Metta World Peace, Diamond World Peace, Panda Friend, and the First Family of Modern Funny Names

World Peace... that's so Metta!

World Peace… that’s so Metta!

If you’re a basketball fan, or have paid attention to our Funny Names in the News segments, you may recognize the name Panda Friend, which was briefly the moniker of former NBA star Metta World Peace (nee Ron Artest) as he made his mark in the Chinese professional basketball league.

It appears that he has gone back to Metta World Peace – he chose the first name “Metta” because it’s a traditional Buddhist word meaning “loving kindness and friendliness toward all.” What a truly lovely sentiment, and one we share here at the BoFN. It’s always fantastic to find kindred spirits out there. It’s even better when you find out your kindred spirits could bench press you with one arm!

Metta and Diamond, enjoying a show!

Metta and Diamond, enjoying a show!

What you may not know is that when Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace, he wasn’t the only person in his family to change their last name. His daughter, Diamond, decided to follow dad’s lead and become Diamond World Peace, which is one of the greatest names any of us have ever encountered. According to the LA Times, in 2011, 8-year-old Diamond decided to go ahead with the name change due to “love and respect for her father,” which is as good a reason as any!

Diamond shining in a publicity photo after releasing her single

Diamond shining in a publicity photo after releasing her single “Fighter”

Seems like “World Peace” is a great last name for such a respectful young lady. What’s even more impressive is it’s not all love and cuddles for young diamond: despite not having entered her teen years, she has accomplished something greater than many of us have in many more decades. Diamond World Peace has overcome kidney cancer!

To commemorate this, she released the song Fighter with the legendary vocalist Sade. 

How unbelievably amazing is that?!? I am so impressed with Diamond that I can’t even make a “diamond in the rough” joke here – there’s nothing “in the rough” about this youngster – she’s already mature and polished!

But not only that, she has boxing references in the lyrics – 1, 2, 1, 2 knockout punch!

There is precious little info about Diamond out there on the interwebs – just as well, given that she’s … you know … twelve – so let’s close this one out with our favorite stories (both humorous and heartwarming) about Ron Artest Metta World Peace Panda Friend Metta World Peace.

  • (Humorous) As a rookie for the Chicago Bulls, he was criticized for applying to a job at Circuit City in order to get an employee discount.
  • (Humorous) In February 2004, he wore a bathrobe over his Pacers uniform during practice as a “symbolic reminder to take it easy.”
  • (Heartwarming) While on Dancing With The Stars, he donated all of his earnings from the show to the Cancer Research Foundation in honor of Diamond overcoming kidney cancer.
  • (Heartwarming) He’s a big supporter of mental health charities, and donated his entire 2011-2012 charity, as well as the proceeds from the sale of his LA Lakers championship ring, to mental health organizations.
  • (Wow, just wow) He was 2004’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year!
  • (Humorous…because a humor blog really should end on a humorous note)…

HE GOT WHEATIES!!! in my favorite basketball press conference ever. The jubilant Artest – after winning his first NBA title – was pure exuberance and hilarity, and invited Diamond to “shine” in the press conference.

Until next time, may you shine on, like a Diamond (and Metta) World Peace!

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Happy Independence Day – And Now For Something (Kind of) Completely Different

This is our 600th post on the Blog of Funny Names – not nearly as impressive as Kerbey’s 1000th post, but still pretty cool! This has us all in a celebratory mood at BoFN HQ… but wait, isn’t there something else worth celebrating this weekend?

Of course there is!


Old Glory

So normally Friday is FNITN day, but this Friday is also the Friday of Independence Day weekend for our American readers, which reminds me (Dave) of one of my favorite posts in the history of the blog. It was from the Blog of Funny Names’ first ever Independence Day, and I took a departure from the blog’s usual tongue-in-cheek tone to reflect on America and its many wonderful values (and sprinkle in some awesome names of famous American politicians). WordPress only lets you reblog something once, and we’ve already used that one up, so I’ll just link to it here. One of my favorite posts in the history of the blog (and a chance to Vote for Funny Names! Woohoo!):

Happy Independence Day – Vote Toward A More Funny-Named Union!

