Pointy Haired Filter
June 7, 2005 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I seek examples of unusual or funny nicknames people in your places of employment have given other people, and how they came to be.

Boss names/tales are particularly welcome, of course.

Note: I'm not looking for examples of workplace harassment.
posted by gnomeloaf to Work & Money (36 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Richmeister
posted by benightedly_heedful at 10:28 AM on June 7, 2005

Ezekiel, for a guy named Carl... we already had one Carl, and it was confusing to call the new Carl by the same name, so we call him Ezekiel... or most of the time, Zek
posted by KirTakat at 10:32 AM on June 7, 2005

Taz: Very charismatic yet volatile desktop support person. You could always find him by following the trail of PC parts; hence the name taz.

The Hurricane: My boss. Imposing-looking tall Nordic woman. Used to blow into a room, rattle off some new project or directive, and leave just as swiftly. We were left to regroup and figure out exactly what she said.

The Turd Burglar: He busted into a stall in the mens room only to find a high-level manager there on "the throne". He made the mistake of telling his co-workers.

CIO Ken: As in Ken-doll. Always unnaturally tan (this is the Midwest); and is quite the "pretty-boy" with his 80's hairstyle. Doesn't understand or follow male bathroom etiquette. He swears he used to manage a Helpdesk. Looks, talks and thinks just like a smarmy software salesman.
posted by xena at 10:32 AM on June 7, 2005

I'm Frosty, because I'm always colder than everyone else and constantly wear a scarf and sip hot tea.

Also, we have two guys by the exact same name working in the office, so one is Hambone, a derivative of their last name.

And, in a former workplace, we called one of the managers "Seagull" behind his back, because he'd swoop in, shit all over a project, and fly off.

P.S. I think this would be better served in MeChat.
posted by Specklet at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2005

Not sure if this is "harassment" but we have a person of apparent Middle Eastern descent--I don't even know what he does around here; I think customer service--anyway, he wears extremely heavy cologne, keeps his sunglasses on indoors, and has weird hair. Kinda makes a wavy mat that angles across his head from a side part. Anyway, before 9/11 people used to call him "Nick the Terrorist." Now no one does.

Also, there's a certain someone I like to refer to as the Drama Queen because of his tendency to describe minor annoyances like a malfunctioning copier as "nightmares."
posted by scratch at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2005

There's an extremely annoying woman who works at my company to whom I have given a nickname. She's very short, kind of hefty, and has waist length brown hair that she is constantly stroking and talking about. She seems to spend all day at work yapping to whomever she can corner, and she talks loudly and has a loud, mule-like laugh. She's quite obsessed with the LOTR and other fantasy novels. She's very ignorant i.e., she's constantly going on about how the Canadian Medicare system is going under because of the "cheaters with three health cards".

And except that her hair is straight, she looks just like the cup-holding character in this picture.

So, I've dubbed her Hobbette. It has caught on wildly well.
posted by orange swan at 11:55 AM on June 7, 2005

There's a woman in her 50's at my work who always wears too much make-up, hairspray, and floral pattern outfits; she also has recurring gas problems. My boss has dubbed her "Fart Blossom" ;)
posted by p3t3 at 12:01 PM on June 7, 2005

I worked with a woman who looked as if she should be collecting tolls under a bridge from passers by.

We simply called her the "P.F.T."
Pasty Faced Troll
posted by TheFeatheredMullet at 12:07 PM on June 7, 2005

While attempting repairs or upgrades on a PC, Steve once dropped a screwdriver into the power supply. While it was turned on. The mains tripped, removing power to that wing of the building.

From then on, he was known as "Sparky".
posted by Daddio at 12:14 PM on June 7, 2005

I don't know how much I can divulge without the potential for getting in trouble. Who knows who read this. But my friends and I have several nicknames for people in our company:

Secret Agent Man - he likes to lurk in corners and silently appears over your shoulder while you are having conversations. Dresses like a 50s FBI Agent.

