Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Harry Beaver!

Each Wednesday’s Afternoon Inquisition is presented by the previous winner of the Comment o’ the Week. Today’s question comes courtesy of Chasmosaur, who writes:

So offline, I don’t go by a dinosaur name (surprise!). I actually have an unusual and gender neutral name, but it’s one more commonly thought of as a boy’s name, not a girl’s. My parents weren’t being creative – it’s a family name that pops up every few generations (and always on a woman). As an adult, I embrace my unusual name, but growing up with it wasn’t much fun. And it is still an occasional source of confusion or amusement to many.

Yet my name is, by far, not the worst I’ve ever heard or heard of. For example, one of the doctors that practiced in the Washington, DC area where I grew up – who was an excellent doctor and a superlative human being – was an OB-GYN who was named Harry Beaver. (I wish I was joking about that, but I’m not. Feel free to Google it.)

What’s the most problematic, apropos and/or embarrassing name you’ve ever run across? And…*honestly*…how did you react when you heard it?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Superstar 5 Jemima is a little girl living here in California. She’s the fifth of six kids…all with interesting names. We tried to get our friends to name their kid (born two years ago) The ORIGINAL Superstar 5 Jemima. But they wouldn’t go for it. Their loss. They could have fought it out on Springer later in life.

  2. Most recently, I came across a urologist whose name is Dr. Cox. I laughed a lot and told everyone around me because I am just that mature.

    Mrs. Manly made me snicker, as did Yu Hu.

  3. I always laughed when I heard an interview with former international doping agency chairman Dick Pound.

    But I have the mind of a 5 yearold.

  4. When I had gallbladder surgery, my surgeon was the excellent and well respected colorectal specialist Doctor Hiney.

    My reaction was an eyebrow raised as if to say, “mmm?”. His reply was an equally silent and almost imperceptible head-tilt of, “ungh.”

  5. A friend on collage had an adoptive Vietnamese brother. The brother had kept his name Hung Duc and added the American family name, Strong. The father of the boys was named Stan.

    The funny thing was, that when I started laughing at “Hung Duck Strong” the brother didn’t get the joke. He was born after the adoption and had always taken the name for granted.

    Had a similar thing happen with a Bear’s fan. He didn’t see what was so funny about Dick Butkus until I said it slowly a few times because he’d been reading the name, not sounding it out.

  6. I have no verification that this person actually exists, but a friend of a friend told me he worked with a guy named Mike Hunt. Seriously, if that were my name, I would definitely go by “Michael”.

  7. A joke I made up and posted a while back on Penn and Teller site: If Penn Jillette were gay,married Sean Penn and lived in Philadelphia his writing implements would be Pennsylvania Penn Penn’s pens.

  8. I can’t really think of one that I know, but a friend of mine used to take tae kwon do from an instructor whose last name was ‘Bates’, so on official documents he was ‘Master Bates’.

  9. My sister worked at a bank, which had clients with the first name “Fok Yu” and “Cinderella”. In my own job I’ve come across physicians with the names “Po Ki” and “Tah Kee”. My first instinct is to email my friends as soon as I have a chance…I know, not so mature.

  10. Recalling the earlier discussion about taking your husband’s name upon marriage here’s an argument against doing so: A friend of my mother became Eurie Nates.

  11. I used to work for the largest health insurance company in Massachusetts and ran across a Dr. Dick Hanwacker.

    I believe my initial reaction was to guffaw but I could be misremembering a chortle.

  12. My eye doctor is Dr. Stephen Hirt. (Ouch!)

    I’ve done transcription work for Dr. Edward Brown, gastroenterologist in Maryville, TN. (How appropriate!)

    I worked in a Japanese travel agency about 10 years ago, and there was a family with the last name of Ichinose. That always made me giggle. :D

  13. In Norway some people are taking internationalization into consideration and forgoing names that either contain a nordic letter, like my name (it’s spelled Bjørnar), or mean something in English, such as Odd, Even, Bent and Bernt. My dad is Odd, and features on a list somewhere online of funny names in international banking, my cousin Bjørn Even goes by only Bjorn after a trip to the US (well, actually he might have dropped Even a little before that).

    Me, I’ve got Odd Even at the top of my baby-names list.

    Oh, and then there was the Norwegian born football player Bernt Bakken…

  14. One name I recall hearing, I know not the context, was Wanki Tang (this might not be the spelling, but this is the best guess I have given the way it’s pronounced). I can’t help but laugh like some kind of eurocentric bastard when I hear this name.

    Also, when I spent a lot of time searching the internet for people (for a living), I encounted a person by the name of Mohandas Warrior, who was the CEO of a company. Could you imagine having to report to Mr. Warrior every day?

  15. The first several times I saw the political signs to elect Dick Sweat in New Hampshire, I assumed a group made them up as a joke.

