Tom Collins Has Spoken

(Photo: Ralph Daily)

(Photo: Ralph Daily)

We recently published a post about what seemed like an aptonym — a researcher named Thomas Collins who’s been studying the chemical footprints of whiskeys. Does he in fact share a name with the cocktail Tom Collins, or does he stick to Thomas? Thankfully, Professor Collins (or someone doing a good impression of him) left a comment on the post:

I do go by Tom. I, too, heard every combination of comments about what my parents might have been drinking, etc. I made a deliberate choice, therefore, to study whiskeys rather than gin …


Marc Resnick

I think this makes it the best aptonym of all. There is a good deal of correlational research that shows people whose names begin with N are more likely to be nurses or live in Nebraska. The hypotheses are usually that there is an unconscious pull. This is the first I have heard of a real conscious causal link between a name and a job.


Ran across this aptonym in a book review of Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age by "Hebrew Bible scholar (and former wine importer) Randall Heskett and oenologist (and president of the Institute of Masters of Wine) Joel Butler":

In the book's final section, Butler appears to take the lead from Heskett. (Butler: what a great name for a wine expert! The Anglo-Norman word originally meant the person in charge of the bottles.)