In general, many prominent families have several members with same names who came to prominence in similar lines of work, sometimes in periods not too far apart, which can cause confusion. Among others, there have been two John Adamses and two George Bushes who have been US presidents (the latter pair only 8 years apart), two British prime ministers named William Pitt, two American four-star admirals named John Mc Cain (and another who was a navy captain and a presidential candidate), a pair of army generals named George Patton (in addition to several other family members with the same name), a pair of German panzer generals named Heinz Guderian.
ABC, the U.S. commercial broadcast network owned by Disney, The ABC, Australia's public broadcaster, early ITV franchise holder the Associated British Corporation and ABC, the successful British band from The Eighties. "ABC" is also the title song to The Jackson 5's second album for Motown, and was once a British broadcaster and cinema chain.
There's also the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation in Japan, a member of a group of networks headed by TV Asahi.
It's a generic name, but John Adams has done it all. He was the second President of the United States, and also the sixth, an obscure contestant from American Gladiators, a revered minimalist composer, a participant in the Mutiny on the Bounty, and has probably held many other interesting occupations.
Scott Adams is the name of either the cartoonist of Dilbert or a series of old text adventure games.
The American Hockey League has two teams named the Admirals - Norfolk and Milwaukee. They entered the AHL a year apart from each other (Norfolk was first). That's because the two teams were originally part of different leagues. Milwaukee came into the league from the International Hockey League when it folded, Norfolk moved up from the ECHL when its City Council threatened to revoke their lease if they didn't move to the highest level of minor pro hockey.
AFI stands for either American Film Institute, or a band called A Fire Inside, among other things.
Rick Allen is the drummer for Def Leppard famous for continuing to play even after losing an arm. Rick Allan was a DJ for Toronto's CHUM-FM. He left before the band made it big. However, he did become rather famous around the same time as the band as a comedic actor using his real name: Rick Moranis.
"AM" refers to at least two things: the Latin phrase "ante meridiem", which refers the time between midnight and noonnote in other words, morning (as opposed to "post meridiem" or more commonly "PM"), and "amplitude modulation", the radio technique that predated frequency modulation (see later in the article).
Ian Anderson the lead singer/flautist in Jethro Tull, folk guitarist and editor of Roots magazine Ian A. Anderson, soccer player Ian Anderson, or Scottish extreme right-wing politician and National Front member Ian Anderson? (There was a small controversy when quotes from the third example were attributed to the first example)
Jamal Anderson was a 7th-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons; he was a running back whose solid career was cut short by knee injuries. Jamaal Anderson was a 1st-round draft pick of those same Falcons; he is a defensive lineman whose career never took off.
Another common name, but John Anderson has been a U.S. Presidential candidate, a country singer, a baseball player, an ESPN anchor, and a character actor.
And none of these should be confused with Yes lead singer Jon Anderson (whose name was originally spelled with an "h").
There's Mark Antony the Roman statesman and general, and then there's Marc Anthony the American singer and songwriter.
And wrestling writer Marc "Fozzie Bear" Anthony of TJR Wrestling.com
Apple Corp versus Apple Inc. Since they were originally in totally different lines of business, this recycling of a trademark wasn't a problem — until Apple Inc. decided to move into computer music, whereupon the older Apple objected.
Neil Armstrong was the first human to walk on the Moon. Neill Armstrong was a player and coach in the NFL and Canadian Football League.
There are two association football teams named Arsenal F.C. The Argentine team is usually referred to as Arsenal de Sarandí to avoid confusion with the English team.
Similar sports team naming kerfuffles erupted when, for instance, the Canadian Football League tried to name an expansion team the Baltimore Colts a decade after the NFL team by that name had fled to Indianapolis. The ensuing lawsuit caused the expansion team to literally play without a name for its inaugural season before gaining the Stallions moniker the next year, though they would move to Montreal and become the Alouettes the year after that.
James Baldwin was an early 20th century philosopher, a Vietnam War era general, a novelist, and a baseball player.
The Peter Banks of EightiesOne-Hit Wonder "Der Kommissar" (the Engish-language version of the Falco hit) is not to be confused with the late founding Yes guitarist Peter Banks.
Tony Banks: Genesis keyboardist, former NFL quarterback, or a (late) British member of Parliament?
Tom Baker is the name of the actor best known as the fourth Doctor, and also the name of a mastering engineer who has worked on material by Nine Inch Nails amongst other bands. There are quite a few others as well, perhaps unsurprisingly, since both "Tom" and "Baker" are pretty common names.
Hank Bauer was the name of a right fielder for baseball's New York Yankees in the '50s, and a running back for football's San Diego Chargers in the '70s.
In another non-person-related example, there are two different off-price retail chains in the south both called Bealls (pronounced "bells"): one based in Texas and one based in Florida. The latter goes by Burke's in areas where their markets overlap.
Billy Beane is the former utility outfielder who became the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. Billy Bean is also a former journeyman outfielder who is one of two former Major League Baseball players to come out as gay (the late Glenn Burke is the other). And another Billy Bean had a career that had little to do with baseball (he was a jazz guitarist).
There are two different British musicians named Andy Bell. One was a guitarist and singer for the band Ride, guitarist for the bands Hurricane #1 and Gay Dad, bassist (and occasionally guitarist) for Oasis, and currently guitarist for Beady Eye. The other is the singer from the band Erasure.
Kenny Bell somehow played wide receiver for both Nebraska's and Alabama's college football teams in 2013.
Joan Bennett: Glamorous movie star from the 1930's and 1940's (and aunt to Morton Downey, Jr.), or glamorous Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 1985?
William Bennett is an American conservative political commentator who landed in a heap of controversy when his gambling addiction became public knowledge, or a British musician noted as the chief driving force behind power electronics act Whitehouse (which, in turn, is named in "honour" of Moral Guardian Mary, as well as a British pornographic magazine of the same name, and not after the seat of the American presidency).
In another non-person example, Italy has multiple companies named Beretta, of which the most famous and largest are a weapon manufacturer and a manufacturer of salami, sausages, ham and similar foods.
Robert Blake (original name Mickey Gubitosi) was an actor who (allegedly) murdered his wife. Bob Blake was a 5-time Jeopardy! champion who was not only the first player to earn over $75,000 in regular competition (which was the then-winnings cap), but also won the 1990 Tournament of Champions. Neither seems to be related to Robert M. Blake, creator of the World of Fizz. Also bearing mention is retired NHL defenseman Rob Blake.
Double-whammy in the case from the latter: While one of the members is named Kyle, makes Harsh Noise, and lives in Melbourne, he is not Kyle Dennis.
Daniel Boone has been the name of an American Pioneer, a baseball pitcher, a British singer, and a British Member of Parliament.
Cameron Boyce is both an Australian cricket player and the child actor who plays Luke Ross on Jessie.
Some episodes of Inspector Morse were written by a guy named Daniel Boyle. This is different from the Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle... who did direct some Morse episodes.
Michael Bradley, according to The Other Wiki there are more than 10 different Michael Bradleys. The most prominent ones being Michael Joseph Bradley (1897-1979), American congressman of Pennsylvania, and Michael John Bradley (1933-2010), British governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Tom Brady is the name of both a star NFL quarterback for the New England Patriots, and a movie director whose credits include The Comebacks and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.
Did you know? Alton Brown pitched seven games for the Washington Senators in 1951, eleven years before he was born.
James Brown is: a.) the Godfather of Soul, b.) a legendary American football player, better known as "Jim", c.) an American sports announcer, formerly with Fox and now with CBS, d.) a music video director who frequently works with Tori Amos, e.) a journalist and former editor of loaded and f.) a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (although he goes by his middle name, Gordon), g.) a soccer striker for Hartlepool, h.) a former quarterback for the University of Texas and professional teams in several leagues and now an assistant coach at Lamar University, h.) drummer for UB40.
VJ "Downtown" Julie Brown might have shown the video for singer/comedianne Julie Brown's The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun. The latter eventually starred in an MTV show called Just Say Julie and billed herself as Miss Julie Brown to eliminate the confusion.
There's also an athlete named Julie Brown who was a long distance runner, as well as a completely different actress named Julie Caitlin Brown who appeared in Series/Babylon5.
Les Brown was a big band leader known for his "Band of Renown". Les Brown is also a famous motivational speaker. And Less Browne was a star defensive back in the Canadian Football League.
Marc Brown, the writer of the Arthur books. Not to be confused with Marc Brown, former anchorman for ABC 7 News.
Former Spice GirlMelanie Brown should not be confused with Canadian voice actress Melleny Brown.
Zac Brown, country singer; meet Zach Brown, Tennessee Titans linebacker.
James Buchanan: 15th President of the United States, or Nobel Prize-winning economist?
This caused at least one jazz-loving member of the Hatedom to do a double-take at his playlist.
In Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, he tells a story of being picked up at an airport by a driver named William Buckley. The driver thought Carl had the same problem as he did, since Carl had the same name as "that science guy." (His response: "I am that science guy.")
Buffalo, Texas changed its name twice because of sports; both situations happened in a league championship game between a team from Dallas (the closest major city to Buffalo) and a certain city lying on Lake Erie: first to Blue Star, Texas when the Dallas Cowboys played the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl (twice), and later to Green Star, Texas when the Dallas Stars played the Buffalo Sabres for the Stanley Cup.
James Bulger the Liverpool infant who was murdered in 1993, is clearly not the same person as James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger the Bostonian mobster, who amongst other things is said to have committed or arranged several murders.
Burger King: Home of the Whopper and The Burger King, or an older restaurant in Mattoon, Illinois? This actually became the case of a lawsuit, which resulted in the nation-wide chain being unable to open a Burger King within 20 miles of Mattoon.
Does Richard Burton mean the actor who married Elizabeth Taylor twice or the translator, spy/explorer who translated The 1001 Nights, went to Mecca, and tried to find the source of the Nile? They even made a movie (Mountains of the Moon) about the explorer; it did not star the actor (he would have been too old).
Does Robert Burton refer to the author of The Anatomy of Melancholy or the British track star?
There are three different writers called John Byrne, two of whom also illustrate their work. The best-known works in comic books and was responsible, amongst many other things, for the 1986 Superman reboot. The second wrote the TV series Tutti Frutti, while the third (who sometimes calls himself Johnny Byrne) wrote scripts for Gerry Anderson.
In north germany, there is a small town named California. (Explaination, this town was founded near a shipwreck and the only thing which could be salvaged from the wreck was a plate with the word "California". Because of this, people decided to name the town California.)
Bill Callahan is a singer/songwriter, a TV producer best known for Scrubs and the offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys.
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, and Cambridge MA are connected; John Harvard, who graduated from Cambridge University, was one of the first benefactors of Harvard University, which was consequently renamed after him.
Bruce Campbell is an actor, right? Or is he an American football offensive tackle who was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft?
When you mention you're a fan of Erica Campbell, make sure you specify if you mean the gospel singer◊ or the clothes-unfriendly model◊ (picture SFW, don't worry). The latter gave it all up in 2008 and converted to Christianity, which might make it even more confusing.
Harry Carey (with an "e") was a popular silent-film actor, and his son, Harry Jr., was a popular character actor of the 1940s and 1950s. Harry Caray (with an "a") was a legendary baseball announcer with the Cardinals, White Sox, and Cubs.
