44 Fascinating Nicknames & Stories Behind Them – Part 2

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26Clever Hans

Clever Hans

In 1891, a stallion nicknamed "Clever Hans" wowed Germany by tapping out correct answers to simple math problems, including basic square roots. It was later discovered that he was deducing answers by reading the subtle, unintentional body language cues of the asker (the "Clever Hans Effect").

27. Kolyma Highway is a more than 1200-mile-long modern road in Russia which an estimated quarter of a million people died building. Because of permafrost, internment into the fabric of the road was deemed more practical than burying the bodies in new holes, resulting in the nickname “The Road of Bones.”

28. Astronaut groupies in Florida were nicknamed "Cape Cookies". Infidelity was rife; wives had to maintain a perfect facade. Only 7/30 Astro-marriages in the 60s survived. Alan Shepherd (first American in space), Pete Conrad (3rd man on the moon), and Dick Gordon (Apollo 12) formed the Go-Go crew.

29. American president Calvin Coolidge was a man of few words, and got the nickname "Silent Cal." He once remarked, "I think the American people want a solemn a*s as a President." When satirist Dorothy Parker heard he had died, she responded, "How can you tell?"

30. Snoop Dogg’s real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. His “Snoop Dogg” nickname came from his mother who thought he looked like Snoopy from the Peanuts.

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The director of the Soviet atom bomb program, Igor Kurchatov swore he wouldn't cut his beard until the program succeeded. After the program's success, he continued to wear a large beard (often cut into eccentric styles) for the rest of his life, earning him the nickname 'Boroda' (“The Beard”).

32. The iconic podium used by the President of the United States is nicknamed "The Blue Goose" and is actually bulletproof, doubling as a shield in the event of an attempted attack.

33. The Buffalo Soldiers was all-black regiments formed after the Civil War. Active during the Indian Wars, the 10th Cavalry was first nicknamed “Buffalo Soldiers” by Native Americans who thought the men were fierce fighters whose hair resembled a buffalo’s coat.

34. Charles Guiteau, who assassinated President Garfield, probably suffered from neurosyphilis, perhaps caught from a prostitute. He spent several years at a free love commune but could not get any of the women there to sleep with him, even earning the nickname "Charles Git-out."

35. The Academy Awards are nicknamed, “The Oscars” only because Academy Member Margaret Herrick once said the statue looked like her Uncle Oscar. The name stuck all the way to the present day.

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36Darth Vader jellyfish

Darth Vader jellyfish

Bathykorus bouilloni is a species of deep-sea jellyfish which is commonly referred to as the “Darth Vader jellyfish.” These transparent jellyfishes are found in the Arctic Ocean at depths below 1,000 m (3,300 feet). They got their unique nickname due to their body shape closely resembling that of Darth Vader’s famous helmet.

37. Elena Ceaușescu, the wife of the Romanian dictator, had a Ph.D. in Chemistry, despite receiving only high-school education. She pronounced CO₂ as “co-doi” (“doi” being the word for two), so enemies gave her the nickname “codói” (“big tail”).

38. A plane containing 6,000 lbs of high grade marijuana crashed in Yosemite’s Lower Merced Pass Lake in 1977. The lake was soon nicknamed ‘Dope Lake’ by rock climbers. The climbers broke through the ice to excavate bales upon bales of weed that were overlooked by the feds involved in cleanup.

39. The 101st Airborne was nicknamed "The Chicken Men" by the NVA and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War because their Eagle insignia looked like a chicken. North Vietnamese commander was warned to not fight with the “The Chicken Men”, because you will surely lose the battle.

40. Charles "the Bald", king of West Francia and Italy, was actually very hairy. Many historians think it was an ironic nickname.

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41Lady Death

Lady Death

Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko was a Soviet sniper in the Red Army during World War 2, who was credited with at least 309 confirmed kills. She is regarded as being in the top five military snipers of all time and the most successful female sniper in history. Lyudmila was nicknamed “Lady Death.”

42. Roman von Ungern-Sternberg was a Baltic-German noble who gained the nickname ‘The Mad Baron’ after brutally conquering Mongolia during the Russian Civil War. He also believed he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan and was known for the ruthless treatment of his subordinates.

43. Johnny Dickshot was was an MLB outfielder from 1936 to 1945. He is claimed to be the “ugliest man in baseball,” earning him the nickname Ugly Dickshot.

44. The “Battle of Nuremberg” was the nickname given to the 2006 Football World Cup game between the Netherlands and Portugal because it holds the record for the most cards given by referee. The referee issued 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards.

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