Sunday, June 1, 2008

Aptronyms and Other Naming Fun

1. Aptronyms (or Aptonyms)
"An aptronym is a name aptly suited to its owner. Fictional examples of
 aptronyms include Mr. Talkative and Mr. Worldly Wiseman...  A related
 phrase is nominative determinism, ... suggesting, with tongue firmly
 in cheek, that people's life choices are influenced by their names."
e.g. Margaret Spellings, Education Secretary under George W. Bush

More real-life examples:
* Canadian Aptonym Centre
* Aptonyms @ Freakonomics blog
* "Charol Shakeshaft, Topped!: A Yellow Pages of Aptronyms"

2. NameVoyager
"The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager is a letter-by-letter exploration of
 American name trends and history. Type a letter and you'll zoom in to
 focus on how that initial has been used in names over the past century.
 Type more letters to zoom in further, down to the level of a single

3. "Biblical to bizarre: American baby names run the gamut"
"Planning on naming your baby Jacob or Emily? Be forewarned, those two
 names topped the US most popular list again last year - Emily for the
 11th year running."

4. "Sci-Fi Baby Names: From Anakin to Zardoz"
"Sci-Fi Baby Names compiles more than 500 distinctive names from movies,
 books, and television shows into a handy illustrated reference."

5. "'Fridge' and 'Tractor' make for outback mayoral contest with a difference"
"There is an unusual mayoral contest shaping up in Queensland's south-

6. "Bogan Pl residents lobby for name change"
"Residents of a street on Sydney's North Shore have been moved to action
 by the negative connotations of their street name - Bogan Place."

7. "Electrocybertronics"
"Want to put your company or product on the cutting edge of science?
 Simple. Add a trendy prefix or suffix to its name. But beware: what
 linguistic fashion raises up, it can also bring down."