Nicknames in Novels

Among the many things memorable in works of fiction, character nicknames are probably far down the list. But those informal monikers can be fun, interesting, make protagonists seem more approachable, and/or offer insight into their personalities, accomplishments, and looks.

My nickname today? “The Man Who Was Desperate for a Blog Topic During This Summer Week.”

In literature, Natty Bumppo of James Fenimore Cooper’s five “Leatherstocking” novels might be the king of different designations — a good thing considering how silly “Natty Bumppo” sounds. He’s known as Hawkeye and La Longue Carabine (The Long Rifle) in The Last of the Mohicans, by the books’ titles in The Deerslayer and The Pathfinder, as “the trapper” and “the old man” in The Prairie, etc.

Hopefully no one who met The Scarlet Letter author Nathaniel Hawthorne called him Natty…

Another character with more than one nickname is Lord Voldemort in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Voldemort (born Tom Marvolo Riddle) is called “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” and “The Dark Lord,” among other things. Some of the series’ other characters have nicknames such as “The Boy Who Lived” (Harry himself) and “Mad-Eye” (Alastor Moody).

Speaking of eye issues, there’s the patch-wearing Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn in Charles Portis’ novel True Grit. (Sadly, John Wayne didn’t portray another roosterChanticleer of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Was the “Duke” too American for that role?)

Another novel with various nicknames is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch, Charles Baker “Dill” Harris, Arthur “Boo” Radley (who those kids initially feared)…

There are also many casual monikers in Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, another novel of the American South. Imogene “Idgie” Threadgoode, the Buddy character (“Stump”) who lost his arm in a railroad accident, the hobo “Smokey Lonesome” Phillips, “Big George”…

Which reminds me of “Chicken George” (George Lea), who trained chickens in Alex Haley’s Roots.

Charles Dickens’ novels also have a number of nicknamed characters: the pickpocketing Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins) of Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim (Tim Cratchit) of A Christmas Carol, Pip (Philip Pirrip) of Great Expectations

And if you haven’t overdosed on “P” and “i” names, there’s Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi — which is longer than 3.14 pages when the tiger character doesn’t eat most of the book.

Then there are the Mirabal sisters (Las Mariposas — The Butterflies) from Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies, which partly fictionalizes the story of those brave opponents to Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo.

A couple more examples: Captain “Aarfy” Aardvaark of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, and the wondrous baseball player Roy Hobbs whose nickname is the title of Bernard Malamud’s The Natural. Incidentally, “Roy Hobbs” was a moniker mix of real-life baseball legends Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb — who had more hits than Taylor Swift, but less romantic angst on YouTube.

Of course, it almost goes without saying that countless characters have predictable nicknames: Sue for Susan, Jim for James, etc.

What are your favorite nicknames in literature?

Here’s a somewhat-related 2015 post about author aliases.

(The box for submitting comments is below already-posted comments, but your new comment will appear at the top of the comments area — unless you’re replying to someone else.)

I’m writing a literature-related book, but still selling Comic (and Column) Confessional — my often-funny memoir that recalls 25 years of covering and meeting cartoonists such as Charles Schulz (“Peanuts”) and Bill Watterson (“Calvin and Hobbes”), columnists such as “Dear Abby” and Ann Landers, and other notables such as Coretta Scott King, Walter Cronkite, and various authors. The book also talks about the malpractice death of my first daughter, my remarriage, and life in Montclair, N.J. — where I write the award-winning weekly “Montclairvoyant” humor column for The Montclair Times. You can email me at to buy a discounted, inscribed copy of the book, which contains a preface by “Hints” columnist Heloise and back-cover blurbs by people such as “The Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson.

90 thoughts on “Nicknames in Novels

  1. For someone desperate for a blog topic this is pretty smart. Had to laugh re the idea of Natty Hawthorne. I do love giving a character a nickname, (it saves me finding a name for them sometimes.) You’ve beat me to some favs, but you have shortened names too (I like shortening names too) so I guess Huck Finn. There’s little Ray in Mildred Pierce whose real name is Moire …named by an astrologer apparently who wrote the name down as opposed to pronouncing it, so Mildren didn’t know how to pronounce it hence the Ray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Shehanne! Yes, Natty Hawthorne seems way too informal for an author who was excellent but didn’t offer a heckuva lot of humor in his novels and stories.

