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Punny Names in music.


  • Voltaire's Card-Carrying Villain song "When You're Evil" has this duo: "To the gentlemen I'm Miss Fortune, to the ladies I'm Sir Prize..."
  • The Beatles were in equal parts a pun on Buddy Holly's Crickets, and on "beat".
  • A housemate of the Doobie Brothers noted the guys' fondness for "doobies" — a slang term for marijuana cigarettes, which gave them the name.
  • Bloc Party was named from the term block party, a large public party where everyone in a neighbourhood gets together.
    • Extra punny given that a bloc is "a group of persons, businesses, etc., united for a particular purpose", often centered around politics (which is also true of Bloc Party's lyrics).
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  • A literal translation of Einstürzende Neubauten's name would be "Collapsing New-Buildings". The name isn't meant to conjure up the image of intentionally destroying newly made buildings, however, but rather that of "new buildings" falling over. A Neubauten, for the non-German tropers, is specifically one of the cheaply-constructed "modern" buildings erected following 1945 in many German cities, which had an unfortunate reputation of being extremely unsound compared to the Altbauten (old-buildings), which were mostly destroyed after WWII. Their name attracted unwanted attention within two months of the band's formation thanks to the roof of Berlin's former city hall (one of the most famous Neubauten) collapsing, killing one person and injuring many others. Think of a hypothetical NYC based band which formed in July 2001 that called themselves "Planes Into Buildings", and you'll get a pretty decent idea of what the band had to deal with.
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  • The Zarsoff Brothers', whose first names included Rocky and Izzy, among others.
  • Sting was named for the yellow and brown striped jumper he used to wear.
  • Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, who hails from a state that has quite a few...dusty hills. The band's drummer Frank Beard, who happens to be the only member of the band without said facial hair.
    • Not as true today, as Frank does sport more facial hair nowadays (a goatee, to be specific), as seen on ZZ Top's Live From Texas DVD. Not quite a beard (especially compared to his bandmates), so it's not quite averted.
  • One of the many Initial D Eurobeat songs is entitled Express Love, which is a play on the word express. The singer laments that he was suckered into express (quick) love, but he wants his lover to express (show) love.
  • Alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven is a punny portmanteau of the phrases "camper van" and "Ludwig van Beethoven." Camper than Beethoven.
  • Autechre's Untilted album, a play on "untitled".
  • The title of Vocaloid song Rainbow Girl seems like Word Salad Title, but "rainbow" is niji in Japanese, which is also a shortening of nijigen — literally "2D", it is a slang term for Moe anime and other forms of media (such as video games) that are drawn in similar style, and girls who appear in them.
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  • German example: the stage name of the lead singer of the German punk rock band Die Ärzte is Farin Urlaub, which is a pun on fahr in Urlaub, meaning "go on vacation."
  • Rapper Flo Rida's stage name is a pun on his home state of Florida and hip-hop slang ("flow" also referring rap ability.)
  • Two tribute bands have this approach:
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers album Californication.
  • Madonna's latest album, MDNA, is either a pun on the abbreviation for mitochondrial DNA or MDMA, the scientific name for the drug Ecstasy.
    • It's more likely just a reference to/pun on her own name, "MaDoNnA"
  • What else could the acclaimed folk supergroup which first came together at a Robert Burns themed retreat call themselves but The Burns Unit?
  • Perry Farrell picked his Stage Name as a pun on "peripheral".
  • 45 Grave vocalist Dinah Cancer ("dying of cancer") — again, obviously a Stage Name.
  • Savlonic's Kandee Flaus.
  • The "Dragapella" group the Kinsey Sicks. Their name is a play of words on "Kinsey 6", the end of the Kinsey scale defined as exclusively homosexual.
  • *NSYNC supposedly got their name from Justin Timberlake's mother, who noted how well "in sync" all five voices blended together when they sang together à cappella for the first time. (The other story they tell about their name involved Fun with Acronyms.)
  • Many early synth albums had names which were puns on the name of the most popular synth brand at the time, the Moog, such as Jean-Jacques Perrey's Moog Indigo. These, however, were usually examples of Cowboy BeBop at His Computer (such as the Perrey example), since they assumed that "Moog" is pronounced according to English rules (that is, like "mood" but with a "g"), when in fact anyone even moderately knowledgeable knew that it is actually the inventor's (Dutch) name, and thus pronounced according to Dutch rules; that is, like "rogue" with an M instead of an R.
  • Sakanaction's name is a pun on "sakana" (the Japanese word for "fish") and "action". One of their albums, DocumentaLy, is a pun on "documentary" and "mental", doubling as tongue-in-cheek Engrish.
  • The Christian Rock group David and the Giants has a reference both to frontman David W. Huff and references TheBible's account of David and Goliath.note 
  • Apparently, the "real name" of Virtual Celebrity Amber G. is "Amber Griis".
  • Korean Pop Music group Mamamoo's fans are known as MooMoos. "Moo (무)" is also Korean for "radish." Fans picked up on this and began bringing radishes to performances to show support. When the group announced their lightsticks, they were, quite unsurprisingly, radishes.
  • Carolina Crown's 2011 show was titled "Rach Star". It was a mashup of classic rock tunes and the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff.
  • Hip hop producer DJ Mustard, or more recently simply Mustard, has Dijon McFarlane as his real name. Dijon, the real life French town, is well-known for their mustard.
  • Nerdcore rapper YTCracker chose an interesting double-meaning stage name. A "cracker" is someone who exploits the weaknesses in a computer or a network, perfect for the artist's nerdy and subversive image. But "cracker" is also a derogatory term for a white person used by black people: combined with YT (pronounced "Whitey") it adds some self-deprecating humor for being a white man who decided to be a rapper.
  • There's an Indian female rapper called Hard Kaur. ("Kaur" is the traditional Sikh second name for women, equivalent to the male Singh, and it's pronounced very closely to "core" in English.)


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