Politicians and Their Strange, Surprising Childhood Nicknames

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When we learned last week that Alvin Greene’s nickname in high school was Turtle, we realized (after getting over our initial pangs of guilt for calling him a "probably mentally incapacitated sex pervert”) what a perfect moniker that was for him. Even years later, if you gave us a lineup of 100 politicians and told us to pick the one who was known as Turtle as a teenager, we would have no trouble singling out Alvin Greene. He’s just so … Turtle. But is it always so obvious? We've put together a quiz of thirteen nicknames that political figures used to go by when they were kids or teenagers — from Boozy Boy to Bird Legs to Peaches — leaving out anything that was just too easy. ("Sarah Barracuda" ring any bells?) See how many you can figure out.

Sister Frigidaire:

Clinton's high-school paper predicted she would become a nun known as Sister Fridigaire because she seemed "uninterested in sex."

McNasty:

McCain was known as McNasty in high school because he was "rambunctious and combative." In other words, kind of a jerk.

Bird Legs:

"In high school, my friends called me Bird Legs," Romney told the AP in 2007. "And how did I get it? Take a guess."

Peaches:

As odd as it seems now, Petraeus was dubbed Peaches for his "peach-fuzz facial hair" as a high-schooler.

Poppy:

As a child, Bush was called Poppy to (barely) distinguish him from his namesake grandfather, George Herbert Walker, who was known as Pop.

Rooster:

He was known as Rooster in high school "because of a strand of hair on the back of his head which stood up, and because of his competitive, in-your-face attitude."

Lip:

Bush got the nickname at Phillips Academy "because he had an opinion on everything - and sometimes a tongue sharper than necessary." A wiseass, essentially.

Pinky:

Growing up, everyone knew Reid as Pinky because "when he was born, a cousin said he was pink," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Spanky:

Sharpton told the AP that "in school they called me Spanky," perhaps some kind of allusion to the "Little Rascals" character.

Coyote Bill:

During the presidential campaign, Richardson told the AP his childhood nickname was "Coyote Bill," without elaborating.

Boozy Boy:

He got the nickname as a baby because a friend of the family had just nicknamed their baby Sonny Boy. "And they wanted to have a similar name and how they got Boozy Boy, I don't know," Specter sort of explains.

Tippy:

As a child, Al's "high voice and nervous manner" apparently reminded people of a neighbor's "yapping dog" named Tippy.

Monster:

Bradley told the AP in 2000 that his nickname was Monster, but he didn't say whether it was because he is freakishly tall.

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