Last week, I blogged about a magazine fact-checker named Paige Worthy and asked you to submit your best aptonyms. You responded mightily, with nearly 300 submissions. Judging from this sample, the dentists, proctologists, and eye doctors of America seem particularly prone to aptonymous behavior. Below you will find the best submissions. As promised, the readers who sent them will receive a Freakonomics prize: either a signed copy of the book, a Freakonomics yo-yo, or this just-released 2008 Freakonomics fact-a-day calendar. But first, a little more information about the person who got this all started, Paige Worthy:
Yes, she is real, and that is her real name. Not only is she a researcher for Good magazine, but she is also a copy editor for Ride and King magazines, both of which are geared toward a black male readership. The first is a car magazine; the second is a lad magazine, apparently referred to in some quarters as Blaxim. “I’m a white girl, by the way,” Paige wrote in to say. She lives in New York and is originally from Kansas City — where, she says, “I worked at a little community outfit called the Sun Tribune Newspapers, where I was a copy editor and page designer, so my name was doubly apt at that point.”
So, because she is real and because her name is the perfect aptonym, Paige Worthy definitely gets whatever Freakonomics prize she wants. The other winners:
Limberhand the Masturbator: A reader named Robbie wrote in to tell of an Idaho court case about expected privacy in a public restroom stall. This was in relation to the Larry Craig brouhaha. Here’s a brief excerpt from the Idaho case:
The defendant was arrested for obscene conduct after an officer observed him, through a four-inch hole in a stall partition, masturbating in a public restroom. This Court determined that Limberhand had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the restroom stall notwithstanding the existence of the hole.” That’s right, the man in the stall, caught masturbating, was named Limberhand.
(Honorable mention in the below-the-belt aptonym category goes to the reader who wrote this: “I once edited a medical journal article about penile lengthening, written by Dr. Bob Stubbs. Best of all, he learned his technique from a Chinese plastic surgeon, Dr. Long.”)
Eikenberry the Funeral Director:
A reader named Paul A. wrote this: “In Peru, Indiana, there’s a funeral home director whose last name is ‘Eikenberry’ (pronounced ‘I can bury’). He’s actually part of a partnership, and the funeral home is called (drumroll, please), ‘Eikenberry Eddy.'”
(Honorable mention in the Six Feet Under category to the reader who writes this: “In my hometown [Amarillo, TX], there is a funeral director called Boxwell Brothers. This one can’t be beat.”
Justin Case the Insurance Guy:
I’m not sure this one is real but I will assume that Kyle S., the reader who sent it in, is an honest man: “My State Farm agent’s name is Justin Case…” Enough said.
And finally, though I said we’d give just three prizes, there were so many aptonymous dentists that I think we have to stretch the winners to four. Here’s my favorite:
A reader named Scott Moonen writes: “My former dentist was named Eugene Silvertooth. From childhood he had the nickname Chip Silvertooth.”
And the dentist honorable mention goes to reader Anshuman: “Unfortunately, I moved away from San Francisco and had to leave my dentist, Dr. Les Plack. He was born for the job, right?”
Thanks to everyone for playing. If you are a winner, we will contact you by the e-mail address you used when you left your comment. If that e-mail isn’t real, please send your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org.