Corky usually isn't "short" for anything. By Googling I have found examples of people called Corky whose first names are Coralynn and Courtland, or whose last names are Corcoran or McCorquodale, but most of the examples where it's explained trace the nickname back to the character Corky Wallet in the long-running American newspaper comic strip "Gasoline Alley". This strip was famous for being one of the first where characters aged along with the strip and where new kids were born into the family. The character Corky Wallet was introduced as a newborn in this strip in May
1928. I've found at least one example of a real person born in 1928 who was given the nickname Corky while still an infant because a relative thought the new baby looked like the baby in the comic strip. Several others say they were called Corky because of the comic strip character but don't explain further.
Unfortunately, so far I can't find any explanation of why the author of the comic strip chose Corky as the name for the character.
In the early 1950s there were two films made based on the comic strip where Corky was a main character; these also probably helped to bring the name to people's attention. http://www.classicflix.com/gasoline-alley-friends-gasoline-alley-were-walkie-talkie-corky-gasoline-alley-stop-that-leave-marines-p-8103.htmlhttp://www.amazon.com/Gasoline-Alley-Friends-Scotty-Beckett/dp/B001NG41ZU
This message was edited by the author on February 7, 2010 at 5:18:29 PM
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