Who are you calling, Shankapotomus?

By NiceBallz.com

Nicknames are like white elephant gifts. You know, the exchange of unwanted junk at those awkward office holiday parties. Everyone loves to give, but not receive.

Nicknames are everywhere. I've dated a "Pumpkin Spice," who loved her seasonal Starbucks latté, and a "Pink Panther," who poured herself into pink corduroy pants (no, not LPGA star Paula Creamer, as hard as it is for you to believe). We surf the "Intranets" and we search on "The Google." Athletes are dubbed "A-Fraud" and "Barroid." Celebrity couples merge as "Brangelina" and "TomKat." Fading stars become "Wacko Jacko." And, then there's "OctoMom."

It's a cruel world. This is especially true on the golf course where we all are particularly vulnerable to spastic episodes of failure and the whims of Mother Nature.

Golf is a game of camaraderie. And, friendships are forged over a four-hour round. But, if your golf game is in some way a reflection of your personality and quirks, then it comes with opportunity for your friends to make fun of you. Play golf and it won't be long before you earn a nickname. Mostly nicknames are affectionate expressions, other times they are more malicious - the best are some of both.

I've played golf with "The Shinner," who limped with a golf ball-sized welt after hitting himself in the leg with a ricochet off a tree, and "The Tan Man," who is perpetually fake-and-baked.

A meticulous player myself, I've been called, "Paint," because it dries faster than my swing. After missing an annual golf getaway this spring, a friend - in all his empathy - said he would honor my absence by taking a 30-second backswing. Very funny, smart@$$.

Even golf clubs have their own terms of endearment. The new Cleveland Golf Niblick, an updated version of an old school chipper, is affectionately known in our group simply as "The Nibbler." And, my Heavy Putter by Boccieri Golf has earned Hollywood hip-hop status as "The Overweight Lover Heavy D."

Here are a few other favorite golf nicknames to use on your next foursome:

Shankapotomus- Yes we know this has made the rounds. Shush, it's still funny. Online securities broker E*TRADE introduced golfers to derogatory genius in a clever TV commercial starring a talking baby golfer hip with the slang. In the ad, baby golfer scolds his playing partner for an illegal ball drop and pokes fun at his weak game: "Learn the rules, Shankapotomus!"

Obi-Wan Kenobi - Hit a golf ball out of bounds (O.B.) and suffer a stroke-and-distance penalty. Not good for your score. Hit straight you must. Learn to control slice you will. May the force be with you, Jedi.

Archie Bunker - I had the following exchange with a caddy once after dumping a shot in a bunker: "Only two things fit in that trap." "What are they?" "An angry man and his wedge." Funny guy. Didn't appreciate tips apparently. Haul this nickname out the next time your buddy hits onto the beach. Bring a sand wedge, Archie Bunker. And, a recliner because you're gonna be in there a while.

If not mean spirited or offensive, a nickname among friends only adds to the fun. Like that ceramic cat that keeps making the rounds every year at the corporate holiday gift exchange, we wonder: Who'll get it next?

Share your favorite golf nicknames with us via comments or on Twitter. What really gets under your skin? How do you heckle your playing partners? And, how do you keep coming up with something clever? Keep it clean, Chunkosaurus.

The NiceBallz guys have been called a lot of unflattering nicknames of which they're blissfully unaware. Follow their golf game and sense of humor under a pseudonym, of course, at http://twitter.com/GolferWriterGuy and his blog partner, let's just call him "Hack," at http://twitter.com/NiceBallz or both of them at their blog: http://blog.niceballz.com/.