    I had a teacher named “Mr. Holway” which I didn’t even see anything weird about until a relative laughed her ass off, asking if I had a “Mrs. Chalkboard” as well.

  16. This sucks! My wife had a great story of a genetic test she had to conduct on a guy but I can’t reveal his name because of patient confidentiality! Grrr!!!!!
    When religous fundies say that athiests have no morals, remember this moment.

  17. Anyone else remember the 70’s TV Show “That’s Incredible”? They used to have people send in phone-book pages with unusual names.

    Clearly memorable, my favorite was, “Weldon Rumproast”.

  18. I have 3.

    1. A woman who used to work for my father was named Welcome Friend.

    2. there was an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery named Dr. Bohne.

    3. Clutterbuck. Named his business after himself. Can’t say more. Laughing too hard.

  19. @Expatria Pro wrestler (and right-wing ranter) Ultimate Warrior had his name legally changed to Warrior.

    @Felicity. While doing data entry for employee payroll, I did come across a Mike Hunt. I thought they were screwing around with the new guy.

    Now, back to the topic. Not a human name, but a street name.

    I had a temp job once double checking names and addresses for a mailout of employee benefits.

    Turns out the morons at this company thought it would be a good idea to let the employees input their prefered mailing addresses, thus resulting in a lot of wannabe Oscar Wildes believing that claiming they lived at 69 Butt Street to be the pinnacle of wit.

    Anyhoo, some small town Quebec employee had the address of ‘420 bord del’eau’ Boulevard. (Try to pronounce that like you’ve had at least one French lesson in your life) I spent 45 minutes going through employee files and databases and alternate files, only to come up with the same stupid address, before finally determining it real via Google Maps.

    Said company also had a Randy Peters working for them.

  20. I worked with a Dick Horney once. Honestly I laughed when I first heard it. He liked to be called Rick, but we only did that to his face. When he got married they each changed their last names to avoid passing the scourge along to the next generation.

  21. My grandmother was named Johnnie Walker. My great-grandfather was famed for being a teetotaller and, presumably, for his sense of humor.

  22. Like Chasmosaur, I’ve got a gender neutral first name (Leigh) which causes lots of confusion since I do telephone and email technical support.

    My favorite first name to mute the phone and giggle at is an Indian one – Dikshit.

  23. My friend had a plastic surgeon named David David. We couldn’t figure out how his parents missed that- it’s not like he could have taken a bad name on marriage.

    I’ve also known an Iona Pool and a Yung Ho. There are, of course, the embarrassing things that happen when parents let their children name themselves; my mom’s friends let their son name himself Nintendo (“’cause look how well it worked out for Picabo Street!”).

  24. I’ve got three.
    1. My dad once had a patient named Gerwood Dingleberry
    2. I’ve run into someone at a few conferences named Nguyen Nguyen
    3. I’m only partially sure this is a name, but in upstate NY near Niagra Falls there’s a funeral home called Amigone Funeral Home. I spotted it and just about died. It’s supposed to be the inspiration for the Goo Goo Dolls song by the same name.

  25. I do a lot of shipping, and the salespeople are supposed to vet the leads. Once, I got a request to ship to a “Gang Wei”. I called the salesguy to make sure he’s vetted the person. “Oh, yeah, its a real guy!”

    The shipment ended up coming back-no such person.

  26. Oh, and I also have a gender neutral first name. I get a lot of mail to Mr. Bailey. I also get the comment “oh we have a dog called Bailey” constantly…

  27. I crossed paths with a guy born on a hippie commune named Yellow Light Breen, a really sharp guy. We competed in some mathematics tournaments while in high school and he seemed to always be the top scorer. He went on to get a law degree from Harvard.

  28. There used to be a car dealer in my area that was named Dick Slocum. I thought it would be great if they ran an ad that said “at our dealership, ladies always come first”.

    Also knew a guy named Les Moore, that’s just kinda mean.

    My favorite from Bart Simpson calling Moe’s is “Amanda Hugginkiss”. And Moe yells “Why can’t I find Amanda Hugginkiss?” That still cracks me up.

  29. We have a surgical oncologist here named “Harry Bear”. Now that I’ve heard Harry Beaver, it doesn’t seem quite as funny. I have a lot of strange ones, but the one that really threw me was when I saw this name written: La-A. I had no idea what to call the woman, so when I met her I asked her how to pronounce her name and she told me “the dash is NOT silent”. It’s LaDasha- and that was the way it was spelled on her birth certificate.

    A very popular baby name around here lately is “Nevaeh.” It took me seeing it 5-6 times before I realized it’s heaven backwards.

  30. @mulveyr: If I’m thinking of the same Dr. Stopp, I used to live on the same little suburban street. Been a while though.

    My mother was a nurse and worked with a “Dr. Donald Duckles”.

