Helheim]]", which is the name of [[spoiler:the AlienKudzu currently trying to take over the planet, revealing that Sagara is its avatar]]. However, he still goes by his old name when dealing with others.
* On the self-titled sitcom ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'', one episode has her mother explaining that Jackie's name isn't really Jackie, but Marjorie. Roseanne couldn't properly pronounce her name as a child and it always sounded like she was calling her "My Jackie", and after a while, the name stuck.
* ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati'': Radio DJ Gordon Sims initially wanted his {{Stage Name|s}} to be Venus Rising, but due to a slip-up when he first came on the air, he was introduced as Venus Flytrap, and the name stuck.
* A flashback in ''Series/HaveGunWillTravel'' shows that the hero, Paladin, got the name in this manner. A villainous employer falsely made him believe that a gunfighter calling himself Smoke was a villain terrorizing a town. The dying Smoke revealed the truth and sarcastically referred to his killer as a "paladin". His killer adopted that name and to atone, becoming a hero while wearing Smoke's costume.
* ''Series/HolbyCity'': Percival Durant, a wildly anti-authoritarian surgeon working in a Ghanaian clinic at the time of his introduction on the show, earned the nickname "Abra" from his colleagues and patients, which he wears with pride. It roughly translates to "troublemaker".
* [[Series/WonderWoman Wonder Woman TV Series]]: From the pilot:
--> '''Queen Hippolyte:''' ''Go in peace my daughter. And remember that, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman.''
--> '''Princess Diana:''' ''I will make you proud of me... and of Wonder Woman.''
* While everybody on the other side in ''Series/StargateSG1'' initially calls him "shol'va" (traitor) as an insult (practically spitting out the curse), [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Teal'c]] pretty quickly warms up to the "title" and a few times even smiles proudly when being called that. Later on, the other rebel Jaffa treat the term the same way.
* There's a song featured in ''Series/{{Glee}}'' called ''Loser like me'' which is written by the Glee clubbers saying to their bullies that they may be losers, but that's hardly a set back and is actually an advantage for their future ambitions.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Applies to Odo ''twice''. Firstly, when he was discovered, he was a gelatinous blob that was not clearly a lifeform. He was kept in a flask with the label "unknown sample"; a loose Cardassian translation of this was ''Odo'ital'', meaning "nothing". He eventually took on the shortened "Odo" as a form of identity. Secondly, he adopted the nickname "Constable" that was given to him by Kira as an appropriate if unusual title (for the time) for someone now working in station security.
** His people are called "Changelings", originally used as a slur against them until they took it as their own.
* ''Series/GarrisonsGorillas'': Lt. Hanley from ''Series/{{Combat}}'' referred to Lt. Garrison's team as "Gorillas" in the pilot episode. The team adopts this as their unofficial title.
* In ''Series/{{QI}}'', Stephen manages to [[NWordPrivileges "reclaim"]] the word 'charioteer' about 2 minutes after the panel suggest it should be a euphemism for gay. That's got to be some kind of record.
-->'''Stephen:''' I'm a [[Film/ChariotsOfFire Charioteer]] ''[[Film/ChariotsOfFire of FIRE!]]''
* This is also a RealLife example. Seattle-based sketch show ''Series/AlmostLive'' had aerospace-engineer-turned-comedian Bill Nye as a cast member. He kept correcting host Ross Shafer's pronunciation of "gigawatt." Shafer's reply was "Who do you think you are, Series/BillNyeTheScienceGuy?" Needless to say the name stuck, and the rest is history.
* Subverted on ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''. Howard knew that the other astronauts would give him a nickname; he planned to influence their decision by having his phone ring during a videoconference: the ringtone would be Elton John's song "Rocket Man". Unfortunately, his mother butted in and asked him if he wanted some Froot Loops for breakfast, and the other astronauts called him "Froot Loops" from then on.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Series/RogerAndTheRottentrolls''. 1000 years ago, Merlin was attempting to create a ski resort for King Arthur, but his spell was ruined by some Norwegian trolls, causing the wizard to curse angrily, "Oh, those rotten trolls have messed it all up!" The trolls, too stupid to realise that Merlin was insulting them, assumed he was calling them by their name, and their descendants still refer to themselves as 'The Rottentrolls' to this day.
* ''Series/TheFlash2014'':
** When Cisco calls Leonard Snart "Captain Cold" in a confrontation, Snart's expression clearly indicates his approval of the name. In later appearances, he insists on the name.
*** Later in the season, some of the other super-villains get a bit jealous of the [[TheNicknamer Cisco-named bad guys]] running around Central City and [[InvokedTrope outright asks him]] for an equally cool nickname. Two notable examples include the Golden Glider and even the BigBad, The Reverse-Flash.
** In the comics, Cold's team is known as "the Rogues." After Barry flippantly refers to them as Snart's "rogues gallery," Snart practically giggles.
--->'''Cold:''' The ''Rogues''. Cute.
** Caitlin suggests calling Hannibal Bates, a metahuman shapeshifter, "Everyman" to Barry. She doesn't realize that it's Bates himself disguised as Barry, and admits that he likes it.
** Rosa Dillion takes the name Top after Jesse Quick commented that her dress makes her look like a top.
* In ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' this has happened to Oliver, when he went by The Hood, and Roy, who got the name Arsenal from Wildcat's disgraced sidekick, and it is shaping up to be the same with Laurel.
* In ''Series/{{Gotham}}'', it's apparent that "The Penguin" will eventually be one of these; Cobblepot hates the name, treating it as his BerserkButton, but the series is a prequel and that is what he's called in other works. Half way through the first season, Sal Maroni tells him he needs to ''own'' the name so that people can't use it as an insult.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' Castiel adopts Meg's nickname for him, "[[Film/ItsAWonderfulLife Clarence]]", as his alias when he becomes a human, but he does not understand the significance of the name.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheColbertReport'', Creator/StephenColbert jokingly claims that white people need to stop feeling ashamed of being called "slavers". Instead, they need to own the name. They're not "slavers"; they're "slavas".
--> '''Stephen Colbert:''' All the slavas in the house say "Hey!" Slava, please!
* ''Series/Daredevil2015''
** The titular character is called "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen" by the newspapers, until he apprehends [[spoiler:Wilson Fisk]] at the end of the first season.
** In Season 2, The Punisher is similarly nicknamed by the papers. By the last episode, he also has appropriated his logo from the picture on the newspaper headline proclaiming [[spoiler:[[ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated his death]]]].
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' had an episode where Tobias goes to prison and the inmates call him Dorothy. This changes when he accidentally convinces the biggest baddest con to commit suicide. Soon Tobias is running the prison and "Dorothy" becomes a name to be feared.
* Baldrick in ''Series/{{Blackadder}} the Third'' suspects his first name might be "Sodoff", because when he was playing in the gutter with the other snipes, he'd say "Hello, my name's Baldrick" and they'd reply "Yes, we know. Sod off, Baldrick." His descendent in ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' is Private S. Baldrick.
* When ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' contestant Rudy Boesch was in Navy basic training, his instructor kept mispronouncing his name (BOSH instead of BESH). Rudy wasn't foolish enough to dare correct him; he went along with it, and it eventually became the accepted pronounciation.

* Music/DaftPunk named themselves after a review of their first musical attempt (a punk rock band, Darlin'), that a British music magazine dismissed as "a daft punky thrash".
* Music/TheResidents got their name from a rejection letter they received after sending a demo tape to Creator/WarnerBrosRecords: because they didn't include a name in the return address, the letter was simply addressed to "Residents".
* Shortly after deciding to form a band together, Al Jourgensen, Richard 23 and Luc Van Acker went out to a bar and eventually found themselves kicked out for starting a brawl. The bartender called them "a bunch of revolting cocks", and sure enough, the band was newly christened The Revolting Cocks.
** Jourgensen is particularly fond of this trope. Jourgensen's project 1,000 Homo [=DJs=] was similarly named after a comment from Wax Trax! owner Jim Nash, who said of the group's demo, "No one's gonna play this. It's gonna take a thousand homo [=DJs=] to play this for anyone to buy it." The title of Music/{{Ministry}}'s album ''Filth Pig'' is also lifted from a derogatory reference to Jourgensen, this time from a speech by a British MP.
* When Butch Vig showed some new songs, someone reacted saying it was garbage. Guess how he named [[Music/{{Garbage}} the band who played said songs]]?
* When Stan Ridgway played a friend some music he and Mark Moreland were working on for a film soundtrack, he jokingly compared the layered production to Music/PhilSpector's "Wall Of Sound". Because of how unnerving the music was, said friend quipped that it was more like a "Music/WallOfVoodoo".