Spicy Bold - a female friend named this guy who she thought was bad ass hot. After he didn't pay her any attention, his name was changed to Stewed Tomatoes.

The Other Flag - the girl that Spicy Bold liked instead of my friend.

Midnight Express - sleazy, leering guy of miscellaneous, indeterminable origin with a vaguely middle eastern accent.

PocketPerson - name for any individual in IT who you have wooed to help you without jumping through the usual procedural hoops. For example "I called one of my pocket people cuz I couldn't get on the network and he came right up."

DePesh Mode or The Pesh - our CEO. Can't divulge more.
posted by spicynuts at 12:15 PM on June 7, 2005

We have an IT with a very developed upper body and a very slim lower body. We call him Action Figure.
posted by orange swan at 12:23 PM on June 7, 2005

I was nicknamed Captain Oblivious (or Cptn O for short) because I worked with fellow supervisor who did jack squat. I ended up covering her ass all the time so it looked like I was clueless in the process. That, and I forget things very easily..I must be reminded 1000x to do something normally.
posted by jmd82 at 12:55 PM on June 7, 2005

Sipowicz for a collegue who wears shrot sleeved- dress shirts with ties (Homer: "But Sipowicz does it...")

Noo-NAN for a woman whose last name is Noonan but of course in the tradition of Seinfeld.

Mr. Doyle and Mr. Ryan go by each other's names as everyone seems to confuse them although Doyle is a skinny redhead and Ryan is 6'6", strapping and dark-haired.
posted by oflinkey at 1:22 PM on June 7, 2005

I once had a immediate supervisor who was also named Janet. When our boss wanted to talk to both of us, he asked for "Janet Squared."
posted by JanetLand at 1:23 PM on June 7, 2005

Our IT guy used to have nicknames for everybody, usually pretty simple stuff like adding "dog" onto the end of someone's name. I, 6'-5" with a deep voice, goatee, and generally stoic manner, ended up being called "the Undertaker". It never caught on with anyone else.

I have personal nicknames for people at work that I use with friends so that they don't actually have to remember names of people they'll never meet. My immediate supervisor, with whom I'm almost always of the exact same opinion, is "the clone". The two principals of the firm are "the Glimmer Twins", and one of them is known as "the Sphinx" for behavior similar to xena's "hurricane".
posted by LionIndex at 2:14 PM on June 7, 2005

When a certain person at my company stopped coming in to work or answering his home phone he became known as "the Secret Asian Man".
posted by nicwolff at 2:16 PM on June 7, 2005

Unfrozen Caveman Director. #1 because he looks like the Joe Piscopo character and #2 for once uttering the line (to the design team) "I don't know about your gifs and your jpegs but what I do know is..."

The Mayor, who's voice is exactly the same as the Mayor of Munchkin Land's in The Wizard of Oz.

The Penguin, much the same as above, except she adds the squint just like Burgess Meredith did.

Pan Dandy, same name as an early 20th century brand of bread, because he looks just like the overweight baker in the ads.

Snow, for his snow-white hair.

How Green is My Valley, for her, um, chastity.
posted by m@ at 2:19 PM on June 7, 2005

We used to give bothersome clients/co-workers a middle initial -- like "Steve F. Barnes called today" (for Steve Fucking Barnes) or "Bill S. B. Pitts is on line 2" (for Bill Slick Bastard Pitts).
posted by youarejustalittleant at 2:35 PM on June 7, 2005

I was Fuzzy, because one hungover morning the boss saw my hair sticking straight up and named me.
I was working offshore, which is nothing but nicknames. Rooster looked like one. Flyrod I never learned. Porkchop was a small guy, kind of porkchop-sized. Onion was kind of grumpy.
One guy climbed up through the drop ceiling above his bunk in his sleep, woke up, started moving around and crashed back through the ceiling onto his bunk, much to the surprise of the mud engineer who was reading on his bunk. They called him Poltergeist after that.
I met a Cartouche, who was called that because he was "The bullet man," according to him. Cartridge being cartouche in French.
posted by atchafalaya at 3:31 PM on June 7, 2005

A redheaded coworker became known commonly as "Batgirl" because the red blinkenlight on her phone was flashing all the time.

