Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's in a Name? by anchor baby

We all have read Shakespeare and some of us remember a few lines from this play or that, but nearly everyone remembers the gist of Romeo and Juliet. They lament of why their names are really the problem in their relationship, one having a name from the wrong side of the tracks.

  Jul.  O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father, and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.   
  Rom.  [Aside.]  Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
  Jul.  ’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part      
Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes        50
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Major bummer for those kids.

Since I was brought to this country in utero by my parents before they were naturalized I fall under the new term of "anchor baby". They were here legally and my mother was about three months along. Since the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868 I became a citizen of the USA on my birthday in summer of 1951.


Enough of this B.S. for now.

My Icelandic born Grandfather came from a patronymic naming system, whereby the sons and daughters are given a first and often middle name and their last name is the name of their father with "son" or "dottir" added to the end of it. It doesn't always happen this way, but usually. Horses in Iceland are often given a name followed by where they are from, usually a farm name or region. For example,  Thor fra Fitjamyri or Jodis fra Fitjamyri (fra meaning from). When people left or were sent away from Iceland, at least in the old days, they were sometimes given the name of the area they were from. My grandfather was born in Palmholti on the shores of  Eyjafjörður in northern Iceland. Eyjafjörður doesn't translate well into Norwegian or English so the last name was simplified in Norway and Anglicized in the U.S. in order to fit into our American English naming system.

Immigrants from many countries have the same issues and spellings and pronunciations change with need or a desire to blend in. Or not. Some want to keep a strong national or ethnic name in order to remember where they came from, to keep alive their cultural roots, or to take on some kind of personal identity. Parents will do some funny things, too. Take Moon Unit Zappa for example. Or Hazel Nut, Doug Graves, Neil Down, Justin Case, Norman Knight, Rose Bush, Rhoda Rage, Penny Whistler, Judy Punch, Chrystal Glass, Brandy Bottle, just to name a few.

Then along came the internet, blogs, forums, you name it with writers and commenters. There are clever names, funny names, stupid names, and names I just don't get because I'm not always the sharpest quill on the porcupine. Here are some names of writers and commenters I have run across lately. Some of you may recognize some of them. I won't put links to them as I am just too lazy, but they really are out there, right Pickleope? Here we go!

Dan Onymous
Insult to Rocks
Da Rat Bastid
Demon Duck of Doom
Nota Reptile
Yossarian Lives
Churchy LaFemme
Your Mom
That one Guy
Anita Winecooler
Oxymoron's Razor
Philbert McAdamia
Doubting Thomas
David J. Stewarts Penis
Smart Alec
Your Very Concerned Mother
Dizzy Dripping
The Cunning Linguist
Spuki Kitty
Pink Jackboots
Saint Gnocchi
The Sauceror

These are so much more than "anonymous", aren't they? So if you are ever tempted to leave an anonymous comment somewhere just remember you can make someone's day by having a little creative fun. On those days when both brain cells are working I might have this ability, too.


  1. The cartoons nicely address the proclivity of pols to pander to the least likely to think. At all.
    I like your discussion of names, a subject that has long fascinated me. I did a post on nicknames a couple years ago.

  2. Do you ever go to Starbucks and they want to write your name on a cup? I look around and say, "Why?" There's nobody else in here. I'm the only one waiting for a cup of hot milk."

    "'s policy, and we're trying to follow policy."

    "Oh, okay." (Because I understand the yoke of corporate policy). So I tell them my name is Precious, or Lovely, or Beautiful Babe.

    "Oh, c'mon now," the barista will say, her pen poised over the cup.

    So thank you for a list of names I can give them, because I'm way too lazy to think more stuff up. You've done a public service for everyone who has to give a name in order to get something. (Like an insuraance quote).

  3. My youngest daughter gave me my name after I had my wallet stolen on the Kyiv Metro for the second or third time. "Dad, you are just blog fodder".

  4. Holy Mooing Cow, Jono. I have to take an IQ test if I want to comment. The last post-it test wanted to know what pictures contain eggs. So I had to look up recipes to see if the casseroles and doughnuts they showed had eggs in the recipe. You must get a lot of trolls visiting your site. Your posts are interesting, so it's absolutely worth it, but remember...I'm lazy...real lazy.

  5. Pickleope isn't his real name?!

    How can I trust anything else he's said?

    I hope Donald Trump doesn't kick you out of the country if he wins.

  6. I have never had a relationship with the Bard... And I recall only obe line of his...and that was spoken by the beautiful Emma Thompson in Much Ado
    " my heart lies on the windy side of care"

  7. All of those nom de plumes would make great names for rock bands also!

    I especially like 'Yossarian Lives'......Heller would chuckle.

  8. I've never heard of anchor babies. But I have to admit I really chortled over that Donald cartoon, but didn't really get the others. I'm not an Amurrican, y'see.... but I AM an immigrant, eh?
    One day I'll explain my moniker... it all makes sense when you know what I'm talking about.

  9. Drag queens are another group who are absolutely brilliant at coming up with punny, naughty or outrageous nom de plumes for themselves.

