Merry Grinchmas! (Seasonal Reblog)

In the good land of BoFN when Christmas drew near
Folk were having . . . not quite universal good cheer.
For in fact, there was one . . . er, his name we can’t say . . .
Whud Id Fah? Whud Yuhd Fee? Or, Why Diddy Fay?
But in all BoFN towns and in each BoFN city
The BoFNites chose to just call him . . .

Diddy
Diddy

Now in Diddy’s hard, cold, little bristly brain
There bounced back and forth only one tired refrain.
“This name waste must stop! Stop wasting those names!
No, no, no! Don’t you waste! No more name wasting games!
Funny names are a rare, irreplaceable treasure!
Don’t waste them, I say! They are rare beyond measure!”

And so it went on, and then on, and on more
Until BoFNites marched to bang on the king’s door.
“Tell this Diddy to cease! Tell this Diddy to hush!
But don’t you stop there: tell this Diddy ‘Shush! Shush!'”

So King Dave rolled his eyes and paid Diddy a visit.
And he said, “Look here, Diddy! This isn’t keen, is it?
This pouting and shouting and spouting–not good!
The real estate’s tanking in each neighborhood.”

“Look around you! These names are not really so rare!
They are here! They are there! There are names everywhere!
You see, Diddy, funny names DO grow on trees
And on bushes and twigs and from pods of green peas.”

Now, according to custom, a Scrooge-ish conversion
Takes many long scenes in a good movie version,
And many a page in a fine children’s book,
And that is indeed how long Diddy’s took,
But we’ve got strict word limits so we’ll jump on ahead
And show, not old Diddy, but the new one instead.

“King Dave, you are right!!! How could I be so wrong?!?”
Diddy said (and we promise this change did take long).

“There are funny names here, and funny names there!
Why, there’s one on the porch, and on the third stair!
Yes, finding these names is not hard! It’s a cinch!
Look, here’s Cindy Lou Who, Mayor Maywho, and Grinch!
Cindy Lou lives in Whoville and Grinch on Mt. Crumpit,
And he tore down its slopes blaring blasts from a trumpet!”

Thus Diddy expounded, his arms stretched aloft.
“Oh, and Grinch had a song sung by Thurl Ravenscroft!”

“Now you doubters who gasp, to your total surprise’ll
hear Theo LeSieg, Theodor Seuss Geisel
A.k.a. Theophrastus, our own Dr. Seuss!
(Who drew the green eggs with a car and caboose)!
And our Seuss had a publisher named Bennett Cerf,
And though it’s off topic, this thing’s called a Smurf!

Well, the BoFNites marched to King Dave’s house once more.
“Stop this Diddy!” they cried. NOW HE’S WORSE THAN BEFORE!!!

So, we hope that our tale gave you some small delight,
We’ll end here and wish you a good Christmas night!

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Posted in Funny Author Names, Funny Names in Books, funny names in tv | Tagged | 12 Comments

Humpy Koneru–Qxe4 mate!

“Women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players.”–Gary Kasparov, former world chess champion

” We want more women players to take up chess.”–Viswanathan Anand, more recent former world chess champion

“I get more upset when I lose at Monopoly.”–Magnus Carlsen, current world chess champion.

Whoo boy.  With a name like Humpy, who cares what she does?  Well, maybe her countryman, Viswanathan Anand, cares.  And maybe her naysayer, Gary Kasparov, is embarrassed.

You see, Humpy Koneru is currently the second highest rated female chess player in the world, and held the record–for a time– as  the youngest woman ever to attain grandmaster designation.  Here at TBOFN, we just love awesome competitors with even more awesome names.  I’ll get to the origin of that name in a bit, but just a  little more of her chess accomplishments first.

Born in India in 1987,  she achieved grandmaster status in 2002 at the age of 15 years, one month, 27 days, surpassing the record of the legendary Judit Polgar by some three months.  To give you an idea how impressive Polgar’s record was when she set it in 1991, at the time it was the record for the youngest ever by any person, male or female,  beating the previous mark set by one Bobby Fischer in the 1960’s.  Maybe you’ve hard of him? (The current male record holder, by the way, Sergey Karjakin,  attained the title at age 12 years and 7 months.  I think he started playing in utero.)

Humpy

Anyway, Humpy’s female grandmaster record has since been surpassed, but she is still rated on the edge of the top 100 players in the world, and she still has the best name in the game.  Interstingly enough, her name was originally Hampi, but her father changed it to Humpy, apparently because he thought that sounded Russian.  How that sounds Russian and why he desired that for her is anybody’s guess.  Anyway, by any name, I would not care to run into her across a chess board.

I leave you, though, with my favorite chess quote of all time.  It’s from another former world champion, Boris Spassky.

He was asked, “which do you prefer, sex or chess?’

He replied: “it depends on the position.”

 

Posted in funny names in sports, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How do you get to Zsa Zsa Gabor from Gabor Szabo?

The short answer is, by rearranging letter magnets on the fridge.

The longer answer is more complicated. It involves magical Al Gh’er Rh’ythms of Yoot T’Ooob, whose mysterious workings summon up an almost forgotten album of a Hungary-born guitarist.

