Talk:William M. Tweed

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Weasel words cut at end[edit]

The game try to drag the modern Council on Foreign Relations into an article about Boss Tweed is a textbook case of "weasel words" and I've cut it. Here's what the Wiki guidelines are, fyi:

Similarly, avoid weasel words that offer an opinion without really backing it up, and which are really used to express a non-neutral point of view.

Examples of weasel words Some people say... widely regarded as... widely considered... ...has been called... It is believed that... It has been suggested/noticed/decided... Some people believe... It has been said that... Some would say... Legend has it that... Critics say that... Many/some have claimed...

Profhum 17:58, 20 July 2007 (UTC)


I have read before that Thomas's Nast cartoons greatly contributed to his capture in Cuba. Cuban authorities recognized him by the political cartoons and this lead to his capture. An interesting point to include if anyone can cite it. I'll take a look on google and see if I can find a reference /// I found a citation; here among other places on google if you type up "boss tweed capture in cuba" in the search. I'll be adding this in now. --Glen 07:30, 23 April 2006 (UTC)


The comment near the end about a biography of Boss Tweed simply seems to be trying to advertise the book and has no valid reason to be in the article and should be removed.

See no reason why it can't remain there; it's a nice pointer for anyone who wants to read more about Tweed. --me
Well, it may be good reading, but it has no place in the main section of the article. I'm putting it under a "Further Reading" section, that will hopefully point to the book without being so bias. 02:18, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Debtor's prison So when were debtor's prisons abolished in America? I was under the impression they were gone by the time of the Constitution (obviously not, if this article is correct)...

William_Smith_(geologist) - Fanny_Hill - John_Mytton

~ender 2004-02-15 01:41:MST

Shouldn't this page really be under "William Marcy Tweed", with a redirect from "Boss Tweed"? --Michael K. Smith 20:54, 31 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • No, "Boss Tweed" is his common name, the name 95% of people would refer to him by, and therefore the appropriate article title per Wikipedia:Naming conventions. Using the common name in the title, among other things, makes the result more likely to pop up on google.--Pharos 11:45, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I disagree. Boss Tweed is a nickname, not a real name, hence is not a common name. When has nicknames been used in Wikipedia over formal names? It's not even an alias. Mandel 07:13, Jan 6, 2005 (UTC)
A name is what something or someone is known as. That's the whole point of naming things. The goal is to allow users to most easily find information, hence the reliance on common names. Mark Twain's "real name" was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, but we don't put his article under that title because it would be rather difficult to find from a search engine. Similarly with Bill Clinton ("real name":William Jefferson Clinton) and Julius Caesar ("real name":Gaius Iulius Gaii Filius Gaii Nepos Caesar). "William Marcy Tweed" gets only 815 hits on google, while "Boss Tweed" gets 28,000, more than 34X as many. If by "real name" you mean the most formal name is the only allowed form, then clearly there is no meaing to a concept of a "common" name. Please see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) for a full explanation.--Pharos 08:35, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"Boss Tweed" is a highly informal, almost colloquial "name". Bill, Julius and Mark Twain are all common names, whereas "Boss" itself is just a designation and not a real name per se, so you should not place them on the same platform. If you really want to use a pseudo-name as Boss Tweed, put the quotation marks in "Boss", or people will mistake it as a real name. Boss is a designation, not a name, and as such should not be used. Mandel 21:09, Jan 9, 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Mandel, the name of this article should be "William Marcy Tweed" with a redirect for Boss Tweed, allowing people who search for Boss Tweed to find this page. -- 08:09, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

_____________________________________________________________________ Bold text Boss Tweed's personal life

Didn't Boss Tweed ever marry or have children? 18:29, 16 November 2005 (UTC)


I apologise for all the backslashes that have appeared since my edit. I\'m not sure why they are appearing but I suspect if I try to revert, they will appear again. Can someone edit them out, please? Thanks. 01:39, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

On second thoughts, just revert it. The edit wasn\'t even that important. 01:40, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


