Nobby is a nickname most commonly used in English for those with the surname Clark or Clarke.
Nobby ClarkThe explanation given for the use of this nickname is that clerks (pronounced "clarks" in British dialects) in the City of London used to wear Nobby hats, or top hats. Alternate spellings include "Knobby" and "Clarke".
An alternate explanation for the name Nobby attached to the surname Clarke is thus: 16th century monks wrote letters for the illiterate. These monks were referred to as "Clerks". The outcome of so much writing causes callouses on the fingers "nobs" and therefore Nobby Clerks was born'
In England the term "nob" is used to refer to a member of the aristocracy and by extension a posh person. A clerk (pronounced "clark" in British dialects) would deal with the common people but would be better educated, better paid and in a position of relative power. To the uneducated, clerks were posh and therefore considered to be "nobs". Hence, nobby Clark. Clerks were also required to maintain a high standard of dress, and were paid a clothing allowance. The result was that they always appeared smart. Both the Oxford English and the English Dialect Dictionaries list nobby as being of a rich man, a nob or toff, or “smart”, and gives it a wide distribution, so smart persons were "nobby".
Soldiers of the Canadian Forces seem to have picked up this nickname as well during the 20th Century.
- Edward Winchester Clark, famous cricket player.
- Major Francis Herbert Clarke, a company commander with the Calgary Highlanders in the Second World War.
- Flight Lieutenant Fred Clarke, a pilot with 414 Squadron, RCAF, in the Second World War.
- J.M. "Knobby" Clarke, one of the first mechanics with the Ontario Provincial Air Service in the 1920s.
- Gordon "Nobby" Clark, former singer of Scottish band Bay City Rollers.
Others nicknamed Nobby
OK, ace-high, bad, bang-up, bonzer, boss, braw, bully, but good, chic, classy, clothes-conscious, cool, corking, cosmopolitan, crackerjack, dandy, dapper, dashing, delicious, dressed to advantage, dressed to kill, ducky, elegant, exquisite, fab, fine and dandy, gear, genteel, great, groovy, heavy, hot, hunky-dory, jam-up, jaunty, just dandy, keen, marvy, mean, natty, neat, nifty, okay, out of sight, peachy, peachy-keen, posh, recherche, ripping, ritzy, rum, scrumptious, sharp, slap-up, sleek, smart, smashing, smug, snazzy, soigne, soignee, solid, something else, sophisticated, spiffing, spiffy, spruce, stunning, style-conscious, swank, swanky, swell, tough, tricksy, trig, trim, well-dressed, well-groomed, wizard