The Bookmart Review – Bermudian Nicknames
by Martin Buckley, Department Manager at The Bookmart at Brown & Co.
Welcome to Bermuda! While you’re here, if you walk into a bar, get onto a bus, stroll along a street or just sit and watch the world go by, chances are you’ll hear someone referred to by their nickname. Nicknames are as Bermudian as codfish and potatoes and the people of these Islands have a long and rich tradition of giving and using them.
Now Bermuda based author Ras Mykkal has captured the essence of this very Bermudian phenomenon in his new book ‘Nicknames – How You Got Your Nickname’.
The book dives into the stories behind the interesting ways Bermudians have had a substitute name ‘pinned’ on them and how they often become better known by this than by whatever happens to be written on their birth certificate.
Ras Mykkal photographed and interviewed all the Bermudians featured in the book and former Member of Parliament, Educator and Author, Dale Butler wrote the foreword. Mr Butler is also the author of a previously published book on Bermuda nicknames.
The book includes a brief history on forenames, surnames and common nicknames, but at the real heart of it are the stories behind how Bermudians earned their nickname.
All Bermuda is represented in the book; from Somerset to St. George’s, male and female, some famous public figures and the ‘ordinary’ guy in the street, as well as a few of the infamous.
The stories behind the nicknames are varied, often very funny and always unique to each person. Some bring back memories of old TV shows, cartoons and iconic characters from yester-years whilst others are so complicated and obscure as to almost defy explanation. Arguably no other place in the world produces and uses nicknames so widely in this fashion.
With the passing of time and the loss of Bermudian icons like Allan “Forty” Rego, Ernest “Country Wild Rabbit” Holman and William “Cheese” Ray, this book is sure to become a collector’s item cataloging as it does a unique part of Bermuda’s culture.
‘Nicknames – How You Got Your Nickname’ is one of a huge range of Bermuda published books available from The Bookmart at Brown & Co.
The Bookmart at Brown & Co., 35 Front Street, Hamilton. www.bookmart.bm
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