Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's in a Name?


I have gone from gamely chortling at the silly applications on Facebook to patently ignoring them. This happened sometime after I took the quiz to see which of the fifty states I was. I remember clicking that I like large bodies of water and living near big cities and somehow with Facebook wizardry the state that is most me is Nebraska. So I haven't indulged further in these random quizzes, and truth be told am fascinated that others seem to take them all the time. Which Lost character am I? Really?

But I'm about to whole hog embrace this craziness in the guise of scientific discovery.

A couple of months back, in a moment of whimsy I decided to find out my Vampire name. The gobbledygook that spewed out was, The Great Archives determine you to have gone by the identity Beno Fey, known in some parts of the world as Incubus of The Lamiae, the offspring of a goddess - beautiful, powerful and ruthless. Beautiful, Powerful, Ruthless and Fey? Sounds like a law firm for drag queens.

Beno Fey must be the gayest vampire name ever, but for whatever reason, it's stuck with me. So much so, that I reprinted my findings as a possible blog entry last ides of March. (Those screwy ides.) Does this mean that all my regenerated names would be as faggy? Would this homosameness somehow help me with life choices, or validate who I am? Only one way to find out... I will enter my name into each of the name generators Facebook has to offer.

My Earth name is Richard Hutchins Foster, Jr. Growing up I was Rick. But there was already a Rick and a Richard Foster in the acting unions. So, as an actor I took on Hutchins. (Most people today call me Hutch. If anyone still refers to me as Rick they must be family or someone who's known me longer than two decades.)

As for its meaning: Richard is powerful ruler, Hutchins is a pet form of Hugh which means 'bright in spirit and mind', and Foster is one in charge of the forest. I imagine if I lived up to my name I'd become the King of the Woodland Fairies, Smokey the Bear or a Buddhist Robin Hood.

My first step on the Facebook name generator page was to choose a name to regenerate. I couldn't use my entire WASPy moniker. Only two fields were offered. I decided upon my latest incarnation, Hutchins Foster. Next, I wanted to know if random words would create my Mobster name, my Filipino name, my Cute name, or was some (forgive me) science involved, some method to the virtual madness.

In my test run I typed in my actor name to determine my Soap Opera name. (Although, what really could be more soap opera than Hutchins Foster?) The result? Romeo Vanderbilt. (Okay, perhaps it's the teeniest bit more soap opry.) I submitted my name again to see if the name generator was consistent. Once again, Romeo Vanderbilt. (Hmmm. The name is growing on me.) When I submitted Richard Foster, I became Harlan Vanderbilt. Hutchins Smith became Romeo Fitzgerald. Indeed, there seems to be some method in place.

Facebook has 125 name generators, and I soon discovered that not all of them were pertinent. For instance, the nationality names (Spanish name, Serbian name, North African name) gave me absolutely no insight to myself. What do I care if I'm Gomez del Toro, Darko Markovic or Kutu Labdouni? Also, once I found out my Harry Potter name was an actual Harry Potter character (Neville Longbottom, sigh) I had no desire to find out my Sponge Bob, Twilight or Star Trek name. I even side stepped my Shakespearean name for fear I'd be Malvolio or Caliban. So, no nationalities, no characters, the rest I made up as I went along.

And my results...

There seems to be an eating theme running through my generated names. My Romantic name is Muffin, my Nickname is Honey Buns, my Presidential Code name is Clam Chowder and my Prank Call name is Igor Beaver.

Also there's an animal theme. My Mafia name is Danny "the Weasel" Costello, my Villainess name is The Shrivelled Tiger, my Drag Queen name is Kitten Kaboodle, and once again, Igor Beaver.

And I'm not trying to do this, but there also is a punani theme. My Dog name is Mama Trouble, my Stripper name is Diamond DeepTight, my Prison name is Booty Call, and yes, Igor Beaver.

In three lists! Igor Beaver. And the last time I actually gored beaver was eighteen years ago. Might I have taken the wrong path?

***

Lately my daughter is gaga obsessed with My Little Pony. For you neophytes, there isn't just one little pony like the singular title offers. There are many. And they are all girl ponies, not a steed in the stable. Actually, there are no stables. Come to think of it, they are very non horselike, these ponies. They are the color of fruit sherbet and are always prepping for some gala at Celebration Castle. Maxie has only three of their books and in each of them a major festivity is taking place. One book is about a golden egg hunt, another is about a royal costume party, and the last is the ultimate tea party.

I bring up the ponies because along with their lives of party throwing leisure, they have outlandish names. I can barely turn a page of the book without Maxie pointing to each pony and labeling them. Crazy insidious names like Sunny Daze, Twinkle Twirl, Pinky Pie (which sound like the newest designer drugs) are all part of this equine fantasy. And each pony has a tattoo on her haunch. Sparkleworks has a mini fireworks display, Meadowbrook a dragonfly, Wisteria a sprig of wisteria, etc. My favorite pony has four leaf clovers on her haunch...why Serendipity, of course.

Last night, while I was reading Pony Party, for the second time, I had this sudden image. A grouchy group of elderly people sitting around a table, smoking menthols, hopped up on pain killers, thinking up all these crazy ass pony names.

OLD FART #1: I like Minty.

OLD FART #2: Minty? What the hell kind of name is Minty?

OLD FART #1: My Ben Gay is minty. And I like Ben Gay.

OLD FART #2: Fine. I'll let you have Minty, as idiotic as that sounds, if you let me call a pony Dazzle Surprise.

OLD FART #1: Sound like a big sissy to me, but okay. Let's shake on it.

OLD FART #2: Can't reach across the table. Just put your dentures back in and call it a deal.