  10. Jono, you're risking the wrath of the Donald! I dare you to come up with a moniker for him.

  11. Those names are hilarious! It always cheers me to find people who love wordplay as much as I do.

    P.S. When I clicked 'Publish', your anti-spam checker popped up a little panel that said, "Select all images containing waffles", along with a bunch of photos of food. I couldn't tell what half of them were, so I crossed my fingers and clicked a couple. It seemed satisfied, but I felt a waffle lot of pressure to perform. ;-)

    P.P.S. Now I've taken too long typing this so my verification has expired. Sure hope I get pictures of beer this time...

  12. P.P.S. Nope, it was 'pasta or noodles', and I failed on my first try. Let's see what I get this time...

  13. Vanilla, Well politics isn't about thinking. At all. Thanks for the link!

    barbfroman, I think I'll give them the name of a pro wrassler. Sorry 'bout the captcha. I can hardly tell what the pictures are either.

    The Blog Fodder, I always wondered about your moniker. I thought it may have a criminal element in it as in Godfather. Your daughter makes sense. :)

    Katy Anders, I'd trust Pickleope way more than Trump on just about everything. Except maybe comb-overs.

    John Gray, Even when the ever lovely Emma tells you to piss off it sounds delightful.

    Should Fish More, Some friends thought Jeremiah's Lung was a good name and a guy in Iceland was in a band called Inurendo.

    Shammickite, We Murkins have our own version of English which must sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to the British. I have been more than curious about your moniker. Perhaps, some day, I'll be blessed with the answer.

    Debra She Who Seeks, I was once on a trivia team with some attorneys. They called themselves the Loopholes. I called them the RuPauls.

    Donna Banta, Do you think he'll sue me for 500 million? He could sue me for 50 dollars, but even he can't get blood from a rock.

    Diane Henders, I love your word play. It's just at the edge of NSFW, or maybe over the edge. Sometimes the food they show in those spam checkers is barely recognizable and the pictures are too small even if the food wasn't hideous.

  14. Love this. I am not clever - but can recognise it when I see it. And I did.
    The young Donald rocks his hair. I wonder when that skill was lost.
    Did you know that you can completely ignore the captcha and comments will publish anyway?

  15. The cartoons go very well with this theme. Thank you so much for sharing this fascinating post.

  16. Elephant's Child, Yes, you are clever in many ways. I have been following you long enough to know that. I didn't know about the captcha. You have taught me already. :)

    Linda, Thanks! Poking fun at silly things often clarifies their meaning.

  17. are there any Roycroft's in Iceland? just curious..

    how come yellowdog granny's not on your list..ha

  18. JACKIESUE, Google "Roycroft in Iceland" and be surprised by the results. I was.I've seen Yellowdog Granny so much in the last few years that I think it is a perfectly normal moniker. Even in westbygoddesstexas!

  19. Sometimes you are just an Ol'Buzzard sitting on a tree limb and waiting for carrion - if the name fits you wear it
    the Ol'Buzzard

  20. Isn't is funny about naming conventions in different countries? I always was fascinated by the Icelandic way of naming sons and daughters. In Germany (especially in villages in Bavaria where old customs tend to hang on longer than other places), you had your first name, last name, and the "house name." It was the last name of the person who had first established the homestead, probably generations ago...someone with a last name that had long since died out, but the "house" still carried it.

    I'm a sucker for funny names...I visit blogs because of a clever name, and I drink beer and wine with catchy names.

  21. Ol'Buzzard, I have to admit I was a bit curious. It's good to know these things.

    Pixel Peeper, Until now the only thing I knew for sure about Bavaria was that Framus made guitars there. Next year will be the 50th year I have owned my Framus twelve string. Thanks for the lesson!

  22. I love odd or eccentric names, especially blog names, and like Pixel Peeper I will visit blogs just because of their names. In fact, my inability to come up with a satisfactory blog name is one more (tiny) reason I don't blog. You know the bigger reason :)

  23. Lately I struggle to get one braincell working. Two is asking a bit too much. Staying up on the news is killing my creativity and my motivation so I'm trying not to. I'm starting to believe that there is something to the saying that ignorance is bliss.

    If Donald loses, can we deport him?

  24. Meanwhile, my last name is just an illiterate accident. My family immigrated from Spain, last name Perez. Guy at the gate asked, "Name?" My great grandfather, in a very thick Spanish accident, said, "Peddezz." So the guy wrote it down phonetically, and not even well at that.

    So now my last name is Pedas, and everyone pronounces it wrong.

  25. Agi Tataer, I am sure there is a measurable ratio of time spent listening to politicians and loss of I.Q., hence the dumbing down of America.

    ABFTS, That's like the old joke about the Chinese guy named Ole Olson. The guy in front of him was named Ole Olson and when the official asked the Chinese guy what his name was and he said, "Sam Ting".

  26. Thank you for the use of my work, the colored cartoon with crazy guy and baby, I'm Ronald Leon AKA DaD O Matic' Twisted Cartoons. Feel free to visit and leave a comment.