Nicknames are prevalent with all people. Families dub their children with nicknames. Grandparents get the best titles among adults. However, it’s the celebrities who are most prone to receiving nicknames. Actors, singers, and sports players especially have been crowned with a wide variety of nicknames. By doing this, it helps to humanize these worshipped individuals and serve as a terms of endearment from adoring fans. However, the forming of nicknames have changed over the years, becoming more of just shortened versions of celebrities’ own names instead of descriptive monikers.

The tradition of bestowing nicknames is best used in sports to show off a player’s talent and to intimidate rival players. Back in the day, sports players were given descriptive, original names. Lou Gehrig was called “The Iron Horse,” Negro League outfielder James Bell was known as “Cool Papa,” and Babe Ruth’s nicknames could probably fill a book. Nowadays no one has to ask why a person is called what they’re called. Daisuke Matsuzaka is “Dice-K,” the pronunciation of his first name. Alex Rodriguez is appropriately “A-Rod,” the same going for all other Rodriguez players with the appropriate first initial attached. Those that do manage to get descriptive are not all that original either however, such as “Big Papi,” “Pudge,” and “Big Unit.”

The same goes for Hollywood. Jennifer Lopez is now called “J. Lo.” Lindsey Lohan is “Li Lo.” Couples get their first names smattered together to form “TomKat,” “Brangelina,” and the one that started it all, “Bennifer.” Even the president has taken to giving unflattering and unoriginal nicknames such as “Brownie” and “Condie.” While it should still be flattering to have a nickname, since having one lets you know you’ve made it big, celebrities should be envious of their predecessors who had the truly great nicknames that were well thought out and flattering at the same time. For all of the time, attention, and effort we put into worshipping celebrities, that is how little time we put into honoring them with an American tradition.

For related articles visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19620053/site/newsweek/page/2/ and http://www.lingospace.com/nicknames/index.asp?letter=A.

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