Many of these rugby player’s nicknames have arisen over the years watching rugby, and the rest seem to be common knowledge, so just in case you wonder who the hell we’re on about, here is a rundown. Some of these are “in-house” nicknames we have come up with – those that are fit to print – but feel free to adopt them! If you get confused, think how they must feel in Wales where everyone is “Jonesy”.

Contributions welcome. Some of the newer ones have also been found in the Scottish Rugby Miscellany, available from fine booksellers everywhere.

Scottish Players

Big Nathan – Nathan Hines. The time honoured Scottish tradition of calling tall people Big Man may have something to do with this. As in “Go on big Nathan, have a wee run”. See also, Big Jim (Hamilton), Big Jason (White) and Big Rory (Lamont, who is bigger than Wee Rory Lawson). We hear he may also be called Wagga, after the place of his birth (thanks Bob and Stew).
Blade –
Mike Blair. There is a reason fighter pilots don’t get to choose their own call-signs but hopefully someone else gave him this one. Perhaps it is related to his love of table tennis, wielding his ping pong bat like a scalpel? Doubtful.
– Colin Gregor. Small and chirpy, I imagine.
Chunk – Allan Jacobsen. Not hard to guess the origin of this one. Comes from a long line of classic prop nicknames such as “Mighty Mouse” or “Teapot”.
Euge – Euan Murray. Presumably because he is ‘uge. Also known as Rev.
Girth – Geoff Cross. Not sure on the origin or accuracy of this one.
Goggsy – Gordon Ross
Johnny Shu – John Houston
Malkovich – Simon Webster. I will try and find a picture that proves the resemblance between him and John Malkovich.
Monty – Sean Lamont, although this could be quantified by calling Rory Lamont “Monty Lamont” or “Monty II” or something.
Mossy – Chris Paterson seems to get called this regularly. Anyone know the origin of this? (see Bill’s and Stew’s comments below for more)
Parko – Dan Parks. Seemed suitably more Australian than “Parksy” or “fanny baws”.
Posh – Hugo Southwell. I suspect this may be due to the tragic shortage of Hugos in everyday Scottish life. To me, he’ll always be HUUUUUUGOOOOOOOOO. Yes, if you hear that coming from the stands, and think to yourself “which tit shouted that?”, it’s probably me.
Stroker – Alisdair Strokosch, also known as The Big Stroker
World Class Phil – Phil Godman. Based on Frank Hadden’s assertion that Godman was a world class attacking runner. I think it may have been just before the “6 minutes of hell” Italy game. Yes, that one.

Overseas Players & Past Players

Mostly I just call them by an incorrect but similar (or middle) name, eg Barry O’ Driscoll or Gary Habana. Who knows what madness lies in the hearts of men but the fact I am known by my middle rather than first name due to no fault of my own may have something to do with it. Others of note that have come to my attention:

Bernie – Stephen Larkham. Named after the corpse in Weekend at Bernies due to a laid back attidude.
Basil – Brian Redpath. Currently a coach at Gloucester, I wonder if this is still in use!
Bueller – Ferris, Stephen. See what they did there?
Chops – Matt Mustchin. Either a love of sideburns or pork, one would imagine.
Del Boy – Damian Cronin.
Muffles – Andy Henderson. Apparently this is Graeme Morrison’s pet name for him.
Nobody – John Eales. A classic, why? Because nobody’s perfect.
Nugget – Martin Williams
Ronnie – Mark Regan. This is almost clever, loving a good pun as I do.
Sinbad – James Simpson-Daniel
Tony Blair – David Blair. Clever one, eh?
Too Tall – Richard Metcalfe, apparently. Hope this clears things up (see comments)

Also worth having a look at: Western Force Supporters site, which has quite a few antipodean rugby nicknames. Quite a few funny ones on here, including Sam “Two-Dads” Norton-Knight and Anton “Grenade Face” Oliver!


Honourable mention also goes to Scubbsy, a New Zealand fan who we sat beside during the World Cup match at Murrayfield who was dressed in a wetsuit – leaving little to the imagination – and a bum bag. After a few minutes snoozing, his similarly attired comrade’s chants of “Man up Scubbsy” became our own catchphrase for the ensuing World Cup tour. Scubbsy, we salute you.

26 comments on “Nicknames

  1. Bill Dishington on

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that ‘Mossy’ comes from ‘Mossy Chops’ a cartoon Dinosaur which he was fond of as a boy. This blog is a great idea by the way, particularly like the players watch

  2. Rory on

    At a guess Hines might be Wagga, as he was born in Wagga Wagga in Australia? Never heard of Too Tall, will keep ears to the ground! Thanks for commenting guys.

