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April 24, 2014 11:30 PM   Subscribe

Supposedly verified real names battled it out in a fight to win the title of Name of the Year. Link.
posted by bolognius maximus (84 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Really? Neither Chubacca Hung, nor Chillie Poon won? This is a shame.
posted by efalk at 11:35 PM on April 24


The crazy thing about Shamus Beaglehole -- and not a few of the other names! -- is that it's really the surname that is doing the work, there. I assume this dude was born a Beaglehole, and didn't change his name to that or anything?

Eve Gruntfest. Lol.

Re Chillie Poon, I once temped in a law firm and found a file somewhere that I swear to god was Poon v. Tang. I have reveled in the existence of the last name Poon for over a decade, now.

Could you have any first name and sound ordinary, with a last name like Poon? I think not. (I'm partial to Eleanor Poon. Frederic Poon is also nice.)
posted by Sara C. at 11:47 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Ok. Thanks a freaking lot, Sara c. I now know of several Americans named "poon tang".

This had got to be a joke or something, right?

Wtf???
posted by hal_c_on at 11:59 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


People in Thailand often have long names and abbreviate them to monosyllabic ones for daily use. I've visited expatriate Australian friends in Thailand a few times, and when I talked to locals I tried to make things easier on them by asking them to call me "Joe". They usually started sniggering. I have no idea why, and nobody seems to want to tell me.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:00 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Dr. Gruntfest is a research scientist at the Trauma, Health and Hazards Center...
posted by pracowity at 12:06 AM on April 25


Could you have any first name and sound ordinary, with a last name like Poon? I think not. (I'm partial to Eleanor Poon. Frederic Poon is also nice.)

I knew a Lillian Poon, and thought that was a pretty good one.

Poopa Dweck would have been my pick in this contest, for sheer seeming inexplicability. Eve Gruntfest is choice as well.

I think this might be the second time that there's a winner due to a get-out-the-vote effort by sports fans -- in 2010, Australian-rules football player Steele Sidebottom won.

My all-time favorite entry might be Yolanda Supersad from a few years back. Not the most outrageous, but just such a wonderful name.
posted by eugenen at 12:08 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


That's nothing. I used to work with a guy called "Randy Rotter".
posted by w0mbat at 12:16 AM on April 25


The woman who designs and prepares the food on Hannibal is named Janice Poon.

Rider Strong (from Boy Meets World, who already has a pretty badass name) is the son of a guy named King Strong, which sounds like a silver age comics villain.

My favorite super macho actor name ever is Randolph Mantooth.
posted by lovecrafty at 12:35 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


My dad went to highschool with a kid named Dick Johnson. We always thought the story was suspect (Dad doesn't have the most subtle sense of humor) until one time we were with our uncles and they independently brought the guy up. Apparently he really didn't like any other name than "Dick" even though it was a nickname.
posted by Mizu at 12:37 AM on April 25


for many years, Pervis Sparks was listed in the San Diego phone book. with a name like that, i figured he might be an oldster; finally one year, when the new edition of the books came out and he was not listed, i mourned his passing as though i knew him personally. another great name in the book was Texana Flowers, especially because she lived on Grim Avenue.
posted by lapolla at 1:01 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


My dad went to highschool with a kid named Dick Johnson.

I went to school with a “Richard Wood”. He insisted on being called Richard.
posted by D.C. at 1:01 AM on April 25


I had a landlord in Ohio named Richard Wood, whom we all referred to as Dick Wood when he was not present. He's probably in his late 50s now, could be the same guy?

But honestly, I see two distinct categories: people with names innocuous in their own language that happen to render humorously in English, and the other people who are Anglophone with probably very thick skin and/or an extremely generous sense of humor (or not, as in the case of Fazwaz Wazwaz, a Palestinian-American from Illinois who goes by Mike).
posted by Jon_Evil at 1:08 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Someone needs to enter Nancy Ann Cianci for next year.
posted by Quilford at 1:44 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


posted by bolognius maximus

Epony...what do you mean not your real name?
posted by Literaryhero at 3:36 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


There's a match report mentioning Shamus here, so it does appear to be his honest-to-God given name. A Google search reveals there's also a Steve Beaglehole involved at Chesterfield FC, who I assume must be Shamus's father.

