While all ships have an official name, more often than not the crew will often call a ship by its nickname. Some nicknames come from (in)famous incidents or battles. Others are just puns on their official name. A few nicknames seem to defy any kind of logic, but just “are” in the same way that the rumor mill defies the laws of physics. Very rarely is a nickname truly derogatory; those times when it is, there’s almost always a collection of bad stories that led to its creation.
It’s rare that a nickname is made official. its use in official capacities is almost always a major faux pas, especially around officers. Some commanders fight hard against nicknames, or try to force the creation of one they feel is “fitting”, but this is almost always an impossible fight. Instead, most commanders learn to live with the nickname, knowing that in most cases it helps create and maintain the cohesion that makes a combat unit effective under heavy stress.
Sometimes though, entire classes can pick up a nickname or nickname theme. This is almost universally due to either to characteristics in the ship’s design, or a “curse” that seems to follow the entire class.
dWS Issac Kleiner
Commissioned in 2.2, Issac Kleiner deployed to the Sintillan front on 2.4 and remained on the front lines until the end of the conflict in 3.7, returning to Fenris shortly after for refits. She conducted additional combat patrols in the Binary war, helping secure hostile asteroid colonies and working as a close escort during both planetary sieges. She spent the years afterwards in Fenris orbit, conducting the occasional customs patrol in between experimental refits. During this time she served as a test-bed for design improvements that would eventually result in the advanced S-Boat-class Light Cruisers. During this time her portside cargo hold was converted to a barracks for scientists, leading her to pick up the nickname “Test Tube Rack” as she was put through experimental refit after refit.
Reactivated for the Elysian war she continued to function as close escort for the battle line, shooting down four gunboats in the liberation of Dave’s World. After serving as a carrier escort for the First and Second battle of Elysium, she was withdrawn from front line service in 13.0 and stricken in 13.2.
Built after the Treaty of Lvov in 6.8 that allowed the recreation of a Sintillan navy, the dWS Krivak was launched as the SIN Krivak. She spent the majority of her existence on patrols from Sintilla to the colony world of Borodino and back, missing the Binary war in its entirety. She logged over seventy warp jumps, a record only surpassed by some Hawking-Class light cruisers. Krivak acquired the unfortunate nickname “Krusher” after a docking mishap in 9.5/08 at the Borodino Highport, when she destroyed three docking pylons in rapid succession. No casualties came from the incident, but she was permanently denied docking permissions at Borodino highport as a result. During the Elysian war she found herself being given a wide berth even by her sister ships. Her service as a warp point assault unit and carrier escort during the Liberation of Dave’s world and First and Second battles of Elysium were unremarkable, and she joined her sisters at the breakers in 13.2.
While generally considered to be an excellent combat design, with a good mix of firepower and passive defenses, the Landser-Class Battleships have picked up the grim nickname “TodesHausen”, which crudely means “Death Houses”. This stems from both the naming scheme for the class (generally famous infantry soldiers, IE ones that died heroically), and the fact that every single member of the class has been lost in battle. Most times, their first battle. While casualties from their loss have been relatively light (a testament to their durability and well laid out escape pods), crewing them has proven to be challenging, with spacers making them their first choice. A few crew members have served on two, or even three separate Landsers, and fatalistically refer to themselves as Sif’s chosen, a reference to the lunar god of death.
Project Blue-Class Corvette
The Project Blue is the original customs patrol ship often seen with the deWulf Civilian Raumpatrouille, or “Space Patrol”. Taking the lessons from the initial Manos-Class Destroyer, the Project Blue became a common sight around orbital container yards and freight warehouses. They were also one of the first ships to not only get nicknames, but to also earn their whole class a nickname.
They were first referred to as “Projects” or “Blues”, in deference to their lackluster design history and operational duties, respectively. Eventually they were called the PB class ships, which prompted some to re-name them as “Patrol Boats”. The shortest abbreviation lead to the ship being derogatorily nicknamed Peanut Butter boats, as more than one freighter commented wryly, “Sure, they’re nice to have in a pinch, but they tend to stick to the top of your ship and refuse to let go!”