Kat Chow at NPR (and request for names)

You’re gonna get persiflage today as my neuronal activity has been diverted to a piece of writing which will provide an actual stipendiary emolument.

I was listening to National Public Radio news this morning, and I heard an item reported by someone who appeared to say, at the end, “This is Cat Chow reporting for NPR News.” I thought I’d heard wrong, but then thought, “No, it’s gotta be an Asian woman.” Sure enough, when I got back to a computer, I found Kat Chow!  Here she is:

Kat Chow. Photo by Ericka Cruz Guevarra/NPR

And a bio:

Kat Chow is a founding member of NPR’s Code Switch, an award-winning team that covers the complicated stories of race, ethnicity, and culture. She helps make new episodes for the Code Switch podcast, reports online features for Code Switch, and reports on-air pieces for NPR’s shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her work has led readers and listeners on explorations of the gendered and racialized double standards surrounding double-eyelid surgery, as well as the mysterious origins of a so-called “Oriental” riff – a word she’s also written a personal essay about. Much of her role revolves around finding new ways to build communities and tell stories, like @todayin1963 or #xculturelove.

I wonder how often people makes jokes about her name, just as I’ve often wondered how often New York Times reporter Gina Kolata gets jokes about drinks.

Here are some other mirth-inducing names I’ve come across in my life. The first one’s the best:

Dr. Harry Beaver, a gynecologist (of all things) in Northern Virginia who goes by “Harry”, not “Harold”. One of my friends was his patient. Can you imagine the jokes he had to hear from his colleagues? If you don’t believe the name, check the link.
Drs. Wolf and Mouser (the two vets in Virginia who ran a clinic where my family used to take its cats). I found Wolf’s obituary.
Ming Toy Epstein, the Chinese wife of a Jewish friend of my father.
Candy Cane (In my class at William and Mary)
Dreama Dawn Dean (a friend of one my college classmates)
Orbie R. Fleenor. On a road trip from Williamsburg, Virginia to Forth Worth, Texas, we saw this name on a billboard (I think he sold insurance). I also found his obituary.
Bayne Grubb (a friend of one of my college friends, Grubb came from Fries, Virginia)
China Alderman (another inhabitant of Fries; name pronounced “Chinee”; not Asian)
Pearl Ruby Diamond (found by a friend in the Richmond, Virginia phone book)
Queen Elizabeth Mozone (ditto)
Roosevelt McKnuckles (found by me in the Chicago phone book)
Bob Bugg, an entomology graduate student I knew at UC Davis

I’m sure the readers can come up with many more amusing names; put them below.

130 Comments

  1. Craw
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I used to see billboards for a dentist, Dr Pus

  2. Seth
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I had a fried in grade school named Rusty Dornekker.

  3. Randy schenck
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Always think of Dusty Springfield. Nick name would be dirty rifle.

  4. Mark A Clements
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I went to high school with Jack Spratt. Oh, and the inventor of the Lear Jet named his daughter Shanda (apparently at the urging of his own father, a one-time Vaudeville performer).

  5. Lou Hendrickson
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Seen on a mailbox: BERNIE PAYNE.

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Kat Chow is a great one. I’ve got scads. I’ve collected many over the years, but the name that immediately comes to mind here is well known as a peculiar name: Ima Hogg. I’d always thought there was a sister named Ura Hogg, but I find that’s incorrect https://tshaonline.org/publications/books/31531.

    I recall reading about a woman named Uremia. Here are some amusing ones http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/nominative-determinism-hilariously-inappropriate-names-time/

  7. jaxkayaker
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Dr. Richard Titball, Rick to his friends.

    No disrespect intended to Professor Titball, of course.

    http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=rick_titball

  8. Grady Lee
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Knew a guy named D. Cotton. He married a Candice. So she became Candy Cotton.

    • dabertini
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      You mean Cotton Candy!

      • Newish Gnu
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Cotton, Candy.

        • Posted October 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Even worse I knew people whose surname was Foss and they named their daughter Candice, her unfortunate nickname “Candy Foss”

  9. Randy schenck
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Also, author of the great novel, Over the Cliff, by Ilene Dover. Sorry, not a real name.

    • Richard Bond
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I assume that she was the partner of Hugo First?

      • Randy schenck
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Of course and illustrated by Betty Wont.

  10. Andy Lowry
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I went to school with a Justin Case.

  11. BJ
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    “Dr. Harry Beaver, a gynecologist…”

    That’s a true classic.

    I was looking at the bricks named for donors at a synagogue once, and one was named “Harry Sachs.”

    • BJ
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      And I’ve always been fond of a certain actress’ name: Imogen Poots.

      Full name: Imogen Gay Poots.

      AKA “Imagine Gay Farts”

  12. GBJames
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I think there used to be a surgeon in Milwaukee named Dr. Blud.

    • BJ
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Generation Investment Management was started by David Blood and Al Gore. Blood and Gore.

  13. Merilee
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Moses Lawn ( saw his birth cert. when I worked at the VA.)

  14. dabertini
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    A student of a friend used the alias stu gaetz!

  15. Larry Smith
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    The Car Guys on NPR always used to have fake names rolling as credits at the end of their show… the best one I remember is their Soccer Mom, Erasmus B. Dragon.

    • Doug
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      And there was a French dog walker, Poupon DeGrasse.

      • Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        That’s a good one! Maybe that was Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s mom!

        • Derek Freyberg
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          And there was the Diaz family – the proctologist Cameron Diaz, the jerk Royal Pain Diaz, and several others; the Russian chauffeur Pickup Andropov; and many many more. Car Talk would have been worth it for the last couple of minutes alone, but the rest was always fun.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Their Russian limousine service: Pikup & Dropov.

  16. E C Siegel
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Zoltan Ovary was an immunologist. There used to be a lawyer in New Jersey with a name like I. M. Zamost.

  17. Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    When KI first started work, I was put on a project for a police database. The police liaison officer was Sergeant Micky Pepper.

  18. Heather Hastie
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I had a friend whose parents changed the family name to Thomas when they moved to NZ from Asia so they would fit it better. They also gave the kids new first names.

    He became John. John Thomas.

    I had a colleague whose surname was Haugh, pronounced “hore”. She exacerbated the problem for her daughter by naming her Crystal.

    There’s an All Black with the surname Woodcock, first name Tony. I actually never thought about it because it’s a bird, but my mother gets the giggles every time she hears it. I’ve always wondered if, like many huge men, he gets the nickname Tiny.

    My best friend’s mother at high school had a very proper English aunt surnamed Ramsbottom, which is quite common. Many English families with that suffix on their name have changed it to Bothan in the past. One example is the famous crickter Ian Botham. I had to sit through Christmas dinner once saying “Mrs Ramsbottom” whenever I wanted to speak to her.

    I used to work in a hospital, and some parents gave their kids terrible names. Here, it’s possible for the government to intervene and refuse to give a child a particular name if they consider it would constitute child abuse. They stop names like Satan, Devil, Bitch, Whore, Viagra, Valium etc (yes, people try to call their kids such things). But obviously they can’t take advantage of such a power, so some weird names still get through. I’ve see V8, Benson and Hedges for twins (a brand of cigarettes in NZ) and many more.

    Another place I worked a couple came in to give us their new names, which they’d had changed by Deed Poll. Samson and Delilah.

    I lived with a guy who didn’t like his surname and had changed it as soon as he was old enough. I won’t tell you his original name, because he never told anyone, but he chose Stevens to replace it because of the TV show Bewitched.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      My middle name is Thomas. My son in law is Chinese and his name is Jian, which almost sounds like John. He tolerates our butchering of the pronunciation.

  19. XCellKen
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Several years ago, I decided my porno actor name would be Peter Principal (spelled with “al” instead of “le” on purpose)

    A couple of weeks ago, I thought I should change it to Ken Abyss (Say it fast several times)

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Only if you move to 420 High St.

      • XCellKen
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        At the risk of doxxing myself, my real life address is:

        XXXX Interstate 69
        Houston, Texas 770XX

  20. Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I went to high school with Gay Cox (a girl) and Bud Wiser. In college, we had Beverly Hilton, who actually is/was one of the hotel Hiltons.

