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Punny Name / Real Life

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Punny Names in real life.

  • Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive 2008-2017 (the year he plans to retire from track).
  • Animators Hugh Harman And Rudolph Ising. Harman and Ising. Harman-Ising. Harmonizing. Who created Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and then made Happy Harmonies.
  • John Candy was born on Halloween, plus he was a very fat man with a sweet personality.
  • There is a Finnish meteorologist named "Pekka Pouta". "Pouta" means "fair weather".
    • At least that's fair weather. Here in New Jersey, we have "Storm Field" doing the weather on channel 9.
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    • FOX News has two meteorologists named Amy Freeze and Chris Sowers(showers). Dear God.
    • There's also L.A. weatherman Dallas Raines.
    • And a BBC Local weather presenter called Sara Blizzard
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have a pitcher named Grant Balfour.
    • There's also former Colorado Rockie and current Cleveland Indian Josh Outman.
  • Staff Sargeant Max Fightmaster.
  • Karl Schwarzschild, whose last name means "black shield" is famous for his physics work. Primarily with black holes.
    • An entire branch of physics has a punny name — Quantum Electrodynamics. It deals with (according to The Other Wiki) "how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved". What's its acronym? Q.E.D.
  • Francis Ford Coppola's producer Fred Fuchs. I'd dare you to spell his name one certain letter off...
    • There were also great composers called Fučík (more often spelled "Fucik" by English-speakers) of Entry of the Gladiators fame, and Fux.
      • Fuchs is a common German surname pronounced "fooks". It means "Fox".
  • Goichi Suda, creator of Killer7 and No More Heroes, goes by Suda51 most of the time — "Goichi", of course, being made of the Japanese words for "five" and "one".
  • Gothenburg, Sweden is a City of Puns, (in)famous for its often very punny jokes, called "Göteborgshumor" ("Gothenburg Humor"). Many, many places and buildings in the city have pun-based names or nicknames. Examples include:
    • "Rätt nära Ullevi" ("Court near Ullevi" and also "Pretty close to Ullevi") is a court situated pretty close to the stadium Ullevi.
    • "Sponsringen" is a round fountain ("ringen" = "the ring") sponsored by a construction company ("sponsringen" = "the sponsorship").
    • "Tian" ("The Ten") and "Tolvan" ("The Twelve") are nicknames for a tunnel and a bridge, respectively, each crossing the river Göta Älv. So called because the definite form of the Swedish word for river ("älven") in some local accents sounds like "elva" ("eleven") and the tunnel and bridge run under and above the rivernote .
    • "Svettekôrka" ("Svettkyrkan", "Sweat Church"), is a sauna that got its name from a fish market called "Feskekôrka" ("Fiskkyrkan", "Fish Church"), which in turn got its name from the building's resemblance to a church. That's right, a pun-based name based upon another pun-based name.
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    • A recently opened swimming pool is called "Pöl Harbour" (from Pearl Harbor, "pöl" means "puddle" and sounds similar to "pearl").
  • Stockholm, Sweden, also has a pun-based name in the very reputable bakery/cafè Vete-Katten ("The Wheat Cat"). Founded in 1928, the name came about when the first owner, being asked what name the place should have, replied "Det vete katten", which is Swedish slang for "I have no idea", literally "That the cat knows".
  • In San Diego, California (USA), you can find the intersection of Haveteur Way and Unida Place. (Have it your way, you need a place. No, there is no Burger King on Haveteur Way; It's a residential area.)
    • Non-intentional example: the intersection of Nixon-Bluett, as in "Richard Nixon blew it." [1] The best part: the streets are in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library.
  • The OC (California) has the intersection of Antonio Parkway and Avenida De Las Banderas. Most likely done on purpose, as that community (Rancho Santa Margarita) was only established in the late 1980s.
  • US senator Marion Barry.
  • Actor Rob Morrow is married to actress Debbon Ayer. They have a daughter named Tu Morrow.
  • Aleph One, the open source release of the Marathon 2: Durandal code, was so named because the last game in the trilogy was named Marathon Infinity. To jarringly brush aside the complexities: the smallest infinite set, the size of the counting numbers, is aleph-zero. Aleph one is a set one size bigger.