Speaking of notable names, I've always been rather partial to the professional moniker adopted by a a certain female sideshow dwarf of the 1940s: Tiny La Vonda.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:42 AM on April 25


Shamus's dad used to be a England Youth football coach but he got fired for sitting on top of a cupboard and shitting into a paper cup.

I am not making this up.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:42 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


The all-time best name ever from these Name Of the year lists is arguably 2009's Barkevious Mingo, which apparently was a name Barkevious' mother made up. A fact which charmed Daniel Radcliffe so much that when he started getting into football, and started his own fantasy football team, he named it "Barkevious Mingo's Mum".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:23 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


@devious truculent and unreliable

You're making the bit about the paper cup up, aren't you. LOOK AT ME. Yes you are.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 4:40 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Well of course, where else would you put your beagle?
posted by blue_beetle at 4:41 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


I work with a Velma Beaglehole.
posted by Wolof at 4:45 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Admission: When I was a kid we used to prank call Eula Mae Turnipseed just because her name always gave us chuckles when we'd look in the phonebook.

Also, in Jackson, Mississippi, for years there was a long running entry for Jones, Shithead.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:59 AM on April 25


As a kid in Brooklyn, I swear I remember looking in the phone book and finding someone named Shayna Tuches, aka "nice ass" in Yiddish. (Both names are legitimate, though not often seen in combination.)
posted by greatgefilte at 6:07 AM on April 25


Dr. Loki Skylizard should totally have won this thing.
posted by Foosnark at 6:14 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


My mom worked with a woman named Gay Queen (special bonus: people coming in to her workplace asking "are you Gay?").

My dad supervised a Francis McWeenie, who did not appreciate being called Frank.
posted by Foosnark at 6:18 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Gallon of Alan, I am shocked that you would question my integrity on such a matter, but I can see that a little more explanation wouldn't go amiss.

Being a football coach for 17 year olds doesn't just mean putting the cones out. You have to take the kids abroad for tournament play and when you have twenty-odd physically robust young men with a sense of adventure and no capacity for self-restraint, it can a dangerous cocktail. Beaglehole Snr's job, along with training and the like, was to keep the kids amused and out of mischief. His party trick was the aforementioned precision bombing mission. It was a good laugh, and very good for "bonding". When you've seen a man shit in a cup from a height of six feet, it is something you and your teammates can draw on when the chips are down. I imagine.

Anyway, they were all lads together so who's to complain ? Unfortunately, someone leaked the story to the English press and, bastions of good form that they are, the matter was reported in a less sympathetic manner than I have chosen. The result was Beaglehole was a goner, the Press gained another scalp, and as a result no English footballer has ever done anything even slightly morally questionable since.

That's all I know. Please don't reply "Pics or it didn't happen".
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 6:20 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


In college, I worked with a librarian named Manly Workman.
posted by matildaben at 6:21 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]


Obligatory Snopes link which mentions Shithead.

I'll admit that I laughed when I heard about a girls' high school basketball star from the 70s whose name was Fonda Dix. (And I'm pretty sure she actually did exist, because she shows up on a list of Iowa girls' basketball all-time high-scorers.)

I'm pretty sure that Poon is a completely normal family name in China, though, and making fun of it seems to me sort of to be veering into icky territory.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:22 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


There's something about Fazwaz Wazwaz that just makes me smile. Especially when I say it out loud: Fazwaz Wazwaz. What an awesome name!

In a former job I mailed a book order out to a Drusilla Plunkett-Hose, which I thought was a pretty spectacular name, but I don't think she'd even make the bracket for this contest.
posted by dellsolace at 6:24 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Goddamn my name's pete smith, Stupid lousy parents.
posted by marienbad at 6:29 AM on April 25


Poon is a not uncommon surname in China and the Chinese diaspora, for what it's worth.
posted by undue influence at 6:38 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I worked at a law firm where one of the the clients was named I Tung Wang. He was a nice, dignified gentlemen who obviously had no idea.
posted by happyroach at 6:49 AM on April 25


I'm assuming Coco Crisp won this thing three years running and is permanently retired from competition?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:11 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


the executive director/supervisor of my youth chess club ~45 years ago was an inner-city english teacher, former olympic weightlifter and all-around good guy. i was by no means the strongest chess player, but i was the one he picked to grade his class's tests and papers. some of his students had unusual names, but the one i'll never forget is philemon young.
posted by bruce at 7:14 AM on April 25


My great aunt, Ima June Steele married a doctor, Doctor Frank Bugg. In those days ladies did not keep their maiden names no matter how much Aunt Ima wanted to.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:22 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Beaglehole is the surname of some of the 20th century's finest scholars in the history of the Pacific, and the versions of Cook's journals annotated by John Beaglehole's are an absolutely singular work of academic achievement. But hawhaw lookit that name, huh.

