Nicknames can end up being either one of the coolest things about you (imagine someone calling you ‘Wolf’ or ‘Ace’) or so embarrassing that you wish nobody ever ends up hearing them again. There’s a small problem, though: you can’t give yourself a nickname; others do it for you. And you can earn your nickname—whatever it might be—completely by accident, without even knowing that some random action will end up defining you for years, and sometimes even decades, to come.

Reporter and published author Erin Somers, from New York, started up a very fun viral thread over on Twitter when she opened up about her sister’s college friend’s nickname (‘Burgers’) and the reason why he got it. “One time he talked about grilling burgers too enthusiastically. You have to be careful,” Erin warned.

She couldn’t have been more right! Her thread quickly went viral and others started sharing their own tales about weird nicknames and how people got them in the most unusual ways. Scroll down for the best article to start your morning, Pandas, because we’ve collected the most interesting responses to Erin’s tweet for you to enjoy. Upvote the posts you enjoyed the most and, if you’re feeling up to it, tell us all about how you or your friends got your nicknames!

Meanwhile, be sure to check out Bored Panda’s interview about fun and funny nicknames, as well as why we use them with comedy writer and author Ariane Sherine, from London.

More info: Twitter | ESomers.com | Book

#1

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pavanwar Report

beesechurger elite
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

AH I HAVE THIS SAVED BUT IDK HOW TO PUT A PICTURE

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#2

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shrecknet Report

dream of delusion
Community Member
3 months ago

hey now, Toot is one the most noblest names ever said

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#3

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

No you can't, Socks.

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“Nicknames that are funny and not too mean are always the best ones, and ‘Spider’ is a perfect example,” comedy writer Ariane told Bored Panda, referring to one of the tweets in the thread about a person being called ‘Spider’ because they bought three pairs of jeans during one shopping trip.

“‘Opposite’ nicknames can also be funny, like when a very tall person is called ‘Tiny.’ I think cool and funny tend to be mutually exclusive. I mean, ‘Spider’ is a cool nickname unless people discover the reason behind it!” she said that nicknames are usually either cool or funny, but never (or rarely!) both.

#4

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sterling_penny Report

Jacob Nunez
Community Member
3 months ago

Damn how fast were you running

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#5

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Rabbit Lord
Community Member
3 months ago

Was his real name George Cercus Clooney? :D

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#6

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

Plot twist: Neither guy was originally called Paul.

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According to Ariane, people often come up with nicknames to either amuse themselves or to be affectionate. “I use loads of nicknames for my friends, but I wouldn’t call them nicknames if they minded,” she said that we always have to be aware how the people closest to us react to how we call them.

The comedy writer opened up about the nicknames used in her social circle. “I call my lovely ex-boyfriend Kieran ‘Pooky’ because it makes me laugh and is a reference to my favorite film ‘13 Going on 30.’ I call my great friend John ‘John Bon Jovial’ because he’s always so cheery,” Ariane shared.

#7

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bingomister Report

Lunar Rat
Community Member
3 months ago

I was called rhubarb for several years by a friend because I once wore a green jumper.

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#8

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TheBenBrennan Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
3 months ago

We had a teacher, how this was found I do not know, but this passed on from school year to school year, he once shoplifted some cheese from the supermarket. He was known for generations as cheese thief.

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#9

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MagiColbi Report

Cactus McCoy
Community Member
3 months ago

Haha, this one is great.

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“I call my friend Kia ‘Kiki Dee’, after the singer, and ‘Kia-Ora’, after the soft drink. And it’s not really a nickname but I call my friend Gordon ‘Gozza’ because he’s 79 and very distinguished and it’s so inappropriate that I find it funny!”

Meanwhile, Ariane said that she mostly gets nicknamed ‘Ari’ or ‘Azza’ these days. “Though the less said about my cruel nicknames at school, the better.”

#10

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

Fair enough. Om nom nom!

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#11

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

Mountainy.

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#12

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iBlank
Community Member
3 months ago

best to just embrace the nickname when it sticks I guess

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Erin’s tweet was immensely popular. At the time of writing, her tweet about nicknames got over 104k likes (and counting!). It’s obvious that people really enjoyed the unusual topic with a heavy dose of humor.

In fact, the reporter’s thread finally convinced us that the reasoning behind nicknames really doesn’t have to make sense or be super deep. Heck, someone might see you eating a mayonnaise sandwich, call you ‘Mayo,’ and then you’re stuck with that for the rest of your natural lifespan. That sounds absolutely horrible or quite a bit of fun, depending on your point of view.