  • Many Drag Queen stage names are of the punny variety, such as Sharon Needles, Dieta Pepsi, Tequila Mockingbird, Anita Mann, Bertha Vanation, Mimi Imfurst, and so on.
    • The archetypal example (at least in Britain) is Danny LaRue, from the French dans la rue.
    • Best drag king name ever? Smack Diaz.
    • Best drag queen name? Shelita Buffet.
  • Roller Derby players also take stage names, usually related to their style of play (Ana Ki, Sky Rokkit, Hula Gunn, Annie Mal, and Belle de Brawl are some examples from Roll Britannia.)
    • Derby names are often violent (Tara Bichapart), sexual (Aurora Whorealis), nerdy (Hannah Shot First), sacrilegious (Crust Almighty) or multiple of these at the same time. All of these examples are from the Minnesota RollerGirls.
  • A British adult education institute once had an evening class on the music of The Beatles. One of the people who signed up for it was called Penelope Lane.
    • The Beatles' cartoon episode "Penny Lane" had the boys trying to stop what they think is a robbery on Penny Lane in Liverpool, only to find that it was an attempt to rob the diamonds of heiress Penelope Lane.
  • Creigh Deeds, the defeated Democratic candidate in the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election. The joke is in the last name, which provided a clever tag for Republican rival Bob McDonnell's ad campaigns ("Know him by his words. Know him by his DEEDS")
  • For some time, Kentucky's Commissioner of Agriculture was named Richie Farmer.
  • The Anglo-Saxon king Ethelred the Unready's modern name stems from a contemporary pun — Æþelræd means "noble counsel", so his unhappy subjects dubbed him "Æþelræd Unræd" — "Noble-counsel No-counsel". Given that he managed to secretly orchestrate a national massacre in an age when long-distance communication meant a bloke on a horse, a lack of preparation was probably not one of his major flaws.
    • Which is why they called him Unrede. In the massacre, he killed a sister of badass king Sweyn Forkbeard, the greatest Viking king of the day and a ferocious warrior. When Sweyn found out what became of his dear sister, he assembled a gigantic army and descended upon Saxon England, which was completely unprepared. It didn't end well for Ethelred.
  • The British record label turned media firm Chrysalis is named after its two founders, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis.
  • Urologist Dick Chopp.
  • Finno-Swedish Winter War behind-enemy-lines specialist, 2nd Lieutenant Harry Järv. A double pun since "Järv" means wolverine, and the identically pronounced "Djärv" means bold.
  • Someone named Mike Rowe once registered the domain name (Eventually, Microsoft bought it from him.)
    • You don't mean THE Mike Rowe, do you?
    • An Australian linen manufacturer makes a stuffing material they call Micro-Soft. A court ruled that there is no danger of confusing this trademark with Microsoft's, since the two companies aren't even in remotely similar lines of business, and hence no infringement.
  • There is a British radio presenter named Fenella Fudge. It is not yet known if she's been told how much it sounds like 'Vanilla'.
  • The computer programming language C++ contains an increment operator, ++ . This programming language is based on the programming language called C. Hence, its name means "C plus one" or "C incremented".
    • An enhanced version of an old-school and notoriously verbose programming language has been mooted called ADD 1 TO COBOL GIVING COBOL.
      • That statement, by the way, is littered with syntax errors: ADD... GIVING... should not reference the same variable twice (ADD 1 TO COBOL would be the way to do it), some compilers do not support TO with GIVING (because ADD 1 TO COBOL is already a complete statement), and most compilers would make COBOL a reserved word and hence unusable as a variable name. Years of wearily dealing with compilation errors have a cumulative effect.
    • Then there's Microsoft's own C derivative; C#. The # is supposed to be a sharp symbol, akin to musical notes, which means C# is one note higher than C (or an increment). Alternatively, it also looks like two increment operators (++) stacked together.
  • The sign # (hash) precedes a name of the IRC channel. Hence the channels #ish, #smoke, #maryjane and #brownies (and their counterparts in different languages) were only to be expected.
