TL Comics

How Nicknames Are Born II


Every Marine in the Corps is prescribed a “knick-name,” willingly or not, by the members of their cohort. Some are better than others, but one thing is certain: almost no one gets to pick their own nickname. What sticks is what sticks, and there are few exceptions to the rule.

Generally, your nickname will be derived by some kind of uncontrollable character trait of yours. As long as it’s easier to remember than your real name, the nickname will stick.

If you’re like me, you’ll luck out and have a last name that’s too difficult to pronounce, so people will just call you by your real first name. My first name is only 3 letters long (Max), which is perfect for the reading comprehension level of a standard Marine Corps infantryman.

Lucky me.

If you’re a Terminal Lance aficionado, you probably noticed that today’s comic is a throwback to Terminal Lance #1. Can you believe we’ve been at this for 13 years?

Where as the time gone?

Infantry Marine turned Combat Artist turned animator turned bestselling author turned dad.

Memorial Day 2023

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  1. Somehow I went from ‘Pollack’ to ‘Polanski’ (I am not Polish)

  2. My last name is VERY Dutch, all 15 letters of it. I was part of the “small nametape letters” crowd. Been out for 18 years now, and I still go by “Van”

    Just something about it that fits me, ya know?

  3. Caleb “Smith” can’t remember the real last name, because I had to verify first and last. Private got mad when I called him “Kah-Lee-B”, accident. Since that bitch moment, his new name was “Kaleb”.

  4. Oldest dude in my infantry platoon at 26, they called me the Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps, or just Old Man.

  5. My nickname was Stan because of my last name. According to my Senior Cpl my last name Staley was missing the N and it should have been Stanley.

  6. (K)Nickname comes from the old English ‘Eke-name’ (extra name). Over time the N moved, as it did with Orange (orig naranga/naranj)

  7. Had a Marine named Bietch. He was a giant bitch so we called him bitch.

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