A Cheat Sheet to the Secret Nicknames of the Literary Elite

One way of communicating to everyone that you're "in the know" is to refer to people not by their bylines, but by their IRL nicknames. Everyone will know you're a poser if you don't call A.O. Scott (pictured) "Tony."

Here are some other ones, which you can feel free to pepper your conversation with at the next Lapham's Quarterly party. (Noted: It's mostly dudes on this list, and a lot of New Yorker writers. Maybe it's a prep school thing?)

A Cheat Sheet to the Secret Nicknames of the Literary Elite

New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin: Bud

New Yorker writer Kelefa Sanneh: K

New York Times writer C.J. Chivers: Chris

Harvard professor and New Yorker writer Louis Menand: Luke

A Cheat Sheet to the Secret Nicknames of the Literary Elite

Late author and Vanity Fair contributor Dominick Dunne:Nick

New Yorker writer Ian Frazier: Sandy

Sterling Lord Literistic head Phillippa Brophy: Flip

ICM agent Amanda Urban: Binky

A Cheat Sheet to the Secret Nicknames of the Literary Elite

Author and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Skip

Author and Paris Review Fiction Editor Nathaniel Rich: Nat

New York Times writer Charles McGrath: Chip

New Yorker writer James Surowiecki: Jim

New Yorker writer/editor Hendrik Hertzberg: Rick (or maybe "Rik"?)


Just don't ever call David Remnick "Dave."

Got others? Email me.