* When the Yardbirds collapsed, leaving Jimmy Page as sole remaining member, he recruited three unknown musicians (they knew each other through session work) and carried on. Legal uncertainties caused them to become the New Yardbirds. Then Music/TheWho's Keith Moon and John Entwistle made a remark about them going down "like a lead zeppelin". They adopted this name, changing the spelling to the familiar Music/LedZeppelin at the suggestion of their US distributor, who thought people might mispronounce (and misconstrue) "Lead" as if it were "'''lead''' a horse to water".
* According to Josh Homme, "When we were making a record in 1992, under the band Kyuss, our producer Chris Goss, he would joke and say 'You guys are like the queens of the stone age.'" And after Kyuss folded, Homme [[Music/QueensOfTheStoneAge made good use of that joke]].
* When NoiseRock band Steel Pole Bath Tub submitted demos for what was to be their second album for Slash Records, the label rejected the material, calling it "unlistenable". The band would eventually release these same demos on their own label, giving it the title of ''Unlistenable''.
* Lil B was originally called "based" as an insult, but he adopted it into his nickname, Basedgod.
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic adopted the moniker as his late-night DJ handle after his classmates at California Polytechnical called him "Weird Al" for his looks.
* In Argentina, a "grasa" is a derogatory term for someone with customs of poor people, and a "negro" is someone with a dark skin (usually from northern Argentine provinces or other South American nations). The audience of the "Malón" band organized a crowd chorus: "Baila la hinchada baila, baila de corazón, somos los negros, somos los grasas, pero conchetos no" ("dances, the crowd dances, it dances with a passion, we are the negros, we are the grasas, but socialites we are not"). The band itself liked the song so much [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDW4TV_8MTo that they follow it with their instruments.]]
* Music/{{Dismember}} was filed a lawsuit over the {{Gorn}} lyrics of "Skin Her Alive", calling the band "pornographic, obscene or indecent". After it was settled (in their favor), they released their next album, titled ''Indecent and Obscene''.
* The name of hip hop group Jurassic 5 was originally jokingly proposed by a friend of the group, who meant to mock their old school style.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* The term "Christian" was originally an insult. Christians originally called themselves "followers of the way", but beginning in Antioch, they were derisively called ''Christianoi'' ("belonging to Christ"/"slaves of Christ"), which they ended up adopting during the New Testament era.
* Mormons, originally derogatory nickname for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has passed into common usage, including among church members.
* Ditto for Quakers (the Society of Friends) and Santeria (Lukumi).
* Members of the Churches of Christ have consistently refused the appellation "Campbellites", but frequently accept other epithets thrown at them. One author's tract semi-famously declared "I Have A Closed Mind".
* A bit obscure, but the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing were 1) an offshoot of a Quaker group and 2) known for their use of dance during worship. They were given the nickname "Shaking Quakers", which then got abbreviated again into "Shakers".
* Likewise Methodism, which started as a Bible study/spiritual formation group led by John and Charles Wesley at Oxford and were called "Methodists" and "The Holy Club" by their fellow students.
* "Puritans" was an Elizabethan-era insult for that group; at the time they called themselves "Professors" (as in someone who 'professes' the Word).
* Adherents of Germanic reconstructionist UsefulNotes/NeoPaganism often identify as "Heathens", while adherents of some neo-pagan traditions such as UsefulNotes/{{Wicca}} and Stregheria self-identify as "Witches".
* Far older than all of these is one of the original names for the Israelites: Hebrews. The word for "a Hebrew" in Hebrew is "Ivri", and one of the first times this word appears in the Literature/TheBible is when the Pharaoh's wine steward is telling the Pharaoh about this boy Joseph that can interpret dreams. He's concerned that Pharaoh might raise him too highly, so he calls him a "na'ar eved ivri" - a boy, a slave, and an "ivri", which means a descendant of Eber, but in this case is used in the context of "across", as in "across the border", as in "foreigner". The intended insult would become one of the common names for the Israelites.
** A few later places in the Bible imply the word to have the meaning "people living beyond the borders of society".
* Not an insult, but the Persians called the Hebrew people in their empire (who were all originally from the Kingdom of Judah)[[note]]The Kingdom of Israel having been dispersed[[/note]] "Jews". Today Jew has completely displaced "Hebrew".
* Jesus Freaks, originally applied to Christian [[NewAgeRetroHippie hippies]].
* Non-religious and anti-religious types occasionally (and more commonly since 9/11) adopt the title Infidels. It's also been appropriated by other non-Muslims; shirts that say "infidel" on them in both English and Arabic are a common sight in some parts.
* The term "fisheaters" was used as a derogatory term for Catholic immigrants (since they abstained from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays). However, [[http://www.fisheaters.com/ a popular traditionalist Catholic site]] bears that very name.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Tully Blanchard, the Anderson Brothers and Wrestling/RicFlair were thrown together at the last minute to fill up the Wrestling/{{N|ationalWrestlingAlliance}}WA's tv time. The segment was well received and compared to [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse the Four Horsemen in the Bible]], so the fans began calling them ''Wrestling/TheFourHorsemen'' of Wrestling, which the group then adopted themselves. Being a carbon copy, Wrestling/{{Evolution}} tried to invoke the same thing but it was only in story; the fans didn't jump on the name that time.
* Phil Mushnick, longtime sports writer for ''TV Guide'', has written a number of blistering rants against ProfessionalWrestling. One of them in the '90s was aimed at wrestling ''fans'' in particular; Mushnick dubbed wrestling's mostly-18-to-24 fanbase "Degeneration X", lamenting the mental and moral degeneracy they must have to enjoy the product [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} WWF]] was putting out at the time. Fast forward a few months, and Wrestling/ShawnMichaels and Wrestling/TripleH formed a tag team known for lewd and sophomoric antics -- and, after Wrestling/BretHart called them and their fans "degenerates", they decided to label themselves Wrestling/DGenerationX. Thus making their team name an example both in-{{Kayfabe}} (Michaels and HHH appropriating the label Hart gave them) and outside of it (WWF appropriating the label Mushnick gave their fans).
* Being {{the unintelligible}} rambler of Gateway Championship Wrestling with friends almost as antisocial, all of [[Wrestling/HunterJohnston Delirious]]'s {{signature|Move}}s and {{finish|ingMove}}ers were named by his enemies, Operation Shamrock. Names such as Panic attack, chemical imbalance, shadows over hell and ''banana phone'' and the fact he doesn't seem to protest them paints a pretty good picture of [[CloudCuckooLander his psyche]].
* When Wrestling/HulkHogan made his famous FaceHeelTurn and joined Wrestling/KevinNash and Wrestling/ScottHall, the group didn't have a name at the time (Nash and Hall were called "The Outsiders"). However, when Hogan got on the mic to explain the turn, he said, "You can think of us as the Wrestling/NewWorldOrder of wrestling!" To say the name stuck would be an understatement.

* From UsefulNotes/AustralianRulesFootball: In their early days, Richmond Football Club didn't have an official nickname. However, their colors of yellow and black inspired fan cries of "Eat 'em alive, Tigers!", and eventually the club adopted "Tigers" as their nickname.
** The "Yellow and black!" interjection in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLNLcm7J4AY Richmond's theme song]] was also created by the fans.
** Geelong's nickname of the Cats comes from a story about a black cat crossing the ground and Geelong winning the match.
* The history of the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Brooklyn Dodgers]] has two examples of this:
** In the late 1800s, fans of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (seriously), were derisively referred to as Trolley Dodgers by the pre-dominantly more well-to-do fans of the archrival New York Giants, because in order to reach Bridegrooms' ballpark, it was necessary to cross a series of perilous trolley tracks. The Brooklyn fans took it as a badge of honor in a way, as did the team, adopting it as an unofficial nickname until they officially changed it to the Trolley Dodgers in 1911, then shortened it just to the Dodgers.
** Even with the new name, the Dodgers were [[ButtMonkey consistently awful]], and so Brooklynites eventually came to call them "the Bums," as in "[[FunetikAksent Dem Bums]] lose again?" Starting around the 1940s, though, the Dodgers actually started to get good (albeit [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut only ever winning a World Series once]]), but Brooklyn fans kept calling them "Dem Bums."
* The Pittsburgh baseball team in the National League was commonly called the Alleghenys, until they signed away a player from the cross-state Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association. An A.A. official denounced their actions as "piratical", so the club decided that being known as the "Pirates" was a good way of tweaking the other league.
