Lots of times, we come across people who go by nicknames that are totally unrelated to their given names. Now we’re not talking about meeting a guy who is tall and thin who goes by the nickname Slim or Stretch. You can see how he got that nickname and you’re not gonna ask him. Here we have a list of folks whose nicknames seem to be totally unrelated to their given name. In some instances, you might assume the person’s given name was something totally different, like with Chuck Connors — you might have thought his given name was Charles. Or Flip Wilson. Most people think of Flip as a nickname for Philip.
Rhythm and blues singer B.B. King, whose given name is Riley, was the subject of a Jeopardy! clue. Even with the hint of his most famous song, “The Thrill is Gone,” the contestant couldn’t connect it to his stage name.
People get their nicknames in all sorts of ways. When a person goes by a nickname instead of their given name, it’s probably fine to ask them how they came by that handle. Nicknames make for fascinating conversations and most people would love to tell you, but take your cue from their reaction. If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t press it.
Here’s our list of folks who go by their totally unrelated nickname:
Bobby Jindal, 55th Governor of Louisiana
birth name: Piyush Jindal
Bucky Dent, American baseball pro
birth name: Russell Earl O’Dey
Buster Poindexter, American singer
birth name: David Johansen
Butch Cassidy, American outlaw
birth name: Robert Leroy Parker
Chip Davis, American musician
birth name: Louis F. Davis, Jr.
Chuck Connors, American actor
birth name: Kevin Joseph Connors
Duke Ellington, American bandleader
birth name: Edward Kennedy Ellington
Flip Wilson, American comedian
birth name: Clerow Wilson, Jr.
Gus Black, American singer, songwriter, producer
birth name: Anthony Penaloza
Jock Dodds, Scottish football pro
birth name: Ephraim Dodds
Ringo Starr, English drummer (Beatles)
birth name: Richard Starkey’
Shuggie Otis, American singer, songwriter
birth name: Johnny Alexander Veliotes, Jr.
Sonny Bono, American singer, songwriter, politician
birth name: Salvatore Phillip Bono
Toots Hibbert, Jamaican singer, songwriter
birth name: Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert
We will probably be adding to this list as we come across more examples. If you love your totally unrelated nickname, feel free to leave it in the comments.