a medieval minute: nicknames

King Alfonse IX, the Slobberer.

King Alfonse IX, the “Slobberer”.


Nicknames were popular in the middle ages probably because there was a tendency to give everyone in a family the same name. Also, then as now, there is often a humorous component to nicknames. One of my favorites is King Alfonse IX of Leon and Galicia, the “El Baboso”—“The Slobberer”—because he had spit-spraying fits of rage. In the above picture, I can well imagine the spit flying. One man actually turns his head away.

There was a medieval Bulgarian ruler called Ivajlo the “Cabbage” who ruled in 1278-9. Although cabbage was widely eaten in the medieval world, people believed that it wasn’t good for you. When I was growing up I remember one of the miners at J&L Steel where my dad worked was called “Cabbage” and his son was called “Brussels Sprouts.” Ivajlo had only a daughter. I wonder if she had a nickname.

King Ivajlo the “Cabbage" of Bulgaria

King Ivajlo the “Cabbage” of Bulgaria

To find out more medieval nicknames read my novel The Viscountess and the Templars.

Please support this book on Kindle Scout:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/IOMBJIB4T9BO

To read more about nicknames:

10 Badass Medieval Monarchs With Obnoxious Nicknames

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About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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