It's B's first practice at Samwell and he's a little starstruck to find himself sharing the ice with Jack motherfucking Zimmermann. Maybe more than a little. But now nicknames are happening, so he has to pay attention. He wants something good this time.
"Hey, Knight!" yells one of the older players. "What if we call you Knighty?"
B wrinkles his nose. "I don't want to sound like a nightgown. How about Knightster?"
"Uh-uh, no picking your own nickname," says another older player. "How's Knightsy?"
"Maybe?" says B.
"Nah," calls another one of the upperclassmen. "No ring to it. Hey, I saw him listed on the roster as B.S. Knight. What's that about? Everyone else is listed by first and last."
B shrugs, knowing that he'll only make things worse for himself if he makes this a Thing. "I don't really like my first name, so I go by my initials."
"What's your first name?" someone asks, at the same time as the previous guy is saying, "So you'd rather go by B.S.? Like bullshit?"
"Hey, what if we called you Shitty?" someone calls, clearly joking.
B feels like he's just gotten an electric shock, in the best way. "Oh my God," he says before anyone else can speak. "Please."
Several people stare at him. "You want us to call you Shitty?" someone asks.
"It would make my father so mad," he explains.
"Ah, daddy issues, got it," the same person says, nodding.
Practice resumes, and Shitty has a new identity.
Shitty mostly signed up for Intro to Women's and Gender Studies to piss off his father, but the reading list looks kind of awesome, and the first day of class is surprisingly interesting. He gets called Byron when the professor takes attendance, so he asks to be called B—part of him wants to ask to be called Shitty, but the team's only been calling him that for two weeks at this point and he's not sure if it'll stick. He makes a mental note to look into Samwell's preferred name policy, though; he's already sure that he definitely doesn't want to be called Byron on the first day of the semester for the next four years.
At the end of class, the guy in the desk next to him—one of only two other guys in the whole class—turns to him and says, "Your name's Byron? That's so cool!"
Shitty is very confused about why someone who thinks Lord Byron is cool would take Intro to Women's and Gender Studies, and he says so.
"Nah, bro, I know the guy was a dick, but he was Ada Lovelace's father!"
Shitty has been so busy hating Lord Byron for what he did to Claire Clairmont and Allegra that he hadn't realized Lord Byron had other kids, which forces him to ask, "Who was Ada Lovelace?"
"'Who was Ada Lovelace?' he says!" the guy practically shouts. "Are you sure you belong in a Women's and Gender Studies class? She was the first computer programmer! I mean, she didn't have a computer like we think of them now, but she wrote an algorithm that could be solved by a machine. First person in the history of history to do that. She's practically the patron saint of programming!" He finally lowers his voice a bit. "I'm a computer science major, but I'm thinking of minoring in Women's and Gender Studies. I'm only a sophomore, so I can definitely still fit it in."
"Cool," says Shitty. "I'm a frog, so I haven't declared anything yet. We'll see where life takes me, you know?"
"Yeah," says the guy. "Good luck with that!"
Shitty looks up Ada Lovelace when he gets back to his dorm, and hot damn the woman was cool. He also looks up Lord Byron's other children, and is completely grossed out by the fact that Lord Byron probably committed incest with his half-sister, Augusta. Shitty had thought his opinion of his namesake couldn't sink any lower, but apparently it could, because it does when he sees that disgusting fact.
By October, Shitty is pretty sure that he's going to want to go by Shitty in most situations for the rest of his life, and certainly for the rest of the school year. He looks up Samwell's preferred name policy and is glad to find that all he has to do is fill out a form from the Registrar's webpage and change the way he'd like the school to refer to him. A few days after he fills it out, he gets an email from the Registrar's office informing him that someone stole his password and tried to prank him by changing his preferred name to something profane, so he goes to the Registrar's office in person and explains the situation. The woman in the office doesn't want to let him change his preferred name to Shitty, but he asks her to show him where it's written that doing so would be against the rules, and eventually she relents.
As a sophomore, Shitty takes a class called Gender and Sexuality in the Romantic Era. He's shocked when someone calls Lord Byron a "bicon" and even more shocked when someone else adds, "Yeah, the dude fucked anything that moved." Shitty hadn't known this, and it provokes a bit of a crisis—being queer in Lord Byron's day couldn't have been easy; should Shitty judge his namesake less harshly? While his mind is playing tug-of-war with the new information, however, one of his female classmates brings up the way Lord Byron treated Claire Clairmont, and Shitty feels like his feet are back under him. Regardless of whether Lord Byron liked men, he should still be held accountable for the way he treated the women in his life.
Shitty's senior year, he has a considerable amount of tub juice at a kegster (that's every kegster, though) and decides he wants to corner Dex. The frog just oozes toxic masculinity and "brogrammer" vibes, and Shitty needs to tell him about Ada Lovelace. "Ever heard of Ada Lovelace?" he asks when he reaches Dex.
"No. Should I have?" Dex asks, tone somewhere between wary and confrontational.
"She was the first computer programmer, back in the 1800s," Shitty tells him.
Dex frowns. "There weren't computers back in the 1800s."
"She wrote an algorithm that could be solved by a machine," Shitty explains. "Listen, she was so cool. So she was Lord Byron's daughter, right? Grew up with this legacy of poetry, even though Byron wasn't around. And instead of poetry, she did math! She worked with a guy named Charles Babbage on this thing known as the analytical engine . . ."
Dex's eyes glaze over eventually, though whether that's from boredom or from alcohol, Shitty isn't sure. He's been talking about Ada Lovelace for a while at this point, but he keeps finding more things to say and getting more passionate, to the point that tub juice is sloshing out of his solo cup and onto the Haus floor. Whatever. If there's anything redeeming about his namesake, it's the guy's daughters, particularly this one.