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In S02E03- School Hard, Giles is reading from a book which mentions Spike, and he then says:

He's known as William the Bloody. Earned his nickname by torturing his victims with railroad spikes. Very pleasant.

Which makes sense, however this is from a book and we can't be sure about its accuracy, I'm certainly not entirely convinced as in one of his next major appearances, in S02E10- What's My Line? Part 2, when Drusilla is torturing Angel, this exchange takes place (emphasis mine):

Drusilla: It [Angel's burned skin] makes pretty colours.

Spike: [Snorts derisively] I'll see him die soon enough, never been much for the pre-show.

Pre-show in this case being a euphemism for torture. And if he didn't like it, there's not much use in doing it. Furthermore, much later in S05E07- Fool For Love, we're given contradicting information in a flashback to 1880 when Spike (then William) was still alive:

Female Party Guest: Have you heard? They call him William the Bloody because of his bloody awful poetry.

Male Party Guest: It suits him. I'd rather have a spike through my head than listen to that awful stuff.

Are there any additional sources which can confirm whether Giles' book was correct or not?

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Are there any additional sources which can confirm whether Giles' book was correct or not?

Apparently it was mentioned in one of the comic books (I've never read them) that the 'Male Party Guest' was given that special treatment after William was sired, and that incident was how he gained the nickname. AFAIR there was no suggestion that he made a general habit of it.

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