Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Odd names of real people

I have family back in my home state of Arkansas, and I get reports from home. This week I was told that a man named "Anos Arkangel" was listed in the local court dockets! His body part homonym made me think of the old joke about Elvis Presley and his nickname: "You know how they call Elvis 'the Pelvis'? Well, he's got a brother named Enos."

Wonder if Anos Arkangel's appellation is his birth name, or a self-applied one? Bet it's the latter.

Also in my home town there's a guy named "Sunshine Mudhole." (I bet that ain't HIS birth name, either!)

But ya never know. I remember going to school with a girl with the first name of Bambi, and another with the last name of Crapser. (I'd hate for her to be stopped by a male State Trooper: "What's your name, ma'am? Crap, sir.") And when I was a kid I knew a fella named Hugh Monger--of course, sometimes he got called "Humongous." There also was a man with the last name of Batman listed in the phone book.

My parents and grandparents have all sworn to me that they knew a girl named America Mae Riddicky Biddicky Joshuaway Arlena. Oddly, no one remembers her last name.

And I grew up with family members with the names "Othar" and "Monk"--names I like very much for their distinctiveness. (People with unusual names often seem to hate them when they are children, but appreciate them as adults.) When I was a child, I knew no one outside my family with the name Max. I hated it--then.

However, maybe none of this should be surprising, since my home state has towns named Old Joe, Toad Suck, Bull Shoals, Yellville, Gassville, and Flippin! But I'm not being insulting. I love the fact that Arkansas has some colorful town names--I wish it had more!

In Memphis, TN, when I lived there, were doctors Oliver Hardy and Vincent Price (the latter actually a dentist!).

And news came out this week that jazz singer/songwriter Blossom Dearie has died. (And yes, that was her real name.)

But for sheer weirdness, little beats the cruelty of Frank Zappa: he named two of his kids "Moon Unit" and "Diva Muffin."

Well, except for naming your kid "Adolph Hitler."


Relevant link: Baby Name Games


Diane said...

i went to school with some weird ones; Toodle Leigh (she had the sweetest baby blue cabriolet convertible - i hated her), Honey Dews (sickening, huh?), and a couple boys with girl names - Stacey, Shannon and Lonnie.


Max the drunken severed head said...

When I was in my teens, I worked for awhile in a funeral home. (I threw a party there, too, but that's another story.) Anyway, one of the embalmers was a man whose first name was Shirley!

Pierre Fournier said...

I went to school with a girl named Ruth Bier.

There's a sign on a building in town that says, "Dr. Forest, Herbologist".

Max the drunken severed head said...

"I went to school with a girl named Ruth Bier."

Did she have a sister named Hedda!

BTW, congrats on your Rondo Award nomination!

Hollygoyle said...

I've got a (counts on fingers) great great great grandmother named America and a great great great aunt named Pinky. And yes, she was a Kentucky native.

And ride outside Louisville in Eastwood, there's a small two-lane country road called Justamere Road (just a mere road).

Anonymous said...

Hugh Monger (and he's a pretty big guy) is my cousin and I am leaving on a plane from Alaska tonight to go to a family reunion in AR. Can't wait to see him! :) We also have a Wendell, Reck and a Knoful. Isn't that awful?



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