Two Brazilian players share their names with singers: Roberto Carlos (FIFA World Cup champion who played in Spain for a long time) and Fábio Júnior.
Madeleine Carroll: 1930s English actress or modern-day American actress?
Chris Carter, a creator of The X-Files. Or the Throbbing Gristle musician. Or Cris Carter, the American football wide receiver. Another Chris Carter is a producer and disc jockey who hosts the radio show Breakfast With The Beatles, and who used to play bass with alternative band Dramarama in The Eighties. Meanwhile, two Chris Carters played outfield in Major League Baseball in 2010, one in his final season, one in his first.
Admit it. You weren't the only one to think that Dixie Carter (of Designing Women fame) was the president of the TNA wrestling promotion.
The Houston Astros chose catcher Jason Castro with the tenth overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft, not even a month after a different Jason Castro was eliminated from season 7 of American Idol in fourth place.
In the state of Texas, judges are elected, but few voters care enough to become informed about or actually vote in judicial elections. Worse, the few that do have to go through candidates for an absurd number of seats on the bench. As a result, the "name game" plays a huge role in who gets elected. Ron Chapman got elected despite being a Democrat in a Republican-dominated year because he shares the name of a popular Texas radio DJ. And that's not just a theory; on a survey regarding politician name recognition, most people who claimed to be familiar with Chapman listed his public office as "DJ". Conversely, judicial candidates with difficult-to-spell (or pronounce) names, like Cathy Herasimchuk, find it difficult to get elected no matter how much partisan or financial support they get.
Jackie Chan, the well known Chinese martial artist and film actor, is not to be confused with Jacqui Chan, a Chinese-descended actress from Trinidad & Tobago.
Mark David Chapman is the man who shot and killed John Lennon. This was rather unfortunate for British actor Mark Lindsey Chapman when he auditioned for the role of Lennon in a biopic. (Needless to say, he didn't get the part. But he has gotten many others.)
Steve Chapman is a contemporary Christian musician who had his greatest popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Another Steve Chapman entered the same industry in the late 1980sï¿½but presumably in deference to the first Steve Chapman, he records under his full name of Steven Curtis Chapman (and has achieved even greater success).
Dave Chappelle was the star of Chappelle's Show. David LaChapelle is a prominent photographer.
Don Cherry is the name of an American jazz musician (father to Eagle-Eye and stepfather to Neneh), an American singer who had a few pop hits in the 1950s, and a Canadian NHL coach turned Hockey Night in Canada commentator.
Deepak Chopra the New Age guru and favourite of Oprah Winfrey? Or Deepak Chopra, president of Canada Post?
Winston Churchill was not happy to learn about Winston Churchill the American novelist. The British Churchill wrote only one novel, being better known for his popular histories and journalism. Both Churchills had political careers, and were both noted amateur painters. The British Churchill, upon becoming aware of the American Churchill's books, wrote to him suggesting that he would sign his own works "Winston S. Churchill", using his middle name (actually part of his surname), "Spencer", to differentiate them. This suggestion was accepted, with the comment that the American Churchill would have done the same, had he any middle names. Supposedly (it might just be a joke), the British one had first suggested the American change his name and was informed that since the American was born three years earlier, the American said the British one should be the one changing it.
There was also his grandson Winston Churchill - who was another British MP. For the same political party (Conservative).
Many countries have had a Civil War. One online essay on the Genesis track The Battle of Epping Forest (written by an American fan) got the English Civil War (which is of course the one Genesis were referencing) confused with the American Civil War.
British railway timetables used to include Clapham (London) and Clapham (Yorkshire). The two communities are linked because the aristocratic Claphams used to live in the Surrey village which, much later, got absorbed into London, then moved to Yorkshire and founded another village. The first of these has since been renamed Clapham High Street because it was too often confused (even by railway staff) with Clapham Junction — which is unconnected with either Clapham station; it's in Battersea, not Clapham.
Incidentally, this trope is a large reason for the tendency of Americans to apply London England Syndrome to city names. There are many cities in the US that share names with each other, many of them named after places or people in Europe. And at least a few had their names changed due to confusion caused on railways as with the Clapham communities.
John Clay, a news anchor for WTAJ of Altoona, Pennsylvania, a sportswriter for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky, or a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
There are two famous musicians named Les Claypool. One is the singer and bassist for Primus. The other works in anime and video game sound recording, and has collaborated with director Steve Wang on a few of his projects.
John Cheese is a writer for Cracked and possibly the "John" in John Dies at the End by David Wong (wait — Dave and John fight monsters and save the world in an internet story that became a physical book? I've heard that before...); "John Cheese" would've been John Cleese's name if his dad hadn't changed it, to John's annoyance ("Everyone knows what a 'cheese' is but what on earth is a 'cleese'?").
Cinemax is one of the major American premium cable channels. Don't confuse it with CineMAX, a chain of movie theaters in India, or the Czech Republic-based video game developer known for games like Daemonica and Inquisitor.
Clinton, Michigan can be either Clinton Charter Township, which is northeast of Detroit, or the village southwest of Ann Arbor. (Most people drop the "Township" from Michigan's charter townships. The same is true of Harrison, Michigan, which can be either Harrison Charter Township (also northeast of Detroit), or Harrison, the city a few miles north of Mount Pleasant in the middle of the state.
Phil Collins enjoyed great success as a member of Genesis and as a solo artist. Another Phil Collins enjoyed little success as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1930's.
Jerry Colonna is either a comedian/singer or a venture capitalist.
Director/producer Chris Columbus did not discover America. Christopher Columbusnote Original Spanish name: "Cristobal Colón" really didn't, either, although he's traditionally credited with doing so. This was lampshaded when Chris Columbus named his production company 1492 pictures.
Coney Island: Either the famous beachfront amusement mecca on Long Island, NYC, or an equally venerable amusement park in Ohio (the latter originally called 'Ohio Grove' but nicknamed "Coney Island of The West" and eventually the name was borrowed entirely).
It's also a generic term for a casual diner-type restaurant in Michigan.
Even countries can fall victim to this- the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a large, underdeveloped, rainforest nation in Africa) and the Republic of the Congo (another nation in Africa which is smaller, more developed, and just as rainforest-y) are NOT the same place.
Averted for a few years when the former country was named Zaire.
There's the Dominican republic known as Dominica, then there's the Dominican Republic. There's Guyana and Dutch Guyana, now known as Suriname, along with French Guiana and Venezuelan Guayana. There's Macedonia, along with the nameless former Yugoslav republic. There are Indians from India and Native American Indians. And worst of all, there's Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Papua New Guinea, along with the former Dutch New Guinea, Danish Guinea, Dutch Guinea, German Guinea (next to all the other guineas, as opposed to the German Guinea in modern Papua New Guinea), the Guinea region of Virginia, and as a cherry on top, the British Guinea, a coin in the old Imperial British monetary system (which in turn was borrowed for the Arabic name of the Egyptian currency—Gineh in Cairo dialect—because it was originally the same value, but which was then translated into English as "pound").
Quentin L. Cook: Mormon apostle, or the real name of Fatboy Slim?
Robin Cook is the name of both a (late) British MP and an American medical-thriller novelist.
Sam Cooke is a soul music legend. Be careful with the NSFW image searches since Sam(antha) Cooke is a British glamour model. And there's also Sam Koch (same pronunciation), a punter for the Baltimore Ravens.
Alice Cooper is also a scriptwriter, journalist and women's rugby correspondent in England. Although she prefers to be known as Alice D. Cooper and her Web presence stipulates "Alice D. Cooper (United Kingdom)"
Harry Corbett created the much-loved British puppet character Sooty. Harry H. Corbett starred in Steptoe and Son, and used his middle initial to avoid confusion. Rumour has it the Prime Minister Harold Wilson was still confused, so that both Harry Corbetts received MBEs after he initially offered the award to the wrong one.
Bill Cosby is a famous black comedian. William Cosby was Royal Governor of New Jersey in the 1730s and the antagonist of the Zenger case, which allowed freedom of the press.
Is Brian Cox a former keyboard player from the band D:Ream and current particle physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider or a Scottish actor known for his roles in Manhunter, X-Men 2 and The Long Kiss Goodnight??
Tom Cruise is the owner of the HoverRound company that helps elderly people with the need — the need for speed.
Colgate once tried to launch a toothpaste in France called "Cue". It was also the name of a French pornographic magazine. The toothpaste probably didn't sell very well.
"Cul" is French for "arse/ass", which sounds similar to the English word "cue".
Jim Cummings. The prolific voice actor shares his name with James Harvey "Mister Jim" Cummings (1890-1979), a long-serving member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Mister Jim held his position from 1928 to 1972.
Meet Ben Curtis, professional golfer. That dude is certainly not getting a Dell.
Court TV once was showing a trial in which an FBI agent was testifying, and when he began his testimony he stated his name: Jeffrey Dahmer. He is not related to the Milwaukee man of the same name who died in prison after being convicted of killing and eating his victims.
If you visit the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), you might meet Elizabeth Daley. No, not Elizabeth Daily, who played Dottie in Pee Wees Big Adventure; I'm talking about the current Dean of the School of Academic Arts. And if you'd been on the campus about 10 years ago, you might have bumped into Kristy Swanson. No, not the originator of the role of Buffy Summers; she was the receptionist for the USC Alumni Association office.
Richard Daley: Former Chicago mayor; his son, namesake, and another former Chicago mayor; or the bassist for the Reggae band Third World?
The BBC's season of programmes on Charles Darwin has featured programmes named What Darwin Didn't Know and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, which share their names with books of the same name. However, the former is a book that promotes Intelligent Design, the programme exactly the opposite. The latter chronicles nearly the same subject matter as the former (namely, the implications of Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
Creator/>Keith David' is an black US actor most recently known for voicing the cat in Coraline. Keith David is also the name of a black British rapper.
Let's not forget another noted character actor (and Patrick Swayze-lookalike), David Keith.
Sylvie Davidson: A black French singer, or a white American theatre actress and folk/country singer?
General Jefferson Davis (1828-1879) of the Union should not be confused with President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) of the Confederacy. Both were active in The American Civil War. Jefferson Davis (1862-1913), Governor of Arkansas, was not related to either man. Though some of his voters reportedly mistook him for a son or nephew of the President. "A belief that Davis did nothing to discourage".
Another Jim Davis was famous for playing Jock Ewing on Dallas.
English actress Sammi Davis-Voss often joked about being confused with Sammy Davis Jr.,before adding her husband's name.Was cast in as his Swedish wife in a bio- film that was never made.
James Dean the actor has been dead since 1955. Jimmy Dean the country singer and sausage seller stayed around until 2010.
It doesn't help that the play/film Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is about James Dean.
There are at least two musicians with the stage name Ricky Dee; the first wrote "Devil in His Heart" (which was covered by The Beatles as "Devil in Her Heart") and the second, a country singer, was born about four years after "Devil in His/Her Heart" was released. It is not known whether the first was the Ricky Dee who recorded "Disco Duck"; it wasn't the second, who would only have been about eight years old at the time.
John Deere was a blacksmith who invented the steel plow and founded the Deere & Company agricultural equipment corporation. John Dear is a Catholic priest who participated in the Plowshares disarmament movement, named for the "swords into plowshares" passage in the Book of Isaiah.
Jack Dempsey was a heavyweight boxing champion during The Twenties. Another Jack Dempsey, nicknamed "The Nonpareil", fought in the lightweight and middleweight classes in the 1880's.
