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Friday, July 16, 2010

Calling All Choppers And Spuds

This blog post originally appeared 2/12/2008.

Because I am a fan of the excellent Schott’s Miscellany series – Schott’s Original Miscellany, Schott’s Food and Drink Miscellany, etc – I bought the Schott’s Almanac Page-a-Day calendar this year. It is a treasure trove of my favorite kind of nuggets: funny and random.

Last Saturday’s page deals with the British armed forces’ tendency to give automatic nicknames to people with certain surnames. Like so:

Surname: Austen
Nickname: Bunny

Surname: Clarke
Nickname: Nobby

Surname: Harris
Nickname: Chopper

Surname: Miller
Nickname: Dusty

Surname: Murphy
Nickname: Spud

Surname: Payne
Nickname: Whacker

Surname: Short
Nickname: Jumper

Surname: Smith
Nickname: Smudger

Surname: White
Nickname: Chalky

Surname: Young
Nickname: Brigham

Sadly, none of the reference staff’s surnames are on this list, although I do know several Chalkys and Spuds. I really shouldn’t talk; my grandmother was a Smudger.

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