Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who?

Recently, something got me thinking about names…or more specifically, names of famous people. Now, I’m sure that most of us don’t give their names a second thought. I, however, would like to challenge you to think outside the box:

Let’s start with the guy who got me going:


His name? To his friends, I’m sure he’s Mike Fox. To us, he’s Michael J. Fox. If I’d seen him on the street I’d tell my friends, “I just saw Michael J. Fox walking a sheepdog on 42nd and Fifth with a chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and what looked to be a bright orange dinner plate in the other.” (It turned out to be a Frizbee…go figure.) I wonder if my good bud Mike would have reconsidered his name on that original head shot had he realized that people would forever call him by his first name, middle initial and last name. On a bright note, he can always tell if it’s a stranger/stalker fan calling out to him, right?

Then you have this guy:


…who, although he doesn’t look very approachable in this shot, goes by the friendly name of Tommy Lee Jones. Don’t you already feel like you know him intimately…just because you already know his middle name? I can only assume that his next-door neighbor growing up heard his mom often yell, “TOMMY LEE JONES! STOP TRYIN’ TO STUFF YOUR BROTHER INTO THAT SEWER PIPE AND GET IN HERE!” Maybe he assumed if the whole town already knew him by his full name, he’d better stick with it.

Here we have one of my favorites:


…the uber-talented Sue Sylvester. I wonder what made her decide to go with “Sue”, versus:


…the more formal “Susan” Sarandon? Kind of ironic too….since Sue usually plays such a caustic character…even going back to her fabulous stint on Two and a Half Men.

Then you have the one-name wonders:


Could you imagine calling out, “Look this way Madonna Louise Ciccone!” Um, I don’t think so.

Cher…Oprah…Angelina…Brad…Britney...Beyonce…Sting…Bono. I figure your name has to either be pretty unique, or you just have to be the first with that name to hit it really big.

Sometimes, though…it can get confusing. If I say “Ben”, my dad will say Ben Casey? Connor (13) will say, “Ben 10?” when all the while, I was thinking of Ben Affleck. Or maybe Ben Stiller…or maybe Benny and the Jets...

As you can see, it gets tricky. So, for those of us not-quite-a-household-name-just-yet, what are ya gonna do? If you name is Tom (Hanks), Dick (Tracy) or Harry (Connick, Jr….not to be confused with Harry Connick Sr.), I’d suggest you consider changing it. If your name is Marshooba Marsicone Mulhooney III, you may want to consider the one-name route.

Just make sure your public name suits you:


Jennifer Anastassakis=Jennifer Aniston


Maria del Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza=Charo


Demetria Gene Guynes=Demi Moore


Annie Mae Bullock=Tina Turner

Smart choices, people…we can only hope we’ll all be so lucky...

Christiejolu said...

How about Fergie? Her real name is Stacey Ann Ferguson. Not even close as cool as Fergie! And Heath Ledgers name is actually Heathcliff. Fun post!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Nice post, Kathryn...or is it Kathy...or Kate..or...

Moxie Girl aka Amber Lea Easton said...

And let's not forget Lady GaGa...a.k.a. Stefani Germanotta. Often people tell me that my name sounds like a porn star or a stripper! Ha. Hmm...

KellyGrrl said...

A guy in my office goes by Tiger when his name is actually Abraham. I don't know why...

Kimberly said...

See, now when someone around here says "Ben", we Pittsburgh fans all think Roethlisberger. And his name has been on the lips of many a fan these days since he's having some trouble keeping his "Little Ben" under control. :)

Great post, Kathryn! Have you always gone by Kathryn?

Love,
Kimberly
aka Kim
aka Kimmie
aka Whatever
:)

Amy said...

I have the most common name ever and I'm pretty bitter about it. I should consider alternatives... My high school boyfriend called me Dollface Killer. Has a nice ring to it.

kathryn said...

Christiejolu: Ha! Fergie is a fabulous skew of her full name! Plus, her friends were probably calling her that since she was in grade school. Now, Heathcliff is a tough name to have as a kid!!