* Originally, the Iowa State University teams were known as the Cardinals. After the football team scored a decisive victory over Northwestern, the Chicago Tribune reported the outcome with the headline "Struck by a Cyclone." Iowa State teams have been the Cyclones ever since.
** The ''mascot'' is still a cardinal (named "Cy").
* North Carolina State University football players were once derisively described in a newspaper, following a rowdy after-game party, as having all the manners of a "pack of wolves." Fast forward a couple decades, and the official nickname of the NC State athletic program is the Wolfpack.
* In Brazilian soccer, the supporters of Flamengo, mostly poor and black, were called "buzzards" by rivals. Then in a 1969 game one of Flamengo's attendants threw a vulture in the field before it started, and the team eventually won, leading Flamengo's direction to adopt the vulture as their team mascot.
** Also, Palmeiras' supporters adopted a pig as an unofficial mascot in the 1980s - but still popular enough to eclipse the parakeet that is the official one - after decades of being called "pigs" (it dates back to when "pig" was a common derogatory term for the Italians that created the team).
* The 1972 Miami Dolphins got the "No-Name Defense" name given to them by Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, who couldn't name anyone on the defensive side of the ball. The defense was number-one ranked in the league and helped the Dolphins achieve the only perfect season in the Super Bowl era.
* While in Japan, Hideki Matsui got the nickname "Godzilla" from the Japanese media because of his skin problems. His powerful bat soon took over and made it a point of pride, something which stuck around when he moved across the Pacific and joined the New York Yankees in 2003.
* UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts nicknames sometimes are these:
** Nick "the Goat" Thompson was once called "The Fainting Goat" because he was so easily knocked out in practice. Once he toughened up, it got shortened to "the Goat" and became an ArtifactTitle.
** Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon "Bones" Jones received his nickname from his high school football coach because the lanky Jones was too skinny for his defensive linesman position.
* The Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has a rather large Jewish fanbase, leading to rivals referring to their Jewish fans as "Yids". In a show of solidarity, Tottenham fans decided to take that name for all their fans, Jewish and non-Jewish. In spite of some controversy, they still refer to each other as "Yid", "Yiddo", and "Yidette", and the fanbase itself as the "Yid Army".
* The Mexican soccer club C.D. Guadalajara are often referred to as "Las Chivas del Guadalajara" (The Goats of Guadalajara) and other times as "Las Chivas Locas" (the crazy goats), to the point that a goat has become their mascot. This was started when a commentarist in a game despectively described the playstyle of the team as "Running around like a bunch of crazy goats".
** The name in turn was adopted by the now-defunct UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer team Chivas USA, which originally shared ownership with C.D. Guadalajara.
* Spain's Club Atlético de Madrid adopted the moniker of "Los Indios" ("The Indians") derisively handed to them by fans of rival squad Real Madrid due to the number of South American players in Atlético's roster at the time. Further driving the point home, the team's current mascot is Indi, a raccoon with a red and white (the team's colors) Indian-like headdress.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'': the faction known as the scum got their name when a group of survivors deserted by a corporation were denied the chance to return to civilisation by the boss of another habitat with a phrase along the lines of "get these scum off my station". His subordinates looked at him, then looked at the others, then [[ThrownOutTheAirlock gave their boss the chance to attain oneness with the universe, specifically the part just outside the airlock]], and that's how the faction started.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech''. Clan Sea Fox changed its name to Clan Diamond Shark after a rival Clan introduced the Shark into the Sea Fox habitat and killed 75% of the population.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'': The Planeswalker Sarkhan Vol is an interesting example. On the [[TheMultiverse plane]] Tarkir, "Sar-khan" is a word that mean "Great-Khan," "Sky-Khan," "Khan-Of-Khans," basically ruler of the world. It was given to Vol sarcastically by his own Khan as an insult, but Vol took the name for himself anyway, even when traveling to other worlds, and eventually started to think of himself by that name alone. Though it does cause a few misunderstandings when he returns to Tarkir for the first time in years.
-->'''[[OurDragonsAreDifferent Ugin]]''': "Sarkhan"? They bow to you?\\
'''Sarkhan Vol''': No, [[BadassBoast but I bow to no one]].

* ''ComicBook/BeastWarsUprising:'' Wanna-be gangleader Gnashteeth is given a beatdown by Thunderhoof and Terrorsaur, who responds to a dramatic threat Gnash gives that he must think he's Megatron. A few weeks later, after Gnashteeth has ruined and murdered Thunderhoof, he decides the name Megatron suits him, [[VerbalTic yes]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' universe, the orphaned son of Orc chieftan Durotan was raised as a gladiator by a sadistic human who only called him "Thrall" (slave). He kept his name even after gaining his freedom, rising to the position of Warchief of the entire Orcish Horde, and learning his birthname (Go'el) from his grandmother.
* The English-language localizations of the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games introduced the name "Eggman" for Dr. Robotnik this way; in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', it was an insult used against him by the heroes, but in all later games he used it himself. [[DubNameChange That's actually because his name in Japan]] ''[[DubNameChange is]]'' [[DubNameChange Eggman]]; early games, [[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore feeling the name wasn't imposing enough]], named him Dr. Robotnik and kept Eggman as an insult. Later games stated "Robotnik" was his family name and Eggman being the nick-name he normally uses, making his full name Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. Curiously, the name Robotnik was used as the surname of his grandfather and cousin even in Japan, but official Japanese bios list Eggman's real name as "unknown".
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars: Original Generation'' refers to the assault on the White Star as "Operation SRW". While an official meaning for the acronym is never given, AscendedFanboy Ryusei announces that it must mean - you guessed it - "Super Robot Wars!"
** There's also Ibis Douglas, whose partner/rival dubbed her "Shooting Star" because of her tendency to get shot down during training exercises. When her boss finds out, he mentions that it's a great name for someone who dreams of exploring space. She finally accepts the nickname during her WorldOfCardboardSpeech, which is accompanied by a [[ThemeMusicPowerUp theme song of the same name]].
** The Alteisen's name. For those of you who are unaware it translates as old/pig iron which is a low quality metal. In-universe the Alteisen is considered old-fashioned for not using Extra Over Technology (some very advanced technology that has been reversed engineered). The name stuck.
* [[AffablyEvil The]] [[BatmanGambit Illusive]] [[SmugSnake Man]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. He derives his name from a vitriolic response from an Alliance official to his anti-alien manifesto ("survivalist rhetoric written by an illusive man"). The version of Illusive he uses means deceptive. It also sounds like Elusive, which might be the point, or not.
** [[MindHive Legion]] also has an Appropriated Appellation, given to him by EDI.
--->'''Shepard:''' So what should I call you? \\
'''Geth Construct:''' Geth. \\
'''Shepard:''' No, I mean ''you''. Specifically. \\
'''Geth Construct:''' [[NoNeedForNames We are all geth.]] \\
'''Shepard:''' What is the individual in front of me called? \\
'''Geth Construct:''' [[MindHive There is no individual. We are all geth.]] There are currently 1,183 programs active within this platform. \\
'''EDI:''' "[[IAmLegion My name is Legion, for we are many.]]" \\
'''Legion:''' [[LampshadeHanging Christian Bible, the Gospel of Mark, chapter five, verse nine.]] We acknowledge this as an appropriate metaphor. We are Legion, a terminal of the geth.
** Not scorn per se, but "EDI" stands for Enhanced Defense Intelligence, simply a label of her function. As EDI's [[BecomeARealBoy character developed]], it just sorta... become her name.
** Partial example: when Tali [[spoiler:gets tried for treason]] during her loyalty mission, [[spoiler:the Admiralty Board legally has her ship name changed to "vas Normandy," believing that being associated with a human ship (and having a human captain represent her instead of a quarian) would hurt her chances of avoiding exile. Whether it works, backfires, or [[TakeAThirdOption leads in an unexpected direction]] is up to the player]]. Later on, if you earn Tali's loyalty, she lets the name stick.
** The term Reapers was originally bestowed by the Protheans, since they never learned the true name of their enemy. Notably, the Reapers never actually refer to ''themselves'' as Reapers. Harbinger occasionally uses the phrase "that which you know as 'Reapers'" to refer to their race, but this phrasing still makes it clear he doesn't consider the name valid. [[spoiler:The Catalyst, controller and creator of the Reapers, does use the term, probably simply out of convenience, using terms that Shepard will understand.]]
--> '''Sovereign''': [[AC:"Reaper". A label created by the Protheans to give voice to their destruction. In the end, what they chose to call us is irrelevant. We simply... are.]]
