His Lousy Highness

The following is an article from the book Uncle John's Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader.

Throughout history, many leaders were given lofty nicknames- Catherine the Great or Richard the Lionhearted, for example. But not everyone could be Great or Magnificent. Some rulers got strange, and strangely specific, nicknames.


King Alfonso IX (pictured above) ruled Leon (now part of France) from 1188 to 1230. He was prone to fits of rage, and anytime he got especially angry, especially while in battle, he drooled uncontrollably, sometimes to the point of foaming at the mouth.


Heir to the powerful Medici family, which ruled Florence, Italy, in the 1500s, Piero suffered from gout, a form of arthritis commonly characterized by a large, painful sac of uric acid that forms somewhere inside the body. In Piero’s case, it was in his big toe.


(Image credit: Flickr user Sten Dueland)

At the age of 12, Harald Hårfagre vowed to found a kingdom for the Norwegian people. He also vowed not to cut his hair until he achieved that goal. By 872, he founded the kingdom, but in the ten years since he’d made his vow, Harald’s hair had grown extremely dirty and was riddled with lice. This earned him the nickname “the Lousy,” mean “full of lice,” not “inadequate.” (Oh, that’s better.)


(YouTube link)

Historians believe that the ninth-century Danish Viking chieftain suffered from osteogenises imperfecta, or extremely brittle bones. That, however, didn’t stop him from becoming a Viking warlord and leading successful invasions into Northern England.

The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

Kinda interesting. However, some of the stories are dubious at best.
Haraldr Hálfdanarson, commonly called Haraldr Hárfagri, (literally "Harald Fair-hair) was described in several of the Kings' sagas He ruled from 872–930: a couple of centuries before those sagas were written). While the story about his refusal to cut his hair until he ruled as a king is commonly known, the nickname "the lousy" is a new one. He was sometimes known as"Shockhead" or "Tanglehair" (Haraldr lúfa).
Ivar Ragnarsson AKA "Ivarr inn beinlausi" died about 873 CE. The existing accounts of him were written a couple of centuries after he lived, and those blended in plenty of magic and folklore. He was said to have won one battle by defeating a bewitched cow named Sibilja.
The Scandinavian sagas clearly describe Ivarr as 'lacking bones'. The mid-twelfth century poem Hattalykill says he was 'without any bones at all' (clearly a medical impossibility).
The sagas also say that 'neither love nor lust played any part in his life', and he died childless. Was he impotent-- "boneless?"
It might have been an ironic nickname, for which the Vikings were well-known, in much the same way as we refer to a fat man as "Slim"or a tall man as "Tiny" - so a larger than average Viking might be called "Boneless", or he may simply have had very supple joints (in modern terms - 'double-jointed'). Osteogenises imperfecta,is only one of several hypotheses. And I seriously doubt anyone dared call him "boneless" to his face.

Other not so nicely named historical figures include:
Constantine the Name of Shit
Haakon the Crazy
Henry the Impotent
Ivaylo the Swineherd
Jean the Poorest Man in France
John Lackland/Softsword
Justinian the Slitnosed
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