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Move over, Reince Preibus
September 24, 2013 7:04 PM   Subscribe

The Strangest Names in American Political History is a compendium of ludicrous nomenclature among America's political figures, from Arphaxed Loomis to Zerubbabel Snow (with stops for Outerbridge Horsey, Supply Belcher, and Odolphus Ham Waddle).
posted by snarkout (47 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay my D&D party is done:

Galius Lawton Zwick, half-elf wizard
Mindret Wemple, gnome rogue
Steele Lemoyne Moorhead, human fighter
Bottolf Bottolfson, dwarf bard
Sunday Cardall Anderson, human paladin
posted by griphus at 7:15 PM on September 24, 2013 [27 favorites]


What, no Estes Kefauver??
posted by nathan_teske at 7:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Didn't Odolphus Hamwaddle run a shop in Diagon Alley?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:20 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mindret Wemple. That is all I need to know.
posted by estuardo at 7:22 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


...and these are all White people
posted by Renoroc at 7:25 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Quick, somebody send these names to Key and Peele.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:25 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


I can't read "waddle" without hearing The Duck Song...

Waddle waddle...
posted by symbioid at 7:25 PM on September 24, 2013


Let's not leave Canada out of the fun.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:29 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Zbigniew Brzezinski is not a particularly unusual name (just Polish), but knowing that he existed came in handy when adding lower thirds to a video featuring some physical rehab folks. I was literally like "Zbigniew, hey, I totally know how to spell that!"
posted by dumbland at 7:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had a great time writing my BA thesis in large part due to the hilarious-to-me names British people had in the 1700s.

A sampling:

Robert Gooch
Benjamin Gooch (his son)
Roger Cooter
Lord Henry Cockburn
Sir Thomas Booby

I'm twelve.
posted by phunniemee at 7:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


This isn't a bad place for this:
...The wealthy are no strangers to unique names...in last year’s presidential election, nearly 61 million people voted for a Willard Mitt Romney, at the same time that the current head of the Republican National Committee was (and is) a Reince Priebus.

On Twitter, riffing off of the Reddit thread, I mused on this double standard with a comment and a joke. “Seriously, I will take your ‘questions’ about ‘weird’ black names seriously when you make fun of Reince Priebus and Rand Paul,” followed by “White people giving their kids names like Saxby Chambliss and Tagg Romney is a clear sign of cultural pathology.” If names like “DeShawn” and “Shanice” are fair targets for ridicule, then the same should be true for “Saxby” and “Tagg.”
Also, I treasure this SNL skit which also nailed it.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on September 24, 2013 [15 favorites]


They do have one of the great governors of my home state of Michigan, Ephaphroditus Ransom, on there, but as of now they are missing Alpheus Felch.

phunniemee: Quick note, "Cockburn" is typically pronounced "Coburn."
posted by dhens at 7:44 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tee hee hee
posted by dry white toast at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2013


My husband and I are obsessed with the various Outerbridge Horseys. The second Outerbridge Horsey, of Horsey Pure Rye fame, is my favorite.

The current gentleman of that name (the seventh) seems not to have any children, so he may be the last.

I have mentioned my own onomastically extravagant ancestors here, I think, particularly Zealous B. Tower.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Britain's Fallen Soldiers

East/West College Bowl
posted by Rhaomi at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2013


What is the word for the literary technique where the name reflects the character of the, uh, character? I remember seeing it used it in reference to Dickens.
posted by griphus at 7:53 PM on September 24, 2013


A judge named Sue
posted by jonp72 at 7:59 PM on September 24, 2013


Aptronym, found via tvtropes Meaningful Name.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:01 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Subeirp Ecnier! Subeirp Ecnier! Subeirp Ecnier!
posted by oulipian at 8:12 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


if only dick butkus would run (for office)
posted by readyfreddy at 8:13 PM on September 24, 2013


if only dick butkus would run (for office)

Back in university, during the election campaign for student council president, the humour columnist for the campus paper endorsed one of the candidates whose surname was King because he enjoyed the dizzying oxymoron-laden possibilities of a President King.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:49 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wondered why the first entry, Newcomb "Newt" Spoor, sounded kind of familiar. He was not only a friend and protector of frogs and a citizen scientist, which earns him my maddest respect,

"I drew up my frog bill for the legislature in 1913. For five weeks it lay at my desk before I dared introduce it; I knew I'd be laughed at. The night of the hearing the galleries of the assembly chamber were chock-full--with people who had come to laugh. I decided to give them what they wanted. A bunch of my friends in the assembly were supplied with wooden rattlers, and after I had made my speech they started them going. The whole place sounded like it was full of frogs and it brought down the house. There was only one vote against me."



but he represented Waushara County (home of many excellent frogs, I will have you know) so his name is on plaques and such, and the names you remember reading on plaques and such are the ones that could not ever POSSIBLY be a person's actual real name that someone named them for real on purpose.

Newt Spoor is my homeboy.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


How quickly you all forget Dick Sweat,
mormon and 1980s Republican representing New Hampshire in the house.
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:31 PM on September 24, 2013


"Cockburn" is typically pronounced "Coburn."

ruiner!
posted by elizardbits at 9:32 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


phunniemee: Quick note, "Cockburn" is typically pronounced "Coburn."

Uhhhh, I'm the one who wrote the thesis, so I'm pretty sure it's pronounced however I think it's pronounced.