** In the second game, Legion explains that "Sovereign" was just a title used by Saren. When it communicated with the Geth, the millions of programs that comprised the Reaper instead referred to themself as "Nazara". Though, when Shepard talks to the Reaper itself, it explicitly refers to itself as Sovereign. So Legion is either lying, or it uses different names for different groups, or it's a continuity error, ''[[OverlyLongGag or]]'' [[MundaneSolution Nazara simply liked the name and took it for itself.]]
-->'''Sovereign:''': [[AC: There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension. I am Sovereign.]]
** The first example ever used in ''Mass Effect''? Your helmsman, Jeff 'Joker' Moreau. He got the nickname in flight school for his habit of never smiling (he suffers from osteoporosis, which probably didn't help). He adopted the nickname after graduating, and now everyone apart from EDI (until the latter end of Mass Effect 3) and Dr Chakwas (who knows him well enough/is professional enough to stick to his real first name) uses the nickname when talking to or about him. One would think a 'morose' joke would have been too intelligent, given he becomes a wonderful barrel of snark and incidental humour.
* The term "glorious PC master race" was originally used sarcastically to poke fun at [[UsefulNotes/PCVsConsole PC gaming elitists]] (thought up by [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation someone who hated PCs and consoles equally]]). PC gaming elitists took it and ran with it, now proudly using the term as they berate "console gaming peasants".
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** Mannimarco, known as "the King of Worms", is a legendary [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]][=/=]{{Necromancer}} who makes several appearances in the series. The term was originally meant as an insult by his ArchEnemy, Galerion, but was adopted by Mannimarco with pride. (As a result of the [[TimeCrash Warp in the West]], he [[BroadStrokes sort of]] ascends to godhood, and is known as the "God of Worms".)
** The Renrijra Krin, a quasi-legal nationalist faction of [[CatFolk Khajiit]] introduced in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]''. The name translates as something like 'Mercenary's Grin', 'Laugh of the Landless' or 'Smiling Scum', and was first applied to them by their enemies, but it amused them enough for them to make it their own.
** The [[LaResistance Stormcloak faction]] in ''[[Videogame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' was derisively referred to as such for following [[RebelLeader Ulfric Stormcloak]]'s beliefs. They took that name in pride.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', many residents of Kirkwall use "Dog Lord" as a slur against refugees from Ferelden, a reference to Fereldan culture's deep-seated love of Mabari hounds. In Act II, Hawke encounters a Fereldan expat street gang called the Dog Lords. (Incidentally, the Dog Lords are probably the toughest of the gangs encountered in Act II...because they're backed up by Mabari.)
** During ''Mask of the Assassin'', after Hawke asks Varric why they never got a nickname, depending on their personality, he suggests "[[TheParagon Waffles]]" and "[[BloodKnight Killer]]" for Paragon!Hawke and Renegade!Hawke. Snarky!Hawke on the other hand, admits to genuinely liking "[[TheSnarkKnight Chuckles]]".
** The Trespasser DLC in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' reveals that [[spoiler:Solas's true name actually ''is'' Solas. Fen'Harel was an insult used by his enemies, and he took up the name as a [[StealthPun badge of pride]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', Arrav originally lacked a name, having been found abandoned as a small child by the tribe that would soon found Varrock. He took the name Arrav from a goblin curse word that goblins yelled at him after constantly losing battles against him.
** Later on in the questlines, players find that Zaros, the ancient dark god of fate and control, is called the "Empty Lord" by ''both'' his loyal followers and his enemies. His followers admire him for being "[[ReasonableAuthorityFigure empty]]" of the petty grudges and agendas that drive the younger gods. His enemies call him out for his "[[ManipulativeBastard empty]]" promises.
* Gaichû from ''VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns: Hong Kong''. His name means "vermin" in Japanese, reflecting that, having been transformed into a [[OurGhoulsAreCreepier ghoul]] [[FantasticRacism he's considered subhuman vermin]] by the Japanese Imperial State.
* In ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'', Mary dislikes her own name and discards it because she hates her father and wants to distance herself from him. She takes the alias Lady after Dante goes "Whatever, Lady."
* ''VideoGame/{{Tyranny}}'': The Disfavored got their name from various jeers because they were a traitor clan that defected to Kyros after they were defeated. They took the name because they see their disfavor as a challenge to be overcome with badass fighting skills and elite squad teamwork. Unfortunately, the name describes them stronger than they realize as they tend to "disfavor" southerners with racism, rape, and genocide. Players that choose other factions over them tend to disfavor their Bronze-Age Nazis shtick.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/{{Angels 2200}}'' when the six girls of Icebreaker Squad in all receive scornful call signs that are either disparaging or ironic comments on their characters: "Hammer", (the vacillating leader), "Quetzalcoatl" (TheNeidermeyer) "Whiskey" (the HardDrinkingPartyGirl), "Bubblegum" (as in: [[TheKlutz can't walk and chew it at the same time]]), "Loser" (self-explanatory), and "Kid" (TheIngenue). It does NOT help them bond as a team, and their attempts to "make these names their own" just makes it worse.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Elliot's female Superhero form is dubbed "Cheerleadra" by Internet users. [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-11-10 This is learned]] mere seconds after Justin compares her skirt to a cheerleading outfit in a TV interview.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', "Tainted" was originally an insult towards Drow who failed to control a summoned demon and got infected/partially possessed by it. Then some started to do this deliberately to gain immunity against full possession. They were derided and persecuted to some degree, but eventually adopted "Tainted" as their designation.
* The Webcomic/FreakAngels have been called "sick freaks" and "angels of destruction," according to Luke.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Earthsong}}'', the villain takes his name from one of his first victims. He calls him "beluosis," or "full of monsters."
* The Oathbreakers from ''Webcomic/ModestMedusa'' rebelled against their new leadership (breaking their oath doing so) and took the name for themselves. They apply it to people they recruit, even when there's no oath involved.
* ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'': When returning home at the end of the Subfusc arc, Sandra is talking with some kind of insectoid customs officer who can't say the name "Sandra" and keeps calling her "Zzzandra", so she says her name is "Zandra" to get by it. The news posts suggest she likes it and will be using "Zandra" from now on.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Yelizaveta 'Bounce' Volkova]] of ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' version four. She picked up the nickname after somebody shared the sentiment that they'd 'Seen bouncier rocks'.
* ''Literature/SailorNothing''
* ''Website/EpicTales'' has the villain Sponge who was given the name by the newspapers. It seems to have stuck, as the following story has her referred to as such.
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'''s The Cheat got his name when when Homestar pledged to "uncover that CHEAT!" in [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/firstbook.swf the original book]].
* {{Parodied|Trope}} in {{Website/CollegeHumor}}'s "[[http://www.collegehumor.com/video/5758387/we-are-douchebags We Are Douchebags]]."
* Inverted in ''WebOriginal/DisRapsForHire''. In one video where he takes on some homophobes, Epic Lloyd tries to reclaim "faggot" ''as an insult'', using it ''against'' said homophobes.
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s "[[http://www.cracked.com/article_20679_5-famous-symbols-that-were-created-to-be-horrible-insults.html 5 Famous Symbols that Were Created to Be Horrible Insults]]" mentions the gay-pride pink triangle, Democratic donkey, and "Yankee Doodle" (see Real Life below).
* WebVideo/{{Jimquisition}} ended up with a case of this. After the [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/9884-The-Slaughtering-Grounds-Developer-Meltdown "epic meltdown of the Slaughtering Grounds developer"]], Jim started calling himself Jim [[PrecisionFStrike Fucking]] Sterling, Son, which was an insult thrown at him in the developer's review of his review. ("I don't need to fix that because I'm Jim fucking Sterling, son!") He's since made it into a CatchPhrase, and changed his Website/{{Twitter}} name to "[=JimFnSterlingSon=]".

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''
** [[StevenUlyssesPerhero Harleen Quinzel]] is jokingly addressed as Harley Quinn before becoming a villain.
** ComicBook/TheCreeper gets the idea for his nickname from being called "creep", which he finds catchy but a little lacking. Before that he tried for "[[BuffySpeak Yellow-skinned Wacky Man]]!", before switching.
** Sid the Squid was given this nickname as a mocking joke by his buddies who thought he was worthless as a crook. It became a badge of honor after he almost killed Batman and made a fool of the Joker.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries''
** As seen in other adaptations, ComicBook/LoisLane also names Superman here. After discussing the new hero at the Daily Planet, Lois sums up with "A regular superman," referring to him metaphorically as being the embodiment of the Nietzschen ideal. Perry quickly agrees that this is what they should call him. Clark, who is in the room, is surprised at first, but likes the name by the time everyone leaves.
