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