Reginald Denny was the name of an old Hollywood character actor, as well as that of a truck driver who was attacked and beaten during the Rodney King riots in 1992.
Matt Dillon is known for writing many computer programs and for developing DragonFly BSD. There's also an actor with that name.
There are two hip hop artists named Doctor Dre. One is a DJ who worked with Ed Lover and the Beastie Boys; the other, who spells his name Dr. Dre, is a rapper who's worked with Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
Brian Drummond is best known for voicing Vegeta in the "Over 9000" scene from Dragon Ball Z. Ryan Drummond is best known as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog from 1998 to 2005.
Dublin and Blackpool are at the same latitude on opposite shores of the Irish Sea. Dubh linn is Gaelic for black pool.
Also of note is that Dublin has a suburb named Blackpool. As does Cork, Ireland's second city.
We have Amelia Earhart, the pilot who went missing, and Amelia Earhart, traffic reporter for NBC's Denver affiliate KUSA (she left for Los Angeles briefly in 2009). A promo from 2005 actually played off of this.
The traffic reporter Earhart thought they were related, but turned out they are not. It still inspired her to learn flying, quit her job, raise money via crowd sourcing, and embark on an around-the-world flight of her own following footsteps of the famed aviator.
A quip for hardcore soccer fans: "Actually I wanted Eto'o, but seems the president heard Edu." (Mike Büskens, trainer of German club Fürth)
John Edwards is an American politician of the Democratic Party, who unsucessfuly sought the presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. John Edward (no s) is a professional psychic medium who has starred in two television shows. The latter's use of Cold Reading techniques lead to detractors calling him a Phony Psychic, but he obviously still has fans.
There is also Jedward, a pair of annoying hyperactive Irish popstar twins, who were initially known by their first names John and Edward.
"Falcão", Portuguese for "falcon", can lead to this. The first exponent was retired Brazilian striker Paulo Roberto Falcão, who inspired both the nickname of futsal player Alessandro Rosa Vieira and the name of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao García Zárate (notice the lack of accent). In Brazil there are also two singers with a Last Name Basis, rock singer Marcelo Falcão and camp-fueled comedy singer Marcondes Falcão.
Terry Farrell, actress who portrayed Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has a similar name to Perry Farrell, lead singer of Janes Addiction. Not that people would get them confused, them being opposite genders and all.
There are at least three email services called Fastmail (not counting those whose name includes Fastmail); the Australian one which is now a subsidiary of Opera, the Canadian one (whose rep showed briefly on EmailDiscussions because his service was mistaken for the Australian one), and the Greek one.
c) Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish former football manager?
Although many NFL players move on to professional wrestling once their football days are over, the Manny Fernandez who wrestled in the 1980s is not the same Manny Fernandez who played for the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s. Nor did he play goalie for the Minnesota Wild during the 2000s.
Rudy Fernandez: The late action star from the Philippines, or the basketball player from Spain. You choose.
In the past, there were two open-source programs named Firebird; a database server and a Web browser. To avoid confusion, the Web browser's name was changed to the more familiar Firefox. The database server is still called Firebird.
What's more, its name was changed to Firebird because its original name, Phoenix, is also the (trademarked) name of a company that develops BIOS software for PCs.
And then there's the Mozilla project's browser for Mac OS X only, Camino. It was originally called Chimera, but changed because several other pieces of software are also called Chimera (including a very old web browser for UNIX).
And Firebird is also a type of flashy Pontiac muscle car.
Another "Firebird" is a kind of Gibson electric guitar.
FM: frequency modulation, a technique for broadcasting high-qualty audio; a misnomer for VHF Band 2 (because that's where the radio stations which use FM are); the Federal Republic of Micronesia; and Opera Software's former e-mail subsidiary (now once more independent), FastMail (who drew their self-chosen abbreviation, as well as their domain name, partly from Micronesia).
Harrison Ford shares a name with a silent film actor, who famously had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame long before him.
Coaching two different Atlantic Coast Conference teams (Clemson and Duke) simultaneously from 1974 to 1980 would've been one of the greatest feats in college basketball history, except it was actually two unrelated guys named Bill Foster.
Samantha Fox, the Page 3 model and pop singer, is not to be confused with adult film actress Samantha Fox.
Francis I was a 16th-century king of France from the Valois dynasty. In 2013, he was elected Pope before deciding to just go with Francis.
There is a U.S. state called Georgia and a Caucasus country named Georgia. The American Georgia is named after King George II, while the country gets its name from the Persian-Arabic designation ï¿½ gurğ / ğurğ. They call themselves Kartvelebi and their country Sakartvelo.
Naturally, the hometown crowd in Atlanta, Georgia cheered for Georgia (the country) when they appeared at Parade of Nations at the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.
This whole issue was played for laughs (and combined with a Ray Charles reference) in "Back In the USSR", by The Beatles.
And Georgia's always on my my my my my my my my my mind.
Similarly, the Doom Patrol's Flash Forward is surprised to find the prosthetics expert helping Robotman is Georgian. "Naw, see, my mama, she from Atlanta, and if you a cracker..."
In Community Troy is representing Georgia at a Model UN, and breaks out an outrageous Southern accent. It turns out he did research the right place, he just decided to do the accent anyway.
Joe Gibbs: Former Washington Redskins coach and a NASCAR team owner who won two Sprint Cup championships with Tony Stewart, or legendary Reggae producer?
Paul Gilbert was an actor in The Thirties. A different Paul Gilbert played guitar with pop-metal bands Racer X and Mr. Big.
The Gilbert Scott architectural family, starting with George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878). His son, George Gilbert Scott (1839-1897), was also an architect. With the result that working out who designed what has been a nightmare for some architectural historians.
The family also included architects John Oldrid Scott (1841-1913), Charles Marriott Oldrid Scott (1880-1952), Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960), Adrian Gilbert Scott (1882-1963), Elisabeth Scott (1898-1972), and Richard Gilbert Scott (1923-). Disambiguating their works can get tricky.
David Gilmore, an experimental jazz guitarist, should not be confused with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
Alberto Gonzales is a former US Attorney General. Alberto Gonzalez is the name of a baseball player for the Washington Nationals. A different Alberto Gonzalez composed music for Infogrames' video games, and has written some Crowning Music of Awesome for the entire Game Boy system. And none of these are to be confused with Albert Gonzalez, who hacked TJ Maxx' credit card processing system.
Alex Gonzalez and Alex Gonzalez. They play the same position as well (shortstop) but their careers had much more overlap. (Both even played for the Toronto Blue Jays, though not at the same time.)
Jose Gonzalez is a Swedish-Argentine singer-songwriter. Jose Gonzales is a Seattle-based Mexican-American stage actor.
Dave Gorman. For those who don't know, Dave Gorman is a British comedian who started off by going through with a bet that "he couldn't get 50 Dave Gormans in the same room" (Paraphrased, may not have been 50). And he did. And later, he went around the world after being bet he couldn't "Meet 10 Googlewhacks in a row when the latest link in the chain is only allowed to find him two more Googlewhacks". The second link in one of the chains he checked out was one of the Dave Gorman's he met previously.
54; and he didn't have to get them in the same room, just meet them. His Googlewhack show includes a great line from the other Dave Gorman; "Make yourself at home! You might as well, your name's on the mortgage..."
A G.T.O. is either a series of super-rare Ferraris, or a Pontiac muscle car.
If you are talking about Christopher Guest are you talking about the American actor and filmmaker from This Is Spinal Tap and Best in Show, or are you talking about the one who was Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (which was the British equivalent of a Supreme Court Justice). The Other Wiki tried to clear up the confusion by referring to one of them as Baron Guest but is still a problem considering they both held the noble title of Baron. The actor has inherited the title of Baron Haden-Guest, while the judge held the life peerage title of Baron Guest.
An American commentator accused neurosurgeon/reporter Sanjay Gupta of having a supposed "conflict of interest" after discovering his name on a list of physicians working for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It turns out that the doctor working for Pfizer was a different Sanjay Gupta entirely - not surprisingly, as "Sanjay Gupta" is almost as common among Indians as "John Smith" is among Americans.
Darrell Hammond (two "r's") is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live while Darell Hammond (one "r") is the founder of the organization "Kaboom". Coincidentally, "Kaboom" was featured in an eponymous episode of Parks and Recreation which stars Darrell Hammond's former SNL co-star Amy Poehler.
John Hancock the Founding Father, and John Hancock the film director.
And John Hancock, the African-American character actor.
Josh Harris is the name of one of the fisherman Phil Harris' sons, and the name of a DJ. Another one who gained notoriety for the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". There is also Joshua Harris, better known as Christopher Ewing of Dallas.
Tony Hawks is an English comedian and author who once went around Ireland with a fridge. Tony Hawk is the pro skateboarder and video game star. A lot of people get them mixed up, and Hawks has reserved a section of his site for the e-mails he gets from skating fans, and the "slightly mischievous" replies he gives.
E-mail: hi can you send me tips
Answer: Yes. Here's two — don't stand downwind of flatulent people, and try not to get involved in leapfrogging unicorns.
Sean Hayes — Were you looking for the actor/producer known for Will and Grace, the American musician, or one of two deceased politicians from Ireland?
Fran Healy: A singer/guitarist and songwriter for the Scottish rock band Travis, and a former Major League Baseball catcher and current New York Mets announcer.
Do you expect Hershey's as a candy company or an ice cream company? They've even tried to claim the trademark from each other. It's especially confusing as the ice cream company provides hard ice cream to many of America's independent ice cream stands and parlors, and many customers simply assume that the ice cream comes from the candy company.
Martin Henderson is a New Zealand actor who got his start in the Australian soap Home and Away and is best known these days for The Ring and Smokin' Aces. He's also a British actor who was mostly unknown until he became the subject of many Google searches after Peter Dinklage mentioned him in his 2013 Golden Globes acceptance speech. The latter Henderson, a dwarf, was partially paralysed in a "dwarf tossing" incident.
Dan Hicks is an NBC sports announcer as well as a singer-songwriter who leads the group the Hot Licks.
Andy Hillenburg◊ is an American stock car driver from Indiana, and Andy Hillenburg◊ is an American winged sprint car driver from Oklahoma. The former also raced non-winged sprint cars earlier in his career.
During World War II, there was a US soldier with the same name as Adolf Hitler. When asked about whether he would change his name, the soldier replied "let the other guy change his name."
A really old episode of Law & Order featured two actors who went by Phil Hoffman. One of them was Capote actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
John Holmes, porn star with a massive wang. Jon Holmes, Radio 4 satirist, who is routinely introduced on The Now Show with some reference to his diminutive height.
The porn star's full name was John Curtis Holmes, and so often went by John C. Holmes...much to the amusement of undergraduates at Michigan State University, where one of the largest dorms on campus is called "John C. Holmes Hall"...after John Clough Holmes, the 19th-century activist who established the university.
None of whom should be confused with Antony (no "h") Hopkins, the composer and author of Understanding Music.
Lambeth Council in London (UK) owns two buildings called Hopton House; a block of flats in Brixton, and an office block in Streatham.
In Australia, John Howard is an actor... and a former Prime Minister. The actor has been hired to make the joke at least twice: once in The Games (hired within the show specifically to fool foreigners) and again in CNNNN (mistaken for the other one by the presenter).