(one of our classic posts, according to the informal committee of Dave)

Oh, and in case you’re missing your usual dose of fun FNITN photos, here’s a pic of Woody Allen hanging out with an orange-turban-wearing Parker Posey. But please do check out the Independence Day post. It’s a good’n. And for our American readers (and frankly our non-American ones as well), I hope you have quality time with friends and family this weekend!

Some pictures defy captions.

Some pictures defy captions.

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Ransom Eli Olds, Inventor, Automater: Darn, Did I Give That One Away?

Some names speak greatness. Ransom Eli Olds is a doozy. Let’s take stock here. His father, Pliny Fiske Olds married Sarah Whipple and great things happened.

In 1889 Ransom married Metta Ursula Woodard. Off to a rolling start.

By 1894 Ransom claims to have built his first steam car and in 1896 he followed up with his first gasoline powered automobile.

Olds Pirate Racing Car driven by the man himself on a Florida beach. He could have said,  "Avast there matey. Get out of me way or I'll run ye over."

Olds Pirate Racing Car driven by the man himself on a Florida beach. He could have said, “Avast there matey. Get out of me way or I’ll run ye over.” But he didn’t. He left them in his dust.

Ransom invented the modern day assembly line. I know, I thought that was a Ford invention, too. Ford borrowed the idea.

Watch out trivia night people, we’re just warming up.

He formed the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan in 1897. Needing an infusion of cash, the company was purchased by lumber magnate, Samuel L. Smith, love that alliteration and balance. It rolls off the tongue. Smith became President. He renamed the company Olds Motor Works and Ransom Olds became Vice President.

By 1901, Olds built eleven prototype vehicles, which included models with electricity, gas and steam. He was the only American automotive pioneer to manufacture and sell at least one of each power type.

On March 9, 1901, the factory burned. The only model saved from the fire, the Curved Dash runabout. Later that year Olds pushed hard to sell the Dash Curve at the second annual New York Automobile Show. He dropped the jaws of the other attendees when he haggled with an auto dealer who wanted to buy 500 cars, and unimpressed, he replied, “I would like to see you make this order for a thousand cars.”

While they settled for 750, Olds is remembered for his audacity. The Dash Curve became the first low-priced, mass-produced American automobile. Yep, I thought that was Ford, too.

But wait there’s more, because cash could be an issue, in 1906 he organized two banks, Lansing National Bank and Michigan National Bank.

Ransom Olds

Ransom Olds, seriously.

Fred Smith vs. Ransom Olds:

When Sam Smith’s son, Fred, came into the business. Fred’s recurrent clashes with Olds caused Fred to remove Olds from the company.

So Ransom took his initials and ideas and formed REO Motor Car Company. Leading to the creation of the REO Speed Wagon. A vehicle, which inspired a band to take it’s name.

In the meantime, Ransom built a mansion. In the house he installed a technical innovation: a turntable, so he would never have to drive his car in reverse from the garage.

Not satisfied with just inventing cars, in 1913 he purchased over 37,000 acre of land in the northern part of Tampa Bay in Florida. He developed the land, which is now the city of Oldsmar.

He also financed the building of the Olds Tower, completed in 1931. It remains the tallest building in Lansing but renamed the Boji Tower.

Never fear funny names fans, times have changed, but funny names remained.

General Motors purchased the Olds Motor Company from the Smith family in 1908 and manufactured Oldsmobiles until the lines retirement in 2004. That’s 96-years “Olds”.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

Funny Names in the News 106, with Kristaps Porzingis, Panda’s Friend, Santa, and the New York Knickerbockers

Yo yo yo, it’s time for a Fabulous Friday Funny Names in the News – now celebrating its 106th edition!

Is it summer already… I guess it is… and you know what that means!



Kristaps will have his hands full as he adapts to a new "five players and one basketball" format here in America.

Kristaps will have his hands full as he adapts to a new “five players and one basketball” format here in America.

Yes, it means the NBA draft has rolled around (obviously!), and all sorts of tall dudes will find out where they’ll be spending the next couple of years.

Our favorite draftee this year is probably Kristaps Porzingis, the 6’11” Latvian forward who was drafted fourth overall by the New York Knicks!

New York’s famously harsh fans (yes, Mark and Mark, I’m looking at you!) will be expecting big things from the big guy, and let’s hope he delivers! The Knicks need a good break these days… it’s been a rough few years for the Knickerbockers. Now that I think of it, the New York Knickerbockers probably have the best name in pro basketball, so they’re due for something awesome.

