Southern Traditions: Crazy Names


Living in the South

Living in the South for more than fifty years, I've heard some crazy names. I’ve always wondered how parents chose some of the crazy names they’ve given their offspring. Did they think for a minute about the poor kids being saddled with those monikers for life? I’m thinking not. Of course, when the kids got old enough, they could always go to court and have it changed, by but that time, what’s the point. They would have already endured years of ribbing from childhood friends and classmates, right?

Student names

At the beginning of every school year, we teachers would receive our class rosters a day or two before the students arrived. It was always a real eye-opener to peruse these. Sometimes when we came upon a really strange name, we’d share it with our fellow teachers. Some of the following are names of students I taught, and some of these kids were taught by my friends. The most memorable of all have to be the twins Orangejello and Lemonjello, pronounced or-AHN-jahlo and la-MON-jahlo, respectively. Here are some more:

Colorado Utah Hill

Rusty Fender

Tequila Tuesday (I thought those were best enjoyed on the weekends?)

Queen Esther Washington

Lil’ Chara Jones

Anita Gunn (who ya gonna shoot?)

Skye Green (must be a storm coming)

Stormy Waters

Bob Cox (sounds painful!)

Mae Flowers

April Rainwater

Browne Barry

Fonda Peters (I’m fond of other body parts, too)

Sandi Rhodes

Standard Ford (this is an actual name!)

Iva Pinkney (why is it pink?)

Sonny Ray

Crystal Light

Liki House (fix the roof!)

Jacob Doug Wells

Lisa Carr (I think I’d rather buy one)

C. Shell (Charlie)

Red Barnhill (His real name was Greg, but since he had red hair, the nickname was inevitable.)

Alphabetical order

Sometimes the names on my roster were funny only when read as they were listed – in alphabetical order, with last name first:

Gay, Peters

Rivers, Flo

Johns, Dick

Popp, Cornie

Sweete, Candy

Beanblossom, Brandi (I guess you can make alcohol out of anything!)

Greene, Ivey

Sometimes just the first name alone was enough to raise eyebrows:










The Southern tradition that’s not always charming

And then we have an old Southern tradition that enters into the picture. Many Southern families use a family surname as a middle name. For example, my youngest daughter, whose maiden name was Harris, named her son Tristan Harris Crow. That name is fine, but some others I’ve known are truly strange:

Sarah Eates Dix

Ima Little Green (with envy?)

John Fuller Schitt (better call a plumber)

Jeremy White Byrd

Hope Raines Downs (sounds like a subject-verb agreement error)

Patrick Black Tyre

Stanley Glass Payne

Married names

Sometimes women can have perfectly normal names until they get married and aquire their husband’s last name. This almost happened to me. My maiden name was Holle Cook. When I first started college, I dated a guy from Florida for a while. His name was Christopher Potts. After a few months, my mom informed me that there was no way I could marry this guy. When I asked why not, she replied, “Just think about how the wedding announcement would look in the paper – Cook-Potts wedding announced!”

I hadn’t thought of that. We broke up anyway because he transferred to a college in South Florida. I was spared from becoming Holle Cook Potts.

I had a casual friend once named Pam Reddish. She married Jim Valentine, so she became a Reddish Valentine. A friend of a friend was named Kelli White. When she married Jason Lamb, she became a White Lamb.

One of the funniest is when Sherri Lima married Richard Beane. Although Sherri’s last name was pronounced “lee-ma,” it sure looked funny in print: Sherri Lima Beane!

One of my friends

I have a friend with the unusual name of Mary Christmas. When I see her in a store, I love to shout out, “Mary Christmas!” to get her attention. Of course, people always give me weird looks, especially when I happen upon her in July.

Terrible teacher name

When my husband was in the seventh grade, his science teacher was Mrs. Tiddy. To make matters worse, she was extremely well endowed – if you know what I mean. Can you imagine a seventh-grade boy having to address her? Johnny said he didn’t ask any questions all year. By the way, her husband was Coach Tiddy.



