A Definitive Guide to Nickname Etiquette 

Never dictate your own nickname – this is the prime directive. The golden rule. Attempting to label yourself with a cool nickname will fail 100% of the time and will almost certainly lead to you being called something that boils your piss every time you hear it. (Read more HERE).

Shorten never lengthen – conventional wisdom states that Australians are too busy with the over-syllablisation of the English language. So always shorten a name rather than lengthen it. In some rare cases a lengthening is permitted but if you’re going to make us commit to more talky talk, it’d better be worth it. 

When in doubt add an O – speaking of lazy, most names can be Australianised by simply shaving off the back half and adding an “O”. Sure, it’s not very creative but it does the job. Consider it a good starter-nickname. A placeholder until a better one can be derived. 

You reap what you sow – it should go without saying that if you want to act like a goose you’ll be assigned your place in the cunt-pond with the others. For example, if you go around telling people you’re 6 foot when you’re not, you may just find your nickname to be “6 foot”. Forever marred. 

Resistance is futile – the only sure way to get a nickname you don’t like to stick is to resist it. Just like one wouldn’t attempt to fight off a ravenous bear, one would play dead and when the third party figures out you don’t seem phased you’ll free yourself from the shackles of said nickname. 

Big feller/orse status – if someone clearly falls into the “unit” category one may disregard their real name and just call them “big feller” or “big orse”. It’s an honour and much like crocodiles there is only usually one big feller per friendship ecosystem. Given the tendency for units to clash. Of course, you may also be called this if you are small. Go figure. 

Old mate – a true old mate is a bar-stool-warrior. A weathered, leathery old warhorse who you’d never seek to befriend in any meaningful way. Once someone is appointed an old mate, they will be respected. It’s law. (More on old mates HERE).

Your mate – this is the bottom of the nickname barrel. One of the lowest rankings in Australian culture. “Your mate”, through actions of their own, has lost the right to even be named. They earn this nickname through habitual trainwreck efforts in social settings. (More on your mate HERE).

Champing – temporary nicknames are quite the minefield. Never level a nickname like “champ”, “chief”, “sport”, on someone without being prepared to square up. These transcend the realms of banter. They are a red flag to a soon to be raging bull. 

Be wary of someone with no nickname – if you meet a group and they are introduced as, “Macka, Thommo, Goose, Johnesy and Todd”, then you know exactly who to avoid. You’ll soon figure out Todd has the personality of an ATO tax auditor. You have been warned. 

RELATED: BoM accused of breaking sacred Aussie social custom by trying to dictate its own nickname

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