How Mobsters Earned Their Nicknames


By: Elizabeth Flynn

​Any serious member of the Mafia who has earned their notoriety has a nickname. These are usually given to them by other members of their branch of the Mafia and are based on their personalities, a particular crime, an injury received or their personal history. Here are the nicknames of some of the most notorious members of The Chicago Outfit and how they earned their monikers. 


​Al ‘Scarface’ Capone

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​Al Capone is probably the most famous boss in American Mafia history. He was christened with the Scarface component of his name because he was scarred when he worked on the door of a nightclub. When he insulted a woman, her brother slashed Capone across the face with a knife.

​Paul ‘The Waiter’ Ricca

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​Another well-known boss of The Chicago Outfit was Paul ‘The Waiter’ Ricca. He was given this nickname as he had worked as a waiter when he first fled to America from Italy via Cuba. The restaurant was the venue for many Mafia meetings. 


​Tony ‘Big Tuna’ Accardo

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Tony Accardo was the boss of The Chicago Outfit between 1947 and 1957, alongside Paul Ricca. It was the newspapers that gave him the name ‘Big Tuna’ after he was photographed with his catch following a fishing expedition. He was also known as ‘Joe Batters’.


​Angelo J. ‘The Hook’ LaPietra

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Not only was LaPietra an important member of the Chicago mob, he was also the founder of the Old Neighborhood Italian American Club. He was christened ‘The Hook’ because he reportedly tortured his victims by hanging them from a meat hook.


​John ‘No Nose’ DiFronzo

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​John DiFronzo is the current leader of The Chicago Outfit. The story goes that he lost part of his nose when he jumped through a window during a burglary in 1949, thus landing himself with the name ‘No Nose’. Apparently, it was the police that returned the severed section of his nose to him and his nose was restored almost to its former glory. 

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