You don't choose your name; you grow up with a name chosen or forced on you, and I really don't like this sort of thing. But I suppose it's an easy way to get lots of pageviews if you open the phone book in RANDOM FOREIGN COUNTRY and write about it (and show how ignorant and parochial you are).
posted by barnacles at 7:31 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Oh man, I once received a resume from a Semen Merkin and had the misfortune of explaining why it was so funny to my coworkers, who didn't understand how the last name made the first name worse. We also had clients named BJ Dikshit and Charming Ho.

I remember helping my father sort through some patient files many years ago and finding a poor man named Phuk Woo.

Despite (or because of) the fact that these are all examples of regionally appropriate names bumping up against language differences, they are still funny to me.
posted by pineappleheart at 7:34 AM on April 25


My parents are Jim and Jane Smith.

For realz.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:09 AM on April 25


My mother's maiden name is one of these that actually means something. I don't know what my grandmother was thinking.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:10 AM on April 25


My favorite thing about this is that it's actually about interesting names and not just a chance to make fun of people, often minorities, with "funny" names.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:15 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I knew a guy in college named Mike Hunt.

Sound it out....
posted by Chrysostom at 8:23 AM on April 25


Beaglehole is the surname of some of the 20th century's finest scholars in the history of the Pacific, and the versions of Cook's journals annotated by John Beaglehole's are an absolutely singular work of academic achievement. But hawhaw lookit that name, huh.

I don't know what to tell you. It's a funny name.
posted by eugenen at 8:29 AM on April 25 [8 favorites]


There is actually a naming law in Sweden which although not as restrictive as the naming laws in Iceland which dictate that you can only have an Icelandic name, doesn't permit parents to name their kids (or adults to rename themselves) in a way which would "cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it."

So the idiots who tried to name their kid "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116" in protest of the law, didn't get to burden the little tike with their stupidity.

It's enforced by the tax authorities who are relentless, humourless, and utterly inflexible - as it should be.
posted by three blind mice at 8:46 AM on April 25


In discussing hilarious names with a friend yesterday she revealed that the greatest one she'd ever heard was a gentleman by the name of Dix Semon. My example, Dick Strong, fell sadly short.
posted by elizardbits at 8:48 AM on April 25


My parents are Jim and Jane Smith.

My parents are named Dick and Jane, and I am eternally grateful our last name is not "Smith".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on April 25


"Genghis Cohen"

GENGHIS COHEN.

I feel like I would like this guy's parents.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:55 AM on April 25 [7 favorites]


Presumably going for the Discworld reference?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:58 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


You don't choose your name; you grow up with a name chosen or forced on you, and I really don't like this sort of thing.

Plenty of people choose their name, we have that option now in case you haven’t been keeping up with the news. And I love this sort of thing. Some words are funny.
posted by bongo_x at 9:19 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


My favorite super macho actor name ever is Randolph Mantooth.

What do you want from life? Well, you can't have that, but if you are an American citizen you are entitled to . . . a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth.

In Marquette, MI there used to be a Porn Chiro Clinic. Minimal googling indicates no photos and that Thomas Porn, Doctor of Chiropractic passed away in 1996.

PS: I used to know a guy with the last name of "Priest". Divorced, his ex-wife went by "Judith" (not Judy).
 
posted by Herodios at 9:26 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I really don't like this sort of thing

I've always seen this as more of a "wow, how cool/interesting/unusual" type of thing, and less of a mocking thing.

I mean, the vast majority of names that make their bracket every year are from the Anglophone world. It doesn't seem to directly translate to racism or mocking people for being foreign or whatever.