  31. I have a relative named Rob Roy.

    Met a guy named Noel Christmas. I thought he was pulling my leg until he showed me his driver’s license, credit card, etc…. and then I felt like a jerk.

    @HERD_Dad: Urgh, I had a high school teacher who called me Amanda Hugginkiss. He was a big creepy pervert.

  32. Don’t have any good names that I’ve come across. However if we go with streets, in a nearby town Free Street intersects with Virgin Street for much hilarity when reading the sign.

  33. Boyfriend worked with a Mr. Dickmerchant once, that was funny.

    In our database at work we have a Friendship Wang, a F. U. (who refuses to give actual names), a Dwight Butz, and then James T. Kirk.

    I had to terminate James T. Kirk… it was rather hard to process tht file let me tell you.

    Oh, and I dated a guy with the last name of Sprinkle. David P. Sprinkle.

  34. My name causes problems sometimes, though it is unusual I make a point of pronouncing it very clearly when I say it to someone. People still can’t seem to get it right. I swear they listen to the first syllable and just make up the rest.
    There are a lot of Aboriginal people living here in Winnipeg, so it’s not unusual to come across people with the name of Beaver, Moose etc, but sometimes they do lead to some amusement. Destiny Duck sounds like a comic book character. I’ve also met a Morning Sky and Autumn Rain (brother and sister), but these names are traditional and (I think) quite pretty.
    A friend works at a research centre and found herself doing data entry for newborns. One of a set of twins was named Skywalker. Seriously.
    I also worked with a girl whose first name was M. Just M, nothing else. It was kind of cute, but I can’t imagine the nightmare this is going to cause this poor girl when she has to start filling out forms and such (Em would have been much better).
    I met a girl when I was a kid whose name was Polly Wally. She didn’t like to tell people her last name. Her parents thought it was cute. She swore she’d change her name when she grew up.

    There’s a street here called “Cockburn” (pronounced Co-burn) that always makes me giggle.

  35. Went to school with two sisters: Summer Rain and Spring Rain. Of course, this was California. There were also two unrelated girls both named Camelot. When this topic comes up I always recall Frank Zappa being questioned about the names he gave his kids and he said “You know, it always seems to be the last name that gets people bent out of shape.”

  36. @catgirl: Yep, she was in her early 20s. Funny, I’ve never heard of it before or since then. If not for the HIPAA violation, I’d be saving the stickers of all of the different names I’ve seen- just to prove they were real.

  37. At a philosophy cafe, I met a guy called Ryefield.
    There’s a chiropractor whose practice is near my house, named Dr. Payne.
    One of the congregants at my parents’ church is named Robin Hood.
    My brother’s middle name is Sheldon. I guess it’s not funny in and of itself, but it seems like most people start laughing when they find out.

  38. Oh, how could I forget this one?

    I listen to a number of BBC podcasts, and occasionally they’ll get into current events and news. This means I get to hear about a whole host of UK politicians I’d otherwise never know.

    The best name amongst that often-fruitful bunch, however, is Ed Balls.

    I simply cannot hear the name Ed Balls without laughing.

  39. I swear to you all on my life that my father’s name is Harry Richard, but he goes by a shortened version of his middle name, Dick.

    Yes, my dad’s name is Harry Dick. We tease him often.

  40. I didn’t exactly know her but one of the old head girls at my school was listed as ‘Fanny Hole’.

    The thing that makes it worse is this was in the UK – slightly different meaning here.

    The thing that hopefully makes it better is this was in the early part of the 20th century so it probably didn’t have the same connotations then. Still made us laugh though.

  41. @catgirl: You know….I can’t remember! It was some pet name that other people probably thought was a nickname… but now I think about it, I wonder what they put on the birth certificate? He was 3 when he named himself (his sister went with Lightning, which, living in hippy-dense with lots of Mosses and Mountains and Fawns running around, I found less odd).

    And how could I forget about my uncle Randy John?

  42. There’s a realtor here in Toronto called Mike Costapile.

    I was on my bike when I first saw his name on a sign. I laughed out loud, then hit a pothole.

    Bet HE doesn’t sell too many houses!

  43. The chief of psychiatry at my old university was Dr. Head, the head head doctor.

    Oddest name of a little girl at a local elementary school: La Felonia.

    I once had a legal case where three children of the deceased had names that only differed by a single letter. Except for Marvin, who was evidently born , as his father declared, “before my wife went crazy’.

  44. An employee of one of our customers is named Cal Steele. Best “Adult Entertainment name that is actually a real name” that I’ve ever come across. He has an amazingly deep voice (like Barry White deep), too.

    There’s a Major League Baseball player Kosuke Fukudome, which is hilarious until you realize he’s Japanese and it’s thus pronounced roughly like “Foo-Coo-Doh-May”.

  45. In a previous job I worked with a “Mike Hunt” although on a day to day basis he used his middle name.

    Just the other day I had to help a “Janette Taylor” with some system problem she was having.