** A [[CloneDegeneration degraded Superman clone]] gets his name when ComicBook/LexLuthor's henchwoman describes him as being "Bizarro!"
* At least four villains from ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' get their names in this manner.
** Adrian Toomes points out to potential victim ComicBook/NormanOsborn, that he's "not Toomes now, I'm what you called me, the Vulture!" Osborn sneeringly replies that he called Toomes a buzzard, and that Toomes can't even get the name right.
** Max Dillon, super-powered accident victim, is nicknamed Electro in the course of Spider-Man's battle banter. Later, Dillon rants that since there is no cure for his condition, [[ThatManIsDead he is no longer Max Dillon.]] "I'm... what'd you call me? I'm Electro!"
** Meek, submissive Otto Octavius is bullied by his boss Norman Osborn, who adds insult to injury by calling him "Doctor Octopus", a name Otto considers demeaning. One radioactive Freak accident later, he is demanding to be called the same, after delivering a ranting smackdown to both his boss and Spider-Man. Likewise Doc Ock's team, the "Sinister Six," is named by ''The Daily Bugle.''
** "[[IHaveManyNames I have been called many names]] in my life. My favorite is Tombstone..." "Big Man" may or may not be one of them.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', Nino Sexton adopted the name Nanosec after a throwaway comment from a bank teller after his first heist.
** Slight subversion: Grimlock named himself after Megatron bemoans his "prospects are grim, locked in this prison of a lab."
** Wreck-Gar gets his name from Angry Archer's abbreviating what he previously called himself, "worthless-wreck-walking-pile-of-garbage".
* Crash Nebula in the ShowWithinAShow on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''. The students at his school insulted him by saying he "crashed the Nebula", the Nebula being an experimental weapon/spacesuit. Sprig Speevak decided to make this his superhero name, Crash Nebula.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''
** The band "U Stink" got their name like this.
** Arthur would sometimes state that the initials of his little sister D.W.'s name stood for "Disaster Warning." In "Sue Ellen Gets Her Goose Cooked," D.W. played Virtual Goose under the username [=DisasterWarning99=].
* Robin from ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' took his alias from a nickname his mother gave him, which he initially resented. If you're wondering, UsefulNotes/{{the Golden Age|OfComicbooks}} origin of the name was Dick paying tribute to Myth/RobinHood. Hence the green outfit, shirt lacing, and so forth.
* Invisibo from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'' episode of the same name was initially known as Ahmon Kor-Unch, but was named "Invisibo" by Freakazoid because [[NoFourthWall they already had title cards made up and everything]]. The villain accepts his new name because he likes it and admits that it has a somewhat sinister ring to it.
* The Franchise/{{Bratz}} get their name from Kirstee and Kaycee in ''Bratz: Rock Angelz''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'': "Jack" is not his name, but rather a slang term like "man", "guy", or "dude" that he was called by the first people he encountered in the future.
-->'''Jack:''' They call me... "Jack".
* "Titan?" "That's what the Earth people call us!" "I like it! Engage... '''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'''"
* {{Defied|Trope}} in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''. The press calls Danny "Inviso-Bill" and Danny ''hates'' it. He does everything he can to get people to call him "Danny Phantom" instead, finally succeeding in the first movie.
* In the season 2 premiere of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Megatron claims to [[spoiler: Orion Pax]] that the term "Decepticon" was meant as a demonizing insult by the Autobots, which they took for their own.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'':
** The Cave's computer detects an "unknown energy impulse" that turns out to be [[KidFromTheFuture Bart Allen]]'s time machine arriving:
-->'''Beast Boy:''' Well, I think we found our "unknown energy impulse."
-->'''Impulse:''' "Impulse?" That’s so [[FutureSlang crash]]! Catchy, dramatic, and one word!
** Arsenal got his name from ComicBook/LexLuthor complimenting his "impressive arsenal."
* From ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'': [[Franchise/GIJoe "It's Fumbles.]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW3dg9VURMU It was always Fumbles."]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', Mikey names all of the villains they go up against. Some of them like their names enough to start using them themselves, such as Pizza Face and Rocksteady (contrasting Bebop, who hates his new name).
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'':
** In the Season 2 episode "[[Recap/AdventureTimeS2E18SusanStrong Susan Strong]]", the eponymous character unwittingly names herself when Finn asks her what her name is, and she's still struggling with the word "Sun": "Suh... Sun."
** Princess Bubblegum's royal status is later revealed to have stemmed from a condescending nickname that she got from [[spoiler:her uncle Gumbald]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'', the tradition of numerical codenames dates back to the KND's original founder, Numbuh [[MyHeroZero 0]], when his brother told him he had zero chance of standing up to [[GreaterScopeVillain Grandfather]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan'', Comicbook/MilesMorales tries to decide a new codename for himself to not be confused with Peter Parker after he ends up stranded in Peter's dimension. After going through several bad names, Comicbook/DoctorOctopus mockingly calls him Spider-Man's "Kid Arachnid", and Miles takes a liking to it.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Mortynight Run", Rick mocks the cloud alien that Morty saved by calling him a "mind-reading fart". The alien however likes the name Fart and then on prefers himself to be called that, despite Morty's protests and much to the amusement of Rick.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', the clone trooper CT-4040 has an argument with a drill sergeant during which he's called a cut-up. CT-4040 decides that he likes this name and calls himself Cutup from then on.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As mentioned above, in terms of minorities and such, it's called reclaiming; it's why a good handful of gay men will call themselves "faggots", lesbians use "dykes," both of the above call themselves "queer", transgender women call themselves "trannies" (though the term is falling out of favor as of late), black people reserve NWordPrivileges, et cetera et cetera. In particular The N-word, which was (and still is) used as a racial slur against Black people, is now used by many [[NWordPrivileges within the Black community themselves]]. However, there are also plenty of Black people who strongly oppose the use of the word due to its extremely negative original (and sometimes current) meaning. For slurs in general, there is ongoing debate as to whether they can truly be robbed of negative power or not.
* Creator/GenUrobuchi's Twitter page ([[https://twitter.com/Butch_Gen @Butch_Gen]]) is quite suspiciously reminiscent of his FanNickname.
* Music/DieAntwoord did this with the term "zef". The word is an insult, an Afrikaans analogue for "white trash". They turned it into a movement. In an [[http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/23835/1/ninja-zef-master interview]] Ninja said: "''Zef is like dirt, it’s like scum, there was no zef movement before we came along. It was an insult, it’s like eurghh, talking shit about people. (...) It’s the blackest joke, Yo-landi just being like, ‘Let’s be zef.’ She started telling me all this zef slang and I’m like, ‘Jesus, they swear so bad.’ She started swearing and swearing and saying ‘we zef’, which is like saying ‘I’m a piece-of-shit scumbag, I’m that person you hate, I’m that thing you’re embarrassed about.’''"
* If media corporations wanted to prevent people from downloading their works for free, than perhaps they should have selected a different moniker than "pirate", since many downloaders readily declared themselves pirates in order to make themselves sound like badass, swashbuckling rebels against authority.
* The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was disparaged by Republicans as "Obamacare", which has since become its official nickname in mainstream news media. Even UsefulNotes/BarackObama himself has stated that he's now fond of the name, and uses it in his own speeches. He pointed out that having his name attached to the word "care" in relation to the law is hardly a bad thing. In the midst of the disastrous rollout, however, he went back to calling it by its formal name.
* In Dutch, a name that has been 'appropriated' in this manner is called a ''geuzennaam'', after the most famous example in Dutch history: the confederacy of Calvinist Dutch nobles and other malcontents, who from 1566 opposed Spanish rule in the Netherlands, called themselves ''Geuzen'' (singular ''Geus''). This was derived from ''Gueux'', French for 'beggars'. Berlaymont, one of the councilors of Margaret, Duchess of Parma, referred to the nobles as "N'ayez pas peur Madame, ce ne sont que des ''gueux''" (Fear not madam, they are only beggars).
* Come the [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution American Revolution]], the British Loyalists referred, condescendingly, to rebellious British-Americans as "Yankees." The term stuck as a catch-all name for Americans. Within America, it applies to a concentric series of ever-increasingly specific demographic, but outside of America it's applied to all Americans. Or to quote E. B. White:
--> To foreigners, a Yankee is an American. To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner. To Northerners, a Yankee is a Northeasterner. To Northeasterners, a Yankee is a New Englander. To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter. And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.
** "Yankee Doodle" was also originally a British ditty, meant to mock the Americans. (Yankee Doodle rides into town on a small pony instead of a proper horse, and then sticks a random feather into his hat and declares himself stylish -- he's a ''hick''.) The Americans took the song right along with the nickname.
