Contest: Beat This Aptonym

Today’s contest concerns aptonyms. An aptonym is a name that also describes what you do. (I blogged earlier on the subject, specifically about the people in the birding world with names like Phoebe and Flicker.) In the old days, aptonyms weren’t coincidences; they were professional labels. That’s why there are still so many people named Tanner, Taylor, etc. But in our culture, they are quite rare.

Which is why I got so excited yesterday when I spotted a fantastic aptonym. Flipping through the latest issue of Good magazine (here’s the online version), I stopped to look at the masthead. There are two people listed under “Research,” which in magazine land usually means fact-checking. One of the names is … Paige Worthy. That is: if a fact doesn’t get past Paige Worthy, then it’s not page-worthy, at least not for Good.

Is this a gag name? I doubt it — all the other names on the masthead look legit — and I sincerely hope not.

Can you offer a better aptonym than Paige Worthy? Try your best. Convince us that your aptonym is good, and legitimate. We will convene a blue-ribbon panel here at the Freakonomics office to determine the best entries. If you supply one of the three best aptonyms, you’ll get a signed copy of “Freakonomics” or a Freakonomics yo-yo, depending on your choice.

Addendum: The contest winners can be found here.


Too easy:

Layla Moore - prostitute.

Ryan Govostes

On an episode of Mythbusters, the guys talked to an aviation museum curator born North East South West, or some arrangement of the four.

What about Amelia Earhart?

Matthew Scholtes

Here is the link to my mother's former orthodontist, named appropriately, Dr. Toothman


Morris I. Glassman is an eye doctor I got my contact lenses from years ago in Somers, NY


Too bad about the "real" requirement. Otherwise all the standards such as the law firm of Dewey, Cheatum & Howe would fit nicely!


Roger Wilco - Pilot


professor of business ethics: Lynn Sharp Paine

since, as everyone knows, ethics is a sharp pain for business.


What about the dermatologist in NYC Dr. Zizmor? You've probably seen his advertisements on the subway.


Mike Barber: Hairdresser at a mall supercuts


There used to be a dentist in Washington DC whose name was Dr. Dodrill, as in 'do drill'.


In the martial arts world, there's an info marketer named Matt Furey. (Since most combat arts take place on a matted surface, both names are appropriate)


I had a teacher in junior high named Dr. Docktor.


Cantor Singer at Stephen Wise Synagogue


I'm a med student -- two of my professors:

Dr. Paine (Anesthesiology)
Dr. Stoolman (GI)

and finally, my high school english class:
Mr. Read


Maybe Levitt knows Penny Goldberg, professor of economics at Yale?


Max Headroom


My ob-gyn was named Dick Cherry. My friend's ob-gyn was Dr. Beaver.

Rich Rosen

I met a remarkable man about two years ago. He walked aroung wearing a woman's kitchen apron over his suit and an adult diaper under it in order to mask a problem he was having. His name was Frank Pisser and he was battling a urinary infection at the time.

Although I did not realize it at the time, Mr. Pisser had a temporary aptonym during the six month window that he was being treated by a urologist.

Does this count in your contest? Will I get an official yo-yo or something? Anything? I hope you don't think I made that up just to win a prize.

Ray Richardson

Bud Starling is the most prominent birdwatcher in the Indianapolis area. He contributes an occasional column to the Indianapolis Star.
Ray Richardson
Check it out at the address below. He is referred to at item 17.


Legitimate? So we can only submit aptonyms from real life?