Michael Howard the politician, and Sir Michael Howard, the historian. The two are actually conflated in the index to the first volume of Alan Clark's diaries, Howard being his MP at the time of writing and Sir Michael being a fellow scholar. George Osborne, the Coalition's Chancellor of the Exchequer, has a namesake in George Osborne, one of the protagonists of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Also, there was an incident where David Davis MP, the former Conservative Shadow Home Secretary and agitator against 42-day detention policies was supposed to be invited to speak to an ethnic minority police association - but they invited David Davies MP instead and he ended up calling them racist for their organisation being part of an affirmative action campaign.
Steve Howe is the name of a rocker (in the bands Yes and Asia) and a deceased former baseball player.
In 1970s England, there was a story about a teenage girl called Michelle Booth who was attacked on a train. * She eventually recovered with no serious long-term harm done. She had been on her way to visit her boyfriend, Steve Howe; not thatSteve Howe.
So her boyfriend was the troubled former New York Yankees pitcher?
John Hurt is an English actor, while Mississippi John Hurt was an American blues musician.
The Ancient Greeks called Iberia two places on each side of the Mediterranean world (the Iberian Peninsula and the Western Caucasus) for some reason. This coincidence led to the belief in Medieval times that the peoples of these regions were related. The kicker? Caucasian Iberia is nowadays known as Georgia, like the US state.
There are two John Irvings that are published writers - the Australian one being rather less well known, to the point that it's hard to find any information about him. There's also an historic Australian emancipationist of that name.
Playboy had two Playmates named Jennifer Jackson (Miss March 1965 and Miss April 1989, the former being the first African-American Playmate). They also had two Playmates named Susie Scott (Miss February 1960 and Miss May 1983); to further complicate matters, Miss August 1984 was Suzi Schott.
Joe Jackson: Record producer/abusive patriarch of The Jackson5ive, Motown's most famous musical family or English power pop/new wave star of the late '70s & early '80s?
Not to mention the "shoeless" baseball player who was banned from the game for life after helping throw the 1919 World Series.
There have been two NFL players named Keith Jackson (a tight end and a defensive tackle), and they're father and son. Neither is any relation to the Keith Jackson who spent decades calling college football for ABC. (The players are black; the sportscaster is white.)
There have been at least five sportsmen or coaches named Mark Jackson: An American footballer, an American football coach, an American basketball player (and now coach), an Australian Rules Football player and an English soccer player.
Michael Jackson. A Los Angeles radio talk show host, who is white, and has an English accent, is not related to a famous computer programmer who has written books on the subject, and both of them are not related to a famous singer and plastic-surgery addict, except that all three of them have the same name.
There's also an ex-head of Channel 4.
And an expert on Beer.
As well as the coach of the University of New Hampshire Women's Soccer team.
And Mick Jackson, an English singer-songwriter born Michael George Jackson who wrote "Blame It on the Boogie" (incidentally covered by The Jacksons).
After Michael Jackson, the pop star, died, people gathered at the Hollywood Walk of Fame star for Michael Jackson. Too bad they didn't fact checkï¿½the star they went to belonged to the radio host. The reason for this was that Michael Jackson the pop star's Walk of Fame star was covered by equipment used for the premiere of the movie Brüno. The fans eventually found out but didn't care, and Michael Jackson the radio host said, "I am willingly loaning it to him and, if it would bring him back, he can have it."
Note: the American one runs a company called Steve Jackson Games. The British one is probably not pleased.
An early issue of White Dwarf magazine had a photo of the two of them together, each of them reading a book by the other. Not only do they have the same name, but they even look alike.
Stephen Jackson is a very good NFL running back.
Stephen "Captain Jack" Jackson is also a solid NBA shooting guard.
For viewers/listeners of The BBC, there are two men called David Jacobs: the British disc jockey/TV presenter, and the American writer-producer who created Dallas and Knots Landing (which were both shown in the UK on BBC1).
Jesse James: A Wild West gangster, or a chopper bike builder?
Or the Road Dogg Jesse James of D-Generation X and New Age Outlaws fame?
Andrew Johnson was not only (1) the President who was impeached but also, among others, (2) a politician for the Prohibition Party in the 1940's, (3) an Asian actor, (4) an architect, (5) an English footballer, (6) a Welsh footballer, (7) a cross-country skier and (8) a Civil War soldier.
Calvin Johnson was the lead singer of Beat Happening and Dub Narcotic Sound System and co-frontman of The Halo Benders, as well as an NFL player.
Charles Johnson: Defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, former journeyman catcher in Major League Baseball, and still finds time to be a left-wing political blogger.
The University of Colorado also had two players on their 1990 football team named Charles Johnson. One was a wide receiver who later spent nine seasons in the NFL. The other was the quarterback who won the infamous "Fifth Down Game" against Missouri.
Eddie Johnson: Two former NBA players and near-contemporaries of one another. The older of the two is a guard who was banned from the league for drug-related offenses, now equally notable for his long criminal record and current life sentence for sex crimes against a 12-year-old girl. When he was arrested for this last offense, many publications ran the story with a picture of the other Eddie Johnson, a small forward whose only brushes with the law were minor traffic violations.
Jack Johnson is a controversial African-American boxer, a mellow mixed-race surfer/singer, or a patriotic Caucasian American hockey player.
John Jackson is an American bobsledder ... and an 18th Century English boxer.
John Johnson not only shares the name with a man in the same city as him, save middle initials, they share the same birth date. Unfortunately, one is a hardworking man the other is a registered sex offender and local bureaucracy is mixing the hardworking man with the other one. [[See News story here.
A Sports Illustrated article about NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson noted that it is hard for him get noticed (despite winning 58 Sprint Cup races and 5 straight championships) because A) he's very polite and not prone to flamboyant behavior and B) he's also got to contend with other sports figures with similar names: an NFL tight end, for one; Jimmy Johnson, Cowboys football coach and FOX sports commentator; Jimmy Johnson, Hall of Fame cornerback; Jimmy Johnson, Northwestern quarterback and Jim Johnson, defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles/relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles/East Carolina football coach, and a couple of hockey players. An anecdote from his childhood also notes that there's a Rick Johnson who Jimmie wished he was related to (he was a cool older cousin-type).
Then there's the Jimmy Johnson who played guitar in the Muscle Shoals rhythm section in The Sixties, and bassist Jimmy Johnson of fusion band Flim and the BB's.
May 11, 1999. New York Mets at Colorado Rockies. Both starting pitchers are named Bobby Jones.
Wasn't he also one of the all-time greatest golfers?
He was also the protagonist of Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, which starts with him playing golf (and flubbing a shot); this opening has a bit of fun with the fact that he's not the famous golfer, but just someone with a fairly common name which happens to be the same.
For bonus points, the Rockies traded their Bobby Jones the following year... to the Mets. One was substituted for the other in a game at least once.
Brad Jones: Internet reviewer better known as "The Cinema Snob", Green Bay Packers linebacker, or an Australian soccer goalkeeper.
Davy Jones is either a figure from nautical folklore, one of The Monkees, the squid-headed pursuer of Capt. Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, or a sports car racer. The third was inspired by the first, of course.
David Jones is also David Bowie's birth name. He took his stage name so as not to be confused with the Monkee.
An interesting subversion happened during the 1970s. When the NBA team named the Cincinnati Royals went and moved to Kansas City (and Omaha), the owners of the NBA Royals decided to change their name to the Kings so they don't get confused with the baseball team named the Kansas City Royals, even though the NBA team was around longer than the MLB team. When the Kings finally did move out of Kansas City in the middle of the 1980s, they decided to stick with their Kansas City name for Sacramento instead of renaming their team back to the Royals. Of course, for residents in California, there is some confusion when talking about the Kings (whether they mean the basketball team in Sacramento or the hockey team in Los Angeles).
If they seem upset, they're talking about the basketball team. Hey-o!
New York Giants: the current NFL team or the baseball team now known as San Francisco Giants.
Colorado Rockies: the current MLB team or the hockey team now known as New Jersey Devils.
The Denver Nuggets and Baltimore Bullets (now known as Washington Wizards) are both named after previous teams in their cities.
Winnipeg Jets is a current NHL team. But it's not the one that previously played in the WHA, that one moved to Arizona in 1996 to become the Phoenix Coyotes (the current Jets in turn are a relocated Atlanta Thrashers).
The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002. A new Charlotte team, the Bobcats, started play in 2004. The Hornets finally dropped the Artifact Title (related to Charlotte's nickname as "a hornet's nest") and got the more Louisiana name New Orleans Pelicans in 2013. The Bobcats then announced they would get the Hornets name back in 2014... and wound up getting the history of the original Charlotte Hornets back as well. Charlotte Hornets was also the name of a franchise in the short-lived World Football League in 1974-75.
William Joyce is either a much beloved children's book author from United States or a World War 2 era British traitor who broadcast propaganda from Berlin and came to be known derisively as Lord Haw-Haw.
The term "Julian date" is used in at least three different ways; a date in the Julian calendar brought in during the reign of Julius Caesar (see above), the number of days since the start of the current year, or a day-number in the Julian Period. Best avoid ambiguity by using "Julian-calendar date", "day of year" or "Julian Day Number" respectively.
Ted Kennedy was an American senator. Ted Kennedy was a Canadian hockey player. Eerily, both of them died in August 2009 with in 9 days of each other (RIP Teds).
When Ted died in the election to replace him the Libertarian candidate was named Joe Kennedy, but had no relation to the family. There were more than a few accusations that his name was deliberately used to confuse Democratic voters (but as Scott Brown won by 5% and Kennedy only got 1% of the vote, this would not have had any effect even if true).
Tom Kennedy: Game show host or character actor who specialized in Dumb Muscle roles?
The new ABA that started operations in 2000 tried to revive the Kentucky Colonels, an original ABA team, only to face opposition from a charitable organization founded in 1812, though they allowed the use of the name so long as it appeared next to a basketball. However, they eventually ended up renaming the team the Kentucky Retros in deference to the "real" Kentucky Colonels. This didn't stop them from establishing teams like the NYC Thunder, the Tri-City Suns, the West Virginia Blazers, who all share names with current NBA teams, the Florida Thundercats, who bear the name of beloved 1980s cartoon Thundercats, and The Music City and Kansas City Stars, who share a name not only with the NHL's Dallas Stars, but also each other.
There's a South Korean athlete saddled with the unfortunate name of Kim Jong-il. His name is often romanized as Kim Yong-il to avoid confusion with the North Korean dictator.
Which doesn't really help, as there is a member of the North Korean government named Kim Yong Il (unrelated to the dictator).
There is also South Korean economist named Kim Jong-Il who has co-written several important articles on economic development in East Asia. He usually goes by J. I. Kim apparently.
The city of Kobe, fifth-largest city of Japan, has no direct connection to player Kobe Bryant. Reportedly the player's parents named him after Kobe beef, a Japanese restaraunt delicacy. Which happened to be named after the city.
There's also R'n'B singer Kobe Honeycutt, who records under the name "Kobe". He's made a song with Eminem
For heaven's sake, do not confuse Ryszard Kukliński a Polish colonel and Cold War spy, who passed top secret Warsaw Pact documents revealing Soviet military plans to the CIA, and Richard Kuklinski, an American contract killer, known as "Iceman".