  • Season 13 of The Amazing Race featured Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Starr Spangler.
  • There's a tennis player called Anna Smashnova.
  • There's Schickhaus Franks ("A frank by any other name can never, never taste the same as Schickhaus, Schickhaus Franks!"). Described by one radio announcer as the most carefully pronounced hot dogs in the world.
  • An heiress to the Lear Jet fortune? Shanda. Yes. The kid was named Shanda Lear.
    • That was also the drag name (spelled Shanda Leer) of a recurring character in the US/Canada version of Queer as Folk.
  • Punny or not, former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle.
  • A German Language and medical example: Todd's syndrome, wherein only one side of the body (or so) is awake (the other half being asleep. Coma asleep). To a terrified first-time experiencer of a seizure and Todd's syndrome, it may feel that they are dying — Tod is German for "death".
  • MSNBC has a reporter/commentator named Krystal Ball, who's been working with other talking heads to predict whom the next Republican presidential candidate will be.
  • Pun Street, a feature on Dave Gorman's show on Absolute Radio collects punny business names, so long as they really exist. Painful highlights include:
  • Similar to the above example, a book called Ngalang Pinoy (Pinoy Names) was released in the Philippines, compiling unusual business names, movie titles, slogans, and everything in between. You've got a massage parlor called You Kneaded Me, a furniture shop called To Home It May Concern, a fitness center called Gym Carry, and a tailoring service called James Tailor, among other things.
  • Punny Names are popular for Canadian businesses. One that comes to mind is an oyster bar called Aw, Shucks
  • On D-Day, the British 7th Parachute Battalion was commanded by Lt. Col. Richard Pine-Coffin.
  • The AT-4 shoulder-fired rocket launcher. It fires 84mm warheads.
  • The late archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Sin, who died in 2005.
  • American football player Chad Ochocinco. Take a wild guess what number he is. (Very jarring to some, as his original name was Chad Johnson. And 85 in Spanish is ochenta y cinco.)
  • 5th Cell employs a programmer named Cody Haskell.
  • In the pre-Internet era, Fan Fic writers, especially Slash Fic writers, resorted to pseudonyms to hide their activities from both the media companies and easily-shocked "mundanes." Sometimes these handles were political (The PTL Club) or whimsical, but sometimes the slasher resorted to a handle like "Betina Sheets" or "Lotta Sleeze"
  • The physicists Ralph Alpher and George Gamow wrote a paper on the origins of the universe (in particular, on the synthesis of elements after the Big Bang); before publication, Gamow asked Hans Bethe to add his name to the paper, resulting in a fitting sequence of "Alpha, Beta, Gamma".
  • As of 2012, NBC has a page named Paige.
  • Three members of the cardinal family of birds (Cardinalidae), the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and Vermilion Cardinal (Cardinalis phoeniceus), in addition to the the Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) when using its alternate and easier-to-grasp name of Desert Cardinal (all three members of the Cardinalis genus if the family Cardinalidae) are named for their crests, which were thought to resemble a Catholic cardinal's hat. However, not all members of the cardinal family have a crest, as with grosbeaks and American buntings (no relation to Old World buntings, which are in the same family as American sparrows).
  • There is a Borealis Avenue in Aurora, Ontario (Canada).
  • Mozilla's XUL format used for code in its software, standing for XML User Interface Language, is intentionally pronounced the same as the name of Zuul from Ghostbusters (1984), and trying to read it as a plain XML file results in the error message "There is no data — there is only XUL", a reference to a line from the film in question.
  • Fittingly, one of the main proponents of the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama wasn't born in the US is called Orly Taitz. ORLY?
  • Many Porn Names, such as "Justin Syder".
  • Belgian village Ternat lies in a flood zone, translating the pun yields Therewet.
  • Mayor of Mukilteo, WA, a city known for its lighthouse and ferry route: Joe Marine. Yes, that's his legal name.
  • David Freese is the St. Louis Cardinals' third baseman and the hometown hero of the 2011 World Series. He is also a Batman fan. So when Six Flags St. Louis unveiled their revamped roller coaster, Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast, in the spring of 2012, who do you think they got to endorse it?