And I bet I'm not far off on how the My Little Pony names are created. And it's probably similar with the name generators dudes. Might not be the same group of people. Instead of old farts, the name generators might be just out of college pimply, but it's the same concept. Name by committee.

And if that's the case, it makes no nevermind that my Witch name is Gwendolyn the Drunk Witch, my Burlesque name is Caresse Royale, or my Superhero name is The Incredible Albino. It's all hogwash. And to waste time finding significance in the similarities between my Celebrity name and my Christmas Elf name (Viggo Mortensen/Zippy O'Leary) is complete folly. It's as serendipitous as wanting the Pacific and being designated Nebraska.

But even so, let me keep the original. Allow me Beno Fey.

Romeo Vanderbilt signing off.


THE COMPLETE LIST

Goth name: Galindus the Immortal
Fantasy name: Blind Man
Italian name: Antonio Rossi
Hippy name: Autumn Blossom
Spanish name: Gomez del Toro
Romantic name: Muffin
German name: Dieter von Metzger
Rock band name: Batter Buckwheat
Nickname: Honey Buns
Bond Girl name: Heidi Taunt
French name: Gaston Fornier
Trailer Trash name: Marlboro Man
Prison name: BootyCall
Japanese name: Akihiro Aburakoji
Royal name: Prince Hutchins the Clean
Dog name: Mama Trouble
Witch name: Gwendolyn the Drunk Witch
Korean name: Young Min Yoon
Drag Queen name: Kitten Kaboodle
Redneck name: Dwayne Houston
Pirate name: Captain Smelly Beard of the pirate ship Not-so-jolly Roger
Elf name: Kanhel
Cute name: Moogliebabycakes
Soap Opera name: Romeo Vanderbilt
Viking name: Eirik
Angel name: Ooniemme the Angel of Gratitude
Serbian name: Darko Markovic
Superhero name: The Incredible Albino
Princess name: Hutchins the Gracious, Princess of Merrimont
Mafia name: Danny "the Weasel" Costello
Stripper name: Diamond DeepTight
Villainess name: The Shrivelled Tigress
Hawaiian name: Kaleo Kalakona
Earth name: Reef Tempest
Prank Call name: Igor Beaver
Gypsy name: Loiza, meaning Renowned Warrior
Dragon name: Manasa the Dragon of Fertility
Gangster name: Paulie "The Executioner" Lucchese
North African name: Kutu Labdouni
Indian Chief name: Chief Bird Necklace
Street Gang name: The Tinkey Winkeys
Presidential Code name: Clam Chowder
Celebrity name: Viggo Mortensen
Christmas Elf name: Zippy O'Leary
Burlesque name: Caresse Royale

15 comments:

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

You've got too much time on your hands! LOL! No seriously, I don't think I've done any of those what is your name quizzes on FB. I actually don't do too many of those quizzes in general. I waste my time doing other things. LOL!

The Bug said...

I laughed uproariously when I found out that FB thought my parents should have named me Dean because I'm so masculine. Based on THREE questions. My real name is Dana - & I'm actually a kind of prissy middle-aged woman. Can I help it if I like baseball & dogs?

My state was also Nebraska - I said I liked mountains...

Yankee Girl said...

I try to stay away from Facebook as much as possible because I know I will get sucked into the applications and I won't be able to get anything done for the rest of my life...though now I really want to know what my soap opera name will be!

As for My Little Pony....
I'm a 28 year old woman who still has all of her My Little Ponies. No, I don't play with them, and I hardly ever see them, but when I happen to go through a few boxes and come across them, I just can't seem to get rid of them. They were my favorite as a child and they have so many memories packed away with them. I know, I'm a sentimental fool, but it's hard to come between a girl and her My Little Ponies.

Meeko Fabulous said...

I'm going to have to hit up FB and do all these quizzes cause now I'm curious what names I would end up with! LOL I'll find some time . . .

Amy said...

Oh, Romeo! Thou dost have to much time on thy fair hands.

About once a week I go into my Facebook account and scroll over to the side bar where it has all of the "requests" I've been sent listed. I open it and hit "ignore" on all of them. (I really should do this with the "friend" requests, too. It's ridiculous. It really is.)

You're a better mommy than I am for letting your little one even own a My Little Pony. I don't know what tragic glitter related event happened to me as a child, but those deformed little beasts freak me the hell out.

trashalou said...

Hahahahaha! I have only just caved and joined Facebook a few weeks ago. lifting it from a friend's page I took the 'how gay are you?' test.

Despite having been married to his husband for over a year now he was identified as being 'a little bit gay'. I, on the other hand, as a straight woman married for nearly 13 years came out (no pun intended) as being 'really gay'!

I am not convinced those tests are scientifically valid ;-)

ege said...

I never do these things, either (well, almost never), but today -- just after reading your post -- I saw this

surprised mom said...

I don't do Facebook quizzes because I have no patience. After reading your post, and LMAO, I think I may be missing something. I guess by taking the quizzes I could find out so much about myself. Of course, that just makes me afraid. Very afraid.

Shana said...

You must have been VERY bored !!

nicktionary said...

i love how your Prison Nickname is Booty Call (:

savante said...

Amazed that My Little Pony still exists! I saw that as a kid :)

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Holy crap, that was so funny. My facebook state result was South Dakota. Really? Honestly? I grew up near New Orleans and have Cajun roots in me but something deep inside me must be screaming to be close to Mt. Rushmore??

Funny stuff. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. Must follow you know for more hilarity.

Melissa said...

I just now read this... I am dieing!! The fact that you kept track of ALL those names makes you my "Facebook Name Generator Hero!! Hilarious!!!

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