      The shortening of names is an excellent mention. And I love the nonsensical-ness of that “Mildred Pierce” name situation. Reminds me of one of the hilarious moments in a famous episode of “You Bet Your Life,” starting at around 1:35:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh that is epic. I loved the detail in that ref in the Pierce book. later there’s a bit about the only time the name was properly pronounced was at her funeral. I always feel it is that sort of detail that makes a story. Also that a nick name or the biz of calling someone by a shortened version ses a lot about the actual character of the person who does it as well as the character whose name has been shortened. It’s a great device. So.. great post

        Liked by 1 person

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  3. Let’s not forget about the unforgettable Arthur “Two-Sheds” Jackson on Monty Python’s Flying Circus! A pure classic. Great post. I’m new to WordPress (just fired up an author’s blog myself!) and was happy to have stumbled across this neat site. I’ve just subscribed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great nickname you mentioned, JJAzar! I loved Monty Python — the TV segments, and the films.

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog, and for subscribing! I just subscribed to your new blog as well. Good luck with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Dave ” Life of Pi”, by Yann Martel is a fantasy novel a small novella until became a blockbuster movie . I understand the book was rejected by many publishers and later sold ten million copies with the theme relativity of truth. .
    The protagonist The protagonist, Piscine Molitor Patel, The schoolmates constantly teased his name as ” “Pissing” he decides to establish his name in short form as “Pi”.
    In the book grown up Pi reminisces about his growing up in Pondicherry India where his father owned a zoo and later decides to sell it and move to Canada.
    The adventure continues their journey transporting the animals all the way to Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I understand at least 5 times, imagine he the writer ever gave up , persistence always pays off.
        I may have mentioned before I have gone to Pondicherry when 19 or so. Sri Aurobindo was an Indian nationalist, Hindu philosopher. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while was one of its influential leaders and later became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution ( basically c&p from wiki) .

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Frank Norris’ The Octopus also has a sort of nickname for a title, and stands in place of the name of a railroad, which though in the novel is a fictional one, was inspired by as political cartoon concerning a real one– at least that’s the way it reads in wikipedia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dave, when I saw the title of this week’s blog I thought you must be Desperate for a Blog Topic During This Summer Week, but a half second later I thought what a fun topic. And names / nicknames can actually be important in a book. In “The Dark Tower” John ‘Jake’ Chambers is a lonely little boy. He has no pals, his parents are mostly absent, and he counts the housekeeper as his friend. The housekeeper who always cuts the crusts off his sandwiches, and calls him ‘Bama’. Although the housekeeper is kind of indifferent to poor Jake, the nickname is important to him, making him feel special.

    You mentioned “Catch 22” which made me think of Nately’s Whore. Of course that’s not technically a name, but as I can’t remember her real name, that’s what I always call her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t think a novel, or any other form of writing, could capture the movements and mannerisms of the late WC Fields in character, as he describes to an inquiring party how it was that he became to be known by the nickname Honest John. Fortunately, there’s film:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nick Flynn’s sorta novel, sorta memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, takes place in Boston MA– which means the last two words in the title are a nickname for the home of the Red Sox.

    Not promoting, mind you, just reporting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vincent Patrick’s novel, The Pope of Greenwich Village, has a nickname for a title. Charlie Moran, the main character, started his own religion as a boy, and declared himself Pope., His two followers, fearing punishment for blasphemy, tried to limit his territory to Carmine Street, but Charlie persuaded them that his authority extended to the whole of Greenwich Village. After the boys cut up a fedora for his crown and placed it on his head, he blessed them both with water out of a nearby drainpipe.

    Eddie Grant, local made guy, has a nickname also: The Bedbug. Nobody calls Eddie ‘The Bedbug’ to his face, because that would be as crazy as Eddie Grant.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There are some characters’ names that sound like nicknames. For example, did Huckleberry Finn’s birth certificate (or whatever birth record might have been made in Missouri in the 1830’s) really have “Huckleberry” as a first name? Even if that was his birth name, “Huck” is certainly a nickname from that.

    Faulkner’s psychotic killer Popeye in ‘Sanctuary’ is only referred to as Popeye. I suspect that is an alias or nickname of some kind (probably not an actual name). For practical reasons, Popeye may not have wanted his real name to be known.

    Then there’s another Southern Literature killer in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” referred to only as The Misfit.

    If I may interject a real-life nickname, when I was a child my mother had a friend in Sunday School everyone knew only as “Pud” Shell. Pud would never disclose her real name. I asked my mother, ‘how could it be any worse than “Pud”?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian, great question about whether Huck is a nickname of a nickname. Huckleberry would be a mighty strange birth name!

      The “Tom Sawyer” novel that Huck also appeared includes the villain “Injun Joe,” whose nickname unfortunately has racist overtones.

      Nice mentions of Faulkner’s and O’Connor’s killer characters.

      And — ha — “Pud” does indeed sound worse than whatever real name that person had!


  11. Howdy, Dave!

    — What are your favorite nicknames in literature? —

    The Mule in Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series — especially in the original trilogy (“Foundation,” “Foundation and Empire” and “Second Foundation”) — is the most memorable of my favorite nicknames in literature because the author gives the major character neither a first name nor a last name and because it is such an apt description of his reproductive situation.

    Other favorite nicknames almost as memorable are the ones applied to the title characters of Joseph Conrad’s “Lord Jim” and John Updike’s “Rabbit” series, due to the facts they also are aptly descriptive.

    J.J. (Alias MugRuith1)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three excellent examples of nicknames, J.J.! Thanks! It’s nice when nicknames are so descriptive/evocative/accurate that they’re better than the characters’ real names.

      And, as two of your examples illustrate, sometimes the nicknames are so good that they become all or part of the novels’ titles!


      • — [A]s two of your examples illustrate, sometimes the nicknames are so good that they become all or part of the novels’ titles! —

        If we were to consider literature consisting not only of novels but also of novellas, then all three nicknames made it into their authors’ titles, as Isaac Asimov first published the second part of the novel titled “Foundation and Empire” (1952) as a novella titled “The Mule” in the magazine “Astounding Science-Fiction” (1945). Thus, we have hit a titular trifecta. Woo-hoo!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rescued from a thrift store, I’ve got, safe in a cardboard box high up on a closet shelf, four or five years (several dozen issues) of Astounding Science Fiction– though if I remember right, they’re from the later 40’s into the early ’50’s. Given the high acid content of the pulp paper, the pages of these babies are beyond brittle and delicate. The covers, however; still glow vibrantly, amongst them, several iconic ones by Kelly Freas (also famous for Mad covers). A highlight of the collection: a long article by L. Ron Hubbard in which he introduces readers to the wonders of his new religion!

          There are, of course several offerings by other SF writers of note throughout, but I’d have to, were I so inclined, read them elsewhere, or risk the magazines falling apart in my hands as I turned the pages.

          Really not my cup of tea, but they were in danger of being pawed to death in the store– a few were already in pieces in the box– so I bought them– cheap. It’s bargains like these that are crowding me all over….

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Dave “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri.
    It is again the story of a Bengali ( Indian) couple who immigrated to United States from the safety of their known home to an unknown land. Ashima is a new bride and pregnant and delivered her child alone in Hospital. Had it been in her homeland they would be surrounded with family, friends, distant relatives and all. Wanting to leave the hospital she learnt she can not leave until there is the baby`s name in the birth certificate.
    She was awaiting from her grandmothers letter for the name which never arrives on time and then the lady dies. In Bengali culture it is customary for someone with two names a name to be called in public and a pet name for relatives at home.
    So her husband Ashoke suggests the name of “Gogol”, in honor of the famous Russian author Nikolai Gogol, to be the baby’s pet name, and they use this name on the birth certificate.
    So the story continues…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yes, didn’t the father love Gogol’s work partly because a book by that writer he was reading helped save his life after a horrible train accident?

      Thanks, bebe, for mentioning “The Namesake” and for that great description! An excellent novel by the excellent author Jhumpa Lahiri.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Ah, yes, didn’t the father love Gogol’s work partly because a book by that writer he was reading helped save his life after a horrible train accident?”

        Reminds me of those stories from wars past, when a book– the Bible– in the pocket of a soldier, stopped a bullet and saved said soldier from certain death.