Alan W. Davidson: Ha! There you go, Alan W. Davidson. You see what I'm saying....

Moxie Girl aka Amber Lea Easton: Really? But Amber is such a sweet, gentle name. I don't see that! I forgot about Lady GaGa! I knew everyone here would remind me of the ones I'd missed.

Sir Thomas said...

hey I like doll face killer...

kathryn said...

KellyGrrl: Really? Well now you have to ask...for me? There's a story there and he's probably dying to talk about it, don't you think?

Kimberly: Roeth-who? Okay, I'm loving the Kimmie (is that your Dad calling you that?)...and I'm thinking you use Kim when you're first introduced? Honestly, I kind of re-invented myself after my marriage ended...wanted a fresh start. So, Kathryn is the new me. (Thanks for asking, sweetie!)

Amy: Well, you'll certainly be the only Dollface Killer that I know, if that helps! Has a certain force about it...you won't be easily forgotten!

Christopher said...

I'm going for one name "Christopher", it doesn't work though, everyone calls me Chris. Maybe that should be my one name?

Jerry said...

Oh hell -- you mean I have to have a public name? Is Kathryn your public name?

And what are public names anyway? You mean in private, folks would call me Jerry. But publicly they would call me El Hunko?

I've got to sit back and think on this important stuff.

Carol said...

These celebrity names, there just redneck names gone bad. See,Kathryn I know you were raised on the right side of the tracks but where I come from you only have a "real" name so you know if it's the law after you, otherwise you go my something else entirely. Some examples from my very own family:
Carol (me) Missi
Tonya- Buck (short for Hucklebucklenbeanstalk)
Jennifer- Jake
Sonya- Chip
Hailey- Mo or Georgie
Nia- bird
Kayla- Doodle
Scott- Bug
We were the one name wonders before it was cool. And these names- belong to adults every one, except for my Mo.,

John McElveen said...

Great Great post!

I'm so glad I happened to drop by!

I'm hooked!

And I didn't even have to take a drink!

John

John McElveen said...

Oh, btw,

I feel as If Tommy Lee Jones could come over, plop down on the couch and you could call him Uncle Tommy!

Is it because he has been in SOOO many movies--or because of the Middle name you mentioned-hmmmmm?

John

kathryn said...

Sir Thomas: Me too! I think that Dollface Killer is a definite maybe.

Christopher: Hm. Well, when I hear Chris, no-one comes to mind, so I do believe the slot is still available. Shall I put you down for it? Or would you prefer to keep your professional name separate from your private life, like Michael J Fox did?

Jerry: HA! El Hunko, huh? I don't believe that name is presently taken...Well, when your first novel comes out, what name should appear on the spine? Do tell!

kathryn said...

Carol: Wow! I'm loving that Hucklebucklenbeanstalk....I'm thinking there may be a story behind this? (Gee, ya think??) So, Tonya and Jennifer (girls) have boy-nicknames? Last I checked, girls weren't called Buck or Jake. Oh, the stories you could tell!

John McElveen: HA! No drink and I still wow'd ya? I'm a happy gal! Um, you can try calling him Uncle Tommy...let me know how that works for you!

sage said...

Interesting thoughts... I like Sage, of course, its not the name my mom gave me, but it fits, kind of even though I no longer live in the land of sage

Oddyoddyo13 said...

My first thought is what could have possibly gotten you onto this train of thought......then I started laughing! Hehe, I've never noticed that before.

My family watches NASCAR like most people watch football, and I'm rooting for Joey Lagano this season-his nickname is Sliced Bread, but I just call him Slice.

Lauren said...

I don't know that I would be happy if people knew me by my first name only. Hmmm... I think I'm happy with people needing to call me by both names but not knowing my middle name(s). Yes, name(s).

Heather said...

Jerry's comment cracked me up!!

Love that pic of Tina Turner! I tried to type just Tina, but it just wasn't right.

