When good nicknames go bad

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Zachary Phillips

Flash. Spark. Ace. Tank.

Nicknames are an inevitable part of developing one’s identity.

While most nicknames are relatively playful jabs at some memory or achievement, others can fall far short of flattery.

Chunk. Squirt. Fruit-Dump. Doody-Butt.

For those whose existences are marred by an embarrassing nickname, here are a few tips for shaking a sad pseudonym.

Exploit relational authority

Most nicknames originate from a single trend-setting friend. All it takes is a quick quip from a charismatic friend and their unfortunate victim can be branded with a name like “Sugar Lumps” for life.

Destroying an unattractive nickname is just as simple. Find someone who has some pull within your group of friends and convince them to buck the nickname trend. Slowly but surely, others will follow.

Fight fire with fire

If the above method just isn’t taking hold, there is always the more extreme approach.

Nicknames are usually a result of some noteworthy feat. Be it an athletic triumph, and embarrassing moment, or a strange talent, nicknames tend to be earned.

Killing a fickle nickname is as simple as one-upping its origin. Light something on fire, ride a wild stallion; whatever it takes to rid your life of an unflattering nickname, it’s well worth it.

Keep in mind, this approach will ultimately lead to yet another defining pseudonym. Try not to do something silly and brand yourself with yet another embarrassing title.

The only thing worse than a horrible nickname like “Squirt,” is a horrible double-nickname, like “Chunk-Squirt.”

Zachary Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.