Do you ever wonder about nick names? Because I do. Because OF COURSE I DO.

I am ever called my name (and Briya, IF I ALLOW IT).

Please also know that I only ever respond to my name, unless of course you’re the Starbucks barista because honestly I don’t have time in the mornings to spell out my name and if y’all could see the daily variations of my name when you say HELLO SABRIYA to me pretty much every damn day, while I’m wearing a badge WITH MY NAME ON IT, you would just…

*cough*

Sorry. Off topic.
Anyways. I always wondered about how Richard became Dick.
Because also, OF COURSE I DID.

So anyways, lemme tell you what I read on the internets:

How Dick became a nickname for Richard is known and is one of those “knee bone connected to the thigh bone” type progressions. Due to people having to write everything by hand, shortened versions of Richard were common, such as ‘Ric’ or ‘Rich’.  This in turn gave rise to nicknames like ‘Richie’, ‘Rick’, among others.  People also used to like to use rhyming names; so someone who was nicknamed Rich might further be nicknamed Hitch.  Thus, Richard -> Ric -> Rick gave rise to nicknames like Dick and Hick around the early 13th century.

While few today call Richards ‘Hick’, the nickname ‘Dick’ has stuck around, and of course has come to mean many other things as well.  Its persistence as associated with Richard is probably in part because around the 16th century Dick started to be synonymous with ‘man’, ‘lad’, or ‘fellow’, sort of a general name for any ‘Tom, Dick, or Harry” (with Dick at this point firmly established as an “every man” name).  It may well be that this association with ‘man’ is in turn how ‘dick’ eventually came to mean ‘penis’.

I know. WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS, BRIYA?
Because I just am. And I ain’t sorry.
And I how else am I gonna talk about to talk about a man named Nat (pronounced Nate – yeah, I dunno either) “Deadwood Dick” Love?

AHEM.

Nat Love (pronounced “Nate” Love) (June 1854 – 1921) was an African-American cowboy and former slave in the period following the American Civil War. His self-reported exploits and claims (as found in his published autobiography) have made him the most famous black hero of the Old West

Love was born a slave on the plantation of Robert Love in Davidson County, Tennessee around 1854. Despite slavery-era statutes that outlawed black literacy, he learned to read and write as a child with the help of his father, Sampson. When slavery ended, Love’s parents stayed on the Love plantation as sharecroppers, attempting to raise tobacco and corn on about 20 acres, but Sampson died shortly after the second crop was planted. Afterward, Nat took a second job working on a local farm to help make ends meet. At about this time, he was noted as having a gift for breaking horses. After some time of working extra odd jobs in the area, he won a horse in a raffle, which he then sold back to the owner for $50. He used the money to leave town and, at the age of 16, headed West.

Love traveled to Dodge City, Kansas, where he found work as a cowboy with cattle drivers from the Duval Ranch (located on the Palo Duro River in the Texas Panhandle). He trained himself to become an expert marksman and cowboy, for which he earned from his co-workers the moniker “Red River Dick.” In 1872, Love moved to Arizona, where he found work at the Gallinger Ranch located along the Gila River. He claims in his autobiography that while working the cattle drives in Arizona he met Pat Garrett, Bat Masterson, Billy the Kid and others.

After driving a herd of cattle to the rail head in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, he entered a rodeo on the 4th of July in 1876. He won the rope, throw, tie, bridle, saddle, and bronco riding contests. It was at this rodeo that he claims friends and fans gave him the nickname “Deadwood Dick”, a reference to a literary character created by Edward Lytton Wheeler, a dime novelist of the day.

In 1889, Love decided he needed to leave the cowboy life. He married his wife Alice and settled down, initially in Denver, before finally moving to Southern California. In 1907, Love published his autobiography entitled Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as ‘Deadwood Dick’. [NOT a Tale of Two Dicks. How do you end up with TWO nicknames with Dick in the title? These are Questions That Need Answers]

ANYWAYS. Love spent the latter part of his life as a courier and guard for a Los Angeles securities company. Love died there in 1921, at the age of 67.

 

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