    • XCellKen
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      There was a sitcom producer in the 70s named Bud Wiser. I remember seeing his name at the end of One Day At A Time shows

  21. Don
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Worked with Anita Dickey, her married name.

  22. Carey Haug
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Dr Coffin operated on my grandfather, I was once referred to the gynecologist Dr. Clapp, and my friend had a root canal done by Dr Paine. All in Burlington, VT.

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I was just told that the name of the podiatrist of one of my friends’ father was Dr. Barefoot.

  23. Monika
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I once knew a girl named Anna Nass. Ananas means pineapple in German.
    During a student job I came across the name Hermine Herminne.

    Makes you wonder WTF were the parents thinking, most likely: How can I embarras my children the most.

    • Gamall
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      > Ananas means pineapple in German.
      In French as well.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Makes you wonder WTF were the parents thinking, most likely: How can I embarras my children the most.

      My question exactly. At work, we just hired a young man, family name of Jamison. So, what did his parents name him? Why, “Jesse,” of course…

      My wife has a friend named Crystal Bell.

      • Steve
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Crystal Ball is a political commentator

      • Steve
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Crystal Ball is a political commentator

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      If one is going to venture into fruits and the like, I recently learned that “avocado” comes from the Nahuatl and means “tree testicles” so whenever you say avocado, remember what you’re saying. And guacamole means “testicle sauce”.

  24. Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I only notice them when they relate to the perosn’s profession. Ethologists often seem to have good ones, like a guy whose last name was van Honk, who studies male aggression, and a Prof Dr. Trillmich who studies bird song — in German ‘trillieren’ is birdsong, and ‘mich’ is the accusative of me.

    There are of course plenty of these in German. The guy who painted a famous pic of Goethe was called Tischbein — table leg.

    The absolute worst German name I’ve ever come across is Nonnenmacher — literally nun-maker. What would you do if your daughter brought someone with that name home?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      And what if the Nonnemachers were atheists?

      • Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        I should have added some indication that I meant that jokingly.

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      And a barber around the corner from me is called Klingbeil — Ax blade. I#m not a customer. In my street there’s also Steuerwald (literally tax-forest), who’s an accountant.

  25. desconhecido
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Political personality Krystal Ball.

  26. desconhecido
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    And don’t forget Senior United States District Judge Richard Kopf, who is not often called Dick.

    • damboni
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      “Kopf” meaning “Head”, of course, in German…

      • Merilee
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        I knew a vet in Berkeley named Dr. Hack.

  27. ploubere
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Dr. Bonebrake, a rheumatologist I used to see in Madison WI.
    My childhood dentist was Dr. Meisles.
    In gradeschool I knew a girl whose last name was Penix. I don’t remember her first name. Miss Oklahoma 2000 was Amanda Penix, so maybe it’s not that uncommon.

    • damboni
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      OMG! I was going to cite Dr. Bonebrake! When I lived in Minneapolis, my ex-mother-in-law or somebody said he was a chiropractor!

      • ploubere
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        So there’s more than one!

  28. Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    There was a website, in German, that collected such names and verified them. Among them such gems as an actual psychotherapist named Gisela von Hinten (Gisela from Behind). Who led a seminar on ethics at the university Munich? That was one Prof. Angstwurm and Prof. Unschuld (Fearworm & Innocence). There‘s also a doctor with the curious double name, Dr. Annemarie Gnändiger-Mezger (Dr. Merciful—Butcher), and endless more.

    Finally, I dare you to not laugh…

  29. Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    There is a urologist in Texas who is well known for performing vasectomies named Dick Chopp.

    https://www.urologyteam.com/our-doctors/dr-richard-chopp

    • Moishe
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      My vasectomy was performed by Dr. Hanslip.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Wouldn’t be a great name for a mohel either, would it? 🙂

  30. Eric Shumard
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    There was a baseball pitcher named Randy Johnson. His nickname was “The Big Unit”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Johnson

  31. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I knew a Randy Johnson. He would wince every time his name was called out.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      There are a few guys tautologically named “Richard Johnson,” too.

  32. Randy schenck
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    We should not forget Johnny Carson’s girl friend back in high school, Gina Statutory. She went to Lincoln high and all the guys called her Miss Lincoln because all the boys took a shot at her in the balcony.