There were two Swedish authors named Stig Larsson. Rumour has it that they met, discussed the potential problem, and tossed a coin. The loser changed his name to Stieg - pronounced the same. Yes, that's the guy who wrote The Millennium Trilogy. Very little is known about the other Stig Larsson.
Even better, they were childhood friends, who just so happened to both go into writing. So the coin toss is entirely possible.
There is a Las Vegas in Nevada and another one in New Mexico. And a third one in Honduras. As the name literally means "The Meadows", it could apply to several locations.
Belinda Lee is one of two British actresses: star of Italian films or dancer best known as a long-running lift girl in Are You Being Served?.
Nor did he play piano for the Modern Jazz Quartet.
There's Ray Lewis, a retired American Football linebacker who spent his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens, who won Super Bowls in 2001 and 2013 with the team. There's another Ray Lewis, a Canadian track and field athlete who won a bronze medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics. And then there's anotherRay Lewis, a former singer for the R&B group The Drifters.
John Linnell is the name of the pianist/accordionist/saxophonist for They Might Be Giants. It is also the name of an 19th century English Romantic painter, specializing in landscapes.
John August List is an economics professor at the University of Chicago. John Emil List murdered his wife, mother, and three children, and at one point was suspected to be D.B. Cooper.
Peyton (often Peyton R. or Peyton Roi) List, born 1998, plays Emma Ross on Jessie; Peyton (always credited without a middle initial) List, born 1986, plays Nicole Kirby on FlashForward (2009).
Nick Lowe, the film critic for Interzone magazine and Trope Namer for Plot Coupon, is neither a Marvel Comics editor nor the singer of "Cruel to Be Kind".
Huey Long (1893-1935) was a Governor of Louisiana (and later US Senate representative) known for his unconventional far-left populist politics, who was assassinated. Another Huey Long (1904-2009) was an African-American jazz musician and member of vocal group The Ink Spots, who lived to age 105.
Robert (often Bobby) Lopez is a composer/lyricist who cowrote Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon. Robert (always Robert) Lopez is an acclaimed novelist and professor. Both have lived in Brooklyn. (And Robert F. Lopez was a notable US Navy officer during the Spanish-American War.)
There was a news story in January 2013 about a woman named Jennifer Lopez (not the singer) who had spent £10,000 having plastic surgery so her booty was a double of Jennifer Lopez (the singer)'s.
Is Lu Xun a Chinese general from the Three Kingdoms era or a Chinese writer from early 20th century?
There's also Liu Xun who happened to be; (1) an emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, (2) the son of Liu Zhang, a warlord from the late Eastern Han Dynasty, (3) the prefect of Lujiang, again, during the late Eastern Han Dynasty, and (5) a major general of Later Liang Dynasty.
Claire Luce, actress, and Clare Boothe Luce, playwright and Congresswoman.
Two people involved with the U.S. Black Metal project Panopticon are named Austin Lunn. They have adopted pseudonyms to avoid confusion. The first, Austin L. Lunn, who writes and performs most of the band's material, identifies himself as A. or A. Lundr (the Nordic form of his name), while the second, Austin P. Lunn, who engineered several recordings for the band, uses the name Skallehammeren. This is also not the only project both of them have been involved in; they are also both members of lesser-known Doom Metal band Agnosis.
David Lynch: Director of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, acoustic-guitar-playing singer/songwriter, former member of doo-wop group The Platters, wine expert, or prominent Neo-Nazi? The fact that more than one musician has the name is particularly confusing because David Lynch the director has written and performed music for his own films, has collaborated with other musicians like Sparklehorse, and now has his own solo album. David Lench, on the other hand, is a schoolteacher who received fifteen minutes of infamy after he was arrested for driving nails through his neighbor's fence in order to discourage dogs from entering his property.
Is Stephen Lynch a comedian and singer or a Congressman from Massachusetts?
Chinese copies of both the SKS and the AK-47 were named the Type 56.
In computers: MAC is the name of one of the first high-level programming languages.* According to who you listen to, the name comes from either Manchester AutoCode after the university it was developed at, or Mercury AutoCode after the computer it was developed on. Its successor was called EMA, for Extended Mercury Autocode, which appears to have settled the matter.Mac (formally Mackintosh, after an apple variety) is the name of a line of personal computers made by Apple Inc. Fortunately MAC is rarely heard of nowadays, so the scope for confusion is minimal.
The player shares his name with John MacLean(1811-1895), a historian and genealogist of Cornwall. With John Patterson MacLean (1848-1939), an archaeologist. With John Maclean (1851-1928), a pastor who studied the cultures of Native Americans. And John Norman Maclean (1943-), a journalist who has written Non Fiction Books on natural disasters. All four were/are published authors of note.
John Madden, a retired NHL player who helped the New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks win Stanley Cups, shares a name with the Hall of Fame NFL coach and former color commentator with his own brand of video games.
Josh Mandel, a game writer/designer who worked at Sierra On-Line and who has served as the voice of King Graham in official titles and fan remakes, is not the Josh Mandel who unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate in Ohio in 2012.
Gabriel Mann is Nolan Ross on Revenge, but he doesn't write TV scores when he isn't acting (Modern Family, Rectify), unlike the composer of the same name.
Roger Manning, California-based keyboardist for power-pop bands Jellyfish and Imperial Drag now goes under the moniker of Roger Joseph Manning Jr., to avoid confusion with another Roger Manning, alterna-folk singer/songwriter Roger Manning from New York. Both have recorded with Beck.
Bob Marley was more or less the face of reggae. Bob Marleyfull name Robert Cochrane Marley is frequently billed as Comedian Bob Marley for this very reason.
One Jim Marshall was an American professional photographer who took photographs of rock stars in The Sixties. Another English Jim Marshall was a jazz drummer turned music store owner who founded Marshall Amps. Interestingly enough, both worked with one James Marshall Hendrix.
Another Jim Marshall, who may or may not have been a Hendrix fan, was a member of the Minnesota Vikings' famed "Purple People Eaters" defense in the 1960's and 1970's.
Mike Marshall was a pitcher in the 1970's who is a leading authority on kinesiology. Another Mike Marshall played outfield in the 1980's and was married to Belinda Carlisle. Both men actually played for the Dodgers (albeit not together).
The frontman of Coldplay and a New Zealand cricketer (read: fast bowler)? Both named Chris Martin.
Billy Mays, the famed infomercial man who died in June 2009, was the second Billy Mays. His father is Billy Mays Senior, and his son is known as Billy Mays III. During his televised memorial service, Billy Mays III said that he was giving serious thought to naming his first son Billy Mays IV.
Not to mention baseball great Willie Mays, and composer/arranger (and frequent Sinatra collaborator) Billy May.
Teresa May combines being a senior Conservative politician in Great Britain with a lucrative side-job as a porn actress.
Two men named Chuck McCann have worked in animation. One is a voice actor, and the other is a film editor.
In 1957 a radio announcer for baseball's Philadelphia Phillies, on being informed that Joe McCarthy had died, went into a long on-air eulogy for the former New York Yankees manager, listing all the highlights of his storied career. It wasn't until breaking for a commercial that the announcer learned that the Joe McCarthy in question was the notorious Red-baiting former senator from Wisconsin.
Bonus: The Phillies announcer in question was named Gene Kelly. No, not the dancer.
Two of the authors of the musical Rio Rita were named Joseph McCarthy and Fred Thompson. Neither should be confused with anyone who ever was a Republican senator, or appeared on Law & Order.note Incidentally, the Fred Thompson of Law and Order was also a Republican senator.
Frank McCourt - Former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Irish-American author who wrote Angela's Ashes?
Russ Meyer was a pioneering director in the sexploitation genre. Russ Meyer was also a Major League Baseball pitcher nicknamed "The Mad Monk". Neither should be confused with Russell Meyers, creator of the comic strip Broom-Hilda.
Division I college sports has Miami University and the University of Miami. Since the word "University" is often left out when referring to teams (except for those that are known best by initials, in which case the "U" is included), and it would be easy to forget which one is which, they are usually referred to in print as Miami (OH) and Miami (FL), respectively. The University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, Florida (which is near Miami), and Miami University is located in the Miami Valley in Oxford, Ohio.
There's also Loyola University Chicago and Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Plus the NCAA Division II school Loyola University New Orleans. Typically, the schools are called Loyola (Chicago), Loyola (MD), and Loyola (LA). There was once a Loyola University in Los Angeles as well, but that school went through a merger in The Seventies and became Loyola Marymount.
Plus St. Francis College in Brooklyn ("Saint" officially abbreviated) and Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania ("Saint" officially spelled out)ï¿½and, to make things better, both are even members of the same conference!note the Northeast Conference In 2013, the Brooklyn school decided to try to avoid some of the confusion by changing its athletic brand to "St. Francis Brooklyn". The Pennsylvania school is usually described in print as "St. Francis (PA)".
And The University of Washington, a state-funded Division I school in Seattle. and Washington University, a private research institution with a Division III athletics program located in St Louis.
Indiana University in the state of Indiana should not be confused with Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Another level of confusion: Indiana University is actually the formal name of the Indiana University system. The "Indiana" of Division I sports is the system's main campus in Bloomington, formally known as Indiana University Bloomington.note Two other campuses in the IU system, which also happen to be campuses of Purdue University (don't ask how), play Division I sports, one in Indianapolis and the other in Fort Wayneï¿½but they completely avert this trope by using initials, respectively IUPUI and IPFW.
Neither should the University of California, Berkeley, usually referred to in print as "California", be confused with California University of Pennsylvania.
Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois is a small liberal arts college, founded in 1860, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its colors are blue and gold and the nickname is Vikings. Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a small liberal arts college, founded in 1860, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its colors are blue and gold and the nickname is Vikings. The main distinction is that the South Dakota school is in NCAA Division II and Illinois is Division III.
George Michael was a sports broadcaster (The George Michael Sports Machine). The other George Michael sang lead in Wham! before venturing into a solo career in 1986.
Shawn Michaels is the pro wrestler (he's white). Sean Michaels is the porno actor (he's black).
Kate Middleton has been kicked off of Facebook — not that Kate Middleton, but another one. Ironically, the latter's boyfriend is Jonathan Ross — the namesake of a celebrity presenter — and he still has his Facebook account.
Larry Miller is a comedian-actor. The late Larry H. Miller was the auto dealer who owned the Utah Jazz.
Marvin Miller: Former baseball players' union boss or star of The Millionaire?
David Mitchell is either a novelist or the star of Peep Show who has decided to confuse the issue further by writing a novel.
Silas Weir Mitchell — actor , or physician/writer born in 1829? Both! They're apparently related.
Jose Molina, famed Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Dark Angel / Firefly / Castle screenwriter, shares a name with Jose Molina, a backup catcher for the New York Yankees and a former Spanish football player. In a delicious coincidence, Molina the writer recently wrote a baseball-themed episode of Castle.
There are two Joe Montanas. One's a famous NFL quarterback. The other's an actor in Britain who appeared briefly in an episode of Doctor Who.
Or an early editor of Dragon Magazine, who once ran a letter praising his work in the James Bond films in the letters column of an April issue?
Ronald D. Moore, writer and producer of many Star Trek episodes throughout the nineties, should not be confused with Ronald B. Moore, Visual Effects Supervisor for the franchise during the same period. "B." has even joked about getting "D."'s first paycheck accidentally.
