• Mike "no-stop" Granger
  • Jimmy "the wrench" Parsons

Is there a specific term that describes either of the following?

  • the nickname that comes between the first and last name
  • the format itself

2 Answers 2


The structure, would probably be a figure of interruption. Probably parembole (or paremptosis, which seems to have the same meaning), but maybe also parenthesis. This is what Silva Rhetoricae website says about parembole:


A figure of interruption closely related to parenthesis. Parembole occurs when the interrupting matter has a connection to the sentence subject, whereas the interrupting material of parenthesis need have no such connection.

(Also, parenthesis is usually with brackets, but doesn't seem to be a requirement, based on the Silva Rhetoricae for that term, which just describes it as 'Insertion of a verbal unit that interrupts normal syntactical flow.')

It's very close to diacope, which is a word sandwich, but the first and last names would have to be the same. Ie. Bond, James Bond'. Tmesis is very close to it, though it's technically an interruption of a single word. ie. 'unbe-freaking-lievable'. You could also argue that by making it 'Mike -no stop- Granger', you are transforming the name into a tricolon by splitting it into three parts, which is probably why it sounds more impactful.

The 'the wrench' and 'no stop' parts would be Antonomasia, which is to substitute a descriptive phrase for a proper name, or using a proper name to describe a quality associated with it. Examples of descriptive phrases as names: 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named' is used instead of Voldemort in the Harry Potter series, or people can refer to Elvis Presley as simply 'The King.' Some examples of the second use are: to call someone 'Cupid' if they are good at matchmaking/ enjoy matchmaking, calling someone 'Sherlock' if they have just deduced something/ are good at working things out or by praising a child for being clever by calling them a 'little Einstein.'

Although a nickname could also be an archetypal name, below is a good comparison between the two, taken from the discussion of antonomasia at the website Literary Terms:

Antonomasia vs. Archetypal Names

Antonomasia and Archetypal names both provide characters with nicknames, but they do so in different ways. Whereas antonomasia is not a proper name, archetypal names are proper names. They are like antonomasia in that they use characteristics of a person, but they are used directly within the name.

Here is an example:

You have a friend who is from Texas.

Archetypal Name: Tex

Tex references Texas, and for this reason, this person’s name is a reflection of where they once lived.

Antonomasia: Cowboy Dave

By calling your friend Cowboy Dave, you are referencing Texan culture, but not directly naming him after it. For this reason, the nickname is considered antonomasia rather than an archetypal name.)

  • Not really in the appropriate register, but +1 for a correct answer that introduces a new term to ELU. Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 12:11

Is there a term for nicknames which are inserted between first and last names?

embedded nickname

But a flat structure cannot be nested immediately under another flat structure. For example, the words of an embedded nickname would be treated as top-level parts of the flat expression:

Denise "Dee Dee" Bridgewater

Universal Dependencies (UD) is a framework for consistent annotation of grammar (parts of speech, morphological features, and syntactic dependencies) across different human languages. UD is an open community effort with over 300 contributors producing nearly 200 treebanks in over 100 languages.
From the universaldependencies.org homepage

ex: Bret "The Hitman" Hart. it's a real name with an embedded nickname so we could use that as his stage name here, but he technically doesnt have one and just has a primary defining nickname intertwined there.
Post by SickJames at forums.wrestlezone.com

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"Nickname Manipulations", SQLite Tools for RootsMagic


Quotation marks can also offset a nickname embedded in an actual name, or a false or ironic title embedded in an actual title.
For example: Nat “King” Cole, or John “Hannibal” Smith.
Dreamland Team; "Inverted Commas" (2016) (Children's book)

Inverted Commas

Use in three situations only – and always single (same key as the apostrophe), not double (which can give rise to technical issues on some platforms.) Do use when a nickname is embedded in a name (Paul 'The Owl' Hawthorne), when when a piece of classical music has a nickname (Symphony No 7, ‘Leningrad’) and when citing a quotation (Urban legends expert David Emery explains why JFK did not make a gaffe when he declared ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’).
BBC Guide to Editorial Programme Metadata

  • Good find. +1 for the article, and this is probably the term I'd choose, but hardly a fixed phrase, compound or strong collocation. Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 12:15

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