  46. Oh! I’ve got another one!

    My sister’s married name is Fuchs. It’s pronounced “Fox,” …but not by everyone. Poor girl. Should’ve kept out maiden name.

  47. Bart simpson: Is Harry there, last name Beaver?

    Moe: Is there a Harry Beaver hear? Do I have A Harry Beaver?

    Bart: HAHAHAHA!

    Moe: If I ever find you I’ll slice your heart in half!

  48. There is a popular local doctor that does vasectomies who’s name is Dick Chop.

    A friend of min is Sherry Cary. Everyone in her family has a rhyming name, one of which is Harry. I haven’t checked recently to see if he’s still alive.

    I went to school with a girl named Afrika Refegee. She was, of course, a woman of color.

    I find all these names distractingly ridiculous. They make me snicker and roll my eyes.

  49. I also knew a genuine redneck family growing up in west Texas. There were to brothers, Wrangler and Rustler. Their brother Levi died when he was a baby.

  50. Wow – girl skips out on her AI post for some meetings and look what happens :D

    My personal favorite with my gender neutral name? When someone meets me in person for the first time after lots of e-mail exchange, I get “Wow, I didn’t realize you were a girl/woman/chick – you’re so good at what you do.”

    I used to get angry, now I just laugh.

    Oh, and here’s some information on Dr. Beaver. Really, really, really nice man with an unfortunate name…

  51. A friend of my family was going to name their child Stu (Stew) but changed that idea quickly. Their last name, Pedersen (pronounced pede-er-son). Stu Pedersen.
    It’s a real shame when these sorts of things don’t pan out. I think we should all take the time to say God Bless you Mother and Father of Harry Dick, Harry Beaver, Harib Restesses, etc. The world wouldn’t be the same without your insight. <3

  52. Oh, and I have an ex-boyfriend whose last name was Berthalot. You better believe when we started talking about potential marriage, I insisted I would never take *that* name. And he was offended.

  53. @catgirl: I know right? Sad thing… my coworkers had no idea why I flipped out. “do you know him or something?” No! It’s frikin James T. Kirk! I mean… come on!

    Also working here is a Merry January. I peeked, she is married so she used to be Merry something else….

  54. I wait tables at a restaurant and I recently had a customer come in and order our appetizer combo platter which has a little bit of all the items on our appetizer menu. When I ran his credit card to pay for his meal I saw the name on his card was actually A. Sampler.

  55. Working with customer’s I’ve encountered all kinds… My all time favorite is Bich Ho.

    There is also a NASCAR driver (although I don’t think he drives anymore) named Dick Trickle. Bahahahaha!!!

  56. I went to school with a Candy Barr. My friend Bub’s sister is Candy Corn.

    I’ve also seen Bambi Lustgarten (no idea of her profession).
    Dr. Rod Steele, I cannot verify whether or not he was an urologist.
    Merri Christmas was an elementary school friend’s mom.
    My husband had an elementary school teacher named Mr. Faust. He told them his first name was Mephistofeles. None of them got it. My husband actually looked him up when he was 14 to tell him he finally got the joke.

    The husband and I also each knew a guy named Enoch, at separate ends of the country, so I doubt it was the same guy.

    A co-worker named his kid Malachai, and I asked him why he hated that baby.

  57. @13

    The truency officer when I was in high school in Ohio was named Mike Hunt… and he went by Mike. I don’t think the adults in town even got the joke, or if they did they were always “too polite” to say anything. Everyone also made a big deal by saying his name as two *very* separate words or just calling him Mr. Hunt. The fact that his job was to literally hunt down kids who were skipping school was kinda cool though.

  58. Growing up there was a local child who was into playing sports named Brian Rains. In my area, all sports jerseys came first initial, last name.

    Every time I saw B RAINS running around on the field, I would laugh and laugh. …turns out I’m not good at sports; I’m easily distracted.

  59. My lifelong nick name -short for Genevieve- is Gennie (pronounced Jenny). The last name of my boyfriend of several years now is Penny.

    Family and friends have re-nick named me ‘Jenny Penny’ for the last couple of years for their own amusement.

  60. Can’t say I’ve run across any particularly humorous names but my brother in law is Philip Morris, I have a cousin Brian Wilson and the guy who runs my local comic shop has an Uncle Tom Sawyer who has a cabin.

  61. At my last job I worked with Hung Fok, his son Tung Fok, his daughter Wing Fok, and his other son Kevin Fok. They changed their name to Fox for school and I believe the daughter kept it that way.

  62. You probably won’t believe me, but Harry Beaver actually delivered my brother. I remember hearing about his hilarious name (without fully understanding it) back when I was a little kid.

    But the weirdest I’ve heard was when my friend Meg told me she knew a lady who had twins and named them Lemonjello and Orangejello. I don’t actually have any confirming evidence that that really happened, but it’s the weirdest I’ve heard.