#13

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iBlank
Community Member
3 months ago

maybe he legally changed his name to Moses so people would start calling him Mike

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#14

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Daniel Atkins
Community Member
3 months ago

my son's nickname is ninja he was named this before birth, because we waited until he was born to find out his gender. My wife said we have to call the baby something and he gave a large kick and just like that he was ninja.

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#15

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

Narrator: "It was then that Katie regretted never changing her hairstyle."

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Pretty much anything you do can end up earning you a new moniker. And it must really hurt when you end up getting yours for something random that you do instead of what you wish you were known for.

Imagine being an incredibly skilled runner who’s passionate about health, fitness, and the great outdoors. Then, someone notices you eating a bunch of eggs or you do something really dumb in college, and you’re forever branded with something God-awful.

#16

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rcornellious Report

Telmo Belo
Community Member
3 months ago

I started a new job and a few days in I was given a T-shirt with STAFF written on the back. Someone meant to call me but, because they didn't know my name yet, she called me Staff. That was my name untill I left that job.

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#17

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

Better than Banana, I suppose.

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#18

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

Someone ask Gisele if she remembers "Toasted Buns".

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It’s pretty darn hard to shake a nickname once you’ve ‘earned’ it. Even if it was entirely by mistake. Try being the guy who gets called ‘Baghdad’ because they got a bag from their dad. That practically borders on bullying and has got to go against at least a few points in the Geneva Convention, no? Yeah, we’ll say ‘no’ to school reunions from now on.

The fact is that nicknames really can cause some serious self-esteem issues in people if they’re used maliciously. Even if someone doesn’t have any evil intentions, teasing someone can make them lose confidence in their identity. I’ve never had to deal with any horrible nicknames myself, but being the target of bullies is something I’m very familiar with (and I’ll bet a lot of you reading this are, too).

#19

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kURT cOBAIN
Community Member
3 months ago

At least he does what his name suggests

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#20

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P B Wilson
Community Member
3 months ago

I work with a cotton also. Same reason, hair and beard look like cotton balls glued on a potato

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#21

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The Deez
Community Member
3 months ago

I wonder if his real name is Jim Halpert...

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It’s not just nicknames that might cause potential issues, though. A person’s given name can make the victim of bullying, too. Lauren Seager-Smith, the CEO of Kidscape, explained to Bored Panda earlier that some names can make kids more apparent targets.

“With some names, it may be more obvious why children would find them fascinating or amusing—with others, this will be out of your hands, so while you may want to take reasonable precautions in naming your child the focus should always be on empowering children to recognize and respond to bullying behavior,” Lauren pointed out that parents should try to instill a sense of pride in their children so that they have a strong sense of self.

#22

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Trisha Howson
Community Member
3 months ago

Had a guy we went to school with that was super tall that was nicknamed tree.

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#23

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Judes
Community Member
3 months ago

Not four pairs of jeans?

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#24

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Trisha Howson
Community Member
3 months ago

Cool

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According to the expert, parents shouldn’t underestimate the impact that bullying has. They should try to find ways to help make their kids feel proud of who they are, whatever their name, family situation, or background. At the same time, she stressed that “bullying is never acceptable.”

The fact is that bullies can latch on to a target for any number of reasons, for example, if someone has a ‘funny’ name, wears glasses, is a bit overweight, has a difficult family situation, or anything else. The CEO of Kidscape told us that when someone attacks a kid’s identity, they require the support of their parents and their social circle.

#25

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

How badly damaged was this bridge that it took one Tchucy person to break it completely?

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See Also on Bored Panda
#26

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FuriousSterling Report

InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAARARRRRRRR!

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#27

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

So did the cheese, evidentally.

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“Never underestimate the impact of bullying, understand what your child needs to feel safe and if the bullying is in school—make sure you let the school know the impact of the situation,” she said that situations like this shouldn’t be kept quiet.

#28

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

First name Joe?

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#29

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

We're all Burgers at Home.

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#30

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InfiniteZero
Community Member
3 months ago

You are what you eat. Or in this case what someone who looks like you eats.

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Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

“You may also want to seek out opportunities to build your child’s confidence and assertiveness skills so they can feel proud of who they are,” she said that emotional resilience is a skill that parents should strive to instill in their children to help them bear difficult situations in the future. Just in case the nicknames go from lighthearted fun to hurtful.