Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's in a name?

First off, thanks to Fr. Barry for giving up this topic for me to post in his stead.

In a bizarre twist of historical artifacts which will surely generate interest in fields as varied as psychoanalysis to genetic biology, it's been determined that the father of President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was the authentic author of a letter written to President Andrew Jackson, threatening to kill him. Truly, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree:

'London-born Junius Brutus Booth was a famous Shakespearean actor and a manic public figure. He had three sons in the theater, including John Wilkes Booth, who later would murder President Lincoln in April 1865 at Ford's Theatre in Washington.

"(Junius) Booth was well-known for acting up, acting out, as well as acting," Feller said.'

Whoa! Check that... His middle name was Brutus? How fitting is that? That my friends, is called an 'aptronym'- when a person's occupation matches his name. Some other noteworthy (and very real!!) aptronyms:

Anger Management
Dr. Richard Madden (Hudson, N.Y.)

Astronomers
Alan Heavens (University of Edinburgh)

Cabinet Secretaries
Margaret Spellings (Secretary of Education)

Clergy
Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin, former archbishop of Manila

Dentists/Orthodontists
Ngoc Quang Chu, DDS (Bethesda, Md.)
Dalbert Fear, Jr., DDS (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Ken Hurt, DDS (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Kenneth Krowne, DDS (Brookline, Mass.)
Les Plack, DDS (San Francisco, Calif.)
Anthony J. Puller, DDS (Richmond, Va.)
Randall Toothaker, DDS (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Barth, Lacy, and Craig Toothman (Columbus, Ohio)

Food Critics
Jamie Maw (Vancouver magazine)

Football Players
Brian Baldinger (former defensive lineman, Dallas Cowboys, Indiana Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles)
Joey Goodspeed (former running back, St. Louis Rams)
Quentin Jammer (cornerback for the San Diego Chargers)

Gastroenterologists
Angel Colon (Annapolis, Md.)

Gynecologists
Dr. Bonnie Beaver (West Hills, Calif.)
Dr. Harry Beaver, retired (Fairfax, Va.)
Sheldon H. Cherry (New York, N.Y.)
Dr. Hyman Meltzer, deceased (Chicago) Too bad it's not Metzger-German for 'butcher'.

Leadership Expert
Jack Christ (Ripon College, Ripon, Wis.)

Lobbyists
Leon Billings
Robert Cashdollar

Musicians
Linda Toote (Flautist, Boston, Mass.)

Novelists/Essayists
Francine Prose (New York, N.Y.)

Office Supplies and Equipment
Dean Boring, president, Boring Office Supplies (Lakeland, Fla.)

Opthalmologists
Dr. Kevin Blinder (Washington University)

Ornithologists
David Bird (director, Avian Science and Conservation Center, McGill University, Canada)

Podiatrists
Dr. Allen Korn (Washington, D.C.)

Police
John Lawless (Haverstraw, N.Y.)

Psychologists/Psychiatrists
Dr. Jules Angst, emeritus professor of psychiatry, University of Zurich
Roberta L. Nutt, Ph.D., director, Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program, Texas Women's University

Race-car Drivers
Scott Goodyear
Scott Speed

Rapists, Convicted
Robert Raper (Boston, Mass.)

Realtors
Ann Greathouse (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Religion, Professors of
Terry Godlove (Hofstra University)

Risk Management
John C. Chicken (author, The Philosophy of Risk)

Sexual Misconduct Researcher
Charol Shakeshaft

Spokespersons

Am Rong (Khmer Rouge spokesman, Cambodia)
Tony Snow (Washington, D.C.)
Larry Speakes (Reagan White House flak)


Urologists
Dr. Richard ("Dick") Chopp (Austin, Texas)
Dr. Dennis Peters (Pensacola, Fla.)
Dr. Alexander Philpott (Wheat Ridge, Colo.)
Dr. Keith Waterhouse, retired (New York, N.Y.)

3 comments:

Meg said...

I can add my college adviser: Dr. John Grammer, chair of English Lit. (The misspelling always dogged him.)

The Vitruvian Duck said...

That's awesome. Thanks!

Boots said...

Don't forget Bernie Madoff.