        Which reminds me of a Woody Allen bit, now probably 50 years old:

        “Years ago, my mother gave me a bullet…a bullet, and I put it in my breast pocket. Two years after that, I was walking down the street, when a berserk evangelist heaved a Gideon bible out a hotel room window, hitting me in the chest. Bible would have gone through my heart if it wasn’t for the bullet…”

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hilarious humor from (the not always personally admirable) Woody Allen!

          I have a vague memory of reading that a president (Theodore Roosevelt? FDR?) was shot at and saved by a bullet hitting something in his pocket (an eyeglasses case?).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yep– “Twas Ted. His eyeglass case, along with a 50-page speech, stored folded in his breast pocket, saved him. 1912.

            But FDR was shot at too– and was missed. The bullet hit Chicago’s Mayor Cermak, fired by a man of anarchist leanings who shouted “Too many are starving!” as he discharged his weapon at the dais where both sat. His sentiment was more accurate than his aim. Cermak died, after lingering for many days.

            Liked by 1 person

              • Yep. Big Bull of Bull Moose Party didn’t even postpone his next speaking engagement, despite his wound. Now that’s keeping everlastingly at it!

                Perhaps the most amazing presidential assassination story is the one concerning Andrew Jackson. A man approached him at close range with a pair of pistols, and discharged one and then the other– and both pistols misfired. The odds on two misfires are supposedly astronomical, though I’d figure if a guy doesn’t know what he’s doing, he can do it twice. After the pistols failed, Jackson himself disarmed his assailant and beat him with the pistols.

                Interesting side-note: During Jackson’s time in office,John Wilkes Booth’s father, Junius Brutus, wrote a letter to President Jackson, in which he threatened the man with assassination… his threat was not taken seriously, and the letter still exists.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Theodore Roosevelt was a physically courageous man!

                  Two AMAZING anecdotes relating to Andrew Jackson (neither of which I’ve heard before). Can’t wait until that murderer of Native Americans (and others) is off the front of the twenty-dollar bill.


                  • I understand, and agree re Native Americans and also Afro-Americans– but as president, he also drove Nicholas Biddle from his perch in high finance, and closed the Bank of the United States– a private institution grown fat and sassy on government deposits and control of the US money supply. Jackson was also among the most stalwart of all defenders of the notion of the US being an indissoluble union, threatening John C. Calhoun, the author and promoter of nullification, with a rope if he insisted on insisting.

                    He’s mostly monstrous with a couple of positive footnotes, I guess.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Well said, jhNY! Yes, I guess Jackson was a populist of sorts. Interesting that he wanted the U.S. to be one nation — but a racist nation. He and Calhoun’s basic biases were not that different. (I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. 🙂 )


                  • Thread’s maxed below, so:

                    The US WAS a racist nation– see Article 1 of the Constitution. The protection of our peculiar institution, slavery, was furthered in the 2nd amendment.

                    Jackson was, by the standards of his day, a populist– in every good and bad sense of the term.

                    Liked by 1 person

        • Very creative Woody but a creepy one for sure. But I stll watch most of his movies if he is not there. The last one may / dec. was noted by reviewed a creepy one coming from woody. I skipped that one.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, bebe, the guy can be funny but what a checkered personal life. I see a lot fewer Woody Allen movies than I used to. And he does still seem to be often fixated on the older-man/much-younger-woman thing. 😦

            Liked by 1 person

  13. No! I cannot believe that your “well” has run dry (well, almost dry, as you seem to indicate)! You are so much more highly evolved than I; the only favorite nicknames I can remember are the ones I call my least favorite neighbors. And they’re not fit to print.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cathy!

      After writing blog posts about books most weeks for five years (at “The-Site-That-Must-Not-Be-Named” and here), it IS getting harder to think of new ideas. 🙂 But they arrive in the brain eventually…

      LOL — nicknames for least-favorite neighbors! I’ve coined a few myself over the years. I never called them those names to their faces, but it was a good way to internally vent.