    • And then there's Michael Wacha, who inspires signs that read "WACHA! WACHA!"
  • Ex-Fugitive Kerry Silvers, featured on I (Almost) Got Away with It, once took up the alias "Justin Case."
  • Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's daughter: North West
    • Drake Bell tweeted, not long after North's birth, that he hopes to name his first son Taco.
  • B-movie director/actor and metal fanzine publisher Bill Zebub.
  • The GNU Bison software (which acts as a parser generator for the GNU operating system and its derivatives) was written to be compatible with the older Yacc ("Yet Another Compiler Compiler") program used by UNIX and its derivatives, such as BSD. Yacc, of course, could be pronounced as "yak", which is somewhat similar in appearance to a bison.
  • One of the pre-recorded announcer voices on The London Underground is known as "Sonia" because she gets on ya nerves.
  • There are many gag names that are common in pranks and the like. They usually look okay when written but when said describe something inappropriate. Well-known examples include Heywood Jablomey (this one actually fooled a newscaster) and Ben Dover.
  • The KAC Masterkey is an under-barrel attached shotgun for the M16 and M4. It's mainly used to blow off the hinges of doors to breach them in order to gain entry.
  • Texan philanthropist Ima Hogg. There are endless jokes that she had a sister named "Ura". Ima herself was embarrassed by her name and tended to sign paperwork "Miss Hogg" or "I. Hogg", switching later in life to "Imogene" (the name from which "Ima" was derived).
  • "Nim Chimpsky" was the name of a chimpanzee whom researchers tried to teach (sign) language. Besides of "chimp", it comes from the name of the famous linguist Noam Chomsky. Ironically, Nim didn't turn out very linguistically gifted, not even compared to some other apes in similar experiments.
  • A bilingual example exists in South Korea with transgender TV personality Harisu (legal name Lee Kyeong-un). Her production company gave her the name Harisu because it was approximately how Koreans would pronounce "hot issue", the hot issue being that she was the first transgender on Korean television. [2]
  • The disk authoring software Nero Burning ROM: all-capitalized to turn the Italian capital, which is spelled that way in German, into Read Only Memory.
  • The same emperor was probably right not to trust a man named Gaius Rubellious Plautus.
  • There is a stubborn, outspoken, and mentally tough Indy Car driver named Will Power.
  • Carrie Nation (full name: Carrie Amelia Moore Nation) started calling herself "Carry A. Nation" for the pun. She said that it meant "carry a nation for prohibition".
  • While it's not clear if he drank beer or not; 1970s and 1980s sitcom writer Bud Wiser might have been the target of a lot of "Budweiser" related jokes.
  • The founder of the Gravity Falls Fanclub "The Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel" (named after a secret society in the show itself) is named Douglas MacKrell.
  • Honorable mention should go to the aptly-named Little A'Le'Inn bar in Nevada, located close to (where else?) Area 51.
  • Leicester City footballer/soccer player Danny Drinkwater.
  • Walt Disney used the alias name "M.T. Lott" ("Empty Lot") when buying up large amounts of Florida swampland for the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • There is a clear soda named Not See Kola, whose bottle has a German eagle drinking a bottle and Gratuitous German text. The same manufacturer does a Red lemonade called Leninade, full of punny slogans ("Get Hammered & Sickled!").
  • It's weirdly poetic and funny that the guy responsible for the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time is named Bernie Madoff.
  • Comedian Ralphie May decided to use his surname for this while naming his children: April June May and August James May.
  • Almost any German barber shop. Have a list.
  • English soccer attacker Harry Kane was gods gift for commentators.
  • Remember the Big Equity Fraud? The controls were lousy and they got away with names in the policies like "Safe T. First".
  • There's a species of bacteria that biologists have given the name Kamera lens.
  • There's a toiletries company called "Soap and Glory" (itself a pun of "Hope and Glory") which names all of its products after soap-themed puns off of common phrases or idioms. Examples include "Scrub Atomic"; "Face Soap and Clarity"; "Calm One, Calm All"; "Mist You Madly"; and "Pulp Friction". Explanation 


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