I just trimmed a line that was out of context in its placement. Instead of just moving it, I have opted for deleting it as it was about living relatives as of 1974. It was out of date and why would we want to saddle relatives with infamy by association? User:El benito 11:15AM 4/20

This article should not be titled Willam Marcy Tweed. It should be titled William Magear Tweed. Magear is both the middle name of his first born son, William Magear Junior, November 14, 1845, but also the maiden name of his mother, Eliza Magear. The name Marcy was a nickname that was derived from the politician William L. Marcy. He was the one to coin the phrase, "To the belongs the spois." Nicknames were common to this era such as, John "Toots" Hoffman, and Peter "Bismark" Sweeney. Ipso facto, the title should be William Magear Tweed because that is truly his real name. See Hershkowitz and Ackerman. 05:34, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Views of Tweed Today[edit]

I have removed this sentence: "Tweed does have a small camp of defenders, mainly liberals who point out he looked after New York City's poor and lower classes by distributing tax money as welfare for the poor."

I have done so for two reasons. Citation is lacking, and the word liberal seems to be a POV attack on modern day Democratic party members. This word requires context. Liberal in its most basic essence means a leftist or an advocate of democracy and free speech as our founding fathers were. 22:27, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

There seem to be two Legacy sections, one of which calls Tweed's political machine "stupid." Who writes this junk? 19:56, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Tweed's legacy section[edit]

There were, as a previous poster indicated, two sections referring to his legacy: One called "Tweed's legacy" and one called simply "Legacy." I have deleted the "Tweed's legacy" section and moved its content to the "Legacy" section.

I have also added a couple of requests for citation.

In addition, I have removed the following paragraph:

"Tweed's organization was neither the first nor the last instance of a political machine, but it may have been one of the most stupid. Tweed's over-reaching doomed him; with better judgment he might have remained in power much longer. Many big cities were governed by machines well into the 20th Century and machine-like political organizations persist to this day -- for example, in Chicago."

At best, this is uncited original research. The author draws his own conclusions from the information in the article and presents them as fact. The author also makes an accusation about the city of Chicago. Whether or not this accusation is true,

  1. No source is given.
  2. The information is not relevant to Tweed's career in New York.

CKA3KA (Skazka) (talk) 22:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Took out some sentence regarding "banging" in this section. Definitely not what we're looking for. (talk) 00:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Hundreds of Dollars?[edit]

Just wondering, in the articles beginning it says he stole hundreds of dollars from taxpayers...shouldn't it be millions? I don't want to make any changes if hundreds is the proper way to say it, though. Ageofe (talk) 23:29, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Sloppy words[edit]

I replaced "He then plundered the city" with "He then allowed contractors and others to submit invoices for inflated amounts or for work that was not done." I also replaced "cronies" with "others."

Ephraimh (talk) 23:28, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


Far too often when an essay is dealing with a larger-than-life person, the writer gets lazy & forgets to provide sources for the good stories. It's not following th eadvice of the cynical newspaperman in the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend" -- it's that without a bit of healthy skepticism, we help make legends into facts. It was in this frame of thought that I dropped some {{fact}} tags in this article: the anecdotes just sound too good to be true -- although it's likely that they are.

I'd like to see these sourced in some of the well-researched books about the man. At the moment, these statements are accepted without criticism because we can find some kind of source for many of them -- although these sources are not the result of careful research, but off-the-cuff comments by people familiar with the legend around Boss Tweed. If possible, I'd like to see a couple quotations traced back to the primary sources. (Why quote secondary sources, when primary ones will provide even more impact?) I believe the right person, with a love for research, could turn the material here into a Featured Article. -- llywrch (talk) 23:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


There is a poorly worded sentence under SCANDAL that should be corrected. I don't know the correct info so cannot do so:

"New York City's debts increased from $3600 million in 1868 to about $136 million by 1870" Djarvinen (talk) 20:50, 2 June 2008 (UTC)


Tweed was not convicted for graft of any kind. He was convicted for failing to audit claims against the city. I'm not a member so i do not feel comfortable editing the article myself, so would someone please address this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

"In popular culture"[edit]

