What's in a name?
August 2, 2002 2:46 PM   Subscribe

What's in a name? Apparently not much. One son was named Loser, the other Winner. One became a cop and eventually was promoted to detective - shield number 2762. The other fell into the life of a small-time crook, racking up at least 31 arrests before being sent away for a two-year stretch in state prison - inmate number 00R2807 {found on OpinionJournal}
posted by internal (34 comments total)
This is a bit of a silly story (but good link anyway!) but reaffirms my belief that often it's those who have some sort of disability or hardship who end up being the most determined to actually succeed.

At least.. I know more poor people who became rich than middle class people who became rich.. the poor and the rich seem to jump from one to the other as they go bankrupt or make a million.. whereas the middle classes often just stay there. Perhaps I'm talking BS, so I'll shut up now ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 2:54 PM on August 2, 2002

Wow. Psychological. And this wasn't on ObscureStore? I'm disappointed.

whereas the middle classes often just stay there.

No, it's true, we're generally content. Why try harder when you're already doing fairly well?
posted by insomnyuk at 2:55 PM on August 2, 2002

What's in a name? Try asking this weather expert featured in an MSNBC article the other day: “We’ll definitely be consulted on how to create beautiful conditions for the Olympics,” says Wang Wang, one of China’s foremost experts at Beijing’s Study Institute of Artificial Influence on the Weather. Just another tragic result of sadistic parents.
posted by rrtek at 3:19 PM on August 2, 2002

It reads like one of those faxlore things that Ann Landers used to print once in a while. But it's real. *blink*
posted by dhartung at 3:19 PM on August 2, 2002

I wanted to post that article so badly rrtek, but it was on Drudge, so I figured, 'feh'.
posted by insomnyuk at 3:21 PM on August 2, 2002

Okay, I'll be the first to go on the record and say that I think this story is what my dear ol' grandpappy used to call "baloney".
posted by Shadowkeeper at 3:27 PM on August 2, 2002

What kind of drugs do you have to be on to name your child "Loser"? Isn't that child abuse? Having your child called Loser by everyone, everywhere, for fucking ever unless he changes his name? Ugh.
posted by precocious at 3:42 PM on August 2, 2002

You'd probably be a little jaded after your 8th child, precocious. I don't know if they were on drugs. Is it abuse if the child doesn't mind it?

Maybe it's more abusive to give your child an inflated ego by naming him Winner.
posted by insomnyuk at 3:57 PM on August 2, 2002

OK, there were two brothers lost in the woods, and one was named Shut Up and the other was named Trouble. They got separated and Shut Up was discovered by a policeman. "What's your name?" he said. "Shut Up" said Shut Up. The cop got angry and said "Are you looking for Trouble?"

That was the extent of the new information I learned in second grade.
posted by PrinceValium at 4:14 PM on August 2, 2002

I wonder what their middle names are. Dumbass and Superchamp?
posted by internook at 4:26 PM on August 2, 2002

What kind of drugs do you have to be on to name your child "Loser"?

The same ones taken by the parents of a girl I went to school with that named their daughter "Anita Peter."
posted by machaus at 4:47 PM on August 2, 2002

i went to school with a couple of kids named crystal ice and quicksilver eagle. i'm not sure what kind of drugs the parents were on, but they must have been good, because those kids were out there. (and no, they were not native american).
posted by dolface at 5:09 PM on August 2, 2002

I went to school with a girl whose parents had named her Chastity. Wishful thinking on their part, I suppose...

I wasn't friends with her, so I'm not sure how she felt about the irony of her name when she became sexually active. Egads.
posted by popvulture at 6:07 PM on August 2, 2002

whoa... feeling a little less hate for my first name today. yep.

i know a costume designer named Ima who married a very nice sound tech with the last name of Dick. needless to say she goes by her maiden name.
posted by t r a c y at 6:45 PM on August 2, 2002

At the college computer help desk at the beginning of the year people have trouble logging into the computers, so they come up, tell us their name and we give them their id. One guy comes up to us and would not tell us his name, he just passed over his id card, his name was Fuk Yu. Pronounced just like you would expect.
posted by Iax at 8:26 PM on August 2, 2002

I had a client named Tom Astle. One day I called up and asked for him and the receptionist was thrown off by my sloppy pronunciation. I had to carefully enunciate to avoid further offense.
My parents named my little brother Wilbur. He went through school using his full name, got nicknamed Horse, occasionally was called Wil but had no trouble with a mildly amusing name.
posted by mutagen at 8:38 PM on August 2, 2002

I once worked with a woman named Candy Kane. Her sister was named Sugar. Her brother was Coe. She described her parents as "a couple of comedians."
posted by Chief Typist at 10:25 PM on August 2, 2002

Knew a guy in college named Dick Little. Thought then that kids should be able to sue parents for their names. Then in New Hampshire, my congressman was named: Dick Swett.