Though, of course it's true that any name becomes ordinary if you're familiar with it. One of the contenders Shamus Beaglehole beat was named Diesel Daigle. Daigle is a totally normal name where I'm from (in fact I'm almost positive that this dude is from the vicinity of my hometown and probably related to people I know), and, I dunno, Diesel is unusual I guess, but no weirder than your Wyatts and Riders and Colts, in the grand scheme. Meanwhile there's probably someone in Pakistan who is like, "Fazwaz Wazwaz? What's weird about that?"
posted by Sara C. at 9:28 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Also, my name (super ubiquitous in the Anglophone world) apparently means something hilarious in Kannada. Which I learned when I started introducing myself to people in Karnataka, India. So, you know, it cuts both ways.
posted by Sara C. at 9:31 AM on April 25


. . . not as restrictive as the naming laws in Iceland . . .

Remembering that everyone is either surnamed x-son or x-dottir, raised a question which answered itself:
On June 11th [2012] the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, unanimously adopted a new comprehensive ‘Law on legal status of individuals with Gender Identity Disorder‘ (GID) . . . to [in part] improve procedures regarding name change and registration with the National Registry.
posted by Herodios at 9:44 AM on April 25


A family friend and his daughter (who I went to school with in Malaysia) had the last name Poon; as mentioned earlier it's not an uncommon Chinese name. I don't think either of them had Christian names so their names would have been Poon X Y. 'Poon' doesn't carry the same connotations in Malaysia, so I don't think they got a lot of grief for their name. We also had a classmate with the last name Poo, which secretly made me both chuckle and despair for her, but I think people left her name alone too.

I on the other hand got a lot of shit for my name, mainly because I share it with a locally-famous actress (and for a while a car model, but the actress was a more common joke). I knew the joke jumped the shark when the freakin' Prime Minister made the same joke upon learning my name, and then a year later I met the actual actress herself and (having disbelieved me until I showed her my IC) she assumed that I was named after her. Woman, I was born before you were famous and changed your name, I could say you were named after me.

I was named after another famous actress though - sort of; my dad mangled/changed up the spelling.
posted by divabat at 10:06 AM on April 25


There is also an Australian politician named Grace Grace; apparently Grace is her married name. Whyyyyyyy would you do that to yourself.
posted by divabat at 10:11 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


My favorite unfortunate name was in the NYTimes a few years back, a kid named Wick Waller who was going to go through life with people just assuming his name was Rick Raller and he had a speech impediment and couldn't say the letter R properly.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:24 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


I see so many bad names in my job. However, I'd feel terrible mentioning any of them because of Google.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:27 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


divabat: "then a year later I met the actual actress herself and (having disbelieved me until I showed her my IC) she assumed that I was named after her. Woman, I was born before you were famous and changed your name, I could say you were named after me."

No way! Why should I change? He's the one who sucks.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:28 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


There was a guy at a company I worked for named Randy Dickman. Which isn't that bad in America, but I'm told it's absolutely hilarious in England.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:29 AM on April 25


Bunny Ultramod is actually a name I have used in the real world. I am not one to point and laugh at anyone else's name.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:59 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Years ago a co-worker and I were going through some orders for a DVD my office was selling, and had to call a few people about their orders. One such person was actually named "James Bond". We dared each other to joke about it when we called, but chickened out; the closest we came was when we were wrapping up the call and my co-worker said "I imagine you must get a lot of people joking about your name."

"Uh, no," the guy said. "What makes you think that anyway?"

We had somehow met a guy named James Bond who also had never heard of the Ian Fleming character. The odds were probably astronomical.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:09 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Mr. Smoketoomuch: Oh, hello. My name is Smoketoomuch.

Mr. Bounder: What?

Mr. Smoketoomuch: My name is Smoketoomuch. Mr. Smoketoomuch.

Mr. Bounder: Well, you'd better cut down a little then.

Mr. Smoketoomuch: I'm sorry?

Mr. Bounder: You'd better cut down a little then.

Mr. Smoketoomuch: Oh, I see! Smoke too much so I'd better cut down a little then!

Mr. Bounder: Yes. Ooh, it's going to get people making jokes about your name all the time, eh?

Mr. Smoketoomuch: No, actually, it never struck me before. Smoketoomuch...
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:13 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Stanton Boyd: What kind of a name is Poon?
Fletch: Comanche Indian.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:14 AM on April 25


While doing some data entry work in translating hard copy patient records to electronic, I came across quite a few unfortunate names, but the one that stuck with me was Candace Hymen. That poor woman.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 11:16 AM on April 25


Vincent Ludwig: Cuban?
Frank: No, Dutch-Irish. My father was from Wales.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:28 AM on April 25


These folks should be on the next Collegiate Bowl team.
posted by MtDewd at 11:46 AM on April 25


While doing some data entry work in translating hard copy patient records to electronic, I came across quite a few unfortunate names, but the one that stuck with me was Candace Hymen. That poor woman.