  14. I just thought of another one, this time by Charles Dickens. In this novel, Dickens calls the daughter of whose father resides in a debtors prison, Amy, but known as “Little Dorrit.” I don’t think I ever read the novel, but I did see a great adaptation of it, either on BBC or A&E. It just boggles the mind that not just the father could be sent to debtor’s prison, but the entire family as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great example from a great book, Kat Lib! Some of Dickens’ lesser-known novels — “Little Dorrit,” “Dombey and Son,” “Martin Chuzzlewit,” etc., are REALLY good.

      And, yes, the whole idea of debtors’ prison is appalling. Unfortunately, there are versions of it in today’s America, such as when poor people who can’t afford to pay traffic fines sometimes end up jailed.


      • So true about people today who are living between the worlds of poverty and just barely making it. I keep thinking about my mother whenever these conversations arise. I took care of my mom’s finances when my dad died and she was petrified that any bill wouldn’t be paid on time. The minute she got a bill in the mail, she’d call me to let me know and ask me to come out to her living-assisted unit to take care of it right now! I used to joke with my family and friends that mom thought she’d be hauled off to the debtor’s prison, yet, there may have been some reason she thought that.

        I don’t know about you Dave, but we’re having a wicked storm here right now. I’ve not lost power yet, but it seems likely.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kat Lib, I can relate to your mother’s bill-paying anxiety; I’m also obsessively careful about paying bills before they’re due — as if various awful corporations deserve that consideration. I guess the economic circumstances one is in — or was in when growing up — have a big psychological impact when it comes to bill paying.

          Started raining here about 15 minutes ago, but not too badly. Sounds like your weather is a lot worse. Hope you keep your power!


  15. Hi Dave, for some reason “Little Women” popped into my head. There are quite a few nicknames, most quite common, such as Jo (Josephine), Meg (Margaret), and Beth (Elizabeth). Amy’s the only one of the sisters whose name is already short enough. Then of course there is Marmee (Margaret), Fritz (Frederich?) and of course Laurie (Theodore). Jo sometimes calls Laurie “Teddy.”

    On a personal note, my first name is Kathy. I can’t tell you the number of times I’m asked for my “real” name, and I always say that is my real name. Then someone will say, no, we need your “legal” name, such as Kathleen or Katherine, to which I reply that is my legal name. The funny thing is that my mother realized after having already given birth to my five siblings that they all had five letters in their first name. If not for that, she would have called me Barbara. So thank goodness she didn’t go with “Barby.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Little Women” is definitely packed with nicknames, Kat Lib — with “Marmee” perhaps the most memorable. Thanks for mentioning Louisa May Alcott’s excellent novel!

      I hear you about having a full name that sounds like a nickname. My older daughter Maggie’s name is not short for Margaret — we wanted an informal full name…of Maggie.

      I like the five-letter consistency of your siblings’ names — and your very funny “Barby” mention! Yes, who needs a name like that, reminiscent of that silly doll? (I have no problem with many dolls, but never liked the impossibly thin, white-bread Barbie, even as the company eventually tried to diversify the line a bit.)


      • When my grade school and junior high school friends and I got together recently, we spent a little time talking about Barbie dolls. We were of the age that we were about ready to give up dolls altogether, but we did go through the whole Barbie craze for probably a year or so. One of my friends still has a collection of those dolls, including the iconic one of Barbie in her black and white swimsuit. I made the mistake of thinking I could cut my doll’s hair — suffice it to say that she ended up with a punk hairstyle and a mostly bald scalp! I too am glad to see that the makers of Barbie have a new line that is more diverse than the doll that had an impossible figure to try to live up to.

        I was thinking about family names and such while sitting at a long RR/stoplight, and I realized that my mother, after picking a middle name for my eldest brother of five letters, went to four letters for the rest of us five kids. I don’t know if she did that consciously or was oblivious to that fact (my brother was a somewhat odd duck). The other thing I found interesting was that five of her children had blue eyes, as did my parents. I read somewhere that the chance for two blue-eyed parents to have a green-eyed child was 1%, which is what I have.

