For jazz artists, being given a nickname is virtually a rite of passage.

We know the obvious ones. Louis Armstrong was called “Satchmo,” shortened from “Satchelmouth,” which comes with a variety of tales and possible origins. Dizzy Gillespie was named for his erratic onstage antics. Frank Sinatra was dubbed “Chairman of the Board” during his time as president of Reprise Records, and acquired the name “Ol’ Blue Eyes” because of, well, his blue eyes. There are plenty of royal or aristocratic titles bestowed upon artists such as Nat “King” Cole, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Lady Day. And then there are dozens of Buddys and Sonnys, Bigs and Tinys, Juniors and Shortys, Papas and Pee Wees, and Reds and Rustys. Really, it’s harder to name a jazz cat who doesn’t have a nickname than it is to name one who does.

But some have stories you wouldn’t expect, or origins that really stand out. These are the more idiosyncratic sobriquets, the ones you always wondered about but probably never looked up. Was David Newman named “Fathead” because he had a big head? Nope. Did Charlie Parker get the name “Yardbird” because of his love of ornithology? Also no. Was Eddie Vinson called “Cleanhead” because he was bald? Sort of, but not really.

Here are 11 of the most unique and interesting jazz nicknames and the stories of how the artists got them.