Where did John Wayne get the nickname “Duke”? July 21, 2020 by Pamela Landy John Wayne got the nickname “Duke” because he had a dog named “Duke” as a child. To distinguish them, the dog was known as “Big Duke” and Wayne as “Little Duke.” Related Answers How many sequels did the movie Airport (1970) have? What was Montgomery Clift’s first movie? How did John Ford, John Wayne, and Ward Bond start making movies together? For whom is Duke University named? How many films did John Wayne direct? Where is John Wayne Airport?