Perhaps You Have Noticed That I Am Fond Of Excessively Lengthy Titles And Thus It Will Come As No Surprise That Today I Celebrate Some Bands With Sesquipedalian* Names

May 26, 2010

Empty heads are very fond of long titles.
• German proverb (Yes, yes, I know that this proverb likely refers to the kinds of titles bestowed on people like The Grand Poobah of Illuminated Graciousness and Seriousness of Purpose Related to Quantifying Brilliance, but I still like it.)

Some band names are brief. Get on with the music, they say; quit fooling around trying to decide what to name the band. Play. There were plenty of them in my recent collection, names like Bodybox, Greenhorse, Sledgeback, Widower, Thousands, Trainwreck, and Neutralboy.

There were also many delightful and sometimes random two-word combinations (perhaps those naming the band put words into a bag and drew them out until a particular combination was found amusing, although some things, like frog eyes and tea cozies, are examples of real life stuff that’s just inherently funny): Tuxedo Man, Smile Brigade, Tea Cozies, Killer Canary, Distant Relatives, Frog Eyes, Wooden Bison, Clarissa’s Weird (Isn’t everyone?), Nervous Energy, and Quiet Life.

But wait, there’re more: Campfire OK, Reflection Eternal, Eclectic Approach, Con Dad (What’s the story here?), Diego’s Umbrella, Hey Marseilles (Is this an indication that the band would like to greet the citizens of the largest port city in France or are they simply taking delight in the rhyme?), Strong Killings, Mother’s Anger, Tough Tittie, Planet Booty, Unmanned Drone, Afternoon American, and The Basements (Let’s name the band after our practice space?!), as well as ((Low Hums)) (((which I’m not sure how to pronounce, but maybe I just don’t get the purpose of the (()) ))).

Then there are the names that truly delighted me this time, the ones that really are more: more words, more syllables, more letters. I imagine these groups being introduced and it brings a smile to my face:

Super Happy Story Time Land
We Wrote the Book on Connections
Girls Just Wanna Have Prom
The Scarlet Tree All Stars
My Life with the Thrill Kill Cut
The Pioneers of Prime Time TV

Activate your brain. Give it a shot. It’s today’s braindance: neurobics for your gray matter.

Create your own band names using one word, two words, and at least five words. Imagine that you’re being queried by Rolling Stone and the interviewer wants to know why you chose those particular names. What will you say?

I’m naming my band Things They Say When They Really Want To Say Something Else. It’s an homage to my parents. Sometimes I wish they’d just yell at me instead of always being so reasonable.
• Student response, 1997

* Sesquipedalian describes long words, having many syllables, but can also refer to sentences that are long and ponderous, or, in this case, I’m using it to describe band names comprised of many words.



  1. Thanks for the shout out! Hit us up if you’d like us to play in your area. We’re always looking for the next place to play 🙂

    -The Pioneers of Prime Time TV

    • Kudos on your choice of names! I am an aficionado of great names and am always on the hunt since I teach creativity workshops and classes and use the “name your band” exercise regularly. I’d love to hear how “The Pioneers of Prime Time TV” came up with the name.

      AND, if you ever venture to the wilds of Southern Oregon, I’d love to hear you play!


  2. Send us an email at thepioneersofprimetimetv [at] gmail.com, and we’ll arrange for something. The band is always touring, and always looking for places in Oregon to play, Southern Oregon no exception 🙂

  3. Will do, Dan. I teach at Southern Oregon University–probably more of an audience in Ashland than in Grants Pass where I live. W-OZ

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