108 Nicknames of Infamous Criminals in Organized Crime

Collage of organized crime bosses and various nicknames of figures. Caption reads, Why do organized crime figures often have such strange nicknames? Here are 108 of the oddest.




What is it about Organized Crime that makes some take crazy nicknames? For instance, Gaspipe. Does this allude to a weapon used by Anthony Casso? Or is it a reference to his favorite mode of killing? Perhaps he got the name because he eats too many beans. No one knows for sure and if someone does they’re not talking. It seems, Casso hated the name but did allow a few close friends to call him “Gas.”

By C J Oakes

As a Rule, Italian Organized Crime Bosses Have Strange Nicknames

In any case, it seems that Italian mobsters especially earn nicknames from their peers which stick with them through life. But they are not the only ones. In recent years, Joaquín Guzmán rose up as a leader of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel and earned the nickname “el Chapo,” which means Shorty in English.

Then there was Željko Ražnatović who was the most powerful crime boss in the Balkans at the time of his assassination in 2000. Arkan was a name on a faked passport he once used; a nickname he kept throughout his criminal career. Arkan means “pillars.”




Of course, these are the exceptions. In nearly every instance where a nickname is given to or adopted by an organized crime figure, he is Italian. Why? Who knows, but you got to admit that some are pretty funny.

Following are 108 of the best nicknames for infamous crime bosses we found.

  1. “Cadillac” Frank Salemme
  2. “Crazy” Joe Gallo
  3. “Factory” John Gilligan
  4. “King” David Barksdale
  5. Abner “Longy” Zwillman
  6. Al “Scarface” Capone
  7. Aladino “Jimmy the Weasel” Fratianno
  8. Alex “Shondor” Birns
  9. Alfred “The Owl” Polizzi
  10. Anthony “Fat Tony” Gizzo
  11. Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno
  12. Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso
  13. Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo
  14. Anthony “Tony Ripe” Civella
  15. Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro
  16. Antonio “Nenè” Geraci
  17. Antonio “The Scourge” Lombardo
  18. Arthur Simon “Dutch Schultz” Flegenheimer
  19. Benedetto “The Hunter” Santapaola
  20. Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
  21. Bernardo “Bennie the Tractor” Provenzano
  22. Bosko “The Yugo” Radonjich
  23. Carmine “Junior” Persico
  24. Carmine “Mr. Gribbs” Tramunti

    Collage of organized crime bosses and various nicknames of figures. Caption reads, Why do organized crime figures often have such strange nicknames? Here are 108 of the oddest.
    Why do organized crime figures often have such strange nicknames? Here are 108 of the oddest.
  25. Carmine “The Cigar” Galante
  26. Charles “Charlie the Wop” Carrollo
  27. Charles “Lucky” Luciano
  28. Chen “King Duck” Chi-li
  29. Donovan “Bulbie” Bennett
  30. Earl “Hymie” Weiss
  31. Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson
  32. Felix “Milwaukee Phil” Alderisio
  33. Felix “The Cat” Mitchell
  34. Frank “Funzi” Tieri
  35. George “Bugs” Moran
  36. Gilberto Rodríguez “The Chess Player” Orejuela
  37. Giovanni “The Pig” Brusca
  38. Giuseppa “Giusy” Vitale
  39. Giuseppe “Joe the Boss” Masseria
  40. Giuseppe “The Tiger” Di Cristina
  41. Ignazio “the Wolf” Lupo
  42. Jack “Legs” Diamond
  43. Jackie “The Lackey” Cerone
  44. James “Big Jim” Colosimo
  45. James “Buddy” McLean
  46. James “Little Jimmy” Marcello
  47. James “Whitey” Bulger
  48. James T. “Blackie” Licavoli
  49. Jefferson R. “Soapy” Smith
  50. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán
  51. Joaquín “Shorty” Guzmán
  52. Joe “Pegleg” Morgan
  53. John “Handsome Johnny” Roselli
  54. John “No Nose” DiFronzo
  55. John “Peanuts” Tronolone
  56. John “Rocky” Whelan
  57. Joseph “Big Joey” Massino
  58. Joseph “Joe Bananas” Bonanno
  59. Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara
  60. Joseph “Joey Doves” Aiuppa
  61. Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo
  62. Joseph “Lead Pipe Joe” Todaro
  63. Joseph “Mad Dog” Taborsky
  64. Joseph “Polack Joe” Saltis
  65. Joseph “Skinny Joe” Merlino
  66. Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi
  67. Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff
  68. Klaus “The Minister” Bruinsma
  69. Leroy “Nicky” Barnes
  70. Luigi “Baby Shanks” Manocchio
  71. Machine Gun Kelly
  72. Martin “The General” Cahill
  73. Micajah “Big” Harpe
  74. Michele “The Cobra” Cavataio
  75. Michele “The Madman” Zaza
  76. Michele “The Pope” Greco
  77. Miguel “El Gringo” Villarreal
  78. Natale “Joe Diamond” Evola
  79. Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo
  80. Owney “The Killer” Madden
  81. Paul “The Waiter” Ricca
  82. Peter “One-Eyed Pete” Gotti
  83. Peter “Shakes” Milano
  84. Philip “Chicken Man” Testa
  85. Philip “Cockeyed Phil” Lombardo
  86. Philip “Rusty” Rastelli
  87. Pietro “The Little Gentleman” Aglieri
  88. Salvatore “Little Bird” Greco
  89. Salvatore “The Baron” Lo Piccolo
  90. Salvatore “The Engineer” Greco
  91. Salvatore “Toto” D’Aquila
  92. Salvatore “Toto” Riina
  93. Sam “Momo” Giancana
  94. Samuel “Sam Wings” Carlisi
  95. Simone “Sam the Plumber” DeCavalcante
  96. Stefano “The Undertaker” Magaddino
  97. Stephanie “Queenie” St. Clair
  98. Thomas “Tommy Ryan” Eboli
  99. Tony “Big Tuna” Accardo
  100. Victor “Little Vic” Amuso
  101. Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll
  102. Vincent “The Chin” Gigante
  103. Vincent “The Schemer” Drucci
  104. Vyacheslav “Yaponchik” Ivankov
  105. Wiley “Little” Harpe
  106. William “Big Billy” D’Elia
  107. William “Willie the Rat” Cammisano
  108. Željko “Arkan” Ražnatović

Bosses Are Not the Only Ones with Nicknames

It should go without saying that among the Italian crime families, Bosses are not the only ones with unusual nicknames. In fact, the nicknames are usually acquired long before they become bosses. Are they terms of endearment, as kind of an Italian cultural thing or are they codenames so that when speaking to each other the wrong ears cannot tell who is going to wack whom?

Does it matter? Not really, just checking out the often unusual names is fun enough. This kicks off the first in our Criminals pages. We will be adding pages for every infamous criminal listed on the main Criminals page starting with these listed here.

If you have an interest in Italian Organized Crime, be sure to bookmark this page for easy reference because once we complete the crime boss page, a link will be added here. We look forward to seeing you again and as usual, if you have a suggestion, perhaps a funny nickname we should add to this list, let us know using the simple form below. Also, if you would like to help out by contributing some pages about these crime bosses, we would welcome your addition.



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