Friday, January 27, 2006

A Rose By Any Other Name

Rose is a lovely name for a girl, unless of course her last name is something like Thorne or Redd. And how do you account for a boy with the last name Phillips getting Phillip as a first name, too.

What are parents thinking?

My wife and I used to joke that we would name a son, Reid Alexander. That's sounds fine until you realize that his name would have been Reid A. Story.

Some kids may like their unusual names, but I don't understand how you can run the risk of dooming a kid to a life of ridicule for a moment's chuckle. Here's what some kids in the UK had to say. Unfortunately, the girls may also have to run the gauntlet when they marry.

Celebrities are notorious for this practice, but my favorites are the ones that are seemingly innocent. Some of you may remember controversial industrialist, Armand Hammer. And there are plenty of other strange combinations as well. Here are a couple more I like:

Shi T. Wu - A college professor I knew
Jaime Cardinal Sin - former Archbishop in the Phillipines
Ima Hogg - Texas philanthropist
Shanda Lear - Daughter of Lear Jet mogul
Picabo Street - Olympic skier

What are some of the strangest or funniest names that you've run across?

[Ed. note: We've all heard the urban legends of kids named after jello or street signs or unfortunate body parts, so please don't trot them out again. Limit your picks to people that you knew or those that can actually be verified. And try to keep them PG-rated.]


Brett said...

There was a middle-distance runner for the rival high school to the one Rich and I (and Doug, for that matter) attended. This poor kid's parents named him Harold, or Harry. His last name? Pitts.

I'm sorry. If your last name is Pitts or Butts, you cannot name a son Harold. He's going to get picked on, mocked, perhaps beaten up. It's just mean.

DugALug said...


I joked about naming a son George Ingram Joseph: G.I. Joseph. My wife was not at all amused.

I had a professor at Auburn who's name was Dr. Yung Wi Wu. He would say:

"I respond to Mr. Wu, Teacher Wu, or Dr. Wu, but I do not respond to 'hey'."

Rich and I had a friend who's father's name was Rob Robinson and my dad (who's real name was George), went by Joe in college (as in Joe Joseph).

I eat at a Japanese restaurant, and the owners had a baby. They named her Maitland because they thought it sounded beautiful. Maitland is a suburb of Orlando.


DugALug said...


for some reason I wrote Wu... His name was Yung Wi Yu. Hopefully that will make more sense.


P&S said...


I work with a guy named Harry right now who's a lurker on the blog, and we give him quite a time and his last name while interesting isn't the Pitts.


I think it's funny as Wu or Yu.

GI Joseph would have been priceless.

There's an Army Major's name I heard the other day that when placed with Major was very unfortunate, but I can't remember exactly what it was at this moment.

Reminded me of Catch-22, but it was worse.

Scot said...

I've got a couple from my old church:
I asked one woman if she regretted taking the name of her husband, whose name was Dummer. She said that it didn't bother her that much because her maiden name was Grosser. Wouldn't you like to be the offspring of a Dummer-Grosser union?
There is also a woman named Peg at the same church who decided to start being called Peggy when she married Mr. Legg.

jon said...

I believe the year was 1996 & there was a guy running for a Senate position in the Northeast...his name was Richard Sweat. But for some unknown reason, he chose to be referred to by his nickname...the common nickname for a Richard (& no, I don't mean Rich)


Rich said...

Heeeeeeeeeey, now. Who let that comment pass anyway?

Family-friendly, big boy.

P&S said...

This post also reminds me of some of the gender-confusing couples that I have known.

You know, the ones where it's hard to tell husband from wife just from hearing their names.

Rene' and Jean
Chris and Shaun
Billie and Pat

Separately, they're OK, but together I have trouble remembering which is which.