Nicknames

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Nicknames (originally called Pet Names and now, sometimes, Fan Names) for fans, fanzines, and fannish organizations are ubiquitous, some bestowed by other fen, some adopted by individuals on their own.

In recent decades, fans have adopted nicknames based on their online handles (and vice versa), and the practice of some conventions to put a line for a "badge name" on registration forms has led to new congoers' assuming a pseudonym is required.

Some ekenames are a sort of Demolishism, like 4e/4sj, ATom and Tripoli. (Ekename is a Middle English word meaning about the same as nickname and pet name, and used pretty much interchangeably as an avoidance by both Fancyclopedia 1 and Fancyclopedia 2.) Similar are various combinations and unEnglish corruptions of first and last names, exemplia gratia Emsh and SaM. Some have references to science fiction, such as Bill "The Galactic" Fesselmeyer; others are derived from the person's characteristics, such as The Hermit of Hagerstown or Doc. Some result from typos, such as Smtih.

More: dag (Dean A. Grennell), MZB (Marion Zimmer Bradley), TAJ (Ted Johnstone), SaM (Sam Moskowitz), GMC (Gertrude M. Carr), The Elephant (Bruce Pelz), Coswal (Walter Coslet), Agberg (Bob Silverberg), Billern (Bill Ellern), ATom (Arthur Thomson), BJohn (Bjo & John Trimble), Bosh (Bob Shaw), Dikini (Dick Eney), Scribe JH (Jack Harness), Squirrel and Ronel (Ron Ellik), Moose and Squirrel (Bob Lovell and Scott Dennis), Lan (George Laskowski).

Forrest J Ackerman had the largest collection: 4sj, FJA, , Fojak, The J, Mr. Science Fiction, and others. Forry was also big on bestowing them, often in Esperanto.

It isn't just people who who have nicknames: There is an old tradition of giving cons and fanzines nicknames.

Clubs and organizations are often nicknamed with initialisms (sometimes created on purpose), or other short forms: SCIFI, FANAC, NESFA, Little Men, MonSFA.

See also: List of Nicknames, Pennames.


A section of Science Fiction News Letter #54 (3 December 1938) listing various fanzine nicknames.


From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
Nicknames: Besides penames and the usual English nicknames, Bob, Jack, Don, Bill, ktp, fans use several kinds of distinctive monickers.

Some are a sort of Demolishism, like 4e/4sj, DaV, ATom, Tripoli, and r-tRapp (Forrie/Forrest J Ackerman, Dave Rike, Arthur Thomson, E. Everett Evans and Art Rapp). Similar are various combinations and unEnglish corruptions of first and last names, exemplia gratia JoCa, Eshm, SaM, Morojo, Urk Buncliff, and Goon Bleary (Joan Carr, Ron Fleshman [in imitation of pro-artist Ed Emshwiller, "Emsh"], Sam Moskowitz [or sometimes -Martinez], Myrtle R. Douglas, Eric Bentcliffe, and John Berry.

Something different are names based on various personal characteristics: The Amiable Bulldozer, the Newark Neanderthal, Foghorn Samuel, Scribe JH, Squirrel, Sweet Unspoiled Miss Nanshare, and Small Sister Lindsay. (William Rotsler, from his disposition and build; Sam Moskowitz, from his residence and physique; ditto, because of his voice; Jack Harness, Scientological "priest", from the Rosicrucians' designation of their illuminati; Ron Ellik, from Boyd Raeburn's comment that Ronel was careless and irresponsible and reminded him (Raeburn) of a silly little squirrel running around aimlessly; Nancy Share, that rosy-cheeked flower of Pennsylvania girlhood; and Ethel Lindsay, who's short and a Nursing Sister [Registered Nurse].)

There are also several names used as official which aren't legally the bearers', like Bob Tucker.

From Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement, ca. 1960
"Nobody ever called Kornbluth Cy in my hearing," says Damon Knight a bit grimly, "and I think I have a fairly good general idea of how he would have reacted if anybody had."
From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
Pet Names: Besides the names given fans' autos and miscellaneous property like cameras and typers, many fanzines have been given affectionate nicknames, which Speer says help give the contents "personality". These are usually corruptions of a syllable or two from the original name, or Demolishisms: for instance, SaL, LeZ, Ap', FA, "-", Warp, Ret, Oops, Mopsy, Celsy, Q; namely Sweetness and Light, Le Zombie, Aporetta, The Fantasy Amateur (OO of FAPA), Hyphen, Spacewarp, Retribution, Oopsla, Matters of Opinion, Excelsior, and Quandry.
From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
Pet Names: Besides the names given fans' autos and miscellaneous property like cameras and tripewriters, many fanzines have been given affectionate nicknames, which help give the contents "personality". There are usually corruptions of a syllable or two from the regular names; Madge, Nell, Fanny, Mickey, Tommy, Sally, Lovy, Fay, Leo, Tizzie, Di, SaL, Squeaky, LeZ, Warbul, Vom, Susie, Neppie, Horace, Fido, Espie, Mopsy, and Beulah.



Fanspeak
This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether it’s still in use, etc.