  33. Marion
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Come on, guys, making fun of people’s names is mean.

    • Doug
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I imagine that these people could change their names if they really objected to the jokes. For instance, Ms. Chow could call herself Katherine or Katie, or people could use a middle name.

      I once new a big lug named Bill; for some reason, he showed me his driver’s license and I saw his name was actually “H. William.” I asked what the “H” stood for, and he mumbled “Hillary.” He was a big, tough guy, so I don’t imagine anyone called him that. More than once.

    • Doug
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I imagine that these people could change their names if they really objected to the jokes. For instance, Ms. Chow could call herself Katherine or Katie, or people could use a middle name.

      I once new a big lug named Bill; for some reason, he showed me his driver’s license and I saw his name was actually “H. William.” I asked what the “H” stood for, and he mumbled “Hillary.” He was a big, tough guy, so I don’t imagine anyone called him that. More than once.

    • Doug
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I imagine that these people could change their names if they really objected to the jokes. For instance, Ms. Chow could call herself Katherine or Katie, or people could use a middle name.

      I once new a big lug named Bill; for some reason, he showed me his driver’s license and I saw his name was actually “H. William.” I asked what the “H” stood for, and he mumbled “Hillary.” He was a big, tough guy, so I don’t imagine anyone called him that. More than once.

      • Doug
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        “Knew!” Dammit!

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      No it’s not mean.

  34. damboni
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    In the phone book when I was growing up in the Midwest in the 1970s, there was a “Charlie DeToona” O_O

  35. damboni
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    In high school, graduating class of 1976 (THAT’s the spirit!), there was this African American guy named “Tootie Edwards”. It wasn’t until I saw his name in the yearbook that I realized his REAL name was “Molester” O_O

    I can only imagine the thought process: “It’s like a combination of ‘Morris’ and ‘Lester’ – it’s *perfect*!!”

  36. Gary Sikkema
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Richard Tapper, urologist in Toledo, Ohio

  37. Charles Sullivan
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I saw a list of unusual names on a post at utility closet blog: Here’s the intro paragraph and the link:

    Yet more unusual names of real people. Most of these are from the collection of Leland Hilligoss of the St. Louis Public Library, via Paul Dickson, A Collector’s Compendium of Rare and Unusual, Bold and Beautiful, Odd and Whimsical Names (1986). “As far as can be determined, all of the names are real and almost all were collected in North America and the British Isles”:
    https://www.futilitycloset.com/2011/10/18/roll-call-5/

  38. Florian
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I know two people with same first and last names… Scott Scott and Rico Rico.

  39. Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Our high school choir teacher was Helen Hollar – if you want to learn to sing, go to ….. 🙂

    Also, home town had a family named Hay, and their boys were Timothy, Clover and Alfalfa.

    Another family named their boys Peach and Orange, for no apparent reason since their last name was Stiver.

  40. KD33
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Pisipati, an Italian researcher I knew years ago.

    Bert Buggs, fellow chess club member in high school.

    Bitsie Bacon, seen on local real estate open house signs.

  41. Gordon
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Legal cases can produce some good ones especially as ‘v’ is read as ‘and’ as in Glasscock v Balls.

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      I knew a guy in school named Steve Glasscock. You could always see him coming.

      • dabertini
        Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Enough!! This is killing me.

  42. TQ
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    There was an administrator at my college, named Stu Orefice. He was part of dining services, very large and very nice.

  43. John Dentinger
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    And yet another urologist who specialized in vasectomies (in Rochester, NY): Dr. Stopp.

  44. Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I guess no one will believe I know a proctologist named Seymour Butts.

  45. Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    One of the donors memorialized on the wall at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Jack Himoff.

    Also, I knew of a young lady in the Labor and Delivery Department at Jacobi Hospital who named her new daughter Chalmydia (she had heard the word and thought it sounded very pretty…which it does, unless you know of the disease to which it refers).

  46. barn owl
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    In grad school we tried to think of author pairings that were as excellent as the 1950s Fatt and Katz papers, on the physiology of the motor endplate. Westward and Ho, etc. Potential postdoctoral stints and collaborations were suggested.

