The Roman statesman Cicero is reputed to have said, “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” Using that as a measure, we live in a world of children. But it was not always so.I teach my history students that however important are the raw facts of history, the real fun is in imagining the Shakespearean psychodrama behind major events. For example, what kind of relationship did Elizabeth the First have with her heir James VI of Scotland, given that she had killed his mother? It is interesting to speculate.One of the curiosities of history, prior to about 500 years ago, was the monarchical shorthand used to describe the times and epochs of different regions and countries. The shorthand used was to give punchy nicknames to the kings and queens of the period in question. Think of Charles Martel who stopped the northward aggression of the Umayyad Muslims in 732. “Charles the Hammer!” Who wouldn’t want to be known as the “Hammer?” How about Vlad the Impaler? One wanted to be aware of potential nicknames.We don’t affix such nicknames anymore. Do we know the first US president as “George the Empire Slayer” or Abraham Lincoln as “Abe the Emancipator”? Or to bring it further north, “Sir John the Nation Builder, eh”.I recognize that to introduce a nickname before the waves of history have washed over the leader in question is dangerous because subsequent events can change things. For example, prior to the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror was known as William the Bastard. With a nickname like this, invading England seemed like a logical way to improve his public relations. A turn of events can make a difference. So, what about today? What might we call our leaders and other betters? Let’s indulge in a little thought experiment…How might history remember Joe Biden? I want to stay away from “Joe the Insane” because that name was given to Joan of Spain — Juana la Loca. One of the rules we must follow is that the name should be unique. Another rule is that the nickname must start with the individual’s name. “Sleepy Joe”, for example, is disallowed. Perhaps “Joe the Stair stepper?” Or “Biden the flatulent?”What about his probable antagonist in the approaching election, former president Donald Trump? I almost hesitate to go there but “Trump the Terrible” or “Donald the Deliverer?” You can see how bias impacts preference. But it is only a thought experiment, so the rules are fluid.Let’s move this closer to home. How might we name our premier? “Stonewall Smith?” That name was used for a Civil War general so how about "Firewall Smith"? This loses the alliterative impact and the order is wrong, but it is my game and I kind of like this one. The purists might go with “Danielle the Defender”.How about her favourite interlocutor, Steven Guilbeault? “Guilbeault the Goof?” Definitely not because my friends in prison assure me that calling someone a goof is a guarantee of a “prison minute.” A prison minute is when one guy is held by two others while a third pounds away for a minute leaving bleeding beef where once there was a face. Given Mr. Guilbeault’s anxiety about the threats he perceives from a recent speech in Edmonton, how about “Steve the Peeved” or “Steve the Aggrieved”?I hope you are getting the hang of this. Let’s try one more — our prime minister. We could look back into history and compare him to Justin I who rose from the peasant class to become Emperor of the Byzantines. “Justin the Peasant?” No, that doesn’t fit at all. In a much-promoted boxing match, he acquitted himself quite well so maybe “Justin the Puncher”? But then there is that whole Bastard à Conqueror thing so perhaps Mr. Trudeau needs to wear more recent events such as this past week’s court ruling. How about “Justin the Lawbreaker?” Final nicknames will not be assigned to our leaders until their stories have been completely written but, in the meantime, we can have some speculative laughs. Keeping it clean and legal, have some fun in the comments section.