Coming up with regular character names can be enough of a challenge. I find coming up with nicknames even more of a challenge.

A good nickname is memorable, organic in origin, and often hints at an interesting story. Think about names like Puke Ass, Syndrome and Crazy T (which is the nickname for a good friend of mine).

In my quest for some assistance in coming up with nicknames for my biker and gangster characters, I found an extensive list of USAF pilot callsigns, complete with the stories behind them. A lot of the stories are hilarious, some a bit on the raunchy side.

It certainly got the creative juices flowing.

A few other resources can be found at Biker’s Names,, and Gangsters Mobster Nicknames.

What I found works for me is to take these ideas and play with them. The ones on the Gorskys site are multi-word and don’t work as-is for a good biker name. But taking a just one or two words gives me a good starting point.

Have you had to come up with nicknames for characters? What do you use?

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