  63. @banyan: I believe that actually happened…isn’t that in Freakonomics? I’ve certainly heard about it for years. A similar one is pronounced “shi-teed” and spelled Shithead.

  64. Worked in the local paper mill with a real-life Mike Hunt, so at least one does exist. And he’s a dick. Or he was when I knew him.

    A couple of guys I knew in school; Jack Enoff and Bartholomew B. Bartholomew. Six guesses what the B. stood for.

    In the Navy, I was stationed with a fella named Swallows who was an E3, which made him a Seaman. The first day we sounded off, last name then rate, so “Swallows, Seaman!” I’m afraid I actually guffawed. Chief threatened to take away my mustache chit. “Do you like that mustache, Petty Officer H****!? Do you want to keep it!?” followed by a lot of “Sorry, Chief! Yes, Chief! You’re absolutely right, Chief! Totally inappropriate, Chief!”

    Finally, driving through the U.P. one day saw a wooden sign erected across a driveway with the family name emblazoned on it; Huschitt! I have a picture of it.

  65. You probably won’t believe me, either, but my mother once taught a child named Placenta because her mother heard it in the hospital and thought it sounded pretty. I also heard another story of a child whose mother saw the pink “Female” bracelet on her wrist at birth and thought the hospital had named her that… Of course, they pronounced it like “Tamale,” but still.

  66. Interesting surnames I have encountered while wrangling employee files include Sloppy, Vile, Doody, Lizardi, and Barfuss. There’s also a Kernel Snow, and I think a few people’s parents may have just mashed at a keyboard to come up with names…their poor daughters have to go through life as Kraichelle and Jovaughnna.

  67. The photographer who did the school photos for my high school was named Harry Dong. You can probably guess the typical student reactions.

  68. I worked with a guy name Michael Hawk. I worked with him for a few years before I realized why he wouldn’t let anyone call him Mike. It would’ve been hilarious to transfer phone calls and say “Please hold for Mike Hawk.”

  69. Merrie Christmas. I kid you not !!
    There was an article in the paper about how pathetic she thought it was and how people laughed at her any time of year, but particularly around Christmas.

  70. I went to school with a girl whose name was Holly Noel. She refused to tell us her middle name. Insult to injury – she was short and thin, and had flaming red hair. She looked like a little Christmas elf.

    Hmm… OH! I had a professor at UNC named Richard Superfine. He was the best – he taught a physics class that is my favorite class ever, to this day.

  71. In Minneapolis there is a veterinarian named Dr. Doolittle (Apache Animal Hospital).

    My last name is Coates and for most of my mom’s pregnancy she was going to name me Spring. Then she realized that would make me Spring Coates.
    My grandfather was Harry Coates.

    I have a friend that found a Henada Titsov in the Colorado Springs phone book in the early 1990s.

    But the worst was a girl I met on the speech-and-debate circuit in high school. We started the round by writing our last names on the board. I wrote Coates. She wrote Nipple.
    The judge asked her how to pronounce her name. It was pronounced nipple.

  72. First off, my mother named me while still loopy from ether. My first name is Jody. Imagine if you will going thru school in the 60’s and 70’s with a handle like that? Most people knew me as Joe which drove my mom crazy because she thought mt name was CUTE! Blech, I’m a 53 year old guy. I don’t need cute. However, after all these years, I don’t much care any more so I use my given name and if people don’t like it they can…well, do something unmentionable.
    I did work for a guy years ago who was named Richard Small. I’m not kidding. Poor Dick, and I thought I had it bad. He must have been verbally brutalized as a kid which explains why he was such a nutter when I knew him.

  73. @xrelaht: That’s funny, my girlfriend actually studied Tae Kwon Do under a Master Bates when she was in high school.

    The most ridiculous names that I’ve encountered belong to a family of hippies living in my home city. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the father has legally changed his name to ‘Happy Go Lucky’. He subsequently names his kids ‘Chances Are Good’ ‘Maximum Jazz’ and ‘Moon Unit’.

    I can’t remember his wife’s name or the names of his other children, but needless to say, most everyone in town has at least heard of Happy. To broadcast his eccentricity even more clearly, he paints his car in vivid airbrushed colors and glues flowers, foam flotation noodles and other colorful things to the outside. The car is referred to by city residents as ‘the Happy-mobile’.

  74. Does this count?

    For years, I somehow failed to notice I married someone with an unfortunate set of initials. The first time it was brought to my attention was in spending a major holiday with my (now ex-)wife’s family, and all of them, without the least self-consciousness, consistently referred to her by her first two initials: B.J.

    It took a great deal of effort to maintain composure in front of so many people I was meeting for the first time. When we were finally alone, though, I gave her a lot of grief for it.

    We’re divorced now.

