“The key trait of nicknames is that they are bestowed upon a person by others,” Richard Lederer points out in The Joy of Names, and for three main motivations:
Nicknames may be related to:
- physical characteristics (Blondie, Red)
- mental characteristics (Brainak, Noodlehead)
- personality (Grumpy, Nerd, Nervous Nellie)
- shortening of a proper name (Dave, Fran, Rich)
It can be important to us as business blog content writers, for variety’s sake, to use different monikers for both products and people (whenever the connotation is flattering, of course!). “Learn to love your thesaurus,” advises Tracy Gold of the Content Marketing Institute, especially when it comes to composing titles. There aren’t many words in blog titles, she says, so it’s important to choose exactly the right words.
Getting personal is a huge element in the success of any marketing blog, fellow blogger Michael Fortin reminds us. Sharing anecdotes about the guy or gal on your team who is the “codemaster”, computer genius, the “energizer,” the “fashionista, or the “financial wizard” helps humanize promotional content…
“Hollywood’s star-makers capitalize on the fact that people react emotionally to names,” Lederer explains. A name with box-office appeal projects the kind of image a star wants to radiate.
Stories about names and nicknames make for very engaging content, whether for history books or business blogs. Harry S Truman decided his middle initial would have no period, because it wasn’t an initial for a particular name, but a compromise between the names of his two grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.
Abraham Lincoln was the Great Emancipator, Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Rider, and Ronald Reagan the Gipper. Mark Twain became such a well-known nickname that few remember the real name, Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
What stories of nicknames, monikers, and sobriquets are just waiting to be told in your business blog?