  3. Stew on

    Too Tall (Toots for short) was Richard Metcalfe who was 7ft — earned the nickname while still at Northampton.
    Wagga is obviously Hines.
    Moss Chops was Paterson’s cartoon double, according to his brother.

  4. Exiled Embra Ninja on

    I think I read somewhere that there is a injury prone bloke that plays in an Australian Super 14 team that’s got the nickname Tampon, because he’s in one week, out for three. – made me laugh.

    Can I nominate Saint Sebastian or Joan of Arc as a nickname for Webbo, after his recent efforts to martyr himself.

    Finally, can I suggest Barnes Wallis for Frank Hadden, because of the mans tendency to constantly refer to the bounce of the ball during the inevitable “Why we lost” interview.

  5. J Houston on

    Mighty Mouse – Ian McLauchlan
    Great White Shark – John Jeffrey (JJ)
    Darkie – Bedell-Sivright (they weren’t pc in those days)

  6. Eric Bradley on

    The Bear – Ian Milne
    Broon frae Troon – Gordon Brown (the original)

    I live down in leicester these days and they have a few good ones
    Wiggy – Graham rowntree ( seen the ears!)
    Mi lud – Ben Kay (dad is a judge)
    Bubbles – (Scott Hamilton (hair)
    36 – Billy Twelverees (Geordy Murphy named him saying in Ireland twelve trees is 36!)
    Godber – Ricky Nebbut (played for Tigers a few years ago after spending a year in the nick)

  7. Paul Whitehead on

    Does anyone know Jim Telfer’s nickname? I knew it once but it’s evaporated out of my head. I’d be grateful for your help.

    All the best,

    Paul Whitehead

    • Michael Smyth on

      Jim Telfer’s Nickname is Creamie ! Don’t know how he came by it but that is how he is known by nearly all at Melrose !

  8. Steve Briggs on

    Brian O’Driscoll was named ‘Monica Seles’ on the last Lions tour because of the grunty noises he makes playing table tennis.
    The Aussie fullback James O’Connor was christened ‘The Golden Child’ (for obvious reasons’ on the last Wallabies tour.
    All Black Adam Thompson is ‘The Woolly Mammoth’

  9. Bufty65 on

    I have an inkling the Hugo Southwell is Shug, but I refer to him to others as Shugo. A sprightly mix of weeg and embra, I thought.

    Love the news about Mossy’s origins! Class.

  10. David Dailly on

    Chris Fussaro – Fuzz Bomb, Rocky.
    Rob Harley – Ginga Ninja
    Dunc Weir – Meatball
    James Eddie – Jedi

  11. eamon roe on

    have been a regular at Glasgow Warriors the last few years – the old programme used to do a player profile with nicknames. I remember the great Donnie McFadyen was listed disappointingly as ‘Donnie’ so my sons and I re-named him as ‘Buckets’ as in ‘buckets of wet cement’ as in that’s what he looked like he was carrying when he tried to run. Remember also the young Rory Lamont was ‘Peace’ as in ‘give peace a chance’. Present line up includes Mike Cusack aka ‘the Coalman’, ‘Hornie’ in the centre, ‘Arriva’ i.e. arrivederci=Peter Murchie, Muzza Dog at tight head, Bish (Bish Bosh Big Josh), ‘Dead’ Kennedy, Rhino I and Rhino II. Theres’s more unfortunately. Always disappointed we never had a name for the lamented Lome Fatua although best shout for him I heard was ‘get warmed up, Lome, you’re coming off’.

  12. Barry P on

    Just because I can I thought I’d comment as I’d previously missed the Ferris Bueller nickname but it did remind me of former Ulster & 97 Lions lock Jeremy Davidson who earned the name Buzz. With a chin like that and Toy Story fairly big at roughly the same time its an easy connection.

    However I think my favourite nickname has to Chris Whitaker’s, the former Leinster and Aussie scrum half. Whitaker had the misfortunate to play for Australia at the same time as George Gregan so was referred to as Splinters due to his international bench warming duties.

  13. Fraser on

    A lot of nicknames can be confirmed through twitter now. I’ve noticed that Rory Lamont is referred to as ‘comrade’ by Strokosch which is probably due to his left wing politics. Max Evans also calls Mike Blair ‘blakesy’ which I’d really like to have explained at some point.

  14. Neil on

    Do they have a nickname for the SRU- how about “charlies” or “fat cat pigs”

    And what about our sevens team- how about “the nancy boys”. i’ve heard about the Jersy boys but they playeed more like the “Buckhaven old boys Pub team”

    How about Scott Johnson- I better stop there before someone tries to sue me.

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