  47. Bruce Denny
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Some interesting names are generated in the South Pacific where the cultural differences are very evident.
    Two I have heard are ‘Telephone Box’ and ‘Behind the Victory theatre’, the latter being apparently where he/she was conceived.

  48. Grady Lee
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget about Texas governor Jim Hogg who named his daughter Ima.

  49. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    A work colleague (many years ago) changed his name officially to ‘The Bean’. Whenever he answered the phone he would say ‘Bean here’.

  50. mfdempsey1946
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    History offers us Pleasant Hackleman, a Union general who died at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, and Praise-God Barebone, a 15th Century English preacher.

  51. jimroberts
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Rip Torn, the actor.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      He was married for 20+ years to Geraldine Page, and their mail box said “Torn Page”.

      His real name is Elmore Rual Torn Jr.

  52. Newish Gnu
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    An in-law works in NYC public schools and had a student named Ya Highness.

    I know people who had a son and a daughter. The kids are named Sam and Ella.

    A friend and his wife had a daughter they named Hallelujah. When they subsequently had a son, I suggested they name him Jesus.

  53. Newish Gnu
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I met a James James once.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      At least people didn’t confuse his first and last names, something that is the story of my life.

  54. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    … my neuronal activity has been diverted to a piece of writing which will provide an actual stipendiary emolument.

    Samuel Johnson said “[n]o man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”

    Doc Johnson wouldn’t’ve been much for bl*gg*ng, I suppose.

  55. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Candy Cane (In my class at William and Mary)

    I caught her act at a burlesque show once.

  56. Bernie
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Worked with a woman called Ann Page, that also being an A&P grocery house brand. She recounted a few occasions where she was accused of using a pseudonym, and was happy to adopt her husband’s last name.

  57. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    We had a classmate in high school named Pierce Archer, and there is a technician at a local computer store named Colin Daley.

  58. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    There is a very respectable firm of funeral directors in the town where I live called Wake & Paine.

  59. Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    My favourite unusual name is Honeysuckle Weeks, a wonderful actress on the inimitable series, Foyle’s War.

    I also like Uriah Heeth (the rock band) and the funny name of an old family acquaintance, Grosseth Preddy.

    • Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Oh, oh, I had a nurse who tended me on the maternity ward who was named Nurse.

    • Merilee
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Love Honeysuckle Weeks!

      • Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        I love her co-star Michael Kitchen too!

        • Merilee
          Posted October 7, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          Yes!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Think that’s Uriah “Heep,” same as the Dickens character in David Copperfield. 🙂

  60. Barry McGuire
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    In my hometown Dr. Pulley was the dentist. A Mr. Woods ran the lumber company. And two guys, Morris-Crates, ran a funeral parlor.

  61. Hempenstein
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    One of my fellow grad students was Alex Mackerell. His advisor was collaborating with an MD named Hawley. Unfortunately a Hawley Mackerell paper (which would have been Hawley, Mackerell and Pietruszko) was never forthcoming.

    And the ones that I remember from a file I kept of such things, that I can’t find now:

    Then while looking up a paper back in the bound hardcopy days, I came across one by Samuel J Pancake. I turned to show another fellow grad student but stopped short when I realized he was Jerry Bagel.

    Another one, I believe in J Biol Chem, was by Edgar Outhouse.

    And a paper whose conclusions I was instantly skeptical of was by Fu Li Yu.

    But the alltime prizewinner is one in Biopolymers by Torkel Weis-Fogh with middle author Foch F Yew.

    Except for Hawley, searches will turn up all of these…

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted October 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      The “Hawley, Mackerell” reminds me of a (fictitious) law firm, “Dewey, Cheetam and Howe”.

  62. Hempenstein
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and a friend in the UK had a friend named Swadell. He married a girl named Maycock (the A is silent). They briefly considered hyphenating their names.

  63. Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    The proof reader for my thesis wondered if I was trying to prank her when she got to the part where I cited “Koch, Kunz and Reuter”, who often co-authored together.

  64. Gaucho
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    A birth notice in my local newspaper several years ago. Born to Lisa Hill and Harold Rose — “Arayah Sunshine Ona Rose-Hill”. I wonder how she’s doing.

