A Brief History
On January 5, 1066, Edward the Confessor of England died, setting the stage for what became the Norman Conquest. On January 5, 1500, Charles the Bold also died, killed in battle. Of course, this guy is not to be confused with Charles the Bald, although he was also known as Charles the Rash, but not because of a skin condition! In the past we have pointed out the odd names bestowed upon historical figures, and today we speculate about what names our current crop of luminaries would be called if people still were named according to a personality or physical trait. Here are some of our guesses, how about your nominations?
1. Donald the Insulter, Donald Trump.
The Donald, or Mr. President if you will, is the King of labeling people with nicknames, virtually always insulting and belittling titles. Our choice for his moniker is not even insulting, just purely descriptive. Perhaps by this time next year he will be known as Donald the Convict, we’ll have to wait and see. An alternative title would be Insulter in Chief. Curiously, a well-sourced article on Wikipedia concerning “nicknames used by Donald Trump” is presently being debated as to whether nor not it should stay on Wikipedia. You are welcome to go to the discussion here and argue to “keep” this article and we have also screen captured it and are posting this screen capture below so as to preserve it for the public and thereby prevent possible electronic book burning:
2. Rocket Man, Kim Jong-un.
This nickname is one time The Donald got it right! This short, fat, megalomaniac dictator of North Korea is obviously obsessed with developing missiles/rockets to launch his primitive nuclear warheads across the world. A delusional, stupid looking idiot, this guy deserves any insulting appellation that could possibly be applied to him. What are your names for this homicidal psycho?
3. Rasputin, Vladimir Putin.
Dictator of the 3rd most powerful country in the world, this pint sized but larger than life goof has managed to manipulate a US presidential election with impunity, and continues to meddle in American affairs with diabolical passion, just like the Mad Monk once did in Imperial Russia. Like the original Rasputin held a hypnotic sway over the Czarina Alexandra, our modern Rasputin holds a baffling trance over Donald Trump. Is the similarity in names a coincidence, or something more sinister???
4. Shady Brady, Tom Brady.
Tom Terrific and his New England Patriots won another Super Bowl in 2017, coming back against the Falcons’ seemingly insurmountable lead of 25 points in the 3rd Quarter. We are unaware of any shenanigans involved in this historic comeback victory, other than the Falcons’ epic fail choke, but Brady’s prior reputation coupled with that of the Patriots organization earns his this nickname.
5. Alec the Trump, Alec Baldwin.
Yes, Saturday Night Live has given numerous good, or even great, impressions of celebrities and politicians, but the Alec Baldwin version of Donald Trump has taken the country by storm. Notably even less flattering than most impressions, Alec the Trump is hilarious nonetheless. In spite of Baldwin’s vast body of work in television and film, we think his portrayal of the 45th President will be his signature role.
6. Charles Not in Charge, Charles, Prince of Wales.
The presumptive heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, Charles is apparently going to wait forever before his immortal mother dies and leaves the Crown to him! Elizabeth II is now the longest reigning monarch in English history, and is a youthful 91 years old. Chuck is now already 69, so we will see if he even lasts long enough to ever see his own coronation. Charles grandmother, the mother of Elizabeth II, lived to the age of 101. If Elizabeth II matches that mark, Charles will be 80 before he becomes King. If he lives that long…
7. Trent the Last, Trenton Harmon.
In 2016 Trent Harmon (Harmony?) became the 15th and final American Idol winner. Did you even remember his name??? If not, then you know why the television powerhouse that American Idol once was has become extinct. To refresh your memory, Harmon is now 27 years old and both of his singles have sold under 70,000 copies apiece. Harmon was a reject from the 2014 edition of The Voice, a rival singing contest show. (The 2015 winner released an album that sold a paltry 5000 copies so far, and the 2014 winner did not do much better, with one album that sold 28,000 copies.)
8. Rose the Bald, Rose McGowan.
The above photograph from September 2008 is a “before” picture. In 2015, our beautiful flower shaved her head, giving her a striking new appearance that was not altogether criticized. The new look was actually kind of exotic. Then, in 2017, the lovely 44 year old actress revealed amidst the enormous spate of 2017 sexual harassment allegations that she had reached a settlement years ago with Harvey Weinstein for $100,000 over a sexual harassment incident. She then alleged that Weinstein had raped her, and that many Hollywood men of importance knew of Weinstein’s sexual predations and did and said nothing about it. Every so often a famous woman (or man) will shave their head to create a stunning new look (or for other reasons, eg. Britney Spears). Sometimes the new look looks good, sometimes not so much. Rose looks good no matter what hairstyle she wears. Others in this club include Charlize Theron, Kellie Pickler, Solange, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Demi Moore, Sigourney Weaver, Sinead O’Connor, and Grace Jones, among others.
9. Robert the Inquisitor, Robert Mueller.
Formerly the Director of the FBI from 2001 to 2013 (appointed by a Republican President, Mueller has always been a Republican), Mueller was confirmed by a 98-0 vote of the Senate and has enjoyed bipartisan support of both parties throughout his career due to his rock solid impartiality in his investigative and prosecutorial work. He is currently the special investigator assigned to investigate the meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election by the Russians. Mueller is obviously going through an incredibly exhaustive and detailed investigation using painstaking methods and detailed precision. Virtually everyone that has ever worked with him or for him describe him as scrupulously impartial and with obsessive attention to detail. It seems unlikely he will leave any stones unturned in his investigation.
10. Sean Sphincter, Sean Spicer.
A notoriously snarky and derisive former White House Press Secretary, Spicer was labeled while attending Connecticut College accidentally as Sean Sphincter in the college newspaper. Of course, Sean resented this alleged misprint, and complained, but he was also said to be able to talk and talk and talk… without saying anything of consequence.” By golly, sounds like the perfect qualification for White House Press Secretary! Despite venomously deriding the media as liars, Spicer regularly told obvious whoppers right from the start, including the one about the Trump inauguration being the most attended presidential inauguration ever (it was not). This guy attacked the media from his first day on the job, not even waiting for an excuse! Although Spicer is gone from the White House and out of the constant public eye, he was there long enough to justify his old nickname as apropos even today.
Question for students (and subscribers): What is your favorite modern nicknames for a celebrity? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Lee, Bandy. The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. Thomas Dunne Books, 2017.
Gessen, Masha. The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Riverhead Books, 2012.