Nicknames terms of endearment or bullying?

slim

War Hero
Just been reading the SCC part. Seems that a young sea cadet took umbrage to being referred to as ginge.
Are nicknames still used in the modern navy or are they classed as a form of bullying?
In my day nicknames were given and you took them as a sign that you were accepted. Many did not like the given names but eventually seemed to accept them and lived for the rest of their carriers with them. Nicknames were an integral part of navy life so much so that many did not know their oppo's Christian name.
While serving at Tain range in Scotland on of my oppos got in the sh!t with the local police, completely drunk. His name Topsy Turner. the police contacted the local duty sailor to find his Christian name to enable them to charge him and he had told them it was Topsy. No one knew his real name. Had to phone his DO (also called turner) who lived in an hotel in Tain. No prizes for guessing that hid DO also only knew him as Topsy. He had top get taxi from hotel to range to open the safe in order to find his docs and supply said name.
So finally nicknames derogatory or a term of endearment
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Book Reviewer
As stated in my original reply on that thread, Matelots and Cadets are patently different from each other; Matelots have developed a thick enough skin to distinguish between banter and bullying, i.e. someone called Jock as a nickname is not the same as calling someone a ***** Jock git, etc. However Cadets are emotionally immature and have not developed suck intersocial skills, so if someone referred to them using a derogatory nickname, they would not be able to defend themselves accordingly and take it personally.
Having said that, I believe there still is a place for nicknames in the RN, in particular the 'traditional' ones, such as Tug Wilson, Blood Read, Daisy Adams, etc. Mind you, how boring and annoying is it to walk into a Mess and ask for 'Smudge' and about have half a dozen people reply?
But going back to the original point, if the person referred to has no objection to being called Jock, or Ginge, etc., then where's the problem?
 

SILVER_FOX

War Hero
I should have seen this one coming. The use of nicknames can be construed as either a term of endearment and acceptance to some; to others however it is the scourge of their very existence. In reality how it is perceived can often depend on the name and context it is being used in. Taking just a few examples -

Positive / neutral - Smudger (Smith), Bunny (Warren), Dodger (Coffin), Frankie (Vaughan), Shiner (Wright), Nobby (Clarke / Knowles), Mary (Whitehouse), Taff, Jock, Paddy, etc.

Negative - Wan (Carr), Mary (Whitehouse), Taff, Jock, Paddy and of course Ginge (er tosser).

The more astute amongst you will notice that I have included a number in both sections. As an Irishman I know that Paddy can be well meant or very much the opposite. It isn't that long ago that the name was widely used in a disparaging manner within the UK and in some circles of the RN it still is (associated terms include Irish Pennant, Irish Parliament, etc). The trouble is that we become so accustomed to using these names and terms that we lose sight of the effect they might have on the recipients.

Who has the right to choose a nickname? and once chosen - does the owner have the right to ask for it to stop - would he or she dare? I can just hear it ... "Er, excuse me but would you mind awfully not calling me that" ... because that'll work every time.

SF

PS: Can we stop this now because I'm getting a little saddle sore up here on this white horse.
 

Shakey

War Hero
It's the way the mob works isn't it, most people end up with a nickname and usually it's not that bad.

I'm lucky - I could have ended up with Cat which sounds a bit girly!
 

Tas-ape

Lantern Swinger
My laddie Scott has been in the mob for nearly four weeks and as a half Jock, half Taff, he has been christened by the instructor staff as "Mongrel" and he loves it.
His two best oppos are refered to as "Bomber" ??? and "Gollum" from Lord of the Rings.
Think mines was FRISB!!.
Never done me any harm, but then again I think there was more maturity in young men when I was seventeen than there is in seventeen year olds today.
8)
 

SILVER_FOX

War Hero
Possibly something to do with the lifestyle of your time as opposed to the style of today. Nowadays [whether we like it or not] the stay at home TV watching, computer playing, internet surfing kid is less robust. It's the reality we have to work with and we need to adapt as much as they do.

Dishing out nicknames which are designed to poke fun at, or demean our juniors are not a good way to build respect and ideal working relationships.

SF
 

Tas-ape

Lantern Swinger
SILVER_FOX said:
Possibly something to do with the lifestyle of your time as opposed to the style of today. Nowadays [whether we like it or not] the stay at home TV watching, computer playing, internet surfing kid is less robust. It's the reality we have to work with and we need to adapt as much as they do.

Dishing out nicknames which are designed to poke fun at, or demean our juniors are not a good way to build respect and ideal working relationships.

SF

In as much that I totally agree with your statement on different lifestyles and out looks, why should it be us that adapt? Surely with the knowledge that we have attained over the years, I thought it would be the other way around.
 

brigham600

War Hero
I think nicknames are great and I had plenty at school.

I love my Navy one so much, I use it as my login for this site and many others.

SF, I don't think the majority of nicknames are as bad you make out. I would rather have a nickname than constantly be refrerred to by my surname, which is what most of the youngsters in Collingwood do.

IMHO for many, being assigned a nickname gives them some kudos.

I would however draw the line at very inflamatory ones such as Fat Twat, Lard Arse etc. Saying that, I have been called upside down head in the past when I had a beard along with my bald head and it did not upset me in the slightest as it was TRUE. :)
 

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