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So Ask Yourself: Are You the Kind of Person Who Got a Weiner Dog Just So You Could Name It Oscar Meyer? More Name Stuff I Can’t Resist.

May 4, 2010

No object is stuck with its name so irrevocably that one cannot find another which suits it better.
• Rene Magritte

You’ve probably noticed my onomatonamia (n. an obsession with particular words or names and a desire to recall or repeat them). Actually, this probably isn’t the right name for my obsession with name stuff, but it’s certainly a name-related vocabulary word, so I’m including it with my namegame brainplay for friends or study groups.

Namegame number one:

If House were one of the seven dwarfs, he’d be Grumpy, not Doc.
• Promo for the television show
House, April 29, 2010

Which of the seven dwarfs (Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy, Dopey) would you be? OR If you were the eighth little person in the group, what would your name be? Consider these rejects from the movie naming: Jumpy, Burpey, Shorty, Nifty, Gabby, Tubby, Baldy, Puffy, Lazy, and Wheezy.

Namegame number two:

George Washington Diet Fresca.
Community, April 29, 2010, a porn star name (or a pseudonym for those playing this game with the under seventeen crowd) made by combining the name of your high school and your favorite soft drink

There are many versions of this game. Use this one or use the name of your first pet and the name of the first street you lived on to come up with your stripper name. I become Jitterbug Douglas. I learned this one from high school students, although I wouldn’t recommend initiating it with them. Or devise your own combination of things from your past—your first car and the state–or country or province–you were born in, for example. That’s your cowpoke name, making me Ford Illinois, a hard-ridin’ ‘n’ steer-ropin’ gal! (Actually, it was a Ford Falcon, so I suppose I could choose and possibly become Falcon Illinois, also a dandy option.)

Namegame number three:

Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves.
• C. Astrid Weber

You can make up your own author’s name or you can generate a nom de plume with the pen name generator at http://www.poemofquotes.com/tools/pen-name.php/. I visit the site and I don’t like the first feature: I have to submit my gender. I choose female and become “Our Lady Bonbons.” I see if I will fare better as a male and get “Sir Pumpkin Longshanks.” I can do better myself, following in the footsteps of other famous folks like Robert Beck who identifies as Iceberg Slim or Dav Pilkey of Captain Underpants fame who parodies pseudonym by using Sue Denim.

Namegame number four:

My name is only an anagram of toilets.
• T.S. Eliot

I’d try making an anagram of my name, but when faced with its letters, I feel like I do when I get a bad draw in Scrabble®. Too many i’s, a z, and a k. I’ve visited anagram-creating sites—there are many—but when I enter the letters of my name, everything begins with lionizer and becomes incomprehensible from there. My favorite anagram: Frito Lay = Oily Fart, but then you know I love fart stuff. Perhaps you’ll have better luck with your name. I do like Nniz Yeliro Snikliw, however.

Namegame number five:

When I was ten we moved and I decided that none of the names I was then called—Reggie, Bobby, Baa—suited me. Somehow I hit on Rex. I must have heard someone calling for their dog and thought it sounded rather nice.
• Rex Harrison

Okay—you have to take the name of a pet as the name your friends will call you. A literal pet name. What’s it gonna be? I quickly discard Jitterbug and Whiskers and Francois and Sitka and Sam and decide I’ll have to think about this one. Clearly, I haven’t had enough pets—and they’ve all been guys. Not that there’s anything wrong with adopting a male name–there’s a long history of that for womenfolk who want to be taken seriously (sigh), but still none of these is something I’d want to hear called across a crowded room.

Namegame number six is up to you.

What’s your namegame?

If I’d given you that freedom at three, your name would be Count Chocula Botwin.
• Mary Louise Parker, in
Weeds, to her son who’s said he thinks you should get to pick your own name

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3 comments

  1. I went through quite a lot of morphs to get—well, I’m not sure if I’m really there yet. I first chose Please B. Inspired because obviously my brain is a vacuum right now. Then I realized I hadn’t worked on any art since getting out of school. (My passion) So I changed my name to Art D. Prived. Then I planted 31 flower bulbs around the house and felt really powerful until the next day when I found something had dug them up. They ate my favorite lily bulbs and left the rest on the top of the soil. I then transformed into Lily B. Dugup. I decided I was going to cause someone to cry with all this sadness so I finally got out the Scrabble tiles and found my name letters. I magically became Mira Shona Stihn, which sounds pretty romantic I think.


  2. i can play scrabble all day long cause i love to play with words and rearrange them for higher points :`*


    • I am a letter-lover too. As I drive down the highway, I make new words from the words I see on signs. Target becomes rat and tar and get and tat and well, you get the picture. I’m a letter gal, I am, although I must also admit that I like adding up numbers on bottles and boxes and having the front, back, and sides compete to see which one is highest. My brain is always busy and that’s why I try my best to keep it occupied with worthwhile–or at least semi-productive stuff. Left to its own devices, it invents silly games! W-OZ



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