Origin of nicknames

How did Richard become Dick?
The name Richard is very old and was popular during the Middle Ages. In the 12th and 13th centuries everything was written by hand and Richard nicknames like Rich and Rick were common just to save time. Rhyming nicknames were also common and eventually Rick gave way to Dick and Hick, while Rich became Hitch. Dick, of course, is the only rhyming nickname that stuck over time. And boy did it stick. At one point in England, the name Dick was so popular that the phrase “every Tom, Dick, or Harry” was used to describe Everyman.

How’d they get Ted from Edward?
The name Ted is yet another result of the Old English tradition of letter swapping. Since there were a limited number of first names in the Middle Ages, letter swapping allowed people to differentiate between people with the same name. It was common to replace the first letter of a name that began with a vowel, as in Edward, with an easier to pronounce consonant, such as T. Of course, Ted was already a popular nickname for Theodore, which makes it one of the only nicknames derived from two different first names. Can you name the others?

How did Charles become Chuck?
“Dear Chuck” was an English term of endearment and Shakespeare, in Macbeth, used the phrase to refer to Lady Macbeth. What’s this have to do with Charles? Not much, but it’s interesting. However, Charles in Middle English was Chukken and that’s probably where the nickname was born. Maybe a drunken Charles from that period is responsible for the slang, up-chuck. 😉

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Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

Wear Sunscreen or the Sunscreen Speech are the common names of an essay titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1997, but often erroneously attributed to a commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut. Both its subject and tone are similar to the 1927 poem “Desiderata“. The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the successful music single “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)“, released in 1998, by Baz Luhrmann.

What the M’s stand for in M&Ms

MMsIn 1941, Forrest Mars Sr., of the Mars candy company, struck a deal with Bruce Murrie, son of famed Hershey president William Murrie,  to develop a hard shelled candy with chocolate at the center.  Mars needed Hershey’s chocolate because he anticipated there would be a chocolate shortage in the pending war, which turned out to be correct.

As such, the deal gave Murrie a 20% stake in the newly developed M&M; this stake was later bought out by Mars when chocolate rationing ended at the end of the war, in 1948.

The name thus stood for “Mars & Murrie” the co-creators of the candy.

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