Aptonyms for the New Year

Because a new year has begun, it seems a good time to unveil some of the aptonyms that we’ve been accumulating. (Earlier aptonym posts can be found here.) 1. During a recent N.F.L. game between the Bears and the Vikings, played on a frigid Monday night in Chicago, I learned that the city has a […]

This Week in Aptonyms

In keeping with our aptonym tradition, a bunch of helpful readers have sent in good examples of people whose last names go well with their professions. To wit: From a reader named James: Apparently, the city of Boston has a tree inspector named Leif Fixen. (Also, the photo credit on that story goes to a […]

This Week’s (In)Appropriate Names

Aptonyms are the gifts that keep giving. You toss out one or two here on the blog, and readers keep coming back with more. This week’s aptonyms include: A home-schooling mom and blogger whose last name is Hermitt. (Okay, it’s not great, but it’s pretty good.) And this Newsday article about teacher-student sex affairs quotes […]

Aptonym Alert

We’ve blogged in the past about aptonyms — names that fit the people who own them, like a magazine fact-checker named Paige Worthy — and we’ve even held an aptonym contest. So we would have been delinquent to not make note of a byline in a special section of yesterday’s Times called “The Business of […]

The FREAK-est Links

“[H]ybrid record label and blog” launches with new plan for selling music. (Earlier) A lesson in “Marijuanomics 101”. (HT: Economics International) A classic aptonym. (Earlier) Japanese engineers develop “musical roads”. (HT: BoingBoing)

Announcing the Winners of Our Aptonym Contest

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 […]

Contest: Beat This Aptonym

Can you beat the aptonym "Paige Worthy" for a magazine fact-checker? Come and try your luck in the Freakonomics "Aptonym-Off."

We’re All Semanticists Now: Dr. Beaver’s Response

I blogged recently about a linguistics paper so stuffed with jargon that it read to me as if it had poorly translated from the original Croatian. I also wondered what the paper had to do with belly buttons, as was suggested by its title (“Have You Noticed That Your Belly Button Lint Colour Is Related […]

It’s All Semantics

For reasons that may not make sense to anyone else, I recently performed a Google search for “They Might Be Giants” and “Belly Button.” This was the second hit: a paper by a Stanford linguist named David Beaver (that’s not an aptonym, is it?) called “Have You Noticed That Your Belly Button Lint Colour Is […]

In Praise of Ancient Technologies, and Aptonyms

There was an interesting article in the New York Times sports section the other day about how the All England Club has kept the Wimbledon tournament free of pigeons since 1999 by employing a man named Wayne Davis to bring in his small flock of peregrine falcons. Until Davis came along, the pigeons were a […]