Here at Kempt, we always endorse abiding by the due prescriptions of social courtesy and politeness.

But sometimes you need to take someone down a peg. You’re not trying to be disrespectful or mean outright—just to give a subtle reminder that you’ve got their number. After all, there’s a difference between a slight dig and fighting words.

Since in a few months Jay Gatsby will return to screens everywhere to give a master class on the subject, old sports, we decided it was high time to dust off the practice (and give you a few ideas on where to start).

So, eyes up front, champ—this is the Kempt guide to the condescending nickname.

For a colleague who’s taking things too seriously:
Bud, Chief, Mack, Killer, Ace, Bub, Boss, Pal, Buddy, Jack, Sport

For a youngster, or someone of any age, acting immaturely:
Son, Sonny, Scout, Stud, Wink, Tiger, Charlie, Junior, Punk, Tough Guy

For anyone acting like the overzealous captain of your co-ed softball team:
Champ, Cap’n, Slugger, Kiddo, Boy-o, Billy Boy, Hoss

A friendly reminder for those overstepping their boundaries:
Squirt, Slim, Shortstack, Big Guy, Tiny

For men whose bluster or machismo is overwrought*:
Honey, Sugar, Sweetcheeks, Baby, Babycakes, Sweetheart, Cupcake, Puddin’, Doll, Dollface, Honeybuns, Barbie

*For the love of God, do not use these on an actual woman, unless she’s a good friend with a proven sense of humor.

—N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar