One prosaic gent outside the room, went by the name of "Frankie Ears" on account of the vestigial, flaplike things on the sides of his face

This is from The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead. In "Frankie Ears", is Frankie a name of person and Ears his nickname?

1 Answer 1


"Frankie Ears" is his nickname. "Frankie" may or may not be part of his given name. It's not uncommon for a nickname to pick up bits that have no particular relevance except to the person coining the nickname. I'm having difficulty placing any case in my own personal experience, but as a general thing, you'll sometimes see terms like "He's a regular Joe Sixpack" to refer to someone who's really common, or a generic ethnic name might get appended, like someone calling a pokey person of Mexican descent "Slowpoke Rodriguez".

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