Panda Friend is soon to be one of the hottest selling jerseys. (Panda not included)

Panda Friend is soon to be one of the hottest selling jerseys. (Panda not included)

In other basketball news, the always, um, interesting, Metta World Peace has changed his name to Panda’s Friend for his tenure in the Chinese Basketball League. It seems like the guy’s name is dependent on his location. He started out as plain ol’ Ron Artest playing for teams in America’s heartland like Chicago, Indiana and Houston, and then went all hippie as Metta World Peace on his move to Los Angeles. Now in China, he’s Panda Friend, and all we can hope for is that he keeps playing for different teams so we get more funny names fodder.

Moving from Panda interest news to Human Interest news, University of Cincinnati president Santa Ono has wowed us all with his generosity – taking a $200,000 bonus and donating it to charity. How awesome is that?!? (The answer is “Super Awesome!” or “Mondo Awesome!” or “Oodles of Awesome!” just for the record). What a great guy… it’s like a bunch of

It's hard to imagine someone making the name "Santa" even better, but Santa Ono may have done it!

It’s hard to imagine someone making our association with the name “Santa” even better, but Santa Ono may have done it!

charities just got a gift from, well, Santa. The only qualm we have is that Santa’s chosen charity didn’t involve my med school debts, but we still admire the incredible gesture!

According to the British “Mirror” website, in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, a magic “suicide bridge” has led 600 dogs to jump to their death. A very scientific poll asks readers what they think is causing the behavior, and “Ghosts” is the clear frontrunner. Sounds legit. I may need Arto to fill me in on the legitimacy of the Mirror. Its stories are intriguing.

In “Names That Aren’t Funny, but News That Is” we have 58-year-old grandmother Stephanie Arnott from England, who claims that her “beauty” causes men to weep and crash their cars. Whaddya think? This mirror article has some pics. We’d post them, but we don’t want you crying and crashing your head into your computer screen. Safety first here at BoFN. Safety (and panda friendship) always come first!

That’s it for this week’s Funny Names in the News 106. Until next week, may your beauty not cause too much vehicular damage, and may you find a generous benefactor, or at least a Panda Friend. Enjoy your Fridays, folks!

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Ad & Plinky Toepperwein

They’re Pinky and the Brain

Yes, Pinky and the Brain

One is a genius, the other’s insane.

Such go the lyrics of the 1990s animated series Pinky and the Brain, about two cage-sharing laboratory mice. Today’s funny-named couple are not mice indeed, but they could be deemed Plinky and the Brawn. Yep, that there is Plinky–the one in the skirt–and you know who the Brawn is. And I don’t mean LeBron.

Actually, the Brawn was a Texan named Adolph (before Adolf oozed of evil connotations) Toepperwein (before Tupperware oozed of delightful connotations), a rifle-doting trick shooter who toured the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the century (not this one; the one before). On a visit to a Winchester Repeating Arms Company, he met an employee named Elizabeth Servaty. He said, “Hey, nineteen” (her age at the time) and fell immediately in love with her.

In 1903, Ad took her to be his wife, despite the fact that she was a Connecticut native, and put a ring on it. Fortunately, his ancient 34-year-old fingers were yet nimble enough to teach her how to fire a gun for the first time in her young life. With a .22, she shot at tin cans, and after several tries, she nailed it. But that’s not what she said.

Rather, she said, “I plinked it.”

At least, that’s what says. And they should know; they have this cool pic of her shooting one-inch chalk pieces from between Ad’s fingers.


Never again did a soul call her Elizabeth. Thereafter, she became Plinky. And nobody messed with her because she had a Winchester and she knew how to use it. And a pistol. And a shotgun. In fact, she became the first dame to break 100 straight targets at trapshooting. But she also shot marbles, apples, oranges, and eggs. And two-timing adulterous philanderers, should it come to that.

Ad and Plinky spent the next 40 years touring as a husband and wife trick-shooting team before the country was divided over gun control.


To entertain the audience, they shot while standing on their heads, and then while lying on their backs. She once scored 497 out of a possible 500 with a .38 Colt at 25 yards, closely approximating military timed fire.  Even Annie Oakley gave her big ups, telling Plinky she was “the greatest shot I’ve ever seen.” And if that’s not props, I don’t know what is.

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