Natalie Morales: One is a host on NBC's Today Show the other you might know as either Wendy Watson from The Middleman or Lauren Cruz on White Collar. The latter gets confused for the former a lot on Twitter.
Major League Baseball had two well-known figures named Joe Morgan. One was a second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1960s and 1970s, and later a television analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball; the other was manager of the Boston Red Sox in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Jim Morrison had a brief but remarkable career as the lead singer of The Doors. Another Jim Morrison had a long but unremarkable career as a utility infielder for several baseball teams in the 1970s and 1980s.
And neither of them is to be confused with British singer James Morrison— whose real name is actually James Morrison Catchpole.
A commentator on a British newspaper website moaned that dumbing down had reached such a stage that books by super models were appearing on school reading lists. Note to them; Kate Moss is a supermodel,Kate Mosse is a perfectly respectable writer.
Rapper Cage makes a point to specify that his abusive, drug-addicted father Bill Murray is notthe actor. Cage does play with this in his song "Stripes":
Fuck Bill Murray, not the actor, the deadbeat dad the smacked her, then left her with rats after he snapped her
There's also the British actor Billy Murray, no relation to either.
Eddie Murray: Long-time Baltimore Orioles first baseman, or long-time Detroit Lions kicker?
Billy Myers is either a early NASCAR driver and grandfather of Burt Myers, or a British firefighter turned singer using the artist name Newton. Also not to be confused with Billie Myers, the British songstress best known for "Kiss The Rain".
Eiji Nakamura is either an origami artist, a former sound designer for Square Enix, or a film director and actor.
This one is on a smaller scale, but you have Mike Nelson, MST3K and RiffTrax snarker, and Mike Nelson, weatherman for Denver's ABC affiliate KMGH. And politician Michael "Mike" Nelson, a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Mike Nelson was also the name of Lloyd Bridges's character on Sea Hunt.
The New York Giants football team is actually officially named the New York Football Giants, because when the team was founded one of the city's baseball teams was the New York (now San Francisco) Giants.
Speaking of the Giants, neither one is to be confused with Japan's Yomiuri Giants, nor are the Detroit Tigers to be confused with the Hanshin Tigers. The first mistake happened in the second Major League movie, where the Indians' coach is at first happy to hear they've got a player coming in from "the Giants". Similarly, in The Order, during interviews with "Calamity" James Wa the interviewer repeatedly mistakes "the Tigers" that James' dad played with for the team in Detroit.
The All-America Football Conference had teams called the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s.
Cam Newton has distinguished himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League. Another Cam Newton did little to distinguish himself as a journeyman goaltender in the World Hockey Association in The Seventies.
No Fear - an international retailer or a white supremacist group? (A chain letter has confused the two; eventually, the latter group had to change its name.)
Gary Nolan: Libertarian radio show host or former Cincinnati Reds pitcher?
None of whom, of course, are to be confused with Bill Nighy, whose name is pronounced, but not spelled, the same.
Wait, Bret Hart the Canadian professional wrestler?
Another Bill Nye, in Seattle no less, was the proprietor of an Outback Steakhouse.
Jim O'Brien coached basketball in Boston (at Boston College) before leaving in 1987 to coach college basketball in Ohio (Ohio State). Then in 1994 Jim O'Brien, who had previously coached college basketball in Ohio (for Dayton), became head coach of the Boston Celtics.
Or Jim O'Brien; the former Baltimorenote now Indianapolis Colts kicker remembered mainly for kicking the game-winning field goal in SuperBowl V.
There have been two different men named Hugh O'Connor who died tragically. One was a Canadian filmmaker who was murdered by an angry landlord while filming a documentary in Kentucky coal country in 1967. The other was the adopted son (and In the Heat of the Night co-star) of Carroll O'Connor who committed suicide in 1995 after years of drug problems.
Sean O'Neal is both a former child actor best known for playing Sam on Clarissa Explains It All and the news editor for The Onion's AV Club sister site. Many "Where Are They Now?" sites have incorrectly claimed that the actor O'Neal currently has the writer O'Neal's job. The latter O'Neal has often jokesabout the confusion in his columns.
Bill O'Reilly is a conservative American talk show host/political commentator and an Australian cricketer in the 1930s and 40s.
Terry O'Reilly, of Canada: former captain of the Boston Bruins, or adwriter and co-creator/writer/host of CBC Radio's The Age Of Persuasion?
And neither of them is Terry Riley, composer of minimalist classic In C.
John Oates teamed with Daryl Hall to form a popular singing duo, while Johnny Oates was a Major League Baseball player and manager.
The city Obama ("Little Beach") in Japan has no connection to Barack Obama.
One Nation - the infamous former anti-immigration Australian political party once headed by Pauline Hanson, or Sarah Palin's 2011 constitution-draped bus tour of America? Pretty much any politically knowledgeable Australian would accordingly find the implications of the name of Palin's tour either hilarious or disturbing (or both).
John Osborne was a groundbreaking British playwright in the 1950s. He should not be confused with John Osbourne, a groundbreaking heavy metal singer (and arguably the first heavy metal singer) in the 1970s. (Yes, "John" is Ozzy's real first name. He was named for his father, Jack, from whom Ozzy's son more directly takes his name.)
One David Palmer sang lead for Steely Dan on their first album, Can't Buy A Thrill. Another David Palmer was an orchestral arranger and keyboardist in Jethro Tull, who underwent a sex change operation, now going under the name of Dee Palmer. A jazz keyboardist, an American football player who played with the Minnesota Vikings, an English composer, a squash player and a baseball player who played with the Montreal Expos went under the name of David Palmer.
Robert Palmer, the guy who sang "Addicted To Love"? Or Robert Palmer, the music critic?
There are two different actresses named Julie Payne, born in 1940 and 1946 respectively. The former's career was mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, while the latter has been active since the 1970s. Many reference books have conflated the two.
Steve Park - one's a US-Korean comedian. The other is a former NASCAR driver who was teammates with Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from 2000 to 2003.
Nicole Parker: White comedian who formerly starred in Mad TV. Nicole Ari Parker: Black actress who's starred in Remember the Titans and Revolution. The latter is credited without her middle name in some of her earlier movies.
Drew Pearson - Newspaper columnist, or Dallas Cowboys wide receiver?
John Peel - a beloved DJ for the BBC almost entirely responsible for making British indie rock popular - and John Peel, a writer of science fiction novels (mostly Doctor Who and Star Trek books). And then there's also John Peel, a 19th century hunter and the namesake of a British folk song, and Sir John Peel, a 20th century British politician.
Because of this trope, David Harris (the author of Pegasus Mail) has repeatedly requested that it always be referred to as "Pegasus Mail" to distinguish it from other products and services called Pegasus.
Carlos Pena, the baseball player, is not the father of Carlos Pena, Jr., member of Big Time Rush. The two are unrelated.
Anthony Perkins was an actor best known for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho. Anthony D. Perkins is a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There is also a meteorologist named Tony Perkins, who should most definitely not be confused with the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins.
David Perry from Northern Ireland, the developer of such classics as Earthworm Jim, is not to be confused with Dave Perry, who wrote for a number of British video game magazines. Or with David Perry, a notable filmaker and photographer from Australia.
Joe Perry, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back with the 49ers, and Joe Perry, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist with Aerosmith.
Katy Perry (of I Kissed A Girl fame) and Katie Perry (an Australian fashion designer), are, you will no doubt be surprised to learn, not to be confused.
Even better: Katy Perry's name is a pseudonym. Her real name is Katheryn Hudson. Not to be confused, of course, with the actress Kate Hudson.
Matthew Perry, the US Navy Commodore who helped open Japan to Western influence, did not star on SeriesFriends; he died well before TV was even invented.
There's also the science fiction writer Steve Perry.
William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and William "The Refrigerator" Perry, former NFL player.
William Petersen is an actor most famous for his starring roles in Manhunter and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Sir William Peterson (1856-1921) was a noted academic who served as principal of McGill University from 1895 to 1919.
There are two running backs in the NFL named Adrian Peterson. Adrian Lewis Peterson is a Pro Bowl and potential Hall of Fame halfback for the Minnesota Vikings, and Adrian Nicholas Peterson is a marginal role player who most recently played halfback for the Chicago Bears.
Scott Petersen was also the brand name of a popular hot dog in the Chicago area.
Therewere two Czech singers named Jana Petrů; in order to prevent confusion, the younger one started using the pseudonym Petra Janů.
One-time Contemporary Christian-turned-mainstream singer Leslie "Sam" Phillips is a doozy depending on which name is being mentioned. If using "Sam" (a childhood nickname that she has recorded under since starting her mainstream career), that name is shared with Sam Phillips, the model and actress and Sam Phillips, the early rock-and-roll producer who discovered, among others, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. More confusing, her birth name of Leslie Phillips (used during her CCM days) is shared with British actor Leslie Phillips.
Lewis T. Powell was a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Lewis F. Powell, Jr. was a Supreme Court justice from 1972 to 1987.
Rico E. Puno, the former Philippine interior and local government undersecretary, shouldn't be confused with a singer, Rico J. Puno, who's also Filipino.
David Prowse is the name of both an actor best known for being the physical actor for Darth Vader (but not providing his voice) and a member of the rock duo Japandroids. Jokes have been made about James Earl Jones subbing in for the Japandroids drummer / singer in studio.
Under the "Baseball Pitcher or Country Singer" category, there's Jerry Reed and ... Jerry Reed.
Jimmy Reid was a Scottish trade union activist famous for saving the Glasgow shipyards from closure in the 1970s. Jim Reid is the lead singer of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Jimmy Reed was an early electric blues singer.
Paul Revere, Revolutionary War hero and silversmith, should not be confused with the Paul Revere who founded the 1960s pop group Paul Revere And The Raiders. Surprisingly, the latter is an example of this trope because "Paul Revere" is his real name, not a stage name.
There are two actors with the name Ryan Reynolds: one is a male film actor, the other is a female voice actor.
There is also a Ryaan Reynolds, the female porn actress.
ESPN the Magazine has a semi-regular feature called "Right Name, Wrong Number" where they briefly interview someone with the same name as a big figure in the world of sports — with questions only appropriate for the real deal. According to an article on the feature, it takes a couple of tries to get people who are willing to play along.
There's Johnny Ringo, a wild west outlaw and the modern writer John Ringo. The two are actually related, albeit somewhat distantly.
One Richard Riordan was the mayor of Los Angeles in 1990s. Another Richard Riordan, better known as Rick Riordan, is an author best known for a series of children's books.
Robin Roberts: He was a Hall of Fame pitcher who played for the Phillies, Orioles, Astros and Cubs. She is a former ESPN reporter and current co-anchor of Good Morning America.
Just look at how many Craig Robinsons there are. The most notable being the actor Craig Phillip Robinson (1971-) of The Office (US); Craig Robinson (1972-) the fashion designer; and Craig Robinson (1962), college basketball coach and brother of Michelle Obama.
Edward G. Robinson was a classic Hollywood actor. He shouldn't be confused with longtime Grambling State football coach Edward G. Robinson, who went by the name Eddie Robinson. When that Eddie Robinson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997, he joined Eddie Robinson, longtime Brown University coach, who'd been inducted in 1955.
Joe Rogan has been a Taekwondo champion, stand-up comic, TV and movie actor, and UFC commentator, but he never pitched in the Negro Leagues; that was "Bullet" Joe Rogan.
