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10:38 a.m. - February 02, 2007
The Name Game
First off, a HUGE shout out to Nixtress (lock) for sending me “Der Kommisar” by Falco via email. I really need to put up a wish list again. Thanks, Nixtress! WOOOT!

And now, on to the main event….

I’ve always been fascinated with names.

My name is rather blah. I’m named after the last name of my Mom’s beloved grandmother, and it’s funny that she married a man that had the same last name. Yes, I have to lines of Scott in my background. And no, since we’re not from Kentucky (my Mom’s family is from rural Virginia before they moved to New Market and my Dad from Oklahoma and Indianapolis) they WEREN’T related. It just happened.

My last name is not common, but it’s not abnormal. It’s hard to spell, as people always want to drop an ‘i’ in place of the ‘e’ and sometimes forget the ‘d’, which half the time isn’t pronounced anyway. Liz seems to emphasize the ‘d’, though. It’s like she’s proud of the ‘d’.

But I like the unusual names that crop up now and then. I think my fascination with names started with my fascination with sports. As a kid, I read box scores with fervor and passion that seemed almost religious. Even though they were always abbreviated, you could figure out who Msrsmth was, or Fnzone.

I was a geekball from an early age, and I made up my own sports teams and once in a while saddled players from my imagination with some interesting names. The one name that’s always stuck with me is “Fedesfer”- which NO ONE has, and a Google search reveals nothing. But “Fedesfer” sounds normal enough, doesn’t it?

But even with my fourth grade imagination, I can’t top some names that I’ve seen.

Mind you, my fascination with names usually resides with last names, or combinations thereof of first and last names, but I must tell you one cringe-worthy story. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, as I’m too lazy to check my archives. And since it IS Groundhog day…

I had to cover some games over in Fountain County, the county next door to our county. There’s a town called Attica that has a small high school there. Like all small high schools, sometimes families seem to do everything for a while, just because the kids are all about the same age.

Well, there was this family that seemed to have the cheerleaders covered for a few years. Actually, it was two sets of girls, cousins to each other. One was a senior, two were juniors (not sisters, but cousins) and one freshman.

The senior was named Fraustina, but she went by Frosty.

The juniors? Holly and Jolly.

The freshman? Happy.

Frosty and Holly were sisters, as were Jolly and Happy.

Yes, they were cheerleaders.

Frosty, Holly, Jolly and Happy.

Wow.

Of course, when I was student teaching and helping out the Southmont girls’ program, I had a Bunny and a Sunshine, but Happy? I’d rather poke myself in the eye than be named Happy.

“Happy, why are you sad?”

See….

Anywho…

There are some with unfortunate combinations of names. One of the most famous is Texas oil baroness and philanthropist Ima Hogg. But here at Wabash, we have a few odd names amongst our alumni as well.

There’s a high school teacher and coach in Elkhart named “Homo”. And yes, he’s married with a child. There was a family in Crawfordsville named “Fagg”, but some of the kids changed it to “Flagg”. But of course, that name reminds me of a saucy redhead with nice tracts of land on the bottom row of the Match Game.

There’s a doctor that is P. Richard Jack. He goes by Dick. Yes. Dick Jack. He’s a great guy, by the way.

The current quarterback for the evil and loathsome DePauw Tigers (the alma mater of Dan Quayle) is Spud Dick. I had to announce that name all the time during the Monon Bell game, and I fought myself all of the time in an effort to stop snickering over the PA.

Baseball has some unusual names. The biggest WTF name is the player named Johnny Dickshot. I’m not lying, that’s the link to his career stats. His nickname was “Ugly”. Ugly Dickshot. Make your own jokes, people. I’m just setting them up for you to knock them down.

When I was a kid, I was enamored by the unusual names. Dave Freisleben, Paul Thormodsgaard (he played for the Twins, naturally and I bet he loved lutefisk), Steve Fireovid, John Urrea (which sounds painful, and his middle name was “Goody”), Dave Wehrmeister (no catchy song about him, though), Skip Jutze, Mark Bomback (not a good name for a pitcher), Jaime Cocanower, Randy Asadoor, Chuck Crim, Dane and Garth Iorg (I titled an essay on the 1985 Kansas City World Series champs “An Iorgy For the Royals” and the infamous Billy Joe Robidoux.

I guess there is a point to this. I’m weird. No, wait…

I guess the point is, embrace your name. It could be a lot worse!

Take John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt. I mean, that’s my name too, and it’s annoying because everyone always shouts it and sings “tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la”.

It’s enough to make a man hit the sauce.

 

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