Is It Time to Start a Strange Name Hall of Fame?

(Photo: Russ Morris)

We should probably start a Strange Name Hall of Fame at some point to chronicle all the weird, wonderful, terrible names that readers have passed along to us since we first wrote about names in Freakonomics. This one, from Joyce Wilson, would probably make the cut:

I thought of Freakonomics when I was at a St. Louis area grocery store and saw cut-out paper snowflakes taped to the window with the makers’ names on them.  The name I particularly noticed?  Demonica.

Levitt’s reply when he saw this e-mail: “Perhaps the little girl’s mother is just a heavy metal fan.”

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  1. RogerP says:

    Private Eye once featured a photograph in its I Spy section of a firm of attorneys called Argue & Phibbs

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  2. garrilla says:

    My favourite name is ‘Peripherique’ – which is French for ‘ring road’ (UK) or ‘beltway’ (US).

    It has some legal standing in France, I recall that the French had an official register of names and the couple who ‘named’ their Parisienne inner-ring-road had to go to court. They were immigrants. I couldn’t find a reference to this on the wonderweb, but I recall reading about it in the UK ‘The Guardian’ paper perhaps 15 years ago.

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    • Garry Haywood (@_garrilla) says:

      by the way, I only raised the issue of them being immigrants as its an interesting juxtapostion: that it is immigrants of challenge the rules and conventions of naming. And not for any other reason.

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  3. Charles Barbour says:

    My favorite recent one:

    Y’All Jealous Jones.

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  4. Jeff #3 says:

    I work at an insurance company and see a goodly number of interesting names over the course of a day. My current favorite was a man with the first nameof ‘Darth’ (last has been forgotten) although his birthdate was in the mid-60s, so I don’t know if that makes it better or worse.

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  5. Jim Reser says:

    Maybe thirty years ago, a girl was born to a Navajo family in northwest New Mexico. They didn’t have a name picked out yet, so the hospital staff inserted the word “Female” on the birth certificate. To this day, the girl’s name is pronounced “Feh-Molly,” and Mom never changed or challenged the hospital staff wisdom.

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    • Adam Keeling says:

      Something similar happened to a family in Virginia, only this time it was the parents who wrote in a name, but misspelled it.

      They intended to name their son “Vernin” – why with an “i”, I don’t know. Only they spelled it “Vermin”.

      To compound this mistake, their last name is “Pest”.

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  6. Ben Story says:

    Unfortunately my wife has an entire family of kids in her school that all feature the word demon somewhere in their first name. Poor kids.

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  7. Blair says:

    I keep a list of the ones I run into at work. There was a guy named “Chase Pester” and a woman named “Fanny Gravy,” among others.

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  8. Larry Babb says:

    Long ago, when my wife taught high school English, she had a succession of 3 brothers — Huey, Dewey, Louie — followed by the fourth after she left for another school — Donald.

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