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‘Jersey Shore’: The Stories Behind the Nicknames

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Their moms know them as Nicole, Mike, and Jenni (MTV)

Their moms know them as Nicole, Mike, and Jenni (MTV)

Snooki, The Situation, J-Woww: They've all become household names thanks to MTV's inescapable reality smash, "Jersey Shore." But where did those names come from in the first place? While our favorite guidos and guidettes are getting in touch with their roots on the Italy-based Season 4 (debuting this Thursday), we're getting to the root of the "Shore" gang's most notorious nicknames.

"Snooki" (Nicole Polizzi)
Back in middle school, a young Nicole Polizzi saw the 2001 teen dance flick "Save the Last Dance" — and her life would never be the same. Her friends started calling her "Snooki," after a male character in "Dance," and the name stuck like baked-on lasagna. But now that she's a one-name wonder a la Madonna and Cher, Snooki has made noise about dropping the nickname and going back to plain old "Nicole." ("Now I wish I could change it," she said during her "E! True Hollywood Story." "I miss my name 'Nicole' so much.") Um, can someone please educate this girl on the power of branding?

[Photos: Check Out All-New Photos of the "Jersey Shore" Cast in Italy]

"The Situation" (Mike Sorrentino)
For Mike Sorrentino, it was all about the abs. One hot Jersey summer, he was hanging with his boys on the beach (shirtless, of course). A girl saw Mike walk by and couldn't help admiring his now-famous six-pack, even pointing it out to her none-too-thrilled boyfriend. When one of Mike's friends noticed the commotion, he made the fateful observation, "Looks like we've got a situation here!" From then on, Mike's abs were known as "The Situation" — a name that eventually came to represent Mike himself.

"J-Woww" (Jenni Farley)
Jenni Farley's nickname also sprung from an admirer of the opposite sex: She used to frequent beach clubs in the Hamptons, and an MC at one of the clubs couldn't help but exclaim "Wow!" whenever the well-endowed Jenni walked by. When the guy became a co-worker of Jenni's, he started calling her "Jenni Wow" — later shortened to the more efficient "J-Woww." Although if you saw her relieve herself behind the bar at Karma last season, "J-Ewww" might be more appropriate.

Get a sneak peek at the new season of "Jersey Shore" right here:

Season 4 of "Jersey Shore" premieres Thursday, 8/4 at 10pm on MTV.

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