Journalese of the Day: Bobby? A mobster nickname?

As you know, there’s a journalese law that requires all mobsters be given a nick-name. No other trade gets this honor, except professional sports. Well, it looks like the nicknames are getting thin, as indicated by this story in the Boston Globe, Aug. 3, 2016, about a 61-year-old plumber being charged in the slaying [note: all mob murders are slayings] of a nightclub owner in 1993. The plumber has no nick-name, since he was not a mobster. But the story mentions “New England Mafia boss Francis ‘Cadillac Frank’ Salemme” and “notorious gangster Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi”, and killer “James ‘Whitey’ Bulger”.

But then it names “Rhode Island mobster Robert ‘Bobby’ DeLuca.”

Bobby? What kind of mobster nick-name is Bobby? What’s the world coming to?



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