I was in the podiatrist's office. He has been working in Carroll Gardens, a historically Italian-American neighborhood, for decades. He said "Yeah, a lot of people around here are only known by their nicknames. So if Johnny Whatever passes away and you say 'Johnny Whatever passed away' I might say "Who?" And they you'd say 'Oh, Bazooka passed away!' and then I'd know who you're talking about.
So people in the neighborhood get nicknames, names like Bazooka and Hot Dog, and people forget their real names.
One of the guys I see and chat with regularly at the corner bagel store said to me this week "I have your nickname. It's THE MOUTH." And I'm like "THE MOUTH?" And he says "Yeah, cuz you like to chat it up with everyone." And then I realized it was a compliment. If this neighborhood guy was giving me my neighborhood nickname, then I was officially one of the gang.