  75. The worst well-intentioned name was a friend-of-a-friend who named their unfortunate daughter Jenna Taylor. They obviously didn’t say it aloud.

    I think that this (real; I’ve seen it) birth announcement wins, though:

    Tuhleesha-Jyzz Areol, a new sister for Pryncess, Daitoner, Jaxxson and Burley.

  76. When I was a teenager I was looking up a phone number in a phone book ( yes, a phone book ) and I serendipitously came across the name Bippin Dikshit. How did I respond? I was a teenager!!! So I called him simply to say, “how are you Mr. Dikshit?” As I discovered, he had a bunch of children, so I also got to say, ” and how are all the little Dikshits?” What I discovered was that this was REALLY a VERY nice man. I wish there were more Dikshits in this world. The world would be a better place with more Dikshits. Dikshits rule!!!

    Sigh … see why I had to call?

    Geez … now where’s that phone book?

  77. I know no one will believe me, but I know this girl named simply “A”. I guess she put together some calendars and is some sort of reverend now, whatever. But she’s a real girl! ;)

  78. I know these are different, but I work at a pizza place. We have customer who’s name is Steve who lives on Perry Ave, we have a David who likes on Blaine st., and we do have a customer who’s name is Robert DeNiro. With that said, Harpo Marx’s birthname was Adolf Marx, during WW2 he changed his name.

  79. Oh my, I’ve had some belly laughs from this thread!

    Okay…I once knew a Mr Sidebottom who swore it was pronounced ‘siddy-bo-tom’.

    I did a ghost hunt with a group of believers at Placerville cemetery, CA, last year, and everyone was laughing at the grave marked “Harry Ball”. This doesn’t work in Australian English…

    Best of all is a friend of a friend formerly known as Richard Hairs. I went to his wedding and recall the restaurant staff snickering during the reception speeches introducing “Mr and Mrs Richard Hairs”.

    He’s since changed his name to “Harris”…

  80. There’s the famous Florida keys Fire cheif ‘Bum’ Farto (look it up; it’s true). There’s the, equally, famous Silver Age Marvel comics inker Dick Ayres. An ex-editor of mine is good friends with a man called Willy Smellie and, in the early eighties, I used to pass by an asian takeaway restaraunt in the South Yardley area of Birmingham (England) called the Tung Shiit.

  81. I had a substitute teacher in 3rd grade named Mrs. Heartless.

    A friend of mine used to date a guy named Les Moore.

    In college, there was a guy in my dorm (he was a round fellow and not very nice) who introduced himself as Ed Mellon. We used to call him ‘Sex Ed’ and ‘Phys Ed’ until we learned his real name: Walter.

  82. Not a persons name but a companies, there is a famous one in Pompey (Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK) called Wayne Kerr
    they has moved now in Chi!
    a running thread in New Scientist which the BBC (Magazine bit) covers too has been nominative determinism for example Tam Fry, of the UK’s National Obesity Forum

    my cousins have unfortunate initials which were pointed out by my mother to no hilarity by the said cousins parents (dour Scotts you can tell can’t you) Duncan Ian Barlow and Donald Andrew Barlow i think thats the right way round but DIB and DAB any way
    this thread has made me spit my coffee over the keyboard

  83. Due to matters of confidentiality I can’t reveal exactly who told me this but someone I know works as a social worker and one of her clients was a teenage mother who named her child Fellatio. When she was asked why, she said she didn’t know what it mean’t but she thought it sounded exotic.

    She was promptly marched down to the local council office to have the kids name changed but the real mystery is which member of staff at the office of Births, Marriages & Deaths actually allowed it in the first place.

    On a separate note, my wife knows someone who named their child Bling. I’m beginning to worry about the area we live in.

  84. I hate being called “Barb,” because I went to school with a “Barb DeWyer.” So now Barb makes me think of pointy things.

    A doctor in Urology was Dr. Stream.

    I had a child named “Unique Bell” when I was a teacher…her mom’s name is “Argentina.”

    And an Indian child with the 1st name “Porus.” Sponge. I always wanted to call him Sponge!!!

    The best paitent name I’ve seen here at the hospital was “Lieutenant Chick,” a woman.
    I see a lot of great patient names.

  85. I have a few.

    I went to middle school with a girl named Marijuana Turner.

    I worked for a while with a lady named Velveeta. She’s great – she’d embraced the name and the humor that came with it.

    I play cards sometimes with a guy named Rodney Hard. Sometimes goes by Rod. He’s a chiropractor, so he answers his phone “Dr. Hard…”

    Finally, back in the 80’s here in town there was an OB-GYN by name of Dr. Hyman.

  86. In high school, I had a biology teacher named Ms. Moss.

    When I volunteered at a city hospital a decade or so ago, I remember encountering all sorts of interesting names on patient lists in the pediatric clinic. There were the five-year-old twins named Cinderella and Madonna — I wonder how they’re dealing with those names now that they’re teenagers.

