What’s In a…?

Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Ann Barlow, President West Coast

Several years ago, Steve and I started collecting some of the wonderful names we’ve come across Hoggima over our years with Peppercom.  Some sound musical, others highly descriptive, and a few just plain unfortunate (Juan Bosom comes to mind). On this last unofficial day of summer, I thought I’d look through the collection and share a few of our favorites.  Our goal is to have enough someday for a book. 

I remember beginning the collection with the name of Debjani Deb, who runs EmPower Research.  I just love the idea of starting and ending a name with the same name.  Of course, that same synchronicity worked for the parents of the other Peppercom founding partner when they named him Ed Moed.   Other names have wonderful balance, even when they don’t begin and end like Debjani’s and Ed’s name.  Newman Tang, for example.  Or Willburger Udo. Very east meets west, no?

The beauty of first names is, of course, that they imply choice.  Short of a legal solution, it’s tougher to change some of the interesting surnames we’ve encountered.   Someone sent an email a couple of weeks ago with the last name of Death.  Has a certain finality to it, no?  The head of communications for Toyota has the last name of Colon.  Unfortunate, especially with all of the, uh, crap, that company’s been through this year.  Perhaps worse, I came across a guy named Bert Wank.  I can only hope he doesn’t live in England.

But my favorites are the names that are particularly descriptive.   I was copied on an email, for example, from a woman whose last name is Walkup.  I hope she lives in an Upper East Side brownstone. We’ve done some work with a woman named Paula Paradise.  Not only heavenly, but fine alliteration, too.

One of our all-time favorites almost doesn’t seem like it can be real: Diane Light Waight.   She’s in marketing, which I guess is better than, say, law.  Or medicine.  Wonder if she boxes.

What names have you come across?  Send them our way and we’ll include them in the book.

9 thoughts on “What’s In a…?

  1. My all-time favorite was what Bill Lear did. Lear, of Lear Jet fame and inventor of the 8 track tape (for those of us old enough to remember 8 tracks) named one of his daughters Chanda. True story, saw her interviewed years ago on 60 Minutes.

  2. There was a defensive back named Earlie Thomas during the Jets Super Bowl hey-day of 1969. And how did he get his name “Earlie?” Why, he was born premature.

  3. Agreed, bookandbloggeek. In fact, it should qualify as child abuse. You just know John Senior, Jr., was harassed by his schoolmates.

  4. What were their parents thinking? It’s not rocket science to name a child and think of what they will be called, is it?

  5. Similar to bookandbloggeek’s example, I know a Richard Akins (pronounced with the long “A”) who goes by Dick…

  6. OK – This was really funny. I have been dealing with some of my boss’s friends for years with some unusual names. First up, was Robert Ballou, who went by Bob. So every time he would call I would tell my boss that Ricky Ricardo was on the phone. He got it. Another of his friends is Richard Harter. Goes by Dick. You get the picture.

  7. Thanks for sharing, Ms. B. The added beauty of collecting unique names is the speculative, ‘What if?’ So, for example, what if Peppercom’s Deb Brown were to marry Debjani Deb? Then, she’d be Deb Deb. That’s good stuff. Also, for the record, my business partner Ed’s full name is Edward Moedward. And, last but not least, my all-time favorite ‘business name’ is John Senior, Jr. What were his parents thinking?