And considering that was 1968, dang, the album holds up amazingly well. Using Gabor’s name as a search term subsequently unleashed a prodigious number of additional albums on the T’Oobs, all of them spectacularly good–at least if you like extended, atmospheric, understated, contemplative, crossover stuff, inflected with funk, and anticipating all that 70s fusion that we (?) know and love so well.

Carlos Santana has praised Gabor as a seminal influence, and you can definitely hear “Black Magic Woman” and “Soul Sacrifice” waiting to be born in Gabor’s “Gypsy Queen”:

Santana pays tribute to Gabor in his song “Mr. Szabo”:

Now, to get from Gabor Szabo to Zsa Zsa Gabor was an elementary matter for one such as myself. Elementary in the sense of me having tragically arrested development and a sixth grade sense of humor.

“Gabor Szabo? Any relation to Zsa Zsa Gabor??? Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck.”

To answer the question, no, there is no relation. But you can see how I connected the dots. That, and residual memories of Green Acres.

Wait, that was Eva Gabor. Darnit! I could never keep those Gabor sisters straight. (The third sister, Magda Gabor, was less famous and hence constitutes less risk for misidentification.)

Zsa Zsa was born Sári (shah-ree) Gábor of Jewish parents in Hungary. As she explained in this delightful interview with Steve Allen, the Zsa Zsa name she adopted is complete nonsense.

Zsa Zsa may have meant nothing to her but it means a lot to us here at BoFN.

Zsa Zsa was of course a dazzling beauty, as well as a brilliant comedienne, like her sister Eva, with perfect comic delivery. Zsa Zsa chewed her way through eight husbands and lived to die just a bit shy of 100. She passed on surprisingly recently–2016.

Meanwhile, the musical visionary Gábor István Szabó came into our world in Hungary in 1936, the same year Zsa Zsa won the Miss Hungary contest. He died much earlier, and did not live even half as long. This might explain his compulsion to get so many albums out.

With so many more years, so much more fame, and so much beauty, you’d think Zsa Zsa would forever outshine Gabor the guitarist, but it’s not necessarily so. The T’oobs have a way of balancing out legacies, and while searching for Zsa Zsa will give you mostly tidbits of Hollywood trivia, for Mr. Szabo it yields dense results that represent his musical vision pretty darn comprehensively. Cosmic justice for a musical visionary, you might say.

Speaking of guitars, there is another guitarist cum boxer cum MCAT tutoring Youtuber cum brain specialist cum blogger cum founder of BoFN: none other than our our man, Dave. Pluck the link below and offer a helping hand to the King:

Posted in funny names in movies, funny names in music, funny names in tv, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Norwegian Jazz Drummers from I to J

Even those here who were actually paying attention to my “Norwegian jazz name” thing (and probably just to be nice) have probably forgotten all about it. It’s like remembering what you had for breakfast a year ago.

I won’t blame you for not remembering what was not needful, and for those of you coming up on to this for the first time, I won’t hold it against you that you’ll forget it 20 minutes later.

Heck, I couldn’t even remember where I finished off last time myself!

That’s why I used BoFN’s super deluxe customized search engine over on the right side and refreshed my memory. It seems we were on Norwegian jazz drummers, and had gotten to the letter H.

And for the record, the results were nothing to sniff at!

Norwegian jazz genius is something anthropologists will be struggling to explain for a very long time, I suspect.

Now we can progress–and I’m using a very liberal interpretation of the word “progress”–to the next items along that well travelled sequential chain of symbols (or should I say “cymbals”? arf arf) we know as the English alphabet.

Which brings us to a surprisingly sparse (for Norway) showing for “I”. Just one drummer, to be precise, by the name of Terje Isungset.

Terje is a drummer and composer who works not just with jazz but with Scandinavian and indigenous traditional music. But what will probably strike you most (arf, arf, arf) is that Terje makes and plays ice percussion.

We like to joke around here at BoFN but no joke, I think Terje’s composition and performance here is quite beautiful:

I’d like to give you the names of the other players and singers but they are not listed. The performance is at the Grieg Concert Hall, and I think I can safely say that ole Edvard would be proud of his native son.

That’s a great “ice sung set” with Terje Isungset.

Like I said, we do like to joke around–and I’m using a very liberal interpretation of the word “joke”–here at BoFN.

Where was I? Oh, I. No, I don’t mean me, I mean I. I was at I.

Now before reading on, and remembering this is Norway we’re talking about, what do you think the results will be for “J”?

Well, you were right and wrong. Yes, there are a lot of drummers, but no, the names are not (how can I put this delicately?) funny. There’s a Jakobsen, a Jennsen, and a whole mess o’ Johansens. They may be brilliantly talented, but we’re not going to stop and find out, because this is not called The Blog of Exactly the Kind of Names You’d Expect.

Which brings us to “K.” We got some good stuff there, but we’re not going to move on to it just yet. Why? Because we are approaching BoFN’s designated word limit.

But that leaves me with enough remaining verbiage to “drum” up some support for our dear co-founder Dave. Thump that link:

Posted in funny names in music, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

PPAP with a PSA, from Pikotaro

The Blog of Funny Names has been no stranger to the musical stylings of Pikotaro, whose inspired nonsense once swept the world as a viral sensation. Pikotaro returns now with some helpful guidance in these difficult times, and with a message of hope for all humanity.

Thanks, Pikotaro!

Posted in funny names in comedy, funny names in music, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments