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View Full Version : Why do men named Richard use the nickname Dick?


alice_in_wonderland
06-04-2012, 10:55 AM
Seriously - there are so many other options.

Rick is decent. I actually like Rich quite a bit. Richie is OK. Full on Richard is delightful.

So why do these fellas choose Dick?

I have to say, if one of the short forms of my IRL name was Twat or Pussy, I think I'd go ahead and spell it out completely, ya know?

Crafter_Man
06-04-2012, 11:02 AM
I thought Dick fell out of fashion. Have never met anyone under 40 who goes by Dick.

JoelUpchurch
06-04-2012, 11:06 AM
What gives you the idea that people choose their nicknames? When I was young, I was called Joey and I disliked it a lot.

Thudlow Boink
06-04-2012, 12:33 PM
It's a perfectly good name, and the fact that it has aquired another meaning doesn't change that. The fact that people refer to the bathroom as "the john" hasn't seemed to have affected the popularity of the name John.

Mention someone like Dick Van Dyke or Dick Clark and the other meaning of "dick" never even occurs to me. Maybe you just have a dirty mind. ;)

leftfield6
06-04-2012, 12:41 PM
It's a perfectly good name, and the fact that it has aquired another meaning doesn't change that. The fact that people refer to the bathroom as "the john" hasn't seemed to have affected the popularity of the name John.

Mention someone like Dick Van Dyke or Dick Clark and the other meaning of "dick" never even occurs to me. Maybe you just have a dirty mind. ;)

Well, you don't have to be such a .......... oh never mind.

alice_in_wonderland
06-04-2012, 12:51 PM
What gives you the idea that people choose their nicknames? When I was young, I was called Joey and I disliked it a lot.

Well I'm not talking about people who have a nickname thrust on them. I assume when you met someone new you didn't shake hands and say 'Hi, I'm Joey!' if you hated it - you would like say 'Hi, I'm Joel.' and if people chose to nickname you it was on them.

However, I've had lots of men introduce themselves as Dick. 'Hi! I'm Dick Knight!*' I assume if the guy hated it perhaps he would introduce himself as Rich or Richard or Rick.


It's a perfectly good name, and the fact that it has aquired another meaning doesn't change that. The fact that people refer to the bathroom as "the john" hasn't seemed to have affected the popularity of the name John.

Mention someone like Dick Van Dyke or Dick Clark and the other meaning of "dick" never even occurs to me. Maybe you just have a dirty mind. ;)

Actually, I was reading the 'WTF Names?!?!' thread in MPSIMS and I was curious.

Furthermore, apparently dick = penis for quite some time:

The meaning "penis" is attested from 1891 in British army slang. from here:

http://etymonline.com/index.php?search=penis

meaning that men were choosing Dick as a name long after the double meaning came about.

*Real name of a former co-worker

Thudlow Boink
06-04-2012, 01:00 PM
Furthermore, apparently dick = penis for quite some time:

from here:

http://etymonline.com/index.php?search=penis

meaning that men were choosing Dick as a name long after the double meaning came about.From your cite, it looks like the reason "dick" became used as a slang term for penis may have been because "Dick" was such a common and typical man's name—as in the phrase "every Tom, Dick, and Harry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom,_Dick_and_Harry)."dick "fellow, lad, man," 1550s, rhyming nickname for Rick, short for Richard, one of the commonest English names, it has long been a synonym for "fellow," and so most of the slang senses are probably very old, but naturally hard to find in the surviving records. The meaning "penis" is attested from 1891 in British army slang.

furt
06-04-2012, 02:04 PM
Seriously - there are so many other options.

Rick is decent. I actually like Rich quite a bit. Richie is OK. Full on Richard is delightful.

So why do these fellas choose Dick?Because my dad is 74, and doesn't care what a bunch of dirty-minded whippersnappers think.

The penis thing is much more recent, with the first incidence in 1890. It's only become more common than the name in recent decades.


https://academicpursuits.us/columns/read/2030/what-came-first-dick-or-dick

drastic_quench
06-04-2012, 02:06 PM
Hear, hear, OP.

If I was a Richard, I'd choose the full name.

Mister Rik
06-04-2012, 02:25 PM
However, I've had lots of men introduce themselves as Dick. 'Hi! I'm Dick Knight!*'
That was my band director's name, my first two years of high school!

dick "fellow, lad, man," 1550s, rhyming nickname for Rick, short for Richard, one of the commonest English names
Hah, I've long suspected it was rhyming slang, and that "Rick" predated "Dick".

My paternal grandmother's name was Dick. Okay, her name was Lorena. But her father wanted sons, and ended up with three daughters, and somewhere along the line they all got tagged with boy's names as a joke: Dick, Pete, and Johnny. And all three of them cheerfully answered to those names for the rest of their lives - they're the names everybody knew them by (though the baby brother they finally got refused to answer to "Mary" :p ). Grandma Dick once mentioned that it made it easy to tell when the guy on the phone was a salesman - she'd hang up as soon as he called her "Lorena", because that immediately made it obvious that this was somebody who didn't know her - everybody who knew her called her "Dick".

Darth Panda
06-04-2012, 02:28 PM
Well I'm not talking about people who have a nickname thrust on them.

This is funny because the nickname is dick.

tdn
06-04-2012, 03:21 PM
Well I'm not talking about people who have a nickname thrust on them.

I hate it when a dick is thrust on me.

What's odd is that on Bewitched, one Dick was replaced by another.

terentii
06-04-2012, 04:37 PM
Why use the name "Dick"? Because it sounds so butch, that's why! ;)

Taomist
06-04-2012, 04:44 PM
Hrm, so when a novella mentions that someone hired a 'private dick', the reader is thinking 'gigolo'? :dubious:

diggerwam
06-04-2012, 05:50 PM
You are a man named Richard in a room full of dicks. Funny compliment.

Taomist
06-04-2012, 05:59 PM
You are a man named Richard in a room full of dicks. Funny compliment.

:p:p

My sweetie's name is, indeed, Richard. Think I've heard exactly 1 person call him 'Dick' during the last 5 years, though it was meant honestly, not as an insult. I know he hates it. I've never heard anyone else call him anything but 'Richard', and that's just too formal for me; as a result, for the first time in my life I've found myself using diminutives like sweetie and hon. Literally NEVER did that before, and now it's about all I do. :p

chizzuk
06-04-2012, 06:05 PM
I thought Dick fell out of fashion. Have never met anyone under 40 who goes by Dick.

I've never met one under 65. My dad is 60 and has gone by Rick his whole life. I know several older Richards, Riches, and Ricks, but not one Dick.

Darth Panda
06-04-2012, 06:20 PM
I know plenty of Dicks (yes, and plenty of dicks) of various ages, including one in his lower/mid twenties.

Mister Rik
06-04-2012, 06:33 PM
I've never met one under 65. My dad is 60 and has gone by Rick his whole life. I know several older Richards, Riches, and Ricks, but not one Dick.

Indeed, I was named after my dad's best friend from high school who, as an adult, went by "Dick". My dad is coming up on 68, and yeah, I've never run into a Richard from my generation who goes by "Dick".

Saintly Loser
06-04-2012, 06:37 PM
My paternal grandmother's name was Dick. Okay, her name was Lorena.

You've got to be kidding.

drewtwo99
06-04-2012, 06:38 PM
When I hear the word dick, I think of a mean person. For guys who go by Dick, I think they want to be known to be mean and manly :D

Max the Immortal
06-04-2012, 07:05 PM
I thought Dick fell out of fashion. Have never met anyone under 40 who goes by Dick.

I think nicknames in general are falling out of fashion. Among youngish adults I seem to encounter plenty of Stephens and Davids, but rarely a Steve or a Dave.

Mister Rik
06-04-2012, 07:16 PM
You've got to be kidding.

Nope, completely serious.

evasgram
06-04-2012, 08:25 PM
I know a Richard that goes by Dick, what makes it extra special is that his last name is Dodick. I know him in a professional manner, so he has given me his business card on a few occasions. His email address is on the card:

[email protected]

I cannot for the life of me figure out why he would do this to himself. How many people have deleted email from him without opening it cause they thought it was porn? (I guess maybe other people open it for exactly that reason, though...maybe he knows what he's doing after all ;)

medstar
06-04-2012, 09:20 PM
My mom's younger brother is called Dickie by his brothers and sisters. My mom couldn't understand when we (my brothers and sisters) would giggle when she introduced us to "Uncle Dickie". She said we had dirty minds. She was right.

Freddy the Pig
06-04-2012, 10:33 PM
I have to say, if one of the short forms of my IRL name was Twat or Pussy, I think I'd go ahead and spell it out completely, ya know?Pussy Galore disagrees with you.

chappachula
06-05-2012, 10:36 AM
if my name was Twat or Pussy, I think I'd go ahead and spell it out completely, ya know?
Well, yeah....but there is a sorta good explanation: Some people just know how to distinguish meanings.

for 'xample:
Have ya ever asked somebody across the dinner table to pass you a chicken breast?
Were you thinking of chicken, or of boobs?

Musicat
06-05-2012, 10:40 AM
So why do these fellas choose Dick?Uhh...I wouldn't touch that straight line with a 10-inch pole.

Mister Rik
06-05-2012, 10:50 AM
So why do these fellas choose Dick?

Uhh...I wouldn't touch that straight line with a 10-inch pole.

*clears throat, picks up guitar*

There were three young men who fell in love with Jane
Tom, Dick, and Harry were their names
"I am her only boyfriend!" each of them would boast
But she passed on Tom and Harry, 'cause she liked Dick the most

Now she's got Dick in the palm of her hand
She likes to hold Dick, she likes to squeeze Dick
She likes to kiss Dick all of the time
Seems like Dick is always on her mind

(Pinkard & Bowden, The Ballad of Dick and Jane)

Trom
06-05-2012, 11:16 AM
I was born in the 80s and went by Dick or Dickie until college. I didn't choose it - it's what my parents called me. Since my dad, grandpa, and great grandpa were all Richards that went by Dick I guess it was only natural that they called me the same. Somehow they didn't get the memo that this was no longer OK. I have never in my life met someone else my age that was named Richard and went by Dick.

I tried in high school to start going by Richard, but everyone already knew me by Dick, so it didn't really work. When I went to college, I was able to reinvent myself as Richard. Now most people call me Rich, Richie, or Richard - never Rick or Ricky. I still get called Dick by some high school friends and Dickie as a nickname on sports teams. I don't really mind it anymore, but growing up it was... character building.

Ferret Herder
06-05-2012, 12:59 PM
Meet NBC5 Chicago morning newscaster Dick Johnson (http://nbcchicago.com/on-air/about-us/Dick_Johnson.html). Seriously.

They once had one of those fluff pieces about fake names used to prank-order pizza delivery, and after the piece ended, he added that occasionally he'll have issues with some disbelief when trying to order pizza, make a reservation, etc.

Thudlow Boink
06-05-2012, 01:13 PM
Anybody remember Dick Assman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Assman)?

(YouTube video here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ei8462a_8H4) and here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=orvspaUn0YU))

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