And the corporate undertaker who presided over the dismantling of our employer became known as "The Weasel" due to his treacherous, coniving nature and his ability to sneak up behind you.
posted by nathan_teske at 3:50 PM on June 7, 2005

I once dubbed a manager "Captain Mystery" due to his uncanny ability to be present in the office at any time of the day or night, except when you were actually looking for him, in which case he was nowhere to be found.

"Behemoth" was a (female) manager of Hagrid-like proportions.

Finally, Glenda was a supervisor who was kind, friendly and helpful to everybody. She received the flattering moniker "Glenda the Good Witch."
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:19 PM on June 7, 2005

A friend, who is pretty much the opposite of imposing, had to take care of a belligerent drunk who had wandered into the computer lab he managed. The situation escalated and people were getting worried that violence was imminent. My friend ended up telling the guy to leave and if he didn't like that, 'he could just honk on old Bobo.' The laughter of the people in the lab was sufficient to defuse the situation. He swears he had never heard the phrase elsewhere, but I'm inclined to disbelieve. Still, yeah, he's been "Bobo" for years now.

Another coworker was known as "catfish"--all mouth, no ass.

One acquaintance is known as "the Riddler" amongst some friends since no one can guess his sexual orientation (and apparently "asexual" won't suffice).

The most peculiarly appropriate nicknames I've ever heard, though, were for two co-workers, the dark haired, mustachioed father and overweight, somewhat dim son, nicknamed Gomez and Puggsly. The fact that their last name actually was Adams made it *exquisite*!
posted by kimota at 4:40 PM on June 7, 2005

We had one chap who was the most miserable, depressed, doom-mongering, curmudgeonly sod I've ever encountered. I dubbed him "Little Ray". Short for "Little ray of sunshine". He never got it, because he was tall and his name was Bill. But everyone else did.
posted by Decani at 5:47 PM on June 7, 2005

at work, some people call me quas or quasi, short for quasimoto ... one day in the break room, someone called me that out of the blue and i made the mistake of doing a very good hunchback imitation ... and of course, the name stuck

in high school, my last name was twisted into "igor" ... the other famous hunchback

it must be my karma ... it's not my back
posted by pyramid termite at 6:12 PM on June 7, 2005

An old boss was "the Ghost." He'd frequently be absent for long stretches of time, concentrating on his other businesses, then would reappear with no warning.

When he sold the business to a group of Belgians, the new boss became "the Belgian Ghost" or "the HBIC."
posted by jtron at 6:28 PM on June 7, 2005

The last place I worked at had a round of layoffs and the manager in the Portland office got launched. (In fact, he got hit by layoffs in like the previous three jobs, so he got the nickname 'launch'...) The next manager that came in was managing Portland, Alaska, and Sacramento, and kept moving between the three. He got dubbed 'seagull' because he quite literally flew in, shat on everyone's desk, made a lot of noise, ate everything in sight, and flew away.

I'm nicknamed 'squeak' for two reasons -- the first is my motorcycle boots, which have some torsion joints on them (racing boots) that squeak when I walk. You could always hear me coming in the morning before I'd changed to street shoes; "Squeak, squeak. Squeak, squeak." The second is a baseketball derivative; I can be a little bitch sometimes. ;)

One of my close friends got named Meatstick online and it stuck around the office. He's about six and a half feet tall and a complete beanpole.
posted by SpecialK at 7:29 PM on June 7, 2005

I had a Secret Asian Man at a job, too. He was Japanese, but looked very Hispanic. One day, Secret Agent Man came on the radio, and he said "Hey, it's my song, Secret Asian Man."
posted by Ruki at 8:02 PM on June 7, 2005

My old creative director was called "Spanner" behind his back because he would make any process 10x more difficult than it should've been, thanks to his childish and obstinate nature.

