SINGAPORE - The Architect, Big Aristotle, Mellow Johnny. The art of name-calling thrives among athletes in both a humorous and menacing manner. Often, those witty nicknames would give us a taste of the athlete's personality.
Here are a few memorable ones:
The 'Gelek' King
The late Dollah Kassim was known for his superior dribbling skills, hence the nickname 'Gelek' which may be translated to 'The belly dancing king'.
Six Feet of Sunshine
Do not be fooled by the name, Kerri Walsh Jennings could knock the daylight out of you. Standing at a towering 1.88m, the American beach volleyball player is known for her devastating offensive play and has three Olympic gold medals in her collection.
Singaporean swimmer Neo Chwee Kwok earned the moniker after winning four gold medals at the inaugural Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1951.
Ken Rosewall had speed, tenacity and a deadly volley. Ironically, the legendary Australian tennis player from the 1950s-1970s was small, slight (only 1.7m tall) and lacked what he had as a nickname.
Retired basketballer Robert Parish was known for his commanding defence. The versatile centre had a habit of using his 2.13m size and speed to contain opposing players.
Four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O'Neal was termed with many nicknames throughout his illustrated career, such as Shaq, Superman and Big Diesel. But the nickname he gave himself was a lot more philosophical: "Aristotle once said, 'Excellence is not a singular act; it's a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.' "
Though strictly having no background in architecture, Andrea Pirlo was given the name for his creative play and ability to shape the game however he wishes.
Hands of Stone
Hard-hitting Panama boxer Roberto Duran is a four-weight world champion, having held titles at lightweight (1972-1979), welterweight (1980), light middleweight (1983-1984), and middleweight (1989).
The former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh was nicknamed the Tugga for the tough manner in which he played the sport.
Afghan or Afghanistan
Steve Waugh's brother, Mark, though talented, was not as celebrated. He was known as Afghanistan because he was The Forgotten War/Waugh.
The Preston Plumber
English footballer Tom Finney's father apparently insisted he finish his apprenticeship as a plumber. The Preston North End winger was doing this even when he first began playing for England in 1946.
The Big Easy
Ernie Els, South Africa's champion golfer and former world no.1, was a large man with a very smooth swing, making it look too easy.
If a medicine ball were to drop on someone's nose, he would probably squeal in pain. But if he doesn't, chances are his teammates will dub you as the Iron Nose. Homegrown swimmer Quah Zheng Wen not only has an iron nose, but also an iron will, as he claimed seven gold medals in the 2015 SEA games.
The former footballer Chia Boon Leong was given the name for his excellence in football. In April 1948, The Sunday Tribune (Singapore) described Chia as "swift as a hare, with brilliant ball control and unlimited stamina as his chief assets, he is a schemer of immense value to any forward line".
Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen won four golds at the 1948 Olympics as a 30-year-old mother of two. Her medals were in the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay.
Correction note: In our earlier story, we had erroneously referred to former Singapore footballer Chia Boon Leong as "the late former footballer Chia Boon Leong". We are sorry for the error.