Geek Trivia

The Phone Books On Which Of These Islands Include Nicknames For Citizens?

Norfolk Island
Tangier Island
Nantucket Island
Christmas Island
Julius Caesar Encrypted His Military Communications Using A?

Answer: Norfolk Island

If you take a peek in your local phone book (if you didn’t throw it in the recycle bin shortly after you got it), you’ll find full proper names with no exceptions. John Smith, if he has any flourishes, might be John R. Smith, but that’s that. If you live on Norfolk Island, however, it’s a different story.

The citizens of Norfolk Island are few in number and name (the 2011 census listed only 1,796 people). The majority of people on the island are descended from the same families and about half of the people on the island can trace their heritage back to distant immigrants from nearby Pitcairn Island. As of result of the intersection of common first names and very few surnames, the phone book for the island has an unusual addition: nicknames.

As such, you’ll find entries like John “Tarzan” Smith, Jennifer “Giggles” Black, and other variations of common first and last names coupled with an identifying nickname.

Image courtesy of Steve Dagger/Wikivoyage.