Irony of names

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Have you ever read John Train’s “Most Remarkable Book of [Real People’s] Names”? Most recommendable. You will find that a married couple was called Doctor and Doctor Doctor. Then to list but a few of the enormously weird names out there:

  • Gaston J. Feeblebunny,
  • Mary Louse Pantzaroff of Huron Country, Ohio
  • Dr. E. Z. Filler, Dentist, Roslyn Heights, New York
  • Henry Ford Carr, Central City, Kentucky (one for you Shamus)
  • Comfort & Safety Bottom, Sisters, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan…and many more (see here).

And, then there are some people that come up with a posteriori justification for people’s more or less ordinary names like “Oh yes, you definitely are a Minter” or “Alexandra suits her well”… And most times, it is merely their own context/memory that makes that name “so fitting.”

Anyway, last night I was struck by the commentary that the Socialist candidate for the French Presidency, known for being autocratic, is named Royal and that the “right” man {Sarko, who is equally autocratic} is an immigrant who calls the un-integrated immigrants “rabble” (“racaille”). Maybe he should be called Sarkaustic.

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  1. Bob

    Cool stuff, Minter. You know, the first time I met you I said to myself, now this guy looks like a “Minter.”

    It’s amazing how we grow into our names and “resemble” names. People who don’t know me often mistake me for a Tom. I named my daughter Mackenzie and she couldn’t be anything else.

    Pet names are a kick too: I was going to name my dog, a Jack Russell Terrier, Coach but as I drove home and saw his face in the rearview, I could see the clear ball buster in him so he became at that moment, “Buster.” And lives up to it.

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