I've tagged this with {{trivia}} because it's mostly uncited, and therefore possible coincidental, references. If it isn't addressed in a reasonable time, the section (apart from the Karl Malden reference) should be consigned to the dustbin of unnecessariness. Rodhullandemu 02:18, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I removed the section on pop culture but it keeps getting reverted. We need to agree that this section is an absolute farce. Why do Wikipedians seem to think that every passing reference to anything on Transformers and Family Guy must be in Wikipedia? It's absolutely ludicrous. TurtleMelody (talk) 17:56, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
You have no consensus for this deletion. Get one. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:07, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I have it. Wikipedia is not a place for fancruft references. Sorry. You lose. TurtleMelody (talk) 22:29, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Please point me to the consensus discussion which decided that these specific items should not be inthe article.

None of them are "fancruft", by the way, they are appearances of Tweed as a fictinal character in books, movies, TV series, a Broadway show and one comic book. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:00, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Popular culture sections are usually bloated with cruft but this one is not altogether trivial. Up In Central Park was a successful Broadway show (and less-successful film) which featured Tweed as a main character; Gangs of New York was a major motion picture in which Tweed is portrayed prominently. These warrant mention here. Other entries are more questionable: from the look of the article Dante's Inferno (2007 film), it does not appear that Tweed is among the 60 or so main characters. The entry for Liberty shows the Tweed character billed eleventh; is this more than a fleeting appearance? Secondary sources would be helpful in establishing whether some of these depictions are substantial. I favor converting the bullet list to prose as recommended by WP:IPC. Ewulp (talk) 02:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
You were right to remove Dante's Inferno, since IMDB doesn't list Tweed as a character. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:37, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Regarding Liberty, Tweed was played by Philip Bosco, a name actor. The majority of actors above him are names, and no one below him is a name, so I think he qualifies for being in the main cast. The film is about Bartholdi's quest to get the Statue of Liberty built, but I haven't been able to find anything else about the story. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:57, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I think that Tweed appearence in a Green Lantern comic book is completely trivial. I request someone to provide a secondary source showing any type of reception for that comic book, to see if someone ever cared about it, beyond the publishers of the comic itself. A case of a noteworthy appearence of a politician in the plot of a comic book is, for example, Spidey Meets the President! (Barack Obama at a Spider-Man comic book). There's no problem with that because it was the best-selling regular series book in a decade, and the Wall Street Journal talked about it. Well, show me a similar reference to confirm me that this Green Lantern comic book is anywhere near the Obama case, and then it shall stay. Otherwise, it should be removed. Cambalachero (talk) 03:03, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

It has been removed, I self-reverted my revert of your removal. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:16, 30 September 2011 (UTC)


Per this RfC, IPC entries should include reliable secondary sourcing that demonstrates their significance to the topic. (IMDb doesn't qualify). WP:BURDEN applies, especially as the section's had a refimprove tag for nearly two months. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:51, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

