Ed Balls

Ed Balls had a tough childhood. Not because he was poor, or weak, or had lots of little red pimples on his face all the time or anything. No, none of those things are true. What is true is that his last name is Balls. Knowing kids, we can imagine them having been absolutely merciless to him. Add to that his admission that he suffered from a bad stammer as a child and his formative years must have been torture.

Ed Balls is The Shadow……….Chancellor…um, for…he’s what? British political terms are weird.

Mr. Balls admitted as much in an interview with British “newspaper” The Daily Mirror, saying ” I was teased and bullied right through my school years about my name…That’s why my kids took my wife’s surname Cooper. I’d never dream of calling them Balls.”

A wise decision. Strangely, I dream of calling my children Balls all the time.

So who is this Ed Balls I speak of? Like many of the people featured on this blog who were bullied for their name as child, Ed Balls left all that behind and managed to climb to the top.  Mr. Balls is now one of the most high-profile politicians in England, having occupied highly placed positions within the (left-wing) Labour party for the past decade or so.

This, of course, is much to the delight of newspaper headline writers, who for some reason just love to talk about Balls’s meetings with anyone named Johnson.

Wikipedia tells me Balls is currently the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds like some sort of banking superhero meets school principal position, and I can roll with that. Balls was preceded in this position by Alan Johnson, leading some (me, mostly) to suspect some form of reference to one’s man-parts in your name are all the qualifications you need for the gig.

Balls is also a patron of the non-profit British Stammering Association, whose Chief Executive Norbert Lieckfeldt in 2010 praised Balls for having openly spoken of his childhood stammer. There’s a pun in there somewhere but I will leave that for our commenters to figure out.

Don’t you just hate it when Johnson quits on you? At least you can count on Balls taking over.

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. www.funnynamesblog.wordpress.com
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36 Responses to Ed Balls

  1. I think there was a guy (a mayor of some town in Indiana or Illinois) with the same last name, but his first name was Harry. I really hope that wasn’t an urban myth.

  2. beatrix mana says:

    We bought the house we live in now from a family with the last name of Ball. They had 10 children mostly boys. We always joke around when people say”oh,you live in the old Ball house”. We say,”they had a lot of Balls living in that house”. We chuckle to ourselves.Thanks for some humor this morning.

  3. Jim Cantwell says:

    I cannot imagine growing up with a name like that , my dad went to school with a kid with the last name lipshits and that’s true I saw him in his high school year book

  4. I had a math teacher in high school named Mr. Ball. Lots of giggling in the all girls Catholic HS when he joined the staff.

  5. Dave says:

    Great post, Arto! It’s probably not too hard to write a post about a guy named Ed Balls where people get a few good little chuckles every now and then. However, you’ve written a post that had me laughing most of the way through. And this is coming from a grizzled funny-names blogging veteran who’s been around the block a few times.

    The first four intro sentences were perfect, culminating in two of the greatest sentences in the history of our blog:

    “No, none of those things are true. What is true is that his last name is Balls.”

    The tone in this was just perfect. This is one of the best posts we’ve written so far, I think. Well done!

  6. mahervolous says:

    He should own it, and run with it.
    ‘I don’t only have balls, I AM Balls.’
    Putting the balls back in Balls.
    Great post.

  7. Short Little Rebel says:

    I want to say, ‘poor guy’, but sometimes it is ADVERSITY that actually explodes our lazy butts out of mediocracy, don’t you think? Being fed with a silver spoon can lead to a very dull boy indeed…

    p.s. tee-hee….funny!

    • Dave says:

      That’s very true. A combination of adversity and opportunity often leads to very successful people.

      I hope that you actually make the “tee-hee” sound when you laugh. Thinking about a short little rebel going “tee-hee” is one of those things that makes this blog worthwhile.

