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Punny Name / Real Life

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Punny Names in real life.

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  • The fastest man alive is named Usain Bolt.
  • Animators Hugh Harman And Rudolph Ising, who's surnames sound like harmonizing when pronounced together. They created Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, and Happy Harmonies.
  • John Candy was born on Halloween, a day where kids go trick-or-treating for candy. Plus, he was an obese man with a sweet personality.
  • There is a Finnish meteorologist named "Pekka Pouta". "Pouta" means "fair weather".
  • In New Jersey, there is a meteorologist called "Storm Field" presenting the weather on channel 9.
  • FOX News has two meteorologists named Amy Freeze and Chris Sowers. Dear God.
  • In L.A., there is a weatherman called Dallas Raines.
  • A BBC Local weather presenter is called Sara Blizzard
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have a pitcher named Grant Balfour.
  • There is a former Colorado Rockie and current Cleveland Indian called Josh Outman.
  • Staff Sergeant Max Fightmaster.
  • Karl Schwarzschild, whose last name means "black shield" is famous for his physics work. Primarily with black holes.
  • There were a number of 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". This was especially apt when the footballer Christian Fuchs joined Leicester City FC, who are known as The Foxes.
  • 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".
  • 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.
    • Smack Diaz (smack the ass)
  • Roller Derby players use 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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'.
  • 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".
  • One of the main proponents of the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama wasn't born in the US is called Orly Taitz.
  • Many Porn Names, such as "Justin Syder" (just inside her).
  • Belgian village Ternat lies in a flood zone, translating the pun yields Therewet (they're wet).
  • Mayor of Mukilteo, WA, a city known for its lighthouse and ferry route, is called Joe Marine.
  • 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, they had him endorse it.
  • 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, so his full name would match that of the fast-food chain.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 person on Korean television.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • English soccer attacker Harry Kane was God's gift for commentators.
  • Robert Boyle was an English physicist who discovered, among other things, the dependence of boiling point on atmospheric pressure.
  • Two girls' names that come up regularly in BBC radio phone-in programmes when discussing embarrassing names are the classics "Emma Levin" (the M11 is a major motorway, for those unfamiliar with the UK highways network) and "Helen Slaughter" (hell and... yeah). Many little girls have had to go through school with these over the years. Some women duck gaining them upon marriage citing a known body of work under their maiden names or any other excuse. Granted, Helen/Ellens (and to a lesser extent, Alans, Eileens, and Elaines) have had this kind of problem since the Christianisation of the Roman Empire and Emmas don't usually combine badly with anything. And, being a motorway doesn't sound bad vs something hellish. What generally happens an awful lot on roads to make the news, again? Yeah: good luck filtering out the traffic accident report when you're already having a bad day.
  • You'd think someone named "Tajma Hall" would be a famous architect. No, the world is not that perfect, and she's a weekend news anchor for a TV station in Wisconsin.


    Organizations, Products, and Other 
  • 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.
  • You'd think someone named "Tajma Hall" would be a famous architect. No, the world is not that perfect, and she's a weekend news anchor for a TV station in Wisconsin.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The British record label turned media firm Chrysalis is named after its two founders, Chris Wright and Terry Ellis.
  • Someone named Mike Rowe once registered the domain name (Eventually, Microsoft bought it from him.)
  • 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.
  • As of 2012, NBC has a page named Paige.
  • 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. It 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.
    • 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.
  • Three members of the cardinal family of birds (Cardinalidae), the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and Vermilion Cardinal (Cardinalis phoeniceus), in addition to 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!").
  • 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. The "lens" part came first, from its shape, but it was originally considered part of the genus monas, making its binomial monas lens. Nowadays it is considered to be in a genus on its own, and as it's the only member of a previously-unnamed genus, the genus name could be chosen to go with lens, hence 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".
  • The British and Irish meteorological offices started to name storms in 2015. The first named storm was Storm Abigail. A big gale.


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