Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fun with Names

When we lived in Western New York, we went to Fillmore to see the dentist and to Wellsville to see the doctor. We are grateful we did not need the services of the Amigone Funeral Home!

The dentist is my brother-in-law, Dan Kauffman, who goes by the name Dr D.K. Always up for a laugh, his office phone number is 567-4242 (567-haha). And guess what "ha" means in Japanese? It means "tooth."

Rather convoluted, but it's all true!

These are aptronyms (also called aptonyms). I've always been interested in them but didn't know there was a word for them till our local paper, The Herald, began running a weekly column of people who are aptly named for their jobs, including a county Superior Court judge named Ellen Fair and an accountant at a meat packing plant, whose name is Janet Moo.

I'm tall, at least by Japanese standards (5'10"), and nearly every day during my three years in Japan someone would see me for the first time and remark about my height. I can tell you it's not always easy to be gracious when someone points out something that you know all too well. So I was impressed that all eleven featured so far in The Herald's column seemed comfortable with their names and the reactions they get upon meeting someone new.

Got some good aptronyms of your own? I invite you to send them to me; one day I'll print a list of them in the blog.

And if you're in the mood for reading more about aptronyms now, check out this link at BuzzWord.

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