Courtesy of the ever-jocular Des, sole proprietor of the multifaceted webpublication Desbladet (“på nätet sedan 2001”):

What’s that, Tezza?
      Homo sum; nihil humanum a me alienum puto.
      I am human, and I for one welcome our new alien overlords.
      Terentius (“Terence”)

(I for one am inordinately fond of the British nickname formation employed here, exemplified most notoriously by Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne, “the Geordie comedian and occasional footballer.”)

Incidentally, should you for some inexplicable reason wish to see this joke in its original context, you will have to go to the ‘bladet and scroll down to 2004-02-05 10:28, Smörgåspost. I won’t say that permalinks are bloggered, because the good Herr Von Bladet doesn’t use Blogger but rather an even more antiquated and creaky blogpostmanufacturesystem called Diaryland, but I will say that when I attempted to access the alleged permalink for this entry I got a page that began cheerfully “Hi! You’ve hit the error page for Diaryland. Lucky you!” I can’t begin to tell you how lucky I feel.


  1. Gazza from Gascoigne is a different process – ‘real’ Gazzas come from Gary or Gareth.

  2. Paul Gascoigne started off playing for Newcastle United (nicknamed the “Magpies” because of their black and white shirts). Later he went to the Italian club Lazio where, I think, he kept his “Gazza” nickname, “gazza” being the Italian for “magpie”.

  3. Ah, many thanks to both of you for clearing up this nomenclatural conundrum. The things I learn from this LH business…

  4. Perhaps we should add the (northern) English blogger Jez (Jeremy Smith), who recently went back to Britain from Paris.http://www.jezblog.34sp.com/

  5. I did a few Google searches and collected these:

    • Aaron > Azza
    • Barry > Bazza
    • Charles > Chazza
    • Darren > Dazza
    • Derek > Dezza
    • Eric > Ezza
    • Gary > Gazza
    • Harold > Hazza
    • Jeremy > Jezza
    • Laurence > Lazza
    • Maurice > Mozza
    • Terence > Tezza
    • Warren > Wazza

    My morning OCD seems to be petering out, so that’s all for now. I did see some evidence for “-zza” names not requiring an “r”, like “Robert” > “Rozza”, though, as well as some female use, like “Erin” > “Ezza”.

  6. Morrissey, the ex-Smiths frontman, is nicknamed Mozza. But mostly, these nicknames are abbreviated further, so Gary/Gareth > Gazza > Gaz, Darren > Daz and Warren > Woz. I’ve also heard Boris > Boz. More importantly, there are the girls’ names Karen > Kazza > Kaz and Sharon > Shazza > Shaz. A “Shazza” is a recognisable stereotype. One of my friends was in the supermarket once when he saw a group of young teenage girls dressed beyond their age and chewing bubblegum. He shouted “Oi, Shaz!” and though he didn’t know a single one of them about half of them turned round and waved.

  7. I forgot Jerry > Jez, Barry > Baz and Kerry > Kez. I’ve heard the surname Parrott become “Paz” too.

  8. I was occasionally called Gez at school.
    The former UK Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine was nicknamed Hezza by the press – and when he was President of the Board of Trade was jokingly labelled Prezza Hezza.
    Celebrity TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson opened a restaurant in London with the name “Woz” – his nickname.
    And to round all this up, I suppose the slang abbreviation of “sorry” > soz, is not unconnected?

  9. Good lord. I had no idea. I’m not sure whether to be glad or sorry I brought the subject up, but I now realize the phenomenon is much wider than I ever suspected.
    And yes, “soz” is clearly connected. I wonder when and how the whole thing got started?

  10. We used to informally poll first year linguistics students about these in lectures, and usually Aaron > Azza got the thumbs down, maybe because it wasn’t a common name in Australia at the time. A nice variant is Warwick > Wokka.

  11. Then there was Bez (Mark Berry), the idiot dancer with Madchester group the Happy Mondays. I’ve also heard Tariq become Taz. But that’s enough from me!

  12. I’ve also heard Tariq become Taz.
    *mind reels in multicultural delirium*

  13. > He shouted “Oi, Shaz!” and though he didn’t know a single one of them about half of them turned round and waved.
    That works in Malaysia too. According to stereotype all gwailos are called John so strangers get my name right every time.

  14. So what do you call Ezra? My son’s friend was called “Pez” after the candy.

  15. Ezza.

  16. Thanks for the tip off – Dland b0rked the permalinks on that page – here‘s a new one…

  17. I suppose the slang abbreviation of “sorry” > soz, is not unconnected?

    I just ran across a new abbreviation like soz: appaz for “apparently”.

  18. An excellent example. (Desbladet seems to have gone silent since late 2016. I guess he’s migrated to Facebook like everybody else. Bah.)

  19. It’s good to have a site where I can pick up a conversation after a 14-year gap. Thanks, Steve!

  20. Yeah i was really sad when no-sword just stopped cold-turkey.

  21. Facebook. Feh. As I said on another site, “I am a responsible Facebook drinker. I never ‘go on Facebook’, I only maintain an account so that I can go to a specific page someone sends me an URL for.”

  22. Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher (born 28 December 1985 in Southwark, South London), known to her friends as “Mez”

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