I used to have a coworker named Candace Beaver. She ended up marrying and divorcing very young; I'm not entirely unconvinced she went through the whole process just to get rid of her maiden name.
posted by The Gooch at 11:58 AM on April 25


On the subject of professional soccer players with curious names: Nicky Butt
posted by The Gooch at 12:09 PM on April 25


bongo_x: "Plenty of people choose their name, we have that option now in case you haven’t been keeping up with the news."

Depends on the country.
posted by Bugbread at 12:20 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


So, let us talk about Loki Skysnake. Dr. Loki Skysnake. The "Dr." kills me.

Also, the coincidence (I hope) of Nohjay Nimpson is delightfully silly.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:46 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


ctrl-F "wee baby" 0 results

Oh, come on, people.
posted by COBRA! at 1:37 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


There was teacher in the physics/engineering department at SRJC named Rich Bacon.


Lest we forget, Davoin Shower-Handel.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:40 PM on April 25


Once had a customer named Sparkle Titsworth.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 3:09 PM on April 25


Once had a customer named Sparkle Titsworth.

Winner. Greatest name ever.
posted by bongo_x at 3:22 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I once had a student, pretty sure she was an artist who renamed herself, named "Euphrasia Curvilinearjky". You could check the class registration and see that it was her official name, not just something she liked to be called. That was a name.

Also once knew a woman whose given name was "Desiree LaVertue". She joked that her mom must have wanted her to be a porn star when she grew up.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:29 PM on April 25


Justice Renaissance is my top name in my the local area.

My top name seen on vacation is Kathleen Buoymaster.
posted by JDC8 at 3:53 PM on April 25


I'm guessing they've just taken Dick Assman out of the running because he'd win every year?
posted by Bugbread at 4:34 PM on April 25


Hah, after I posted the first time, I dealt with the name change of someone who had a name that made him sound like some kind of twinkly female fairy. Happily for him, he got a court order to get rid of it.

Nope, still can't post it, but I was so thinking of this blog...it would have fit right in.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:43 PM on April 25


a kid named Wick Waller

Presumably Wick Walled by his own parents.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:53 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Oh wow! Loki Skylizard was my chief resident for a vascular surgery rotation my intern year. Spoiler: not his birth name.
posted by robstercraw at 5:35 AM on April 26 [4 favorites]


Did he ever explain?!
posted by Omnomnom at 3:41 PM on April 26


So, wait, is it Shamus Beaglehole or Shamu's Beaglehole?

S-E-A-M-U-S. Spell it right, parents. Especially if your last name is Johnson or Wang or something.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:33 PM on April 30


Perhaps they were thinking of "shamus" the Yiddish-derived slang word for private detective?
posted by Chrysostom at 12:38 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Eh, I went to high school with enough weirdly spelled Seans (Shawn, Shon, Shaun, etc) that it people slaughtering Gaelic names no longer resonates.
posted by Sara C. at 12:47 PM on April 30


benito.strauss: "I once had a student, pretty sure she was an artist who renamed herself, named "Euphrasia Curvilinearjky"."

benito.strauss, I was so intrigued by this name that I looked her up and found this memorial website made by her husband: euphrasia.org. I hope it's not too upsetting for you to find out that she died in 2011. Ms Curvilinearjky seems to have been an artist and a fascinating person. In 1991, the American Spectator considered it, "still more evidence for the end of history," when she applied to change her name to:
Euphrasia Lavette Alzena Guri Scientia Ventura Ikuru Alvera Ganbatte Gelasia Curvilinearjky
posted by daisyk at 7:55 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


daisyk, I found the same site when I googled her name before posting that. (I wanted to see if I could find confirmation for something that happened twenty years ago. And that's one very googleable name.) I only knew her as an occasional student in a math class, so it was nice to find that site and see some of work she had done. Those pieces seem to have much the same "math inspired art" feel that her name had, don't they?

Like I said, I barely knew her, but that was name that stuck with you.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:05 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


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