How the Spice Girls really got their nicknames

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Amy Lewis

Posh, Sporty, Scary, Baby and Ginger – twenty years after making their Brit Pop debut, the now fully grown Spice Girls still can’t shake their nicknames.

Victoria Beckham has even forged an entirely new career for herself as a respected New York Fashion Week designer, but do you think she can step out as a 41-year-old woman without being introduced as Posh at some point through the day?

It’s likely part of the reason she’s not keen on the rumoured Spice reunion.

But before you say they’ve only got themselves to blame - they did after all descend upon mainstream media of their own accord - hear what Melanie Brown (aka Mel B, aka Scary Spice) has to say on the subject.

Explaining in a new interview who was behind the catchy nicknames, she says: “It was actually a lazy journalist that couldn't be bothered to remember all our names, so he just gave us nicknames.”

The ‘lazy journalist’ being Peter Loraine, editor of Top of the Pops magazine at the time.

“And we were like, ‘Oh, well, that kind of works. I don't mind my name. Do you like your name? Baby? Posh?’ We were like, ‘Let's just go with it.’”

Talking to HuffPost Live, Brown adds: “I'm very kind of in-your-face. I was even more so back then. I was, what, 17, 18, like, ‘What! What do you want?!’ So I guess I could have come off as Scary. But I like my name.”

The Spice Girls

Of the nicknames that came out of a brainstorm session following a 1996 photoshoot with the band, Loraine has said that he had the most joy coming up with Scary Spice.

“I simply said it would be a good idea if they had some nicknames. The girls liked the idea, so I had an editorial meeting back at the office and about four of us started thinking of names,” he tells Bustle.

“Posh was the first one to be thought up because Victoria looks pretty sophisticated. The rest were pretty easy really because the girls' characters were already really strong. The names jumped out at us.”

“We laughed the most when we came up with Scary. Jennifer Cawthron, who was also from Leeds, came up with that one because Mel B was so loud and had tried to take over our whole photo shoot.”

“We ran the names for a couple of issues and the first time the girls saw them they thought it was funny. Then the newspapers started picking up on the names and they cropped up everywhere until they were fully accepted by everyone.”

So there you have it.

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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

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