As with the Adolf Hitler example (above), the US Navy had an Erwin Rommelnote Who was a close relative of the German general, a cousin; because of this he was posted to the Pacific theatre. Erwin Rommel, USN, distinguished himself in the fighting for Guadalcanal by capturing a heavily defended strategic location. Some things evidently run in families.
Kenny Rogers the singer is no relation to Kenny Rogers the pitcher, though the latter's nickname "The Gambler" is a reference to the former.
Jimmy Rodgers was an African American banjo player in the 20s and 30s. Jimmy Rogers was a Caucasian pioneer of pop-rock in the late 50s/early 60s with songs like "Honeycomb" and "Uh-oh, I'm Falling In Love Again".
Romani: The Latin word for "Romans" (e.g. Romani ite domum!) which just happens to be the same word for gypsies. And the two words have no etymological connection.
As the result of the merger between the two football unions in Canada which formed the league (and the fact that the teams were allowed to keep their previous names), from 1958 to 1996, the Canadian Football League had both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders. Thankfully averted when the "new" Ottawa franchise was named the Renegades. They met four times in the Grey Cup.
Bill Russell: Boston Celtics great, or longtime Dodgers shortstop?
Lord Russell (that is, philosopher Bertrand Russell) and Lord Russell of Liverpool (that is, historian Edward Russell) were confused so often that they wrote a letter to The Times about it.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES:
Sir,—In order to discourage confusions that have been constantly occurring, we beg herewith to say that neither of us is the other.
RUSSELL (Bertram, Earl Russell)
RUSSELL OF LIVERPOOL (Lord Russell of Liverpool)
What makes this even more confusing is that some Lords named Russell are in fact related to the Earl Russell (the 1st Earl was a younger son of the Duke of Bedford, and other junior lines of the Russell family have been elevated to the peerage, as well.)
The Cardinals NFL franchise originated in Chicago and is currently located in Arizona, but in between spent many years as the St. Louis Cardinals. Oddly enough, however, the team was never referred to as the "St. Louis Football Cardinals" very often, despite the presence of the better-known baseball franchise by that name.
Jerry Sandusky is the former defensive coordinator for Penn State University, convicted of molesting at least eight young boys in the scandal that led to an entire housecleaning of the Penn State football program following the subsequent coverup by the head of University Police, even those who did report it and/or had no prior knowledge were dismissed due to Guilt By Association, but it reached further up, leading to the firing of AD Tim Curley and even including the resignation of longtime university president Graham Spanier. Gerry Sandusky is a Baltimore sportscaster and play-by-play voice for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens (who, on the first game he worked after the Penn State scandal, referenced the similarities of their names and emphasized that he was not the former Penn State assistant)
Robert Schneider sings for The Apples In Stereo. Bob Schneider is an entirely different singer. And neither of them is to be confused with Adam Sandler's buddy Rob Schneider.
Gerhard Schröder, the Social Democratic former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, should not be confused with the late Gerhard Schröder, Christian Democratic former foreign and defense minister. Or several other Gerhard Schröders.
Robert Schumann the German composer, and Robert Schuman the French foreign minister.
Dan Shulman is a baseball and basketball announcer for ESPN. Daniel Shulman is a bassist who has recorded and toured with Garbage.
Lauren Silverman is a Manhattan socialite who became famous for having an extramarital affair (and a baby) with former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. She shouldn't be confused with Laura Silverman, a comedian and actress who's the older sister (and frequent costar) of Sarah Silverman.
Bill Simmons — the ESPN sports writer known as "The Sports Guy", or the former competitive eating champion known as "El Wingador"?
A rockabilly singer from The Fifties went by the stage name of "Jumpin' Gene Simmons".
Paul Simon (the musician) and Paul Simon (the politician). When the latter was running for President in 1988 there was a Saturday Night Live skit in which both men appeared, each assuming he was the one who'd been invited on the show.
In the UK at least, there's also a chain of furniture stores called Paul Simon.
Is Craig Smart a Canadian musician or an Australian journalist?
One Dave Smith is the go-to archivist for The Walt Disney Company. Another is a synthesizer pioneer who founded Sequential Circuits (which created the Prophet-5 polysynth) and helmed the creation of MIDI.
Oddly enough, averted with Canadian wrestler (with British gimmick) Johnny Smith (in a world FULL of "John Smiths", you'd think there was a SECOND pro wrestler whose real name was John Smith, right?).
For more same-name, same-position goodness, check out Steve Smith. One's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for Carolina; the other's a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the New York Giants. When Wikipedia lists two players with same name, it usually distinguishes by either sport or position. These two guys are distinguished in their title pages by their birth year.
Non-American football example: Australian cricketer Steve Smith.
An NBA example: Steve Smith, former guard for the Miami Heat
And an NHL one: Steve Smith, longtime defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.
Also the Canadian actor Steve Smith AKA Red Green.
And the American drummer Steve Smith, formerly of Journey.
Susan Smith: the 1981 Playboy Playmate of the Month who became an actress? The television scriptwriter, playwright, novelist and essayist? The geographer who helped founded Institute of Advanced Study? Or the infamous woman who drowned her two children in a lake?
The first UK branch of Staples is at Staples Corner, near Brent Cross in London. Although this particular site may have been chosen because of the coincidence, it is a coincidence — both the store chain and the location were named long before they got together.
Kenneth W. Starr is a former American independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton, and is currently president of Baylor University. Kenneth I. Starr is the alleged perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that allegedly took advantage of celebrities like Annie Leibovitz and Ron Howard. Kenny Starr is a country singer. Kenn Starr is an American rapper.
Is Howard Stern a shock jock or the sometimes-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith? The former apparently considered legally changing his name to "The Howard" at one point to avoid confusion with the latter.
Firefighter and Emergency! actor Mike Stoker hasn't branched out into politics. That would be the other Mike Stoker, a Republican from California (who hasn't won thus far). This has created much confusion among fans of Firefighter Stoker and the Emergency! series.
Captain Dorothy Stratton (1899-2006) was the first director of the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve. Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980) was Playmate of the Year for 1980 and the victim of a murder case.
James Stuart, the name of more than one Scottish/English king, including the namesake of the city and the state of New York and the famous children's nursery rhyme (as the Duke of York); and James Stewart, the birth name of Stewart Granger, as well as long, tall Jimmy Stewart the actor, neither of whom was from New York.
Sun Studio ï¿½ The recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee, USA where did Elvis Presley record his hits, or a Scandinavian dubbing studio based in Denmark (with branches in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic and Hungary) that was bought by SDI Media Group in September 2006 and absorbed by that company three years later?
Talk Talk are both a 1980s group, and a present-day British ISP, as well as a 1966 hit by the garage rock band The Music Machine.
Jeff Taylor: An American NBAplayer and his son, a Swedish NBA player. Slightly averted because the son often goes by his full first name of Jeffery.
Richard Taylor created some truly Visual Effects of Awesome: One for TRON and one for WETA (I'm pretty sure these were two different people because when one Richard was creating Tron in America the other was making puppets from things found while dumpster diving in New Zealand).
Roger Taylor of Queen did not play drums in Duran Duran. That was the other Roger Taylor.
David Tennant's real name is David MacDonald. He uses "Tennant" as a screen name because the Actors' Union Equity already had a David MacDonald. "Tennant" was a homage to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
Dave MacDonald was also an American race car driver in the 1960s who infamously crashed in a fireball at the 1964 Indy 500.
There is at least one other Osamu Tezuka. Apparently, he is/was a composer.
Director Osamu Dezaki is at risk for getting mixed up in it too, especially since he adapted some of Tezuka's creations.
Dave Thomas is the name of both the founder of the Wendy's restaurant and a Canadian actor (best known for the Bob and Doug McKenzie sketches with Rick Moranis). In terms of Real Life examples, this may be the closest two people with the same name are to being equally famous. It helps that "Dave Thomas" is a pretty generic name.
There's also David Thomas, vocalist for experimental rock group Pere Ubu. He has the same name as this singer.
To Detroit Pistons fans, Isiah Thomas is known as a hall of fame basketball player that helped lead the Bad Boy Pistons to multiple championships; New York Knicks fans don't think the same way of him. In the modern day NBA, however, Isaiah Thomas is a current Phoenix Suns point guard that's around 5'9" that was drafted as the final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and provides pretty good numbers in his career as well; New York Knicks fans also boo him a lot because of the former name's past business with the Knicks.
Another Jack Thompson was a former quarterback nicknamed the "Throwin' Samoan"; that was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979note when they could have drafted future NFL stars Joe Montana or Phil Simms at quarterback only for incumbent starter Ken Anderson (batting injuries shortly before then) going on to the best seasons of his career afterward.
There are two athletes named Jim Thorpe. One is an African-American golfer. The other was a Native American Olympian and professional football and baseball player.
A subtle, non-English variety. Tonkin, Vietnam, and Tokyo, Japan (and historically, Kaifeng, China, when it was known as Dongjing). All these names are written the same way in Chinese characters, meaning "Eastern Capital" although pronounced differently in local languages.
Although in Japanese, Tokyo's full name is "Tokyoto" (although the second to ideogram is different from the first) meaning "Eastern capital city".
Fringe star Anna Torv shares her name with Rupert Murdoch's second wife.
President Harry S. Truman, and Harry R. Truman, proprietor of the Spirit Lake Lodge, who was buried alive during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.
The Sporting News actually received a letter from someone asking if heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson was related to the former Cardinals and Cubs infielder with the same name. Their response: "Take a look at the two. They are obviously not related.◊"
Ubuntu Linux version 10.10 is called Maverick Meerkat. Mac OS X 10.9 is called Mavericks. Google likes to get them mixed up, due to cases of Spell My Name with an "S". Woe be upon you if you're searching for a solution to one of the problems you encountered on Apple's OS, since Google appears to be more happy to return results about the outdated version of Ubuntu's Linux distribution instead.
And now it's happening with version numbers too. Mac OS X 10.10 is called Yosemite. But it still shares the same version number as Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat.
Veteran seiyuu Yuji Ueda and newcomer seiyuu Yoji Ueda have occasionally been subject to this trope since the latter's debut.
Karl Urban is either an actor from New Zealand known for his genre roles, or a World War I flying ace from Austria.
Usa, a town in Japan. Note that contrary to urban myth, the town was called Usa for at least a thousand years before the USA came into being; it was not named specifically so that goods made there could be misleadingly labelled "Made in Usa", and claims that the coincidence was abused for this purpose are disputed.
Theo van Gogh: One was a brother of Vincent van Gogh; the other was his great-grandson who was a film director later murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri.
Keith Van Horn was a forward who played 9 seasons in the NBA (mostly with the New Jersey Nets). Keith Van Horne was an offensive tackle who played 13 seasons in the NFL (all with the Chicago Bears).
Alex Wade has been the name of an American architect, a British journalist, and a member of the Death Metal band Whitechapel.
Is Benjamin Wade a senator from Ohio, a major league baseball player, or "Coach," the Cloudcuckoolander of Survivor that nicknamed himself "The Dragon Slayer?"
Robert Wagner is the name of the male lead on Hart to Hart and a past president of South Dakota State University. Bob Wagner was the head coach of the University of Hawaii football team from 1987-1995.
Mark Wahlberg is a rapper turned actor. Mark Walberg (no h) is a comedian and game show host.