        Liked by 1 person

        • True, Kat Lib — something about Barbie dolls attracts kids for a while! My older daughter had a ton of them, and I joined with her in playing with them for many hours. I was bored out of my mind! Eventually, she sold most of them (and a lot of the accessories) at a yard sale and kept the proceeds. 🙂

          Wow — a pattern, whether planned or not, in middle names, too! (Well, an 80% pattern.) And that WAS an unexpected genetic fluke to end up with green eyes. I guess a 1% chance is still more than a 0% chance…


  16. I’m remembering in “Seabiscuit” by Laura Hillenbrand the jockey’s name is John. M. “Red” Pollard. Called, Red, for hair color. I am thinking a red a commonplace nickname for those with red hair. Of course “I Love Lucy” comes to mind. Safe to say if one has red hair it can be a nickname! I bet your readers can think of a few others.. Red Buttons anyone??

    Liked by 1 person

    • And comedian Red Skelton, artist Red Grooms, basketball coaches Red Auerbach and Red Holzman, old-time football player Red Grange, sportscaster Red Barber…

      But then there’s Anne Shirley, of “Anne of Green Gables,” who preferred her hair to be called “auburn” rather than the more prosaic “red.”

      Thank you, Michele, for a comment I’m glad to have red…um…read. 🙂


      • Les Paul, red-headed guitarist extraordinaire, born Lester Polsphus, first performed under the names Red Hot Red and Rhubarb Red.

        But I knew a drinking man named Red in Nashville in the early ’70’s, who had barely a hair on his head. He got his nickname from his complexion, which was pronouncedly florid.

        He also had nearly no teeth. I took him to a club for a beer on songwriter’s night, and was amazed to see his rapt expression as one of the performers sang about the plight of Palestinians, a topic which rarely came up in those bygone days, especially in Nashville, and especially among the street people with whom I was acquainted. I asked him, expecting an enthusiastic affirmative, if he’d liked the man’s singing, and Red replied: “I didn’t hardly notice. Did you see that guy’s teeth? If I had teeth like that, I could eat anything I wanted!”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, jhNY! I didn’t know about those two nicknames for the much-admired/highly influential Les Paul.

          And what a story about your former Nashville acquaintance! Well told, too.


  17. Hi Dave … well if you were desperate for a theme, you came through very well indeed 🙂 In “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, was Chief the character’s actual name or a nickname? I did a quick google search, and I think it’s a nickname, but still not sure.

    Well, I finally stuck my toe in the water and I am reading “The Killing Floor”. I’m on chapter three and, I have to say, Lee Child does know how to tell a story. I look forward to finding out what all the fuss is about 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pat!

      I’m also not sure if “Chief” in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is a nickname or not, but, if it is, it would be in a long line of ethnic-type nicknames in literature and real life.

      Nice that you’ve entered the realm of Lee Child! He DOES know how to tell a story. To call his novels page-turners would be an understatement. Please let me know what you think when you’ve finished “The Killing Floor.”

      The Jack Reacher books are obviously not great literature, and they’re pretty violent in parts, but they’re written extremely well and Reacher is a fascinating personality.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Since I was going to suggest Harper Lee’s “Scout,” but you forebeat me to it, all I can offer regarding nicknames (sorry, but you brought this on yourself by mentioning him), is John Wayne’s, “Duke.” His nickname came from his beloved boyhood dog, a big Airdale. Wayne, born in Winterset, Iowa, as Marion Morrison, had a big dog when he was a kid, an Airdale named Duke. He and Duke were inseparable. In their many visits to the local firehouse, the Fire Chief started calling young Marion, “Little Duke”. For the rest of his life, even after he took the name of John Wayne, he insisted his friends call him “Duke.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Speaking of nicknames, “Lulabelle” was one of my daddy’s nicknames for me. The other one was “Sally Jo”.

    One of my favorite novels has a nickname for a title – “Lady” by Thomas Tryon. I have discussed it many times here. “Lady” is the nickname of Adelaide Harleigh who is the mysterious “Lady” who lives in the beautiful old house on the square. She befriends “Woody”, an 8 year old boy who spends lots of time alone and really needs a friend. She and he become virtually inseparable and he worships her like she’s a goddess, and is simply crushed and bitterly disappointed when he discovers she is human after all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lulabelle, I’m very glad you mention Thomas Tryon’s novel from time to time — it’s a superb book. And definitely a great addition to literature’s gallery of nicknames. Excellent summary of “Lady”!

      Having had two nicknames of your own — nice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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