It really don't matter what the RfC says, since RfCs cannot contradict policy, and policy says that primary sources are acceptable, and any book, record, video, comic book, video game, television show etc. is the primary source for what it contains, so, as long as the popcult entry doesn't offer any analysis or interpretation, which would absolutely require a secondary source, the primary source is valid (as these media item cannot comment on themselves, unless they have forwards, or prefaces, or commentary tracks, or liner notes). That's what policy says, and any RfC which contradicts policy is automatically void. You want to change policy, go ahead and start an RfC that explicitly says that it is changing policy, and not one (such as the one you cite) which simply aims to get the sense of the community. (And since it involves popcult, that means all the anti-popcult editors, such as yourself, turn out in droves and overwhelm regular editors such as myself who deal with popcult as if it were any other piece of information on Wikipedia, no different. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:46, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, yes, it does matter what the RfC said because the RfC informs how we interpret policy. Primary sources can demonstrate that they exist, but they cannot demonstrate that they are significant to the subject - that bit requires interpretation. There's no contradiction of policy there, and you can't decide the RfC is void just because your interpretation of policy differs. Nikkimaria (talk) 14:32, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, a "sense-of-the-community" RfC can be informative as to how we interpret policy, but it cannot do so to the extent that it tells us to interpret policy in a way that's opposed to what the policy says, which is the case here. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:31, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
And just a personal reminder to you that you have a tendency to focus your editing tightly on specific topics, and to get caught up in them to the extent that it becomes combative and antithetical to the Wikipedia ethos. I'm not going to link to the thread I'm talking about, because you know full well what it is, and what it lead to, but I want to point out that you're now doing pretty much the same thing to popcult as you did at that time to infoboxes. You saved that situation by making a personal sacrifice, which I applauded at the time as an honorable action, but you need to examine what you're doing right now, because it's essentially the same pattern. You're on a mission against popcult: you come into articles you've never edited before, tag them, and if no one is paying attention, decimate their popcult entries. I'm sorry that you don't understand the importance of noting in our articles the "epidemiology" of specific subjects within popular culture, but ignoring it isn't going to make it go away or less important, it's only going to make Wikipedia less relevant to our readers. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:24, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
The "epidemiology", as you call it, can be very useful - when appropriately sourced. But we shouldn't be trying to list out every mention of every subject in every work of popular culture (at least in the main article - "X in popular culture" is a different story), because that obscures those references that truly are important to the reader's understanding of the topic. Current consensus on the topic of popcult entries is that they should be supported by reliable secondary sourcing, the existence of which helps us determine which entries are important enough to warrant inclusion. Since you disagree with that, what other criteria would you propose to determine what goes in these sections? Nikkimaria (talk) 20:50, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
There are five popcult entries in this article, that's hardly "listing ever mention", so I don't understand why you are making a fuss here if you aren't de facto automatically opposed to these sections. In any event, as always, if you want to discuss any individual entry as to whether it should be included, I'm always happy to do so. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:13, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm not "automatically opposed" to these sections, I'm simply trying to understand your perspective here. Usually epidemiology would involve analysis of patterns and linkages rather than just a listing of cases without interpretation or selection of some kind - and the sourcing you've added provides some opportunity to do that, as in the NYT comparison of Gangs of New York and Forever. I'm going to add that now, as that's quite interesting. But if we're not listing every mention, and we're not using sourcing to decide what mentions to list, how are we deciding that it's these five entries we should include and not others like Drunk History or the Tammany Hall Board Game? Nikkimaria (talk) 21:40, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
We're deciding because those five entries have been added by Wikipedia editors. If another editor adds something which a different editor -- you or me or anyone else -- thinks is inappropriate to the article, then its inclusion in the article can be discussed right here on the talk page until a consensus is reached, just as happens with any other piece of information added to an article. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:44, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm not making myself clear, but how would we reach consensus on that point, if we do not discuss sourcing? I don't think Liberty warrant inclusion, for example. If we're not talking about sourcing or policies/guidelines to make that decision, we're pretty much left with ILIKEIT/IDONTLIKEIT. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:15, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
How? We discuss, just as always. What is it about the Liberty entry that makes you feel that it shouldn't be included? Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:35, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps what I just added to it will help. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:52, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
It does, thank you. The other one that I disagree with is Inferno - there are many famous personages who make cameos, it's not to my mind significant that Tweed does. Also, are there any better sources available for The Great Adventure? Nikkimaria (talk) 23:58, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree about Inferno: "cameo" appearances are, pratically by definition, trivial, so it's the WP:BURDEN of someone adding a cameo appearance to show that it's significant. I've removed that entry. The "Great Adventure" episode is problematic in the way that non-high profile TV stuff which predates the Internet can be problematic. I think that the number of cites is pretty definitive about the existence of the episode, and that Tweed is the major character in it (the storyline is about the New York Times trying to bring Tweed down). TV Guide and are acceptable in the way that IMDB sometimes is not. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:15, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Add Redirect[edit]

