Q: Murph from NY is wrong about the universality of that nickname. Who is the most famous Murphy ever? Eddie Murphy. Have you ever heard of anyone calling him “Murph?” Nope. And it’s not just that we’re not privy to his inner circle. We’ve heard plenty of interviews and antecdotes about the man from friend and family going all the way back to his SNL days and nobody calls him “Murph.” He’s Eddie. Was it an ethnic thing or a celebrity thing?
— Teddy, Atlanta
SG: It can’t be an ethnic thing; if so, then how do you explain former NBA star Steve Smith being known by everyone as “Smitty?” I think it was more of a larger-than-life thing: Once Eddie’s career started taking off, everyone probably knew he was too big for a common man’s nickname like “Murph.” He just felt like an “Eddie,” much like prominent Canadian suffragist Emily Murphy probably felt like an “Emily” in the 1910s, and Peter Murphy definitely felt like a “Peter” when he was banging out creepy gothic rock music for Bauhaus in the 1980s. But Dale Murphy was one of the best power hitters of the 1980s … and everyone still called him “Murph.” He even released an autobiography called Murph. For famous people, you just can’t predict how the Murph/No Murph saga will play out. Well, except for Troy Murphy.
The other one is that we just randomly make up rules and alter them when needed.