fame is fleeting, but sobriquets are forever

After reading a really interesting thread on the Tudor Wiki, I felt compelled to look up “Mary I of England” on Wikipedia (maybe to garner more sympathy for the misunderstood queen?) If any of you don’t know, I’m pretty obsessed with Tudor history. You might be thinking “Ew, you’re one of those people who read books like The Other Boleyn Girl, fantasize about red wigs and dote over Cate Blanchett huh?”

Yes.

And in my daring pursuit of knowledge, I learned a new word (mommy, wow!) I should probably know this already (and maybe I did in another life…like ninth grade) but the term sobriquet tickled my fancy, so of course I had to wiki that sucker as well:

SOBRIQUET (pronounced /ˈsoʊbrɨkeɪ/ SOH-bri-kay) is a nickname or a fancy name, sometimes assumed, but often given by another. It is usually a familiar name, distinct from a pseudonym assumed as a disguise, but a nickname which is familiar enough such that it can be used in place of a real name without the need of explanation (i.e. Mary Tudor is better known as Bloody Mary).

Some wicked sobriquets that you might be familiar with:
His Rotundity – John Adams
The Governator – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Uncle Walt – Walt Disney
The Great Emancipator – Abraham Lincoln
Queen of Soul – Aretha Franklin
Princess Di – Diana, Princess of Wales
The Bard – William Shakespeare (meaning THE poet)
The Master of Suspense – Alfred Hitchcock
Dr. Death – Jack Kevorkian (proponent of assisted suicide)
Caligula – Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
Genghis Khan – Temüjin
The Sun King – King Louis XIV
Man of the People – Thomas Jefferson
Tricky Dick – Richard Nixon
The King of Pop – Michael Jackson
The Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ
The Prince of Darkness – Satan (like how I put these guys next to each other?)
The Greatest – Muhammad Ali
Birdman – Chris Andersen
The King of Rock ‘n Roll – Elvis Presley
The Runaway Bride – Jennifer Wilbanks
Slick Willy – Bill Clinton
The Lady of Hope – Evita Peron
Buddha – Siddhartha Gautama
Longshanks – Edward I
The Virgin Queen – Queen Elizabeth I
Thunder – Jesse Jackson
Robin Hood – Robin of Locksley
The Voice (or Chairman of the Board) – Frank Sinatra
Scarface – Al Capone

And best of all…
Jack the Ripper – UNKNOWN

This makes you wonder…if you could choose a sobriquet for yourself, what would it be? What is the one name you would want all of history to remember you by? I thought about this long and hard (2 minutes). Here are some I came up with for myself:

The Cookie Monster
“What If” Girl
Thunder Thighs
Big Fish
The Champion (of food)
Bird Lady
Rigatoni (cause I eat pasta almost everyday)
The Guru (of LIFE…..not the game)
Le Mustache
The Pincher
The Un-Noob
The Nightingale (this would make a great serial killer name)
The Analyst
The Critic
Fair Ang (like Fair Gwen! Wishful thinking, I know)
The Doodler
The Sensationalist (I’d have to have an outstanding reputation)
The Dreamsicle
The Chewer (I chew the inside of my mouth ceaselessly)
Girl Un-Interrupted
and of course my favorite…Anal Ang (it’s better than Le Artiste imo)

So in summary:
“A sobriquet is a shortcut to greater-ness. It enhances stature and confers iconic status. With a sobriquet, you’re not just famous. You’re renowned. You have a name with quotes around it. You’ve become an institution. In sum, you need no introduction.” (http://www.taglineguru.com/no_introduction.html)

Don’t know why but that last part gives me goose bumps.

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2 thoughts on “fame is fleeting, but sobriquets are forever

  1. Taryn says:

    How’s about Stupid Beauty? ;)

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