Yep. That was on his letterhead and everything.
posted by sacre_bleu at 11:09 PM on August 2, 2002

In Christchurch, New Zealand, Gavin Tickle's wife Tess is well-known.

I have also seen a birth notice for a Teresa Green.

Prominent NZ athlete Dick Quax was also the punchline for a puerile joke or three.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:51 PM on August 2, 2002

What about the parents who wanted a unique spin on the name "Ashley" (or perhaps they were really bad spellers) and named their daughter "Ashole"?

At my school a Vietnamese student lived down the hall from me, his name was Phock Yu. (Iax, I wonder if he was related to Fuk?)

I also got a kick out of the kid named Michael Jackson. I mean, give the kid a break!

Last week I met a tall, lanky white guy named Chris Rock. Dude must be hating life.

My mom, a teacher, will always remember a student she had named Vaselina.
posted by Fofer at 12:03 AM on August 3, 2002

Here in Korea, better than 95% of folks have names with three syllables. Some have two syllables, and a very few have four. Surnames are always one syllable : Kim, Ee (romanized as 'Lee' or 'Yee'), Yoo, Oh, and so on.

Amongst the common particles that go to make up the 'first' or given names of both boys and girls are the syllables 'Bum' and 'Suk' and 'In'.

I have actually had students in the past with the (romanized) names Yoo Suk Bum and Ee In Bum, for example.

This continues to amuse me when it happens, which proves what a moron I am.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:21 AM on August 3, 2002

And let's not forget River Phoenix and Leaf Phoenix. Products of 60s parents. Only Joaquin seemed to have a normal name. Seemed...
posted by timyang at 2:44 AM on August 3, 2002

Oh, I just remembered. My wife went to college with a gal named Urethra.
posted by internook at 6:00 AM on August 3, 2002

There was a man running for office in my university town named Richard Schmack.
posted by wells at 6:34 AM on August 3, 2002

I went to high school with a Richard Hedde and Michael Hunt, and both of my sisters and I had classes with one or more members of the Ho family (my classmate was Duong, who pronounced his name 'Young'.)
posted by Danelope at 7:33 AM on August 3, 2002

And I went to school with Jenny Taylor (maybe it needs a certain accent).
posted by andrew cooke at 7:58 AM on August 3, 2002

The Apple family which I knew back in school had their kids named Candy and Adam.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2002

I knew someone named Boom Boom Kaboom. (not sure how it was spelled, but that's how it was pronounced.)
posted by jragon at 11:12 AM on August 3, 2002

andrew cooke: I get it; touché.
posted by Fofer at 6:27 AM on August 4, 2002

joe's_spleen: I have also seen a birth notice for a Teresa Green.

I don't get it. Spill.
posted by taz at 7:08 AM on August 4, 2002

Maybe it's more abusive to give your child an inflated ego by naming him Winner.

Interesting point, insomnyuk. Who can tell why Loser turns out a winner, and Winner becomes a loser?

I was at a minor league baseball game in PA where one of the outfielders was named Wonderful Terrific Monds. (He eventually went up to the Atlanta Braves, but I don't think for long.) Actually, he was named Wonderful Terrific Monds III.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:00 AM on August 4, 2002

timyang, unless I'm mistaken Joaquin is Leaf Phoenix.

My parents knew a Candace Bar (daughter of a dentist) and a Barbara Doll. They were friends with a couple named Lochs who considered naming there daughter Goldie. And in the school my father taught in he had a Orangejello and a Lemonjello. (Pronounced Or-ONZJ-elo and Lah-MON-zjelo.)
posted by kayjay at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2002

Speaking of natural nameses . . . Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has a brother, Leaves, who is a professor in Seattle (I believe).
posted by somethingotherthan at 7:32 PM on August 6, 2002

*names, of course
posted by somethingotherthan at 7:33 PM on August 6, 2002

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