Personally, I pronounce it "titty".
posted by phunniemee at 9:40 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


There is an AFL player here in, well Australia, called Steele Sidebottom. I can't decide whether his parents were the most awesomest parents ever, or the meanest.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:42 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Actually it's spelt Raymond Luxury Yacht, but it's pronounced....
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:44 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, there is a (now retired) Australian politician whose name is Richard Face.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:50 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, to be fair, Reince Priebus isn't actually a human name. It's just the verbalization of his robotic propaganda drone model designator: "R.N.C. P.R. B.S. v.2011"
posted by darkstar at 10:04 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Steele Sidebottom

Slab Bulkhead, Fridge Largemeat, Punt Speedchunk, Butch Deadlift, Bold Bigflank, Splint Chesthair, Flint Ironstag, Bolt Vanderhuge, Thick McRunfast, Blast Hardcheese, Buff Drinklots, Trunk Slamchest, Fist Rockbone, Stump Beefgnaw, Smash Lampjaw, Punch Rockgroin, Buck Plankchest, Stump Chunkman, Dirk Hardpeck, Rip Steakface, Slate Slabrock, Crud Bonemeal, Brick Hardmeat, Rip Slagcheek, Punch Sideiron, Gristle McThornBody, Slake Fistcrunch, Buff Hardback, Bob Johnson, Blast Thickneck, Crunch Buttsteak, Slab Squatthrust, Lump Beefbroth, Touch Rustrod, Reef Blastbody, Big McLargeHuge, Smoke Manmuscle, Beat Punchbeef, Pack Blowfist, Roll Fizzlebeef
posted by dhens at 10:06 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


"Cockburn" is typically pronounced "Coburn."

When I'm God-Emperor this shit is gonna change, and we're gonna have a little fucking respect for the Roman alphabet. You put an L in your name? Then you're Ralph, not Rafe. That CK in there? That makes it cock.

The re-education camps will be full of Featherstonehaughs.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:22 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


The re-education camps will be full of Featherstonehaughs.

What about all the residents of Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Worcestershire?
posted by Alnedra at 11:57 PM on September 24, 2013


Quick note, "Cockburn" is typically pronounced "Coburn."

Sorry, I've got Cockburn here. [FoD]
posted by dumbland at 12:20 AM on September 25, 2013


One of my favorite Daily Show moments was "You can't spell Reince Priebus without Pubic Rerinse"
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:52 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've gotten spam from some of these guys.

A few years ago, some spam botnets made fake names by slapping together first and last names (and often middle initials) from a dictionary with some rather odd entries. I started keeping a file to which I saved the choicest ones, like, say, “Heraclitus Kramer”, “Boycie Ball” and “Speedboat L. Fairway”. If I ever need dummy names for databases, unit tests, or similar, I get them from there.
posted by acb at 3:45 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favorite was Harold Q. Octagons
posted by griphus at 4:16 AM on September 25, 2013


These are awesome. I'm getting seriously good ideas for my future kid here.

There's a football player for the University of Alabama named HaHa Clinton-Dix.

And please let's not forget Puritan names. For instance: Kill-Sin Pimple.
posted by pharaohmagnetic at 5:14 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did Outerbridge write any books recently?
posted by mkb at 5:39 AM on September 25, 2013


A few years ago, some spam botnets made fake names by slapping together first and last names (and often middle initials) from a dictionary with some rather odd entries.

Yes, my favourite of those was sent to me by a Jesus H. Hugecock.
posted by elizardbits at 6:30 AM on September 25, 2013


I had a great time writing my BA thesis in large part due to the hilarious-to-me names British people had in the 1700s.

A sampling:

Robert Gooch
Benjamin Gooch (his son)


You need to visit Virginia. We actually have Goochland County. Which as a strange matter of how I-64 is routed and the shape of the county, you enter TWICE on the way to Richmond from Charlottesville.

The guy who runs this site actually contacted me due to my own site and I was rather disappointed I couldn't offer much in the way of helpful information.
posted by Atreides at 6:35 AM on September 25, 2013


Reince Preibus

Would that be fruity Reince Preibus or cocoa Reince Preibus?

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Not much. What's Zbigniew with you?

For years I was obsessed with the name of a college classmate, Suryakant A. Shah, whom I never met, and later, Somtow Sucharitkul (he now goes by S. P. Somtow in the west) whom I did. Those names were like poetry to me somehow.

Meanwhile . . .

Sir Vincent Wigglesworth was a British entomologist who made significant contributions to the field of insect sports medicine physiology.

US Founding Father Gouverneur Morris was a represent in the New York Provincial Congress, a member of the New York State Assembly, a delegate to the Continental Congress, assistant superintendent of finance for Philadelphia, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Minister Plenipotentiary to France, and a US Senator -- but never a state governor.

No doubt his ghost haunts the Executive Mansion in Albany; unfinished business, you know.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


What about all the residents of Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Worcestershire?


They would be renamed for clarity - their respective residents now live in Stinky Cheeseland, Crumbly Cheeseland and A1 Sauce.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:04 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Back in my misspent youth, I knew an Army officer, Major Sergeant Major.... he once said he became an officer merely because he never wanted to risk becoming Sgt. Major Sergeant Major.
posted by easily confused at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair, Reince Priebus isn't actually a human name. It's just the verbalization of his robotic propaganda drone model designator: "R.N.C. P.R. B.S. v.2011"

Kinda jerky, but I once met a propaganda drone named "R.N.C. Q.T. B.S. v.2011".

Tsk. Poor sucker.
 
posted by Herodios at 12:59 PM on September 25, 2013


"My name is Reince Flere-Imsaho Wu-Handrahen Xato Priebus, and I am not a Republican propaganda drone."
posted by McCoy Pauley at 1:28 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jew Don Boney

posted by LonnieK at 6:28 PM on September 25, 2013


I can't believe I missed this when it was posted. The best thing about Outerbridge Horsey is that his descendents have carried on naming their sons Outerbridge Horsey. The current Outerbridge Horsey is an architect.
posted by interplanetjanet at 9:07 AM on September 26, 2013


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