This is not a big deal, but could some one add "Boss" Tweed as a redirect? I am not a member and do not know how. It would be appreciated, thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Boss Tweed already directs here. I can't see that anyone would search for "Boss" Tweed. Is this a problems that needs a solution? Rodhullandemu 20:40, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
 Done Keep in mind that redirects are cheap. It's entirely plausible that someone would search for a person's nickname and surname this way. --BDD (talk) 18:35, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Homonym Confusion[edit]

In the second paragraph, consider the part which states: "his ability to insure the loyalty of voters through jobs"

Insure is a verb which relates to insurance. You know, like car insurance. The word we're looking for here is "ensure," i.e., to make sure. Assuming others agree, please make this change utilizing whatever the proper method for Wikipedia edits is. I have no idea how to do it properly. Thanks. (talk) 14:17, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit Two: Forget it, I'm changing it. It's really bugging me. (talk) 14:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

You need to get over your problem because, in fact, both "insure" and "ensure" can mean "to make certain by taking precautions". With "insure" it's a secondary defintion, but, nonetheless, inmany contexts "insure" and "ensure" (as well as "assure") can be used interchangeably. The dichotomy you're setting up, that "insure" only refers to insurance is incorrect, as a look at any authoritative dictionary will show you. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:22, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Protection of page[edit]

I think that we should request that this page be semi-protected. The vandalism is beginning to get out of hand.Alex 19:50, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Leader Vs Grand Sachem[edit]

Please be aware, that there two distinct entities commonly known as Tammany Hall: one is the Order of St. Tammany, founded by Mooney in 1797, and was a sort of fraternal organization, similar to club. The Grand Sachem was elected annually, in May, on the date of the order's foundation, and few men were actually re-elected, the Grand sachemship rotating all the time. The other was the Tammany Hall political machine, first organized about 1800, by Aaron Burr who was never a member of the Tammany order, and which was led by a political boss, sometimes for decades, without election. It was a position of grey eminence. The political organization's meeting were held at the actual Tammany Hall, and the membership was closely intertwined, which leads to some confusion. But please be aware, that while Tweed was the political boss, and was occasionally Grand Sachem, there were other men who held this club post during Tweed's political leadership. Kraxler (talk) 13:28, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

But you keep putting in "Boss", which was never a title. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:50, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
"Boss" was his nickname, and is an informal, but very widely used and easily uderstandable, description of his status. A more formal term would be "Leader." The term "Head" is in my opinion a bit too indistinct, it's used for a wide range of positions, including elected and appointed office-holders. Kraxler (talk) 15:31, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved Mike Cline (talk) 16:38, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