** Also from the revolution, once General Cornwallis was kicked out of Charlotte, North Carolina, he referred to the city as "a hornet's nest of rebellion". The city still has the nickname The Hornet's Nest, and their [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation basketball team]] is named the Hornets.
* Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. picked up his (nick)name from when his sister was a toddler and called him "buzzer" as a mispronunciation of "brother". This was shortened to "Buzz", which he later made his legal first name. He is known for walking on the Moon (then, in his seventies, [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome he punched a guy in the face]] for [[ConspiracyTheorist saying he hadn't really been there]]) and being the source of the name [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory Buzz Lightyear]].
* That's how the followers of popular Anti-MarySue Website/LiveJournal Pottersues got their [[FanCommunityNicknames Fan Group Nickname]]: one troll with a grudge against Pottersues included the readers and fans among her insults, calling them "Lesbian Minions". They immediately reacted by calling themselves exactly that.
* Musiu Lacavalerie, late Venezuelan TV and radio personality, was born as Marco Antonio Lacavalerie, but because of his obviously non-Hispanic last name he was jokingly called "musiú" an affectionate (and then popular) term toward immigrants and foreign-looking people. Lacavalerie decided that he liked how the combination sounded, so he took it as his professional name.
* Back in the day, on our fine {{fora}}, someone dropped in on a thread and prefaced their remarks with the following. Take a look at the alt title on {{Troper}}.
-->"[[{{Narm}} I hoped I'd never create an account at this site and will probably never use it again. I have no love for vigilante taxonomists.]] [[ItsPersonal It's a personal thing.]]"
* When ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 4th Edition was newly announced, a number of angry gamers weren't just satisfied with expressing their unhappiness and spent a lot of time [[{{Troll}} spreading unfounded rumors]] on the Creator/WizardsOfTheCoast boards. Other posters went out of their way to correct them and one frustrated rumormonger angrily denounced his being 'oppressed' by what he called the '4e Avengers'. Within a week, dozens of posters had that name in their sig with SuperHero names like '4e Batman'.
* As a joke on his strained relationship with the press, then-Minnesota governor Wrestling/JesseVentura issued media credential badges to his press corps labeled something along the lines of "Press Jackal." The issue-ees were none too pleased, but the badges soon became collectors' items among the better-humored.
* Fans of the erotic artist Julius Zimmerman are known as the Flaming Horde after an incident in 2003. An inker was discovered to be tracing Julius' art and auctioning it as his own and fans of Julius filled his inbox full of complaints. When Julius e-mailed his image host asking who it was, the response was something like: "No one you or your horde of flaming fans need to worry about any more" and he ceased hosting the tracings. Though Flaming Horde was intended as an insult, the group embraced the novel designation.
* The astronomer Fred Hoyle, a proponent of the Steady State model of the Universe, coined the term "Big Bang" as a dismissive term for the rival model. The name was taken on by proponents of the theory, at first ironically but later in all seriousness.
* When the idea of a number line at right angles to the reals, defined by the square root of -1, was first proposed, many mathematicians considered it to be ridiculous and called them "Imaginary Numbers".
* The term "survival of the fittest" was originally used by a writer dismayed at the perceived coldness of the theory of evolution by natural selection. He meant "physically fittest", which is still a common misunderstanding today, but it was appropriated on the understanding of fittest meaning "best at its job".
* The reason why members of the Website/SomethingAwful forums are collectively referred to as "goons" by themselves and other Internet denizens.
* The "Star Wars" missile defense system was originally called that in mockery of its implausibility.
* As noted on the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny page, a number of left-leaning localities have been given derisive nicknames of this type, but have ended up wearing them proudly - probably because, technically speaking, [[RefugeInAudacity the nicknames are so inaccurate that the only possible way one can utter them is with irony]].
* The term "Marxist" was invented by a French conservative in the late 1800s as an insult. The communists of the time quickly started referring to themselves as Marxists and their ideology as Marxism, despite Karl Marx himself detesting the term and going so far as to insist that he was not a Marxist. Admittedly, this last was more a reaction to what the ideology developed into.
* The term "suffragette" was originally coined as an insult by the British tabloid, the ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers Daily Mail]]''. As well as adopting it as their own, the suffragettes then turned it around by hardening the "g", emphasising the word "get".
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rats_of_Tobruk Rats of Tobruk]], the Allied defenders of the besieged UsefulNotes/WorldWarII garrison who proudly took their name from Nazi propaganda. Likewise the Scrap Iron Flotilla that supplied them. Rats are intelligent, resourceful and endlessly hardy animals that will take a place over and never be removed. It was fate.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] themselves. Well before UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler came about, "Nazi," as a nickname for Ignaz (Ignatius) was a common epithet for the Bavarian equivalent of a GoodOlBoy. So when a political party called the '''Nati'''onalsozialistische[[note]]the German "-ti" in ''national'' is pronounced ''tsi''[[/note]] came to prominence, people were quick to seize on Nazi to describe it. They tried reclaiming it but instead decided crushing their enemies was a better use of their energy upon taking over the German government, and so it was their enemies who made them permanently known to history as Nazis. More information [[http://fi-the-awesome.tumblr.com/post/55644034770/this-thing-about-nazi-being-an-insult-will-always here.]]
* The Impressionists got their name from a satirical journalist, who derived it from Monet's ''Impression, Sunrise''.
* Louis Vauxcelles, a turn-of-the-20th-century French art critic, had one of the worst track records for insults in history. In 1905, upon seeing an exhibit of the works of Matisse's circle next to a statue of Donatello, he declared that it was "Donatello chez les fauves" ("Donatello amidst the wild beasts"). The circle eventually became known as "les fauves", and their movement "Fauvism". Three years later, he described the experimental works of Picasso and Braque as "bizarreries cubiques". Today, we call their movement cubism.
* In UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, Northerners took to calling Southerners "Johnny Reb" and Southerners took to calling Northerners "Billy Yank". They took to calling themselves that in jest.
* Eastern and Central European literature theorists who were developing theories set forth by Ferdinand de Saussure and Nikolai Trubietskoy were called 'structuralists' by their opponents who scorned their overly scientific methods. Later the name stuck and now the movement is officially known as structuralism.
* The terms Whig (Liberal) and Tory (Conservative), used by various British and British-derived (American, Canadian etc) political parties through the ages, both started out as fairly insulting terms in Irish Gaelic (''whiggamore'' 'horse thief' and ''toraidh'' 'outlaw'). "Whig" fell out of use in the UK in the early 1900s, but "Tory" is still current.
* UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} is well known as "The Windy City." The nickname was around before the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 (See the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_name_%22Windy_City%22 article]] at [[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} The Other Wiki]]), but it was pushed into popular culture when it was used as an insult by the ''New York Sun'' editors to refer to the hot air being created by Chicago politicians as they tried to get the World's Fair to come to Chicago. The name stuck.
* ''Façade'', Edith Sitwell's suite of poems set to music by William Walton, originally started out as a personal, technical exercise. She wanted to see if, by a careful arrangement of words, she could cause people to recite them in a particular rhythm (waltz, foxtrot, etc.). Then someone remarked that it was "very clever, but just a façade" - and she decided to let the name stick.
* Doyle Brunson, poker player, got his nickname "Texas Dolly" by Jimmy Snyder misreading "Texas Doyle". It stuck, and got shortened to "Dolly".
* Radio/RushLimbaugh was once called "The Most Dangerous Man in America". Rush now calls himself that. Similarly, he and his fans refer to his fanbase as "Dittoheads", which was originally to disparage them as [[YesMan yes-men]].
* After reclaiming the title of World Chess Champion, Mikhail Botvinnik was being fawned upon by his fans. He tried to keep the celebration restrained by telling the well-wishers, "No, no, I am not a patriarch, you know." Guess what his nickname was after that?
* This is how pilots get their callsigns.
* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, Kaiser Wilhelm II referred to the British Expeditionary Force as a "contemptible little army." Immediately British army regulars started referring to themselves as the Old Contemptibles... But the quote from which the appellation was taken was fabricated by British propaganda.
* The [[SemperFi US Marines]] call themselves "Devil Dogs", supposedly in reference to a German report referring to them as ''Teufel Hunden''. The only problem is, the only sources for this claim are from the American media, and that the word would more properly be [[YouMakeMeSic Teufelshunde]].