I guess if I was to become a rap star (which I will never, cause I don't do rap), my name would be Heat Her! LOL!!!

kathryn said...

sage: Huh. Well, first thing I thought of was the color sage...followed immediately by the spice...which made me think of parsley, rosemary and thyme...which reminded me that da boys have 10 minutes to make the bus. But, I'm probably not a good example...

Oddyoddyo13: Well, there you go! Another wild nickname whose origin I simply cannot imagine! ...But I shall call him Slice, too.

Lauren: Huh. So, you've got more than one middle name? You may be unique in that arena...maybe that can be your "thing"!

Heather: HA! Wow...that name just may catch on! Isn't it funny that their names just don't sound right unless you type the full name? Too funny!

....Petty Witter said...

If Amy thinks she has it bad, she wants to think about being callled Tracy - I don't think you get any more common then that.

A great post, I didn't know about most of them. However I'd like to add England's very own piano man Elton John, real name Reginald Kenneth Dwight.

brite said...

I'm putting "Kathryn the Great" out there for you...it fits, no?

Runnergirl said...

Brilliant post! I love it when you get some celeb with a really cool name (Elton John) and then find out that their real name is something totally mundane (and forgettable in my case cos I can't remember Elt's real name for the life of me!).

Remember that game where you worked out your p0rn name, taking your first pet's name and your mum's maiden name? I would have been George Kemp. SSSEEEXXXYYY!!!

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

I heard Michael J Fox say in an interview once that he added the J because his name sounded more exotic and cool that way. He actually has no middle name. I also know Susan's who would rather die than be called Sue. I am definitely NOT a Mo, but I never minded Maur.
You are a one word wonder in my book: Kathryn...

Jen said...

I answer to at least three name. Jen, Jenny, Jennifer. Then of course there is Red, which everyone assumes is my nickname.

Mike Fox...I read this somewhere back in the 80's, probably in Tiger Beat. His middle name is Andrew or some other A name but then his name would have been Michael A Fox and they all thought that was stupid. I don't know why he couldn't have been Michael Fox.

Fierce said...

Ok Kat (I can call you that right? Or would you prefer Kathy, or K-dawg or Kool Kat or allknowingleaderoftheamazingsocietythatisKathrynvillewhoalsohappenstobecalledKathryninreallife?) you forgot to mention Bradgelina on the unforgettable one-namers. Seriously, I think that is totally unfair to the duo as they are most unique in that they both share one name. I wonder what a crazy deranged fan would yell if they only saw half of the couple walking a dog and holding what appeared to be an orange dinner plate.

:)
xoxo

Wendy Blum said...

I can always tell when someone is calling us on our phone if they really know us. People who know us say our last name as "bloom" which is correct. Even though it looks as though it should be pronounced as if it rhymed with "plum". Thank goodeness the letter H was removed from our last name a long time ago. Otherwise, it would look like this: Bluhm. People would sound like they were sneezing trying to pronounce the H in there. Or making that throat clearing sound. Yes, it could be worse, LOL.

Daily Panic said...

My name is unique and I get a lot of "how do you spell that?" Well the long version made sense at one time... Jen'ni (pronounced Jen NYE-like bill NYE's name) so I shortened it to J'ni and I still get -"uh that's it? no other vowels?" Like I'm so dumb I can't spell my own name... no one gives Amy trouble for having a name with three letters... i would love to be named Amy!

Wendy Blum said...

Daily Panic aka J'ni, you could have it far worse. A person I know who works with the school in her area knows of a child whose name is ABCDE. No that's not a joke. Yes, you read correctly. The child's name is the first 5 letters of the alphabet! It's pronounced Ab-seh-de. Good luck to that kid getting a decent job, loan etc. unless they're smart enough to change their name once at legal age to do so.

Alicia said...

Did you know Jodie Fosters real name is Alicia Foster? She decided to change to Jodie so that if ever I decide I want to enter that fast-paced world of moviestardom my own name would still be available. Jodie's cool like that!

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