• An Oxford Historian

Nickname of the Week

This week I'm starting a new blog series - Nickname of the Week.


In my research, I'm interested primarily in how nicknames work socially. I've written about 'Anglo-Saxon' and Viking nicknames, but now I'm interested in them more broadly and universally. What themes do people choose? Are similar names given to men and women, children and adults, elites and workers? Is there any consistency across time and space - would Plato have laughed at the nicknames you were given at school?


The best way of exploring this is simply to find a lot of examples. What are the best nicknames throughout history? That's where this new blog series comes into play - a (hopefully) weekly look into a single example of a historical individual with a nickname.

Lots of these will come from historic contexts I'm not personally familiar with - I am primarily a historian of the early medieval period. But that's part of the point, escaping my academic comfort zone to see how nicknames work in areas and times I don't know very much about.


So if that sounds interesting to you do take the chance to sign up for the blog on the form below, and keep up to date with the weekly post on a variety of nicknames.


This first post in the series is available now here, on Swedish sniper Simo 'White Death' Häyhä.


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  • LATEST ARTICLE: Anglo-Saxon Thegns

  • Check out my previous articles on Anglo-Saxon (here), Viking (here) and obscene (here) nicknames. A new Deep-Dive article on Interpreting the Emporia can be found here.

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