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And that's why they call me "Adjective Noun" Surname.
September 23, 2012 9:17 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone think of examples of well-known fictional characters or historical figures whose names fit the format [Adjective / Number] [Noun] [Surname]?

This is a trope I associate with the Western genre, but I can't think of any concrete examples of characters or people, except for one example from a Neil Gaiman story, Augustus "Two Feathers" McCoy, which is a) not particularly well known and b) imperfect because the given name is still present.
posted by capricorn to Society & Culture (57 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, there's always Maj. Major Major Major, which I guess fits that mould.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 9:22 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson?
posted by littlesq at 9:24 PM on September 23, 2012


erm, sorry I meant General "Stonewall" Jackson.
posted by littlesq at 9:25 PM on September 23, 2012


Not clear to me how your example is "imperfect": Is it because "Two Feathers" is not his real name, or because he's always/typically referred to with his first name included?

If the latter, then Three Finger Brown. If the former, though, he did have a "real" first name (Mordecai), so I guess it's imperfect too.

Also, I would suggest looking at Native Americans, some of whom combined the "Sitting Bull" or "Running Elk" kind of thing with surnames.
posted by Flunkie at 9:27 PM on September 23, 2012


Quick Draw McGraw
posted by themanwho at 9:28 PM on September 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Looking through Wikipedia's list of Old West gunfighters (and associated lists, e.g. of cowbows and cowgirls) might find some examples. I saw:

Harry "Sundance Kid" Longabaugh
Laura "Della Rose" Bullion
Ben "Tall Texan" Kilpatrick
Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan
posted by dd42 at 9:30 PM on September 23, 2012


Blind Lemon Jefferson.
posted by Specklet at 9:30 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Cool Hand Luke?
posted by mochapickle at 9:31 PM on September 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hoping to strike gold, I checked out wikipedia's list of notable Native Americans, and found that those listed are/were famous under their (translated or not) given name (Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Pontiac, Sacajawea) or have a Western first name, and a family name which is a translated, and sometimes fused into a single word, like Donald Two-Rivers or Clayton Lonetree, or have that pattern plus the tribe name, such as or Joe Medicine Crow.

So, basically a fruitless search, but interesting.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:34 PM on September 23, 2012


"Hot Lips" Houlihan
posted by themanwho at 9:34 PM on September 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fictional: Keen Eddie [Arlette]
posted by Sunburnt at 9:37 PM on September 23, 2012


In fact, lots of bluesmen fit the pattern. In addition to Blind Lemon, there's Big Boy Crudup, Hound Dog Taylor, and Sonny Boy Williamsons I and II, among others.
posted by katemonster at 9:37 PM on September 23, 2012


Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels have several: Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler (often just "Throat") and Twoflower come to mind.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:44 PM on September 23, 2012


"Bleeding Gums" Murphy
posted by pompomtom at 9:48 PM on September 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


On the Indian reservation Topper Harley was reborn as Tukachinchilla, "Fluffy Bunny Feet".
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:53 PM on September 23, 2012


It's a tiny little stretch because the adjective and noun have been combined, but Goodluck Jonathan.
posted by jph at 9:55 PM on September 23, 2012


Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones
posted by Pudhoho at 10:00 PM on September 23, 2012


Baby Face Nelson
posted by pompomtom at 10:26 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Optimus Prime could be interpreted as adjective/number, methinks.

in the adjective / noun category:
Snidely Whiplash (technically an adverb)
posted by ShutterBun at 10:27 PM on September 23, 2012


Wild Bill Hickok?
posted by trip and a half at 10:33 PM on September 23, 2012


Seven of Nine, perhaps?

Wild Bill Hicock

Big Jim Slade (and the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln!)
posted by ShutterBun at 10:37 PM on September 23, 2012


Long John Silver?
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:38 PM on September 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fatty Arbuckle almost works.

Which leads me to "Shoeless Joe Jackson", although that's merely a nickname, albeit a strong one.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:39 PM on September 23, 2012


Edward "Black Beard" Teach?
posted by trip and a half at 10:40 PM on September 23, 2012


One more:

Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson
posted by ShutterBun at 10:41 PM on September 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


what about all the famous mafiosi like Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano?
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:41 PM on September 23, 2012


Gypsy Rose Lee.
posted by trip and a half at 10:45 PM on September 23, 2012


Dick Tracy villains ought to be fertile territory for this kind of thing.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:47 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Three Finger Brown came to mind too.