William M. TweedBoss Tweed – He is much better known by his nickname than his real name. Per WP:COMMON, we should use his common name, Boss Tweed, just like we do with Snoop Dogg or Alexander the Great. Ego White Tray (talk) 18:43, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Adamantly oppose - "Boss" is a pejorative nickname, and a redirect from it is more than sufficient. "Snoop Doggy Dog" is a stage name adopted by the peformer, and "Alexander the Great" has hundreds of years of historical weight behind it. Neither are in any respect comparable to "Boss Tweed". Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Ivan the Terrible and Aethelred the Unready are both pejorative nicknames. Ego White Tray (talk) 02:35, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
And both have centuries of history behind them. (See below) This is a relatively contemporary man we're talking about, not someone whose real name has been lost in the mists of history and would be unknown to most people. Google hits on "Boss Tweed" and "William M. Tweed" are roughly the same, and more equal if you add in "William Tweed" and "William Marcy Tweed". Ignorance of the name is no reason to go with a nickname (and, no, "Boss" was not a title) when a redirect will take you from "Boss Tweed" to "Wiliam M. Tweed". It's part of our mission to educate, not to condone and reinforce people's unfortunate ignorance. Beyond My Ken (talk) 09:59, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
And if we title this Boss Tweed, the first line of the article will still begin with the words "William Tweed..." (like all articles titled with nicknames) and will still educate. Apteva's comment below that he instantly recognized "Boss" and never heard of "William" is also a good indicator that "Boss" is the common name - Apteva and me are certainly not the only two people in the world who don't know his name was William. Ego White Tray (talk) 13:13, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I have never heard of William M. Tweed, and instantly recognize Boss Tweed, but check these two results:[1] and [2]. Apteva (talk) 06:04, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Apteva's results demonstrate that Tweed is well enough known by his proper name. Comparable cases might be Manfred von Richthofen instead of the more famous Red Baron, and James Cook instead of Captain Cook. "Boss" is both a nickname and a job description; on a hunch I tried a similar google books search for "George S. Patton" and "General Patton", and was not surprised to find that "General Patton" has a significantly greater number of results, but the full name seems more appropriate for an article title. Exceptions are usually made only when a nickname is exponentially more familiar: how many know Typhoid Mary's given name? Ivan the Terrible is one of the most famous names in history; would even 2% of those acquainted with this name identify him as Ivan IV Vasilyevich? Ewulp (talk) 08:44, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Tweed ran for office, held public office, and signed papers, as "William M. Tweed" during the 19th century. The nickname "boss" was first used in the New York Times in 1870 (after 15 years of political career, and about a year before his downfall) to attack Tweed (see here). It's WP:POV. I'm not sure, there are contemporary sources in which Tweed himself or his followers described Tweed as "the Boss". A redirect from Boss Tweed to William M. Tweed (as it is now) is ok to ensure that WP readers find him. Kraxler (talk) 13:48, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This is not all that close. See this ngram to see how much more often "Boss Tweed" is used over "William Tweed" or "William M. Tweed". Since about 1920, "Boss Tweed" has been dominant. There's well more than a century of history behind that name. This is not a contemporary figure by any stretch. And it's not POV to reflect how reliable sources refer to a subject. Dohn joe (talk) 18:42, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually it is, when there are two names of roughly equal usage, and one is the man's actual name and the other is a derogatory nickname. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:41, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Comment If we went by numbers alone, this ngram would lead us to reject "William Magear Tweed" for "William Marcy Tweed", despite the latter being incorrect. If I'm not mistaken, the way ngram works is to tally up every occurrence of a given term in lots of books. Among these books will be many in which Tweed is mentioned several—perhaps dozens—of times. You wouldn't expect his full name to be repeated every time he is mentioned in a single book; on first mention he'll be "William Magear Tweed" or "William M. Tweed", and afterwards he's "Boss Tweed" or just "Tweed", perhaps a hundred times, thus inflating the numbers for those terms. This doesn't mean he's better known as "Tweed" than as "William M. Tweed". Ewulp (talk) 23:48, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
For a similar case see Franklin D. Roosevelt vs. FDR. Ewulp (talk) 23:58, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
But the point is that it's not roughly equal usage. "Boss Tweed" outdoes the other two combined by a healthy margin. And if a book says something like, "Boss Tweed, born William Magear Tweed in...", then that's just more evidence that we use the common name. See Bill Clinton (not William Jefferson Clinton), or any number of other cases where we use informal names as article titles. Dohn joe (talk) 01:41, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Here's the full comparison (, featuring many variations on his real name (two different middle names, middle name excluded, middle initial used instead), and Boss Tweed by far outdoes all of them. Ego White Tray (talk) 04:38, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Alexander the Great doesn't seem to have had any other names that we could use, unlike Mr Tweed or Mr S. Dogg, so he's not a good comparison. (talk) 01:03, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
And Bill Clinton signs his name "Bill Clinton" (see that article's infobox for a specimen) and is rarely called William Jefferson Clinton except at swearing-in ceremonies. Dohn joe, would you endorse renaming the Franklin D. Roosevelt article FDR? If not why not, as the ngram numbers support it almost as robustly as they support the Tweed rename, and the cases are similar, except for "FDR" lacking the pejorative implication of "Boss". And what's so bad about a redirect? It leads to an article that enlightens the reader as to the boss's real name; isn't that a good thing? Ewulp (talk) 02:19, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
