Monday, November 20, 2017

A Thorn By Any Other Name

I ran across this historical note about November the 20th while casting about for a topic for today’s post: on this date in the year 1407, John, Duke of Berry, brokered a truce between John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans. In true political fashion, the truce didn’t last, because the Duke of Orléans was assassinated by the Duke of Burgundy a mere three days later but, hey, they tried.

I went back to do some additional reading on the topic, which seemed like it ought to be interesting, but couldn’t make head nor tail out of the lengthy discussions of medieval French intrigue. The part that really caught my attention was a brief note on the Dukes of Burgundy: it seems that the predecessor of “John the Fearless” was “Philip the Bold,” and his successor was “Philip the Good.” Yes, Dear Readers, back in the good old days, noteworthy people had interesting nicknames that tended to lend them a certain gravitas*.

John the Fearless

Which got me to wondering why we don’t give catchy names to our political figures in today's world. The closest thing we have to such names are the sorts of nicknames the Mafia gives to its notable figures, like John “The Dapper Don” Gotti, “Scarface Al” Capone, and “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.

Sammy the Bull

Of course, we have the sort of juvenile nicknames that Donald Trump likes to hand out, like “Crooked Hillary,” “Little Marco,” and “Al Frankenstein,” but these are hardly in a class with something like John the Fearless or Richard the Lionhearted.

Here are a few of my suggestions for appropriate nicknames for some of our present-day political hacks …

Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be “Jefferson the Forgetful;”

Vice President Mike Pence could be “Michael the Obsequious;”

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders could be, “Sarah the Prevaricator;” and,

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway could be, "Kellyanne the Obnoxious.”

What do you think would be some appropriate medieval-type nicknames for our elected (or appointed) officials? Leave a comment and share your ideas ... Sir Bilbo the Idea-Bereft is interested.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Of course, there were also people like Ethelred the Unready and Alfonso the Slobberer, so the names aren’t always as positive as one might wish.


Hell Hound said...

I'm all for those types of nicknames!

Mike said...

Donald the Liar Hearted.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Jeff the Keebler Elf

Hillary the Shrew

Donald the Tweeter Bird

Roy the Junior League Lothario

Al the Groper

I don't think anyone deserves being called "the Good."

Banana Oil said...

The French King Philip the Fair was fair in that he was light skinned. Not trustworthy. Lots of competition for ____________ the Asshole.

allenwoodhaven said...

Trump the Prime Ass Clown