I think it technically uses a "noun adjunct," but I had to throw out my all-time favorite sports nickname, Oil Can Boyd.

There's also the old-time NFLer Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, although I don't know if the "Elroy" was usually included.

There's also Wee Willie Keeler, but I don't think that qualifies because Willie is a proper name and not a noun. I don't think.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:08 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Squeaky Fromme
posted by ShutterBun at 11:12 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wrong Way Corrigan
posted by Azara at 11:17 PM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also (John) "Hot Rod" Williams from the NBA. And (Glen) "Big Baby" Davis.

I've perused lists of old wrestlers and am very disappointed that none seem to fit the formula exactly.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:39 PM on September 23, 2012


Ugh, sad to know these:

Blue Ivy Carter (daughter of Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z)
Seven Sirius Benjamin (son of Erykah Badu and Andre 3000)
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:39 PM on September 23, 2012


Bleu Jackson
posted by unliteral at 11:55 PM on September 23, 2012


John Wellington Wells in The Sorcerer and Mad Margaret in Ruddigore.
posted by unliteral at 12:09 AM on September 24, 2012


Machine Gun Kelly
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 1:08 AM on September 24, 2012


Leisure Suit Larry.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 1:10 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Slim (Whitman or Pickens)
posted by ShutterBun at 1:48 AM on September 24, 2012


Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the English landscape architect, and the Discworld character he inspired, Bergholt Stuttley 'Bloody Stupid' Johnson.
posted by permafrost at 3:58 AM on September 24, 2012


Johnny "Two Hats"?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 4:24 AM on September 24, 2012


Chapter Eleven Stephanides.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:42 AM on September 24, 2012


John "Two Jags" Prescott
posted by KateViolet at 5:44 AM on September 24, 2012


Kennesaw Mountain Landis
posted by Infinity_8 at 5:59 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not clear to me how your example is "imperfect": Is it because "Two Feathers" is not his real name, or because he's always/typically referred to with his first name included?

Because he's typically referred to with his first name included. I forgot to include that I was looking for people who are referred to by a nickname, and not also by their real first name.

Also, with their last name: I've never heard anyone call the famous pirate "Black Beard Teach", although if they did he would fit the format perfectly, so I'm not trying to pick on you in particular, trip in a half.

I've best answered the ones that fit the format perfectly so far. Thanks all!
posted by capricorn at 6:33 AM on September 24, 2012


Number 10 Ox from Bridge of Birds?
posted by Adridne at 6:35 AM on September 24, 2012


Oh, and other answers which while close, are not quite what I'm asking for (again, not to pick on people, just to steer answers in the right direction): "Wild Bill Hickock" includes the first name, "Leisure Suit Larry" includes the first name at the exclusion of the last name. "Bloody Stupid Johnson" is Adverb Adjective Lastname.
posted by capricorn at 6:36 AM on September 24, 2012


Another from Gaiman: Low Key Lyesmith.
posted by dywypi at 6:39 AM on September 24, 2012


Nine Fingered Frodo

Iron Pants Johnson (I love that name)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:40 AM on September 24, 2012


Pretty Boy Floyd
posted by kitty teeth at 6:41 AM on September 24, 2012


Some more fun ones -

Tin Legs Bader (WWII British fighter ace)

Turkey Neck Crawford (WWII US sub captain.)

Mush Mouth Morton (Ditto)

Wooden Box Pine-Coffin (Honest to Christ I'm not making that one up.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:54 AM on September 24, 2012


Old Dirty Bastard / Big Baby Jesus.
posted by Smallpox at 7:01 AM on September 24, 2012


Half-cocked Jack (from Neil Stephenson's Quicksilver trilogy)
posted by adamrice at 7:14 AM on September 24, 2012


Jelly Roll Morton (Jazz musician, real last name was LaMothe, tho.)
Liver-Eating Johnson (old west Mountain Man, Noun-adjective, may not fit.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:53 AM on September 24, 2012


Big Mama Thornton
posted by kitty teeth at 8:11 AM on September 24, 2012


Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
posted by Sunburnt at 8:24 AM on September 24, 2012


Gabby Hayes

Pussy Galore

California Carlson

Minnesota Fats
posted by mule98J at 8:41 AM on September 24, 2012


Half Cocked Jack

Honorable mention for Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson?
posted by usonian at 9:45 AM on September 24, 2012


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