The naming policy (WP:UCN) is that "Ambiguous or inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined in reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources." (Thus we should not use the variant "William Marcy Tweed" even though "Marcy" is historically more common than "Magear". But I digress.) The policy continues, "Neutrality is also considered; our policy on neutral titles, and what neutrality in titles is, follows in the next section. When there are several names for a subject, all of them fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others ... Article titles should be neither vulgar nor pedantic. The term most typically used in reliable sources is preferred to technically correct but rarer forms, whether the official name, the scientific name, the birth name, the original name or the trademarked name. Other encyclopedias may be helpful in deciding what titles are in an encyclopedic register as well as what name is most frequently used."
The phrase "in an encyclopedic register" seems important here. Quoting again: "Article titles and redirects should anticipate what readers will type as a first guess and balance that with what readers expect to be taken to. Thus, typing 'Octomom' properly redirects to Nadya Suleman". I think it would set a bad tone if the redirect worked the opposite way, and I think the same is true—to a lesser degree—in the case of Tweed. As we are advised to consult other encyclopedias for help in deciding on article names, I checked a few. Britannica goes with William Magear Tweed, as do American National Biography, v. 22 (1999) and Oxford Reference Online. A search of worldcat for "Boss Tweed" in encyclopedias yielded only one result here; a search in thesis/dissertations returned no results for "Boss" but one for "William M. Tweed" here. "Tweed, William Marcy 'Boss' " is the title used in Encyclopedia of World History, Facts On File, Inc., 2000 (accessed online using library card). "Tweed, William Marcy" is the title at World Book Online Reference Center. The encyclopedias seem to prefer his proper name.
The results from ngram are helpful here but should not be the final word, for several reasons already described. Otherwise on the basis of numbers we'd be obligated to change Ludwig van Beethoven to Beethoven [3], Lyndon B. Johnson to LBJ [4] and William Tecumseh Sherman to General Sherman [5]. Ewulp (talk) 08:47, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
All good points. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:49, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The subject was not a modern rapper or an ancient monarch. His name should be formatted as we do other 19th century American politicians. It's what other reference works do, see Encyclopedia of World Biography or Columbia. Kauffner (talk) 17:31, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per Kraxler, "Boss Tweed" is (or was at the time) a derogatory WP:POV title. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:14, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Alternative? What about William M. "Boss" Tweed? This would show both the "correct" name and the name by which most readers would recognize the subject, removing any confusion or doubt. Thoughts? Dohn joe (talk) 18:05, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
    Can you point to another article that uses a derogatory nickname in the article title (as opposed to the first line of the article)? Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:22, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Although articles on criminals sometimes do this—Mad Dog Coll for instance—there's a difference: Vincent Coll is a completely non-notable person except for his notoriety as a criminal & killer, and this is the name by which he became famous. Tweed, on the other hand, would be notable as a powerful political figure even if he had never stolen a cent. He became notable as William M. Tweed, a politician, and I think Kauffner's point is a good one. FWIW, even criminals who are notable only as criminals are more often entered in wikipedia by their (less famous) right names, e.g. Hymie Weiss, Dion O'Bannion, and Antonio "The Scourge" Lombardo.
I continue to be skeptical that a reader who has typed "Boss Tweed" into the search window will be confused to be redirected to an article that begins with these words: "William Magear Tweed (April 3, 1823 – April 12, 1878) – often erroneously referred to as William Marcy Tweed (see below),[1] and widely known as "Boss" Tweed ..." And there's no mistaking that mug. Ewulp (talk) 01:42, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
We use nicknames as article titles all the time. Billy the Kid, Typhoid Mary, El Greco, for example - none of which were used by the subjects themselves. I'm not sure why the fact that "Boss" is or was derogatory has any bearing on whether we should use it as the title. Is Happy Chandler acceptable because "happy" is a positive attribute? The point here is to aid the reader by reflecting the most common usage in reliable sources. As I showed above, that's Boss Tweed. Isn't it? Dohn joe (talk) 23:01, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Aiding the reader means providing them with the subject's right name, doesn't it? They probably are curious to know Tweed's first name, otherwise what are they doing here? Is there any reason to believe that the existing redirect leaves readers bewildered and unenlightened?
I've already mentioned Typhoid Mary—we could rename her article Mary Mallon, but it would be contrary to the practice of Britannica and other encyclopedias, and they are our models (see WP:FIVEPILLARS and WP:WHATISTOBEDONE). Unlike Tweed, Mary was a one-trick pony, notable only for typhoid. Our article's name is all the more appropriate given the common use of "Typhoid Mary" as a generic term for any person perceived as a bringer of bad luck, a transmitter of negative attitudes, and the like. Billy the Kid is in the criminal category previously discussed. In his case there are several choices: his birth name (McCarty), the name he most often went by (Bonney), or the name by which he's best remembered (B the K). Criminals' articles not titled with nicknames include Ted Kaczynski, despite these ngram results. A redirect serves the many readers searching for Unabomber and the few searching for Theodore Kaczynski, which seems fine. El Greco is so named by Britannica, Columbia, Encylopedia of World Biography, and every other RS I checked, so no problem there.
The wikipedia policy against use of derogatory nicknames is well established, and any argument about the general policy belongs at Wikipedia talk:Article titles. In the case of Happy Chandler, the fact that "Happy" was his nickname from his youth to his death, and appeared in his campaign literature, and is not derogatory, may have tipped the scale. Ewulp (talk) 04:23, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