Interestingly, Waites' character in the film has trouble establishing any kind of transmission to the outside world, and is named Windows. Russel's character is an alcoholic loner who destroys his computer after it beats him at chess, and is named Mac. Neither operating system existed when the film came out.
Scott Walker is an American-born British singer who had success in the 1960s and 1970s, both with the Walker Brothers and as a solo act; and a Wisconsin governor who came under fire in 2011 over his plan to suspend collective bargaining rights for most of the state's public-sector employees; and a longtime NHL hockey player.
George Wallace was the name of a segregationist Alabama governor and Presidential candidate, as well as the name of a standup comic. A black standup comic.
Mike Wallace, promising young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. There's also Mike Wallace, longtime 60 Minutes reporter. Frequently lampshaded by Keith Olbermann on Football Night in America. Then there's Mike Wallace, brother of 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Rusty Wallace.
Joe Walsh is a rock guitarist, of Eagles fame, and a Congressman from Illinois, affiliated with the Tea Party. Notably, the musician Walsh played a fundraiser for the politician Walsh's opponent in her successful 2012 campaign against him.
There were two Chinese skaters in the 2010 Olympics named Wang Meng. Talk about confusing!
They share their name with Wang Meng (c.325-375), a politician of the Former Qin Dynasty. With Wang Meng (c 1308-1385), a notable painter of the Yuan Dynasty. And with Wang Meng (1934-), a modern novelist who served a term as Minister of Culture in Red China. The family name Wang is very common.
War of 1812 in United States (and Canada) was the invasion of the latter by the former. (Patriotic) War of 1812 in Russia was the invasion of that country by the French under Napoleon.
When Kurt Warner, the supermarket-stockboy-turned-big-time-NFL-quarterback, first showed up out of nowhere with the St. Louis Rams in the late 1990s, several sportswriters thought it was Curt Warner, a not-all-that-successful Seattle Seahawks running back from the 1980s, trying to make a comeback.
Probably didn't help that Curt Warner also played for the (then-Los Angeles) Rams at the end of his career.
George Washington (1732-1799) was the first President of the United States. His grandnephew George Corbin Washington (1789-1854) was a congessman, plantation owner, busnisessman, and diplomat. George Washington (1817-1905) was an African-American freeborn man and founder of Centralia, a town in Washington state.
There were two different baseball franchises called the Washington Senators. The first one moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Twins. The second one started play when the first one left, then moved to Texas in 1972 and became the Rangers. The team that currently plays in Washington was going to be called the Senators as well, but the city government vetoed that since the District of Columbia isn't actually represented in the Senate.
Interestingly, the current Washington Nationals are also the second baseball franchise of that name. The first Washington Senators, founded in 1901, changed their official name to "Nationals" in 1905. Despite this, the "Nationals" and "Senators" names were used interchangeably for the next 50 years; the team officially became the "Senators" again in 1956.
In the Ottawa neighbourhood of Westboro, there is a prominent baptist church that was, reasonably, called the Westboro Baptist Church for quite some time. Apparently being linked to the notoriously homophobic Kansas-based church of the same name got so tiresome (the bulk of the church's website was an explanation that there was no relation) that they eventually became the Parkdale Baptist Church - Westboro Campus.
Or a giant flightless cricket from New Zealand, which the former is named after.
In May 2010 Ann Curry, of NBC's Today show, gave a commencement address at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. During her speech she started rattling off names of distinguished Wheaton alumni such as Billy Graham and Wes Craven. Unfortunately, she was thinking of the other Wheaton College, in Illinois.
On the other hand, Curry probably knew that the Billy Graham who went to the latter Wheaton College is not the former AFL football player and professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham. The wrestler's name was originally Wayne Coleman, and his name was a direct tribute to the evangelist.
Alan White of Yes did not play drums in Oasis. That was the other Alan White.
The Jesse White Tumblers were founded by the current Illinois Secretary of State - not by the guy who used to be the Maytag repairman.
Also, Brian Williams was the original name of NBA player Bison Dele, now equally famous for his disappearance and presumed death at sea in 2002.note He, his girlfriend, and his brother sailed from Tahiti on a friend's boat. The brother was the only person who returned from the voyage. Two months after returning, the brother committed suicide.
Jayson Williams (black) played in the NBA from 1991 to 1999. Jason Williams (white) played in the NBA from 1999 to 2011. And when Duke star Jason Williams (also black) was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2002, he changed his name to Jay Williams to avoid confusion with both players.
There are two musicians named John Williams. One's a film composer, one's a classical guitarist. Try not to confuse them.
Paul Williams the diminutive actor, songwriter and frequent Match Game panelist who wrote "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song", "Evergreen", "The Rainbow Connection" and "Rainy Day And Mondays"? Paul Williams, singer with The Temptations who committed suicide in his car? Or Paul Williams, the late music journalist and publisher of Crawdaddy magazine? A boxer, architect, 1970s film director, rugby union member, saxophonist and soccer player also share the name.
There is also a painter and one half of a folk singing duo who share this name.
Roger Williams is either an early American settler and theologian, or the pianist known for "Autumn Leaves" and "Born Free".
By the end of the 2008 season, the Dallas Cowboys had two players named Roy Williams. Sadly, they never appeared on the field at the same time. Meanwhile, another Roy Williams is busy coaching a certain college basketball team.
Even better, one Roy Williams was a defensive back while one was a wide receiver. We could have had Roy Williams covering Roy Williams in practice.
Since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is Texan, it is likely that he chose that name in reference to Stephen F. Austin, who led the first American settlers into Texas and after whom the state capital is named.
Victor Willis was the original cop on the Village People in the 1970's. Victor (Vic) Willis was a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher for the Braves and Pirates in the early 1900's.
Brian Wilson: a former member of The Beach Boys, and a relief pitcher formerly with the San Francisco Giants and now the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys, shares his name with a Canadian music critic.
Fans of the Gap Band were momentarily shocked when they heard Charlie Wilson had died...until they learned that it turned out to be the congressman from Texas responsible for helping mujahideen rebels get the funding and weapons they needed to fight off the Soviets in Afghanistan
Joe Wilson is either a former ambassador and former CIA agent Valerie Plame's husband, who essentially called President George W. Bush a liar over the White House's role in outing his wife; or a US Congressman who called President Barack Obama a liar over his statements on what would be funded in the health care bill he was pushing through.
They share their name with Joe Wilson, bassist for the Sneaker Pimps.
Justin Wilson: English Indy Car driver or Cajun TV chef?
Nancy Wilson, the African-American jazz vocalist, shares a name with white singer/guitarist Nancy Wilson (of Heart fame).
Speaking of the latter, her sister and bandmate Ann Wilson should not be confused with Irish singer Ann Nolan (of the Sisters), who became Ann Wilson by marriage.
Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Wilson are both published authors. This has caused confusion to those trying to locate hard-to-find and out of print Illuminatus! series books. And for those trying to find Robert Wilson's mainstream mass-market novels.
Tony Wilson is either the now-deceased founder of Factory Records from Manchester, UK (and subject of the biopic 24 Hour Party People), or a radio dj and author of children's book from Melbourne, Australia.
Amazingly, there are two people named David Wise who have some connection to Battletoads. One of them is a Briton who composed the games' soundtracks; the other is an American who co-wrote the screenplay of the Battletoads cartoon pilot.
Thomas Wolfe was an author of the 1930s and 1940s who wrote such novels as Look Homeward, Angel and You Can't Go Home Again. Tom Wolfe was a "new school" journalist of the 1960s and 1970s who wrote such nonfiction books as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff, then turned to satirical fiction in the 1980s and 1990s with such novels as The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full.
The spelling is slightly different, but Virginia Woolf and Virginia Euwer Wolff are authors, but of vastly different literature (the former is an English modernist author, the latter is an American award winning author of books aimed at children and young adults). There also was a metal band named Virginia Wolf
Contemporary Canadian author Richard Wright always includes his middle initial "B." in his name to avoid confusion with African-American author and activist Richard Wright.
Richard Wright was also the keyboardist for Pink Floyd.
Wu Tang Is both a style of Chinese swordplay and the name of the world famous rap group, the Wu-Tang Clan. Not surprising, as a film about the former inspired the name of the latter.
Bill Wyman is either the former bassist for The Rolling Stones or a music journalist. Bill Wyman the musician once gave Bill Wyman the journalist a cease and desist, although the latter is now free to use the name he was born with (and was given before the other Bill Wyman chose it as a stage name). To be fair, there's more potential for confusion when Bill Wyman the journalist writes articles about The Rolling Stones, which he has done in the past.
Yale College is a world-renowned and prestigious former technote for Americans, "community college"in Wrexham, North Wales. Yale College is also an obscure backwater educational institution in New England. This caused confusion and a lawsuit when the Welsh tech college was allowed to upgrade itself to a university. After legal intervention, the Welsh university had to adopt a different name to avoid confusion.note Although it can still legally call itself Coleg Iâl in Welsh and is now Prifysgol Owain Glyndwr/Glyndwr University. Amusingly, both were founded by the same man who emigrated to the USA from Wales.
Another former British polytechnic, this time Preston Poly, also pushed its new name to the legal wire: it called itself the University of Central Lancashire and abbreviated this to UCLAn, risking confusion with the UCLA in a nicer place with far better weather.
Yang Yang: While TheOtherWiki lists about nine examples, the most famous are two Chinese women's short-track speed skaters who first emerged on the international scene at the 1998 Winter Olympicsï¿½one born in August 1976, and the other born in September 1977. Originally, they were respectively called Yang Yang (L) and Yang Yang (S), for "large" and "small".note In Chinese, "large" and "small" are commonly used to distinguish between two people with identically pronounced names who are close in age. However, "Large" objected to the designation, and chose instead to be called Yang Yang (A), a nod to her birth month. "A" became China's first Winter Olympic gold medalist in 2002.
Although the names of Yang Yang (A) and Yang Yang (S) are pronounced identically in Chinese, they are not the same in written Chinese. Both have the same family name but different given names.
Do not confuse (William Butler) Yeats with (Edmund) Yates. Or with a few other poets named Yates (cf Wiki). Or with John Keats, while you're at it.
Andrew Young: One is the former United Nations Ambassador & mayor of Atlanta, the other is the former aide to John Edwards who covered for him by claiming fatherhood of Edwards's illegitimate child with Rielle Hunter.
Not to mention Neil Young, scorer of the winning goal for Manchester City in the 1969 FA Cup Final.
NFL quarterback Steve Young was known for his versatility in passing and running. Alas, he wasn't versatile enough to have also been the Steve Young who was a longtime CNN reporter, or the veteran singer-songwriter Steve Young who did the original version of "Seven Bridges Road", or the Steve Young who writes for The Late Show With David Letterman.
Jerry Zucker, the director of such films as Airplane, Top Secret, Ruthless People, and Ghost, shares his name with an Israeli-born businessman. The other Jerry Zucker served as Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. Zhang Yi was a high-ranked general for Shu of the Three Kingdoms. To avoid mass confusion, Three Kingdoms buffs refer to them by their style names (Bogong, Junsi, and Boqi) and often use the alternate form Zhang Ni for the third one. And let's not get started on all the other Zhang Yis of the Three Kingdoms period...
There are two Hollywood producers named David Zucker. One co-produced such parodies as Airplane along with his brother Jerry. The other co-produced NUMB3RS.