Eventually he stopped getting briefs and being involved if the everday workflow, and got left alone in his office with sydney harbour views and a fat ass internet connection, just how i secretly think he planned it, lucky bastard.

My last name is "Lloyd", so I had the office nickname of "Mango", as in "He's so mongoloid he can't even get the name right." Aussies love their ironic terms of endearment, especially in advertising agenices.

*awesome question!*
posted by elphTeq at 8:11 PM on June 7, 2005

I got the nickname of "Gunner" for playing on a company basketball team (I hate basketball) and shooting the ball when I could no longer dribble it or find someone to pass to. People who have no idea of the origin of the nickname call me that.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:40 PM on June 7, 2005

Much like LionIndex, when talking to non-work friends I use nicknames to refer to the various work characters. I correlate everything to Simpsons characters and scenes, so the work folks have names like Hans Moleman and Ned Flanders. The latter is also known as Good Morning Steve, because he ALWAYS says good morning to me when he sees me in the morning -- and not necessarily just the first time he sees me. I was starting to keep track of how many times he said it to me per morning, but then I discovered that I could goose the numbers just by walking by him a lot. Awwww, now it's no fun anymore ...

I'd probably have tons more, but everyone I work with is either rightwing nutjob or genuinely stupid or both, so I have nobody to develop with ... eh, it's still a good job [grin]

The S.O. had an entire soap opera built out of her coworkers, cast by various vaguely similar stars (e.g. J. Garafalo, Bob Saget). That place was insane.

Where was I? Oh yeah -- don't touch my stuff!
posted by intermod at 8:52 PM on June 7, 2005

My nickname at work is Nemo. Because I'm out a lot.
So Nemo is from the movie "Finding Nemo" not the Verne book 20,000 leagues like I try to pretend it is.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:13 PM on June 7, 2005

Hmm. Not sure how much of this I'm willing to admit to:

The O.C.: recent college-grad who dresses like last year's Old Navy run
TOABy: Tits on a Bull (i.e., useless)

None of the others spring to mind, but when I worked at Putnam Investments' office in Franklin, MA back in the day, there was a guy there called The Deuce. No one ever saw him, no one knew who he was, but he left us messages describing his activities in the men's room stall.
posted by yerfatma at 6:30 AM on June 8, 2005

The Professor: I'd been here about a week when I was in a conference call with another developer. I was a complete n00b and this guy seemed like a god who could accomplish anything. He spent the entire call describing how the project would never work. I walked back to my desk, turned to a co-worker and said, "You could tell Professor Positive there the project involved a strip club and a suitcase full of $1 bills and all he'd tell you is how it wouldn't work".

The Assassin: same person, both for his ability to murder any conversation he encounters in the halls and for the way he pounces on free food left in the break room.
posted by yerfatma at 6:35 AM on June 8, 2005

The Animal: same person as The OC above. Once said to a co-worker, "I don't know about you, but I'm an animal in bed."

Town Bike: in a company of ~45 people, slept with 6 (at my last count).
posted by yerfatma at 6:46 AM on June 8, 2005

Preggo: She is referenced by this name, never called it. So named after someone asked her when she was due (she wasn't pregnant).

Brunhilda: A particularly witchy woman. Not said to this person's face.

Tricker: My nickname (my last name was Treat before I went and married yerfatma).

The General: A woman whose last name is Schwartz. The name evolved from people originally calling her Schwarzkopf.

Jellyfish: My friend's manager. Said manager never argues or fights for what he thinks is right.
posted by suchatreat at 6:48 AM on June 8, 2005

A friend of mine used to email me about a rather asinine co-worker of hers. She started calling him the Village Idiot, which soon got shortened to the VI I suggested that if she were to call him the Village Dumbass, we could use the abbreviation of VD. She switched immediately, and now I can't remember what the VD's real name is.
posted by orange swan at 6:41 AM on June 10, 2005

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