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Caribbean Indo-Caribbean people]] (Caribbean nationals who are descended from indentured servants brought from India to the Caribbean), particularly those from UsefulNotes/{{Guyana}} or Trinidad & Tobago, are known as "Coolies." This started out as an insult by their former masters (the British plantation owners), as the original meaning was that a person being called a Coolie was a low-class worker. However, in recent decades, Indo-Caribbean people adopted it as an affectionate nickname for themselves. An Indo-Caribbean politician in Trinidad famously made a speech declaring himself to be "Coolie to the bone" to emphasize his heritage. Also, [[BigApplesauce New York City's]] sizable Indo-Caribbean community also generally uses the word Coolie to describe themselves.
* Members of the online celebrity news community [[http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/ Oh No They Didn't!]] proudly call themselves "jackals" after being referred to as such by an online columnist.
* In the same vein, the word [[Music/{{Eminem}} "Stan"]], once used on the site as a derogatory term for overly-obsessed fans of any given subject, has now been adopted by said fans (partially due to WesternAnimation/SouthPark) and is even used as a verb ("Who do you/I stan for _____"). This is mostly in female fanbases, popular shows, and mainstream American culture.
* Some Music/BritneySpears fans who actually like her and support her accept being called a "Britard".
* Music/LadyGaga calling her fans "Monsters" is a double subversion. They had this name before, but due to the more questionable things they have said and done (like all fan bases), they are called "Real Monsters" to those who really don't like or get them and how they deal.
* The Crystal Palace was the purpose-built venue for London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 and a wonder of the Victorian Age, being the product of a brilliant and innovative design. Its iconic name, however, was originally coined by a writer for ''Punch'' magazine, as a backhanded euphemism for the proposed structure in one of their typically flippant comment pieces.
* The Chamber of Horrors in Madame Tussaud's Waxwork Museum in London acquired its name in the same manner. A ''Punch'' writer coined the term while commenting on the newly opened "separate room" (as it was originally referred to) in 1846.
* A large number of [[UsefulNotes/TheSeveralStates US state]] nicknames are derived from this:
** The term "badger" for a Wisconsin resident originated as a derogatory name for the copper and iron miners in the western part of the state who, due to poverty, would sleep in holes they dug in the ground. Today, Wisconsin is officially nicknamed "The Badger State" and the athletic teams at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are known as the Badgers.
** Minnesota got the nickname "The Gopher State" when a political cartoon called Minnesotan legislators a bunch of gophers, and for some reason it stuck; to this day, the athletic teams at the flagship University of Minnesota-Twin Cities are called the Golden Gophers.
** "UsefulNotes/{{Michigan}}der" started as a pejorative. Today, it's the only acceptable term for a person from Michigan, at least as far as Michiganders are concerned. The nickname "Wolverine State" for Michigan also began as an insult, when UsefulNotes/{{Ohio}}ans called the Michiganders "vicious as wolverines" (or something to that effect) during the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_War Toledo War]].
** The term "Masshole" is used mainly to describe the perceived tendency for residents of Massachusetts to be overly aggressive about driving, sports, or things in general, but it's not uncommon to see cars with Mass plates proudly sporting bumper stickers with the word on it.
* Jack Thompson came up with the term "pixelante," a mix of pixel and (for some reason) vigilante, to describe video game players. The [=GamePolitics=] forum wasted no time in appropriating the name for themselves, much to Thompson's annoyance.
* "Pixel-stained technopeasant" was coined by Howard Hendrix as an insult to his fellow science-fiction writers who were demeaning "the noble calling of Writer" by posting their work on the net for ''free'' (*gasp*). They now have [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Pixel-Stained_Technopeasant_Day their own holiday]].
* The SpaceOpera genre was originally called that as an insult -- the term "opera" was used along the same lines as SoapOpera and [[TheWestern Horse Opera]] to connote that a work was filled with unbelievable characters, plots, and settings. Now, the term SpaceOpera is value-neutral, and just means a work with "grand themes" that's probably on the softer end of the MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness.
* Fans of Creator/{{Atlus}} games, particularly the Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei series, like using the term Fatlus to refer to themselves, despite its origins as a derogatory term.
* Lately there's been a trend of [[StrawVegetarian militant vegans]] on Website/{{Tumblr}} referring to omnivores as "bloodmouths" in an attempt to guilt them about their dietary choices. The omnivores' reaction? To wholeheartedly embrace it, declare "bloodmouth pride" and sometimes change usernames to incorporate the word "bloodmouth." Let's face it, if the vegans wanted to make a point, they should've chosen a term whose connotations were far less badass. They have also taken to calling them "Carnists", with similar results.
* "Film/{{Stilyagi}}" was the insult in [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn the Soviet Union]] for youth who rebelled by dressing in wild styles and listening to RockAndRoll. They later used this name as a point of pride.
* Many people with the nickname "Bubba" got it because a sibling couldn't properly pronounce the word "brother."
* The sports teams of The Ohio State University named themselves Buckeyes after many a comment made by visiting teams about the large number of buckeye trees on campus.
* The title UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper was actually given by the media around the time of the murders, the original murderer never left behind any such CallingCard. However, as soon as the newspapers were published, cue hundreds of fake notes sent to the police station claiming to be from Jack the Ripper himself, at least one of which even says [[LampshadeHanging how he enjoys his new nickname]].
* Danish show-host Bubber (real name Niels Christian Meyer) got the name from his mother mishearing her father-in-law calling him "bubbele" (doll) upon birth.
* UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher was nicknamed "IronLady" accidentally, by the Soviet newspaper ''Red Star''. They tried to use the already existing, less-than-complimentary moniker "Iron Maiden", but [[BlindIdiotTranslation it was lost in two mistranslations]], from and then to English. [[BadassBoast Thatcher's response]]: "They are right, I am an iron lady, Britain ''needs'' an iron lady."
** Not like "Iron Maiden" would've been much better as an insult, as it would've made Thatcher into [[Music/IronMaiden the most metal PM in British history]].
* In a slightly more scary example, the pink triangle often used as a symbol for gay pride was originally used by the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] as the symbol the gays were required to wear.
** The leftist political counterpart, the ''red'' triangle, is used by modern-day anarchocommunists for the same purpose -- not to mention a particularly comical GangOfHats in [[Film/BatmanReturns a popular 1992 superhero film]].
* After a Rhode Island teenager named Jessica Ahlquist got a prayer banner removed from her school, one of the ''many'' negative reactions she suffered was a Rhode Island representative dubbing her "an evil little thing" during a radio interview. Her Website/YouTube channel is named [[http://www.youtube.com/user/AnEvilLittleThing "An Evil Little Thing"]].
* Outlaw motorcycle clubs have appropriated the "1%er" appellation from an apocryphal story about how the American Motorcyclist Association said that 99% of bikers were law-abiding citizens and that only 1% of them were criminals. They take it as a badge of honor, as in they are the most hard-case 1% and everyone else on two wheels is really just a RuleAbidingRebel or a wuss. These are the guys who put the grain of TruthInTelevision in AllBikersAreHellsAngels.
* During TheGildedAge, {{political cartoon|s}}ist Thomas Nast started to caricature the Republican Party as an elephant -- for being bloated but unstoppable (in Nast's day, the GOP ran everything that wasn't the South or New York City) -- and popularized the use of the donkey to represent the Democratic Party (UsefulNotes/AndrewJackson had been called a "jackass" in the 1830s, and as the Democrats were seen as being rather obstinate in the late 19th century, the symbol was extremely fitting). The Republicans and Democrats adopted the animals as mascots, and use them to this day.
* In the early days of baseball's American League, manager John [=McGraw=] of the Baltimore Orioles (the franchise now known as the New York Yankees, though [=McGraw=] would be better known as the skipper of New York's ''National'' League team) called the Philadelphia franchise a "white elephant". Manager and part-owner Connie Mack immediately had a white elephant patch sewn on the uniforms of his team, and over a century and two city changes later, the Oakland Athletics still have an elephant mascot.
* The "Crocoduck" was originally a Photoshopped [[MixAndMatchCritters Mix-and-Match Critter]] used by creationists Kirk Cameron (of ''Series/GrowingPains'' fame) and Ray Comfort to mock the theory of evolution. Since then, prominent atheists like PZ Myers and UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins have taken to wearing ties with crocoducks on them. Also, several fossilized animals with both crocodile and duck-like features have been found, earning them the nickname "crocoduck."
* UsefulNotes/RichardNixon's Vice President, Spiro Agnew, once called opponents of UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals". After this, some of them started wearing "Effete Snobs for Peace" buttons.
* The tiny nation of Singapore was dismissed by Indonesian President B.J. Habibie as merely a "little red dot" on the map. The Singaporean government and people almost immediately pounced on it a proud reminder that the nation has managed to prosper out of all proportion to its size.
