Docker’s Nicknames

Dockers often devised nicknames for each other and quite often knew colleagues only by their nicknames! This isn’t unique to dockers, we all do it and many of us have had nicknames for teachers.

Nicknames were often very witty and sometimes cruel. They could originate from an event – “Dictator” came about when a man called Richard was nearly caught stealing potatoes, or from someone’s appearance – “Concorde” had a sharp pointy nose. Sometimes they were an allusion to a celebrity’s name, a man called Young was known as “Rita” after the film star Rita Young.

Nickname Meaning   Nickname Meaning    Nickname Meaning
1001 Had many jobs outside the docks Frog Always in the shower Preacher Worked every Sunday
Big spender Careful with money Handsome Very good looking Rita A man called Young was known as Rita after the film star Rita Young.
Book ends Identical twins Headwaiter Waited for others to do the hard work Splinter The son of man nicknamed Plank
Brains Looked like Brains in Thunderbirds Kipper Always sleeping Steady Eddie Drove a tractor very slowly
Cardboard cut out Didn’t move very much Lord Ash Always had a cigarette Super Docker Knew everything
Citrus Son of a man called grapefruit Manchester Brian Came from Manchester The Bat Always worked nights never days
Concorde Had a sharp pointy nose Manhole Fell down a ships hold The Singing Docker Singer outside work
Dickie bow Joe Always wore a bow tie Mile’r Swam across Avonmouth Docks Tiny Very tall
Dick Barton A docks policeman Mouse catcher Dad was a rat catcher Tracker Rode trains without paying
Dictator When a man called Richard was nearly caught stealing potatoes Mr Kodak Was always saying ‘let me put you in the picture’ Twiggy His surname was Branch
Evo Stik Would never let anyone else have a go Odd ha’ppenny Always asking others for 1/2d to make up a penny Two note Bill A superintendent who paid low wages for unpleasant work
Fiddler Played the violin Olympic torch Never went out Wolfie His Docker uncle was called Big Bad Wolf
Flags Knocked down some special bunting on a ship whilst using a crane Pebbles The son of a man with the nickname Stoneface Wonder boy Was always saying ‘I wonder what’s in here’
Flash Dressed very smartly Pink panther Turned pink in the sun Zoomy Always left early

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