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Aptronyms

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 19, 2005

Aptronym “refers to a name that is aptly suited to its owner”…Ms. Banks who works in finance, Dr. Beach the marine biologist, Art Wolfe the nature photographer, that sort of thing. See also nominative determinism. (thx robert)

Reader comments

DanOct 19, 2005 at 12:48PM

Don’t forget the 2003 WSOP Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker, who happened to be an accountant before winning the biggest poker tournament in the world.

Tom DolanOct 19, 2005 at 12:59PM

I know a dentist named Dr. Chu and an Ob-Gyn named Dr. Guie (pronouced goo-ey). No joke.

Del ShimandleOct 19, 2005 at 1:11PM

A friend of mine has a Sharpei named “B flat.”

Jason RossittoOct 19, 2005 at 1:17PM

Would it be obnoxious to point out that you’ve misspelled it? Oops, too late.

Aptronym.

tatOct 19, 2005 at 1:28PM

The director of the museum of photography in charleroi is called Cannone (pronounced Canon).

jkottkeOct 19, 2005 at 1:32PM

Would it be obnoxious to point out that you’ve misspelled it?

Fixed, thanks.

Joshua WorksOct 19, 2005 at 2:44PM

I’ve always wondered what the word was, and have wanted to compile a list (with evidence… letterhead or whatnot). I’m aware of a urologist named Dr. Peaster and a DDS, Eric Wisdom.

Nonchalant SavantOct 19, 2005 at 3:09PM

When I was a kid, my dentist’s name was Dr Pickus. I hated him.

My wife had an office visit with a surgeon named Dr Hatchett. After HE made a joke about it, we opted to
see someone else.

FentonOct 19, 2005 at 3:11PM

Seinfeld reference:

A librarian named “Bookman”

An ice cream man named “Cone”

benOct 19, 2005 at 3:15PM

My high school had an English teacher named Mrs Read, a guitar teacher named Harry Strum, and the swimming coach was Coach Kramp.

OverwormOct 19, 2005 at 4:20PM

Does Madonna qualify?

liaOct 19, 2005 at 5:17PM

The head of the Catholic Church in the Philippines my entire life was Cardinal Sin, I shit you not. He was an asshole.

MattNotHaugheyOct 19, 2005 at 9:12PM

Check out John Train’s book Remarkable Names of Real People and its sequel. Most are just odd names, but others fall into this category.

Excerpts are here.

slickvagueOct 19, 2005 at 9:53PM

a loan officer named Helen Hunt?

as in, “looking for a loan? Go to Helen Hunt, her door is down to the left”

IvanOct 19, 2005 at 11:41PM

See also this collection (mostly in Spanish).

John DowdellOct 21, 2005 at 7:51PM

Herb Caen (historical SF Chronicle columnist) called these “namephreaks”.

Patrick MaddenOct 22, 2005 at 10:37AM

Thank you for solving a lifelong quest to know how to categorize my junior high teachers: Mrs. Stout, who taught cooking; Mr. Swet, who taught woodshop; Mrs. Law, who taught math; Mr. Echo, who taught band; and perhaps even Mrs. Dancy, who taught, alas, art.

MegOct 23, 2005 at 5:41PM

My Chiropractor here in London is called Dr Back. Seriously.

Steph MineartOct 27, 2005 at 6:13PM

My cardiologist is named Dr. Valentine.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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