    And then there was the toddler named Christian Moron. (Pronounced Moh-ROHN, I’m sure, but still.)

  87. @ cypressgreen

    I almost bought a house on Smutty Lane. I couldn’t do it. Now … if Mr Dikshit were to be my neighbor … perhaps I’d have overlooked it.

  88. I used to pass by a Savage Chiropracty on my way home from school. It always entertained me – why would you name your business that?

    There’s a children’s dentist in my city who does a lot of advertising called Dr Jaws. I’m not sure whether it’s his last name or his initials, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the two.

    There used to be a japanese place near my house called Yuki Sushi. Presumably actually pronounce you-key, but I derived great amusement from calling it ‘yucky sushi’. This is possibly why I’m averse to trying sushi.

    There was a girl at my middle school named Alicia Hooker that I always felt sorry for. In elementary and middle school, I had a lot of classmates with just plain unusual names. Carter-Thaxton, Lyda (lie-duh), Michaela (mih-kay-luh), Salika (everyone always said sal-EYE-ka, no, it’s sal-ee-kah), Ludek (iirc short for Ludomil, he was polish), Paetia (pay-sha. She was forever getting pah-ee-tea-uh.) As for last names… Machibya (first generation american, mother from kenya), Dunatunga (also first generation american, parents from Sri Lanka), Mechler (mek-ler, not mesh-ler), Wieszkowski (which I probably spelled wrong, polish), Spiri (italiam, shorted by her ancestors on immigration from Spirinigidigliosi, which is a pretty awesome name)…. yeah. I don’t know what it was with gifted classes and weird names.

    Also, there’s a girl in my neighborhood named Dragonfly. It suits her completely. I will note that her mother was sixteen when she had her, and considered naming her child Butterfly. Dragonfly’s little brother is named Tovar.

    Ooh, and I forgot my family! I have an uncle John Smith, which is kind of amusing in its clichedness. I have a cousin who has been called almost exclusively Toadie for years and years and years (her name is actually Dynette) who has two kids, Hatcher and Kaia. Her nieces are, in order of age, Addie, Bria, and Caymen. (I honestly don’t remember what Addie is short for. She’s I think thirteen or fourteen now and has been called just Addie since ever.)

    Argh! I have fallen victim to long rambly post syndrome again!

  89. I worked at a grocery store years ago, and an old woman paid with a check. Her name was Purple Hayes. Check color: purple.

    Now, where I live, sometimes I drive by a chiropractic office where a Dr. Will Tickel own’s the joint.

  90. @halincoh:

    I live quite near Bonar Place. I shouldn’t find it funny, but I do.

    I also live near Rectory Lane but there is nothing funny about that name at all. I don’t know why I mentioned it.

  91. Fanny Payne

    Phuk U Ho and his wife Tryet Ho

    Mister Butler – He was an elderly black man. His mother insisted on naming him Mister, no middle name, so everyone would have to address him with respect.

    LaTrine – One of two qualified job applicants. Her mother liked it because it sounded French. When I met her, she did not even know what her name might indicate. I hired the applicant named Christi because I could not spend my day calling for LaTrine.

  92. From my mother-in-law working at a hospital “Orangejello and Lemonjello” (or-ah-ng-el-lo and leh-mon-jello) aparently after the flavors available when they were born.

    I had a crush on (first middle names) Misty Dawn.

    Had clients Niambi Niambi, one with last name of Penis (I called and asked, with hesitation, for Mr. Pen-ehs. He said “No, it’s Penis.”)

  93. When I worked pizza delivery we had a regular customer named Charles Molestor.

    There’s a doctor in my mother’s hometown named Mike Hunt. Sadly, he’s not a gynecologist.

    One of the summer students we had working in my department was named Sparkles Springfield. I know she was born too long ago for her mother to have named her for it, but I always thought of the Mr. Sparkles episode of The Simpsons when I heard her name.

    Oh, and one of the guys in our sister department here is named Faqing Yu.

  94. Oh, and there’s also a professor here named Dr. Miao. Who has very cat-like facial features.

    After I mentioned him to a friend when talking, he named the new cat he got a few months ago after the professor.

    So now his cats are named Chairman Meow and Dr. Meow. Or “The Chairman” and “The Doctor” for short.

  95. At least more than 25 years ago, an Airman Basic at Lackland Air Force Base with the unfortunate last name of “Guess”.

    Until you get nametapes sewn on your uniforms, you can imagine how often the drill instructors scream “What’s your name, airman?”. Then, you can imagine how well this kid’s answer was.


    Might be a war story, it was told to me by my boss in 1985 and this guy had been in the force for 18 years by then.

    Either way, it’s a good story.