* "Tree huggers" for environmentalists.
* Sioux City, Iowa has a problem with its airport. The FAA gave it the identifier "SUX", so every plane ticket and baggage tag would have "SUX" printed on it for anyone going there. After trying unsuccessfully to change it, [[labelnote:sort of]]they petitioned the FAA and got back several alternatives that they liked even less[[/labelnote]], the city now embraces it and sells T-shirts saying "[[OurProductSucks Fly SUX]]".
* UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}} features a trolley known as the South Lake Union Train. There are t-shirts for sale saying you "took a ride on the slut."
* At one point, a member of the North Carolina legislature called the famously liberal town of Asheville "a cesspool of sin." Not long after, many Asheville-based organizations, including the local NPR affiliate, began turning out "Cesspool of Sin" t-shirts. They remain quite popular among natives.
* After the 2013 protests in Turkey were described as the work of a bunch of looters ("çapulcu") and drunkards ("ayyaş") by Prime Minister Erdoğan, many supporters of the movement appropriated the terms to mock the ridiculousness of the charges. In addition to people on Facebook changing their nicknames or occupations to "çapulcu" or "ayyaş", there was also a meme involving photos showing the protesters doing harmless or constructive things (like cleaning up the streets after a clash with the police) with a caption underneath reading "Look at what those damn looters are doing". It also helps that both "ayyaş" and "çapulcu" are considered mild examples of InherentlyFunnyWords in Turkish.
* The name of the Crips street gang was originally the "Cribs," reflecting the members' young age, but after members began appearing in public with pimp canes, people began calling them "cripples" or "crips." The nickname stuck.
* TheEdwardianEra featured the birth of a new art movement in painting, characterized by "wild brush work and strident colors". Art critic Louis Vauxcelles nicknamed them "les Fauves" (French: "the wild beasts"), intending it as an insult. He accidentally baptized the nameless movement as "Fauvism", when the press started using it as a formal name. Several of the artists he was insulting, such as Henri Matisse and Georges Braque started using the name in reference to themselves and went on to become household names.
* Some inhabitants of the Isle of Sheppey in [[UsefulNotes/HomeCounties Kent]] will call themselves "Swampies," a word formerly used as a term of abuse for them. Some on the Isle still consider it an insult, so tread carefully here.
* [[PrettyFreeloader "Parasite Singles"]] was a term used to describe single Japanese people (especially [[ChristmasCake single women]]) in their [[LazyBum late 20s and up who still live with their parents to live a more relaxing life]] [[ItsAllAboutMe even if said individuals are actively working to spend said earned money on themselves,]] which is a ''big'' cultural no-no in Japan/Asian societies in general. Instead, the term became so beloved that it's even printed on business cards saying, "Hi, I'm a Parasite Single!"
* A young James Butler Hickok was nicknamed "Duck Bill" to make fun of his nose. After a while, he modified it to "Wild Bill" and occasionally went by William.
* The antifeminist Internet forum the Slymepit was named for a feminist nickname of the blog ERV, from which the forum was spun off.
* The creationist Michael Egnor's blog is named Egnorance, referring to a word used to mock him for his ignorance.
* The ancient Cynics were constantly called ''kynikos'', or dog-like, for their asceticism and shamelessness. Eventually they took the name for their own.
* The online term "Social Justice Warrior", or "SJW", was created as a ironic pejorative term for people who often spoke negatively about sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, or anything of that ilk to a tiresome extent. It was initially used to describe [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad overly-PC]] Website/{{Tumblr}}ites who had just found out what "cultural appropriation" meant and applied the term rather broadly, before expanding to become a general invective that could be yelled at anyone - possibly by people who didn't quite grasp that calling your opponents warriors for justice is basically calling them superheroes. Eventually, it was adopted as a self-descriptive term by geeky online folks with strong opinions about inclusivity and social equality, leading to a fad for replacing "warrior" with other ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' classes, and eventually [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BzSuMiUIIAIclHG.jpg:large these buttons]] being sold at conventions. Its use as a pejorative does seem to have seen a resurgence as of late, as some of the aforementioned people took it increasingly far.
** Inversely, "Shitlord" was used as an insult to the kind of person against [=SJWs=] and meant sexist, homophobic, racist, etc; in just one word. The term became so overused and parodied, almost no one uses it anymore and the ones that do only call each other that as a friendly term to make fun of its lack of hurtful meaning, or (occasionally) as a sort of praise for someone who'd rather stand their ground when attacked by the aforementioned [=SJWs=].
* Another name given by the Nazis; a group of female Russian pilots who flew nighttime missions against them were referred to as "Nachthexen" or "Night Witches" due to the whooshing sound that their biplanes made.
* As hard to believe as it may now sound, "heavy metal" was not the name of an [[StealthPun ironclad]] rock-music subgenre [[NewerThanTheyThink until about 1980]], even though the style has unmistakable roots in late-1960s rock. The term was coined around 1970 by rock journalists (perhaps inspired by the phrase "heavy-metal thunder" in Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild") as a catchall for any kind of rock music that was louder than what had come before (which, as the '70s wore on, grew to be just about everything). No actual band considered "metal" today used the term to describe themselves until Music/JudasPriest did beginning in the late '70s, which was also when the term acquired its more specific definition.
* "Otaku" is not a very flattering term in Japan, but Western anime fans have mostly adopted the term to refer to themselves. This can sometimes be ironic when Western Otaku sometimes use the term "Otaku" negatively when referring to Japanese Otaku (usually when complaining about light novel tropes or Moe), while still embracing the same word towards themselves.
* "Furfag" was originally an insult towards people who were a part of the UsefulNotes/FurryFandom due to the strong belief of the stereotype that anyone that was a furry would always have sex with other furries in the most weird and kinky way as possible. Furry fans found the term hilarious and take it as a compliment while calling each other furfags in the same way one would greet each other with the N word.
* ''L’Osstidcho'' was a groundbreaking French Canadian theater revue created in 1968 by four young performers who would each later become well known artists. The name of the revue, which is an alteration of "l’hostie d’show" (loosely translated as "the damned show"), comes from an incident during the production stage, when the theater director got exasperated and shouted: "Arrangez-vous avec votre hostie d'show!" (= "I don't want to have anymore to do with your damned show!").
* {{Environmental Narrative Game}}s have frequently been derisively referred to by their detractors as "walking simulators", although some have since come to use that term neutrally as a purely descriptive term for the genre.
* In the early days of UsefulNotes/TwoWayRadio, Amateur Radio operators were referred to as "Hams" by professional radio operators and telegraphers, in reference to the ham-fisted and clumsy way they were perceived to operate on the radio waves. Over the years, the term was embraced by amateur radio operators so now "Ham Radio" is perceived as a perfectly acceptable and widely used name, leading to many to mistakenly assume instead that it is an acronym, spelled "HAM".
* Fans of ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' often call themselves "Undertale Trash" for the same reasons as the "PC Master Race".
* One reason that a number of younger Americans positively identify with the term "socialism" is that they've heard conservatives deride their liberal opponents as "socialists." Most of these people, on the other hand, are ''social'' liberals, to the irritation of many Marxist-Leninists and anarchists.
* Brazilian [[UsefulNotes.AssociationFootball football]] player Paulo Henrique "Ganso" takes his nickname from how some employees in Santos F.C. called him when he was a teenager. In brazilian football slang, "Ganso" (goose) was used to describe young players who wouldn't become professionals because they lacked skill.
* The word "nerd": originally used as an insult towards science and technology oriented people, the rise of internet culture and computers becoming an omnipresent part of life has seen the word used by those formally targeted with it as a derogative turned into a badge of honor for knowledge and skill in those areas.
* ''Bayformers'' was originally a nickname that the detractors of the ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' film series used to describe them. More recently it has been used by fans because it's not that bad of a nickname.
* The "Trixie" in [[Creator/TrixieMattel]] was an insulting nickname given to her by her stepfather early in life. She later took that and made it a part of her drag identity.
* [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfHanover King George III of England]] was nicknamed "Farmer George" by the English newspapers due to his passion for agriculture (he even wrote a few pamphlets on the subject using a pseudonym, though no one was fooled). He didn't seem to mind, and the joke was never meant to be malicious. The papers changed their tone after George IV's disastrous reign: the nickname became a way of complimenting George III's frugality in comparison to his son's ridiculous extravagance.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointillism]], the technique of painting with small dots of color, was given this name by art critics to mock it. Once Neo-Impressionism came into full swing, which used this technique, the name lost its mocking connotation.