Eeny, Meenie, Miney, Moe

DC Sports Nexus ---- Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Great One. One of the best nicknames in all of sports. When you hear that name you immediately know that someone is speaking about Wayne Gretzky. The nickname says it all. But what if we called him Waynie instead? Does that sound like the best player in hockey? Or, does that sound like something you call your little brother to heckle him?

Super Mario, CuJo, Mr. Hockey. All great nicknames. Marrey, Curtsey, Gordieie. Not so much. So why does hockey, a physical sport, become the place where they "eeny/e" nicknames live on in an adult world?

Back in the 80's Detroit had a great NBA team that played an extremely physical, hockey-style of basketball. I don't recall my dad ever telling me he was about to watch those zany jokesters Tomsey, Lambsy, and Roddy. Instead he told me he was about to watch the Bad Boys; Zeke, The Axe Murderer, and The Worm.

Not only does hockey embrace the "eeny", they go above and beyond to give someone that nickname. Alexander Ovechkin. How can that guy possibly become and "eeny/e" Alexeeny? Alexy? Ovetchkeeny? Doesn't work. But wait, hockey will make it work. We'll just take the first 2 letters and make that an "eeny/e" Ovi.

It appears that hockey is almost to the point where one day every player in the game will be nicknamed "E". (Better than Turtle). And E passes the puck to E who shoots a wrister...Glove save by E. Fun Times.

So what am I suggesting as the alternative? I would say any suffix would be better. Any one would fit the hockey player mentality better.

I'll start with the Caps Mike Green, or Greeny as everyone calls him. I hate that nickname. Some has to do with the Golic & Greenie ESPN radio commericals ("Hey Golic, Heeey Greenie).

Greeny becomes: Greenilicious, The Greeninator, Greenmeister, Grizzle, Greenerrific, Greenasaurus Rex, Greenorama. See. Much more manly, scary, and intimidating.

Now here are those suffixes used on other players, not necessarily eenys.
  • "ilicious" - Ovilicious (Ovechkin)
  • "inator" - The Pronginator (Pronger)
  • "meister" - The Sedinmeisters (The Sedins)
  • "izzle" - Vokizzle (Vokoun)
  • "errific" - Jagerrific (Jagr) (Lie)
  • "asaurus Rex" - Spezzasaurus Rex (Spezza)
  • "orama" - Seminorama (Semin) - thats just gross
I'm up for any suggestions in the comments...


ATP said...

Hockey nicknames are multileveled phenomenon. The "e/y/ie" eding names you're talking about here are merely shorthand forms of address, often used by the players themselves, according to some arcane dressing room logic. There are exceptions to the "e/y/ie" at the end of the first syllable though, mainly if it doesn't work, hence Wardo (Joel Ward), MoJo (Marcus Johannsen), and Chimmer (though how that's better than Chimmy, I don't know. Both are names better suited to Broadway than a big dude on the ice like Chimera).

In addition to shortened names, some players earn other nicknames based on their games, such as Alexander the Gr8 or Game Over for Mike Green. Blogs & fans come up with pet names for some players. Among my faves is the folks at Japers' Rink calling Backstrom Mean Lars when he gets his angry pants on.

Hockey nicknames are seemingly endless and fun! Don't judge the shorthand names too harshly, because there are tons more out there.

Anonymous said...

As a Caps fan, there is nothing (t)errific about Jagr. A Jag-ass, more like it.

Chris Ford said...

LOL I knew that wouldn't be good to use Jagr. but the r was right there for terrific

AMusingFool said...

Green was Lambo-greenie at one point (he had two, if I recall). Doesn't work as well when he's going to practice on a Vespa.

Joye said...

"-ie" isn't the only form of affectionate hockey nickname.

If you followed the Chicago Blackhawks, you'd be familiar with Tazer (Jonathan Toews, appropriately nicknamed) and Kaner (Patrick Kane). Teammates and fans are so familiar with the "-er" nicknames that it's rare to hear a coach or teammate refer to them as anything other than Tazer or Kaner in an interview. Similarly, on the Pens, Kris Letang is Tanger and on the Yotes, Shane Doan is Doaner. Stamkos is Stammer to teammates,

Some players also have nicknames that don't involve the usual "-ie" or "-er" suffixes. On the Hawks, Hossa is Hoss, and Carcillo is Carbomb. On Detroit, Franzen is Mule. On the Kings, Doughty is Doughnut. Crosby is simply Sid to his teammates. Ovechkin is arguably an exception to the rule, as "Ovi" is just the first two letters of his name: OV. The Sedins have different nicknames of necessity: Hank (Hendrik) and Dank (Daniel). Luongo is Lu (Luuuuuuuuuu!), Lundqvist is King, Crawford is Crow, Lehtonen is Lets, Brodeur is Marty.

Lots of names get the '-ie' treatment, but not all of them, especially if it's a player that the team values, like the goalie or a star forward. Just depends.

Post a Comment