He accepted,or appeared to accept, the cognomen of Nero conferred upon him by the shouts of the populace, whom his comparative youth and the effeminacy of his appearance reminded of their lost favourite.
Mummius was the first novas homo of plebeian origin who received a distinctive cognomen for military services.
Male and female citizens, especially from the 1st century A.D. onwards, usually had a cognomen after their gentilicium.
His relief of Messana obtained him the cognomen Messalla, which remained in the family for nearly 800 years.
Of equestrian rank, his name Pontius suggests a Samnite origin, and his cognomen in the gospels, pileatus (if derived from the pileus or cap of liberty), descent from a freedman.