      P.S. A huge-sized thank you, Susan, for mentioning us on not one, but two of your blogs! We really appreciate the support. I’m sure we’ll return the favor when the opportunity presents itself. I’m planning on doing a “faceoff” article about the anticipated “Barack Hussein Obama vs. Willard Mitt Romney” matchup as the election approaches, and there are a lot of other good names in U.S. politics: Newt Gingrich, Adlai Stevenson, Estes Kefauver, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, Strom Thurmond, Thaddeus McCotter, Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. (implying the existence of a Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Sr., although he was actually the son of a guy named Muriel Buck Humphrey), Kaneaster Hodges Jr, and of course the great senator Outerbridge Horsey, III. Can you tell we get a kick out of writing this blog? 🙂

      • Short Little Rebel says:

        Hi Dave,

        While the actual vowels, ‘Tee-hee’ don’t usually come out when I laugh, it is exactly what reverberates through my head! On occasion, when teasing my husband, ‘tee-hee’ is indeed used, but reserved for very specific circumstances.

        You are welcome for the posts. I think they are the first posts I have ever done recommending someone’s blog. But I have to say, knowing nothing about your politics or anything about you, I felt a goodness coming out of your articles. A relief from the seriousness which the tyranny I find all around me brings upon my day. It made me realize that other serious people really needed a laugh- something NOT mean spirited. Something easy and something cheerful. Something, in the end, that makes us realize that we are all humans, after all, and that we are alike. I mean, EVERYONE has to enjoy a Mr. Balls or a Mr. Hands article, right?

        If I could put my own petition to you, it would be that you don’t enter the realm of politics. Stay clean, as it were. Just my own preference, but you will do what is best for your blog. In any case, cheers and hats off to you and many, many more hits to you!

    • Dave says:

      Is that THE Andy Seymour?

      Would you be at all interested in doing a guest post about Lord William Cavenish-Scott-Bentinck, Marquess of Titchfield? That would be awesome. Otherwise, I’ll be doing a post about him in early June, just after I finish the MCAT. Thanks for the superb suggestion!

  8. Maybe Anthony Weiner can have that job were it to become available. I loved this post, you are too funny.

    • Dave says:

      Haha, thanks for the comment! I’m not sure if Weiner will be getting jobs anywhere in politics much anymore, unfortunately.

  9. I once worked with a man named Arnold Dick and his business card read “A. Dick” and I also once met a woman named Sharon Dick and had to work very hard not to burst out laughing and comment that, that was an unsanitary thing to do LOL!

    • Dave says:

      Haha, just stumbled upon this comment after two months and really enjoyed it. I’m not even sure if I got the joke the first time around, because I think I would’ve replied right then and there. 🙂

  10. His name may be funny
    but his politics ain’t
    his name might be dodgy
    but he’s really quite quaint!


    • Dave says:

      I think you and Mahervolous (who also commented on this post) have some great ideas for the Balls political campaign! 🙂

  11. I thoroughly enjoy all of your entries. Excellent, original idea for a blog.

  12. Whenever I hear his name on TV, I think they’re talking about soccer… 😉

  13. This had me lol-ing! Great read!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks! I just stumbled upon this post months later and realized we didn’t thank you for the comment. Hope you’re doing well!

  14. Rob says:

    Hahaha, great post!

  15. jackcurtis says:

    What’s in a name? Arose Ed Balls with great Labour to political heights
    Unstaggered though stammered, he’s earned shadowed delights…

    • Dave says:

      Haha, I love this. I wish you would’ve participated in our Nipsey Russell poetry contest, but unfortunately we’re announcing the results in this morning’s post.

      Nevertheless, great rhymes!

  16. Patt says:

    My cousin’s last name is Fink, plus he’s a flaming redhead and had a white patch of hair on the back of his head in the shape of a heart. He was tormented as a kid, but amazingly, grew into a pretty well-rounded, decent adult. Glad you liked my blog and hope you come back for another look.

    • Dave says:

      Sometimes adversity leads to greatness, doesn’t it?

      I must have overlooked this comment initially, but I just returned to your blog and liked your newest posts (in addition to “Like”-ing them). The term “Pig Massage” really makes me happy for some reason 🙂

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