  65. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    There’s a panelist who appears occasionally on MSNBC named Krystal Ball.

  66. Neil
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    There’s a urologist in town who’s known for vasectomies with the (actual, self-fulfilling) name Richard Chopp.

  67. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I remember hearing about a couple of new parents, surnamed ‘Peacock’, who’d got in the papers for naming their child ‘Drew’ and realising three or four months into the luckless sod’s life that they’d made a bit of a mistake.

    I also cut out and kept a story from the Guardian about a Gabonese leader who both had a funny name(funny in a slightly dodgy, un-PC way), and a funny appearance.

    I think the article might have been from when he died, and the same picture was used as is used in the following obit. from the Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/5478816/Omar-Bongo.html

    The world should have known more about Omar Bongo.

    • Posted October 8, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Ha! I once arrived in Gabon (to fly to Sao Tome for field work) just as President Bongo flew in and took a helicopter to his Presidential palace (a block from our hotel). He was accompanied, I’m told, by a guard of French mercenaries, as he wouldn’t trust his own countrymen to guard him.

  68. Lurker111
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard of a Dr. Doctor (Donald Doctor, as it happens), and a Dr. Deep (gyno, of course), and have personally seen ads for a dentist named Anthony J. Puller.

    Who says a family name can’t influence someone’s future?

  69. SnowyOwl
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Good that a guy named Coyne got his two cents in.

    • SnowyOwl
      Posted October 8, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Coyne Laundromat
      Coyne’s Stamps & Coins
      Coyne’s Home Wishing Wells

      Casa deCoyne: Self-serve ceviche dispensers in train and bus stations around Chicago; Also see our “Flip-a=Coyne” day-old selections.

      Coyne’s Editorial Protection… “We coyne’d that first!”
      ===
      http://www.jokebuddha.com/Coin

  70. Posted October 8, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Fanny Payne – banking client in the 70’s.
    Patients at a physical therapy clinic: Phuc U Ho and his wife Tryet Ho.

  71. Richard
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    And of couse the classic:

    “What about you? Do you find it… wisible… when I say the name… ‘Biggus’…’Dickus’? He has a wife, you know. You know what she’s called? She’s called… ‘Incontinentia’. ‘Incontinentia Buttocks’.”

  72. YoungAl
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Can’t believe no-one has mentioned this classic brought to our attention by Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr from war-torn Moscow in 1943. Both a beautifully written letter and a quite magnificent name. http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/we-all-feel-like-that-now-and-then.html

  73. imil42
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Here in Russia, we have a rather common family name Vagin (I happen to have one friend by this name). Consequently, the female variation of this name is Vagina. I’ve seen photos of this name on the doctor’s door.

    The letter “g” is pronounced as in “dog”, not as in “gin”, and the stress is on the first syllable, but the spelling is identical.

  74. Taskin
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    My humble contributions:
    I met a girl named Sarah Nading at music camp.
    My husband went to school with Tannis Ball.
    I heard of a gynaecologist in Harley St. named Dr. Stud.

  75. Mary L
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Once had to deal with an IRS agent, T.S. Kovell. Everyone agreed that he LIKED his first two initials.

  76. Posted October 9, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    My solicitor in Oban was always Robin Banks.

  77. Jonathan Caddy
    Posted October 9, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    There are a couple of ex football (soccer) players in the UK with the surname Neville. Their father’s name was Neville Neville.

    I used to work with a guy called Bob Mycock – after introducing himself he’d say it was his name, not an instruction.

    My wife’s father wanted to name her Valentina (she was born on Valentine’s day) – that would have given her the initials VD.

  78. NoJoy
    Posted October 18, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Like Andy Lowry above, my wife went to school with a Justin Case, as well as a Kim May.

    My housemate’s grandfather was a dentist who was friends with two surgeons. The three of them were Drs. Payne, Savage, and Butcher. He went to school with a Doug Wells.

    The Houston phonebook in the 80s had some names that were probably fake: Heller Highwater and James Tiberius Kirk.

    I went to college with a Constance Slaughter, and once worked with Anita House.

    Then there are the bad email addresses. I worked with a Paul Enos (penos) and a Seth Hitchings (shitchin).


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