No mention is made of Tweed's religion. Is there no info about this?Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:27, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I have found something and added it.Sylvain1972 (talk) 15:43, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Very interesting that he should have a Quaker background. Nice find. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

redlink that links nowhere else, and WP:TRIVIA[edit]

Reffed or not, the redlink that links nowhere else is WP:TRIVIA, and fails GNG, per Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_an_indiscriminate_collection_of_information. When it has its own article, feel free to add it. I would be happy to have 3O settle this.--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 13:04, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

To wit, per

"When trying to decide if a pop culture reference is appropriate to an article, ask yourself the following:

  • point 2: Have multiple reliable sources pointed out the reference?"--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 13:14, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
In the same section "Inclusion of more and more pop-culture details the more influential or general the topic is – A litany of innumerable novels, TV shows, and films featuring Julius Caesar, dogs, New Hampshire, World War II, wizards, or hip hop is not useful to anyone. Topics of this level of world importance or broad generality never need pop-culture bulleted lists. Lists with bullets tend to grow exponentially, to the point that they become an indiscriminate collection of trivia. If a cultural references section is present in an article on WWII, for example, it should be reserved for major, in-depth treatments of the subject that have had lasting significance. As well, it should be written in prose, in paragraph form. This "raises the bar" for contributing to the section, and makes editors less likely to add trivia."--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 13:19, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
Done-it's at 3O now.--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 13:30, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

I have commented at WP:3O about this topic. EdChem (talk) 03:36, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

  1. There is clear an edit war here, in which the two main editors have both violated WP:3RR, and a third has participated. Brief history:
    • Kintetsubuffalo made the novel title Assassin's Creed Last Descendants into a wikilink
    • One minute later, Kintetsubuffalo removed the sentence as non-notable. Kintetsubuffalo proceeded to remove the sentence a further four times in three hours: [6] [7] [8] [9]
    • Kintetsubuffalo was reverting reversions by Beyond My Ken, of which there were four in a seven hour period: [10] [11] [12] [13]
    • The text is presently in the article, Kintetsubuffalo's final revert having been reverted by Cassianto. No further additions / removals have occurred in the roughly 12 hours since Cassianto's edit
    • Kintetsbuffalo began the talk page discussion noted above after having removed the text three times, and having been reverted three times. No other editor commented. All three editors have been leaving edit summaries arguing for their views.
    • Both Kintetsbufallo and Beyond My Ken are lucky to have avoided 3RR blocks for this edit war. The argument which Kintetsbuffalo is making, that the information is non-notable or fails WP:GNG, is flawed as these are article standards, not determinants of content within articles. The argument that the red link means that the information should be excluded until there is an article misses the point of red links. Comments on WP:NOT might indicate that inclusion is UNDUE, though that argument has not been made in a convincing way. In my view, the content should remain unless a talk page consensus forms that there is a well-made policy-based argument for its exclusion. EdChem (talk) 03:34, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

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