The Honorable Salmon P. Chase

Have you ever heard of the so-called “Supreme Court Justice Test”? Some parents have developed the test for naming their children to ensure that the baby-to-be can be taken seriously. So, if they are struggling to decide between naming their child William or Bongo, applying the Justice Test will give a result. Does Supreme Court Justice Bongo Smitherson sound plausible? No? Better go with Bill then.

On that note, clearly some parents over the years failed to take the test, but lo and behold, the kids became Supreme Court Justices anyway! Here is just one great example :

Salmon P. Chase

An unlikely name for any man, Salmon Portland Chase was perhaps one of the most accomplished people ever named after a fish. He was the sixth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, served as a Senator from Ohio, was also the 23rd Governer of Ohio, and served as the Treasury Secretary under Abraham Lincoln.

Clearly, men of influence had no trouble remembering his name when making their appointments.

Chase also ran for President three times, but unfortunately for humor-starved history writers, he each time failed to gain the Republican nomination. He was also a founding member of the Anti-Nebraska party, which eventually morphed into the Republican Party, and also had an agreeable name.

Salmon Chase enjoying a rambunctious time out on the town.

The Salmon Chase could continue after his death, as his face was commemorated on the $10,000 bill, now out of circulation. The Chase banking institution was also named after the very Honorable Mr. Chase.

His funny name influence extended to some of the landmark cases he presided over during his stint as Chief Justice, including a decisive vote in Veazie Banks vs. Fenno and Hepburn vs. Griswold, which may or may not have decided against bumbling vacationer Clark Griswold. 

Sources : Bio by Robert C. Kennedy at

About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names.
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7 Responses to The Honorable Salmon P. Chase

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