OK, so, like anyone else, I love a good gangster nickname. And there is no better source of gangster nicknames than The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury. I mean, it’s probably lies from start to finish, but it’s fantastic lies. And it has some of the best names in any work of scurrilous non-history ever published. Today we will be reviewing some names from it. These are some of my favourites, in no particular order:
Sweeney the Boy, Terrible John, Silver Dollar Smith, Slobbery Jim, Razor Riley, Rags Riley, Mush Riley, Crazy Butch, Dan the Dude, Gold Mine Jimmy Carrigio, Big Nose Bunker, Yakey Yake Brady, Battle Annie, Gyp the Blood, Greedy Jake, Bill the Butcher, Worcester Sam, Louie the Lump, Patsy the Barber, Owney the Killer, Old Mother Hubbard, Happy Jack Mulraney, One-Armed Charley, Eat-’em-Up Jack McManus, Cow-legged Sam, Peg Leg Lonergan, Ike the Blood, the Lobster Kid, Cyclone Louie, London Izzy Lazarus, Hungry Joe, Goo Goo Knox, Kid Glove Rosey, Ida the Goose, Rough House Hogan, Hell-cat Maggie, Itsky Joe, Dopey Benny, Red Rocks Farrell, Dandy Jimmy Dolan, Ding Dong, Ralph the Barber, One Lung Curran.
And here are some gangs: The Yakey Yakes, the Swamp Angels, the Squab Wheelmen, the Slaughterhousers, the Shirt Tails, the Rough Riders, the Pearl Buttons, the Parlour Mob, the Neighbours’ Sons, the Marginals.
Aren’t those great? If you run games or write fiction, I think Herbert Asbury has a lot to tell you about scary badass names.
Tomorrow we will talk about Viking names and how they are cooler than every bullshit fake barbarian name in literature.