  96. Hah, I love this topic! I don’t know of anyone personally, but I run into a lot of weird and funny names on a daily basis since i’m a database technician. Some that make me smurk are Lois Fuchs, Charles Gayman, B. Shiner, Freddie H. Fu, Scot Fugger, Mark End, H.W. Queer, Vernon Longwill, June Dicks, Fanny Dickstein, B. Fung, and Jinx Pack. Yes, those are all real people.

  97. My friend’s gynecologist’s name is Dr. Payne. I guess he makes corny jokes about it all the time.

    I’m a teacher, so this is one of my favorite topics. Over the years I have had L’Oreal, Kevorkian, SirAnthany. Weird names, great kids. L’Oreal just started medical school. Geordynne (pronounced Jordan), Airess, and a Whigia (pronounced Why geeya) .

    As you can see, I could go on all day. I usually get my class rosters and practice pronouncing their names before the first day of school. I laugh about it privately or with other teachers. Teenagers tend to be really touchy about it, very few of them have a sense of humor about having an unusual name or spelling (Geordynne did. She’d spell her name for you and then say “I don’t know why mama did that. She crazy” before you could even comment on it).

  98. Oh – a name that didn’t make it into my AI submission…

    My dad is a physician, and his internship was done in NYC. They delivered a baby in the ER one night, and the new mother overheard them clinically discussing the delivery.

    Well she thought one of those phrases was so pretty, she was going to use it to name her new little girl. No matter how hard my father, the attendings and the nurses explained and begged, she named her little girl Labia Majora.

  99. Speaking of cross-gender names, my sister’s boyfriend’s name is Lindsay, and his brother’s name is Kelly. He has a sister, too, and when I first met him I was like, “What’s her name? Bobbie?”

  100. I also just remembered I used to know a girl named Chelsea Heaven. As I knew her over the Internet, I didn’t know that was her name until one day she complained to me about never responding to the e-mails she’d sent me.

    I’d been deleting them because I thought they were porn spam.

  101. And recently, my children go to school with a poor 3rd grader named Hugh Chin. I am thinking of making my life’s work to ban parents from naming their child Hugh if their last name is a body part. Sigh.

  102. How could I forget? I used to work for Warner Bros. and one of the gals in the Standards and Practices dept. (i.e., a network censor) was named Terri Tingle.

  103. When I was in Navy Boot Camp, there was a guy last name of “Stane”.

    Seaman Stane…

    Much hilarity on the part of my Company Commander with that one, he’d go out of his way to yell at him…

  104. Also, there is a pro football player named SirVincent Rogers with the Miami Dolphins.

    Oops, he was cut. So, not so much on current pro status, but…

  105. I went to high school with a girl named Huy Mi (and she told us it was pronounced “Why Me”. There was another girl there named Patience (real name: her parents were serious hippies) and had a reputation for sleeping around, and yes… she liked Guns and Roses. (If anyone doesn’t understand that, someone older than you can explain it)

  106. I had a decidedly conservative colleague back in my minister days – he was anti-masturbation, anti-… well, everything. His given name was Richard Palmer; and he insisted people call him Dick.

    Even as a minister, I couldn’t help but laugh when Dick Palmer gave anti-masturbation lectures to teens.

  107. @Chasmosaur: My wife says that a friend who worked as a tattooist had a client that wanted her daughter’s name tattooed on her back.

    The woman had named her daughter “Chlamydia” – when the tattooist did an “are you sure you want a sexually-transmitted disease tattooed on you?” check, the woman insisted that the tattooist was making it up, and that “chlamydia” was “the prettiest word in the whole world”.

    I wish I was making this one up…

  108. Okay, how about Waffles Natouche? I came across this Dickens-on-an-LCD-trip name many moons ago while doing data entry for an insurance company. It was(is) a woman who needed physical therapy after an unfortunate circus-related accident. No foolin’! The thing is, this was not a stage name, as I saw a copy of her birth certificate.

    Probably the most unfortunate name I’ve ever run across was Jennifer Porn. Imagine being a 13 year-old girl with that name. Wow.

  109. I do data entry a couple of days per week and we get some bizarre names. My all time favorite so far is Willie Peter Johnson. My cube mate once got one with the first and middle name of Freedom Badass. I am assuming that he changed his name to this on purpose, though I can’t imagine a court that would allow that name to go through. Meh.

    Oh, and there was also Mr. Yoda Chewbacca with a Spanish last name.

    These are the things that keep data entry people awake…

    – Lala

  110. As a UK postman, I’ve seen my fair share of hilarious names over the years. My all time favourites, although I’m pretty sure they’re actually false names made up for benefit-fraudery purposes : a couple, he named Dan DeLyon, and she named Teresa Green. :oD

  111. This is an echo of an earlier one…

    I work at a US military headquarters. One of the offices is run by a Navy officer, CAPT Power. I can’t walk by without a cartoon-narrator voice in my head announcing ‘The further adventures of Captain Power…’

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