Without a doubt, the most important and understated aspect of playing darts is your nickname. All the top dart stars have one, so it’s imperative you get yourself one or else your averages will seriously suffer.
Normally, picking your own nickname is not acceptable, but for darts we are willing to make an exception if it matches your flair as a dartist. So with that mind, here are some ideas to help you pick your darting nickname, and maybe I can finally decide on mine.
The simplest nicknames are usually based around your name and are more than likely the ones people have been calling you for years. Good examples of this are Raymond Van Barneveld who commonly goes by Barney, and Mervyn King who goes by the cheesier “The King.” If this is the route I’m going to take, I think my options would be have to be “Woody,” “The Wood,” or maybe even “Stewpot.”
Another great option for a nickname is a reference to your origins. Wee John Thomas Wilson was better known as “Jocky” Wilson as he was Scottish. As an added bonus, his name also rhymed with oche, which inspired the famous call of “Jocky on the oche.” Londoner Eric Bristow was indeed a “Crafty Cockney”, as his nickname suggests. But his nickname is actually the name of a pub in Santa Monica, California. Bristow’s nickname stuck after a tournament where he wore a shirt from the pub. Other examples of great names that show off a player’s heritage are Scot Jamie Harvey, who goes by the wonderful “Bravedart,” Australian Tony David “The Dealy Boomerang,” “The Singapore Slinger” Paul Lim, and my personal favorite, Canadian John Part with the wonderfully inventive name “Darth Maple.” Now for me, I’ve got a number of options here seeing I’m originally from England but now live in Canada. Some nicknames I’m toying with here are “English,” “The Lancashire Hotpot,” or possibly “The Commonwealth Ambassador of Arrows.”
Another good source for a nickname is your physical appearance. This one conjures up images such as “Old Stoneface” (John Lowe), “Big Cliff” (Cliff Lazarenko), and “The Tripod” (Ronald Scholten). Now, these are nicknames that won’t do your self confidence any good. Only use these names if you have thick skin, and I mean that figuratively. If you do want to take it literally, then “Rhino Features” isn’t that bad a name. Another risk you run with a nickname based on your appearance is that your body can change over time. Back in the day, fresh faced Keith Deller was known as the “Milky Bar Kid” thanks to boyish good looks, but nowadays he’s just “The Fella.” I’m not that sensitive, so maybe my nickname could be “Lard Ass,” “The 180 Yard Stare,” or even “The Face Only a Mother Could Love.”
Having a gimmick is a surefire way to earn a decent nickname. The master of the gimmick is, of course, the legend that is Bobby George. Bobby’s flamboyant entrance consists of him coming out resplendent in a crown, cloak, and his trademark jewelery, and this earned the multiple monikers of “Bobby Dazzler,” “The King of Darts,” and “The King of Bling.” Gimmicks and entrance music go hand in hand. Darts legend Bob Anderson was known for his flashy cowboy shirts and picked up the nickname “The Limestone Cowboy,” which of course led to his entrance music becoming Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy.” The theme tune to the hit TV show Hawaii Five-O is the basis of Wayne Mardle’s puntastic nickname “Hawaii 5-0-1.” I’m not sure I need a gimmick, but maybe I’d like to be “The Lumberjack” and wear a plaid shirt and carry a plastic axe.
Some of the best nicknames are reserved for corny, groan-worthy puns. The great Phil Taylor goes by the bloody awful “The Power” ( Phil The Power – Feel the power, get it?). Dennis Priestley goes for the obvious “Dennis the Menace” after the comic strip character. (Note to North American readers: This is the British Dennis the Menace from the pages of Beano, not the syndicated Hank Ketcham strip). Other groan-inducing puns based on players’ names are Kevin “The Artist” Painter, Steve “The Tractor Boy” Farmer, and my personal favorite nickname, Denis “The Heat” Ovens. Right now I’m toying with Stuart “Holly” Wood, and Stuart “Just Do It” Wood, although that might result in legal action. How about Stuart “Threw It” Wood?
Well, I’ve got myself a few ideas for my darts nickname now, but I’m still not sure what I’m going to choose yet. I hope I’ve given you some ideas for your own nickname. Let me know what you pick.