In size, wealth and influence, today's Cosa Nostra doesn't match the Mafia of days gone by, Mob historians Jerry Capeci and Selwyn Raab say. However, there's one area in which modern Mafiosi are upholding a proud tradition of organized crime tradition nicknames.
Here are a few recent examples of Mafia nicknames and the inspiration for them, according to Mob historians and federal court records:
"Mikey Y." — for Michael Yannotti, a convicted associate of the Gambino family. Easier than saying his last name.
"Mikey Scars" — for Michael DiLeonardo, an acknowledged Gambino family member and government witness. From scars he received in a childhood accident.
"Vinny Gorgeous" — for Vincent Basciano, an acknowledged Bonanno family member. He owned a hair salon in the Bronx, N.Y.
"Richie from the Bronx" — for Richard Martino, a convicted Gambino family member. Apparently used to distinguish him from the many other Richies involved with the Mob.
"Good Lookin' Sal" — for Salvatore Vitale, an acknowledged Bonanno family member and government witness. Court records indicate he came up with the name himself and urged underlings to use it.
"Louie Bagels" — for Louis Daidone, a convicted member of the Lucchese family. He owned a bagel shop in Queens, N.Y.
"Gaspipe" — for Anthony Casso, an acknowledged Lucchese member and government witness. Referred to his tool of choice for his work as a Mob enforcer.
"Tony Ducks" — for Anthony Corallo, convicted member of the Lucchese family. He was known for his ability to duck subpoena servers.
"Phil Lucky" — for Philip Giaccone, a convicted Gambino family member. The name was unintentionally ironic; he was assassinated by a rival.
"Kid Blast" — for Albert Gallo, a convicted member of the Gambino family. He was known for enjoying parties.
"Nicky Eye Glasses" — for Nicholas Marangello, a convicted member of the Bonanno family. His glasses were very thick.
"Jackie Nose" — for John D'Amico, a convicted Gambino family member. Self-explanatory.
"The Chin" — for Vincent Gigante, a convicted member of the Genovese family. From "Cinzini," the nickname his mother gave him.
"Patty the Pig" — for Patrick DeFilippo, accused in a federal indictment of being a member of the Bonanno family. This was the pre-diet nickname for a Bronx man who used to weigh roughly 300 pounds.
"Patty from the Bronx" — DeFilippo's post-diet nickname.
Sources: Mob historians Jerry Capeci of Ganglandnews, Selwyn Raab, author of Five Families; defense lawyer Richard Levitt; federal court papers
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