Southern Nicknames

As if the real names aren't bad enough, there are lots of southern nicknames that are embarrassing, strange, and downright silly. "Bubba" and "Bubby" are both common. We also have "Cooter" and "Scooter." I knew two brothers once who were saddled with these names. For a son named Richard, Jr., it's not at all unusual for the boy to be called "Little Dick." And then there are the doubles, like "John-John," "Sue-Sue," and "Pete-Pete." These aren't so bad, except for a few cases where the double name means something else, like "Tom-Tom." Oh, and that reminds me of two other southern nicknames: Drummer and Drumstick. A few other examples I've heard are Gator, Mule, Monkey, Stretch, Tiger, Lump, Ogre, Q-Ball, Red, Whitey, Corndog, Mullet, and Rummy - and that's just the guys. For females, we have Puddin', Boo, Shortie, Sis, Sweetie, and Littlun'. Unfortunately, these nicknames often stick with the poor owners throughout their lifetimes. Can you imagine an eighty-year-old woman being called "Littlun'"?


Laura on July 06, 2020:

My uncle had the nickname Dirt Dobber when I was growing up in the 60’s. The name comes from an insect that looks a lot like a wasp. They are distinguished from wasps in that they build their nests from mud. So they go from mud puddle to mud puddle gathering little bits of mud to build the nest. Little boys who would jump in puddles and/or were commonly dirty or muddy were nicknamed “Dobber”.

olivia on November 21, 2012:


Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on November 28, 2011:

I thought we had some strange names in my state of Texas; you mentioned some interesting names here. Thanks for sharing this article.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on June 03, 2010:

Gee, I really like that name! lol

tony0724 from san diego calif on June 02, 2010:

I was gonna name one of my kids Billy Joe Don Bob. But I mighta gotten my butt kicked if I attempted that one ! :)

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on June 02, 2010:

Your mom's a smart lady!

vballkel from Michigan on June 02, 2010:

Those are great! My mom always likes to say you shouldn't name her grandkids weird names becayse they will get read by the teacher. I will have to email this to her!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 06, 2010:

If those are Southerners, Uneek, they might not be nicknames! lol

U Neek from Georgia, USA on May 06, 2010:

ROFL! Love, love, love this! I've been thinking about writing something similar especially since my Dad has been telling me about Coot's daughter and Screamer Odum's granddaughter. I hope these were nicknames.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 21, 2010:

Michael, you have to have a sense of humor to teach teenagers!

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on March 20, 2010:

Still laughing! Your a mess Habee!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on March 09, 2010:

Glad you enjoyed it, Idea!

IdeaMorphist from Chicagoland on March 07, 2010:

So hilarious!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 28, 2010:

I'm sure that would get some great responses, Sheila!

sheila b. on February 27, 2010:

It would be interesting to ask people with these names how they feel about them.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 06, 2010:

Yep, Duchess, I think the Deep South trumps Canada for crazy names! lol

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 06, 2010:

Thanks for reading, Clessie Alta!! lol

Duchess OBlunt on February 06, 2010:

When doing some research into our family history, I discovered an ancestor with the name Green Brown. I thought that was bad, but it seems pretty tame compared to some of these.

Good for a chuckle from my point of view.

I sure hope those kids developed a thick skin really quickly!

Faye Constantino from Florida on February 06, 2010:

My Grandmas names were Clessie Faye and Alta Marie. My mom named me for both of them... Faye Marie, Thanks Mom! Clessie Alta would have been tough.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 05, 2010:

Hi, Fester! Ya gotta wonder what these parents were thinking...

Daniel Christian from Los Angeles, CA on February 05, 2010:

There are definitely some hilarious ones in there. :)

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Thanks, Chris, for reading this hub and the interview!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Rose Mary, love "Survanner"! Bet you ran across LOTS of crazy names with your job!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Ethel, all the names are real! Crazy, huh?

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Hi, Laurel! Sad, isn't it?

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Glad you enjoyed it, Tammy!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Susan, I agree - they have some BIG issues, or either very warped senses of humor!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Hi, KEn! Good to see you!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Aufrey, my kids wouldn't let me name the grands. wonder why???

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Too funny, Helen! Thanks for reading!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by, Mtsi!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 04, 2010:

Delaney, thanks so much for the warm words!

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on February 04, 2010:

LOL!!! Some of these names are crimes against childhood. Who wants a name like Octaboona?? Can you imagine the kind of aggro you'd get with a name like that? Great post, Habee...

PS.. saw your interview- congrats!!!

rmcrayne from San Antonio Texas on February 03, 2010:

habee when I worked second shift and call in small hospitals, I sometimes looked through the files when I got bored, or more likely when ER said “don’t leave, we got something…” I think the prize went to “Earth Trone Jeter”. One of the residents said when his team was delivering a baby, they were talking about delivering the placenta, and the mother thought it was the most beautiful “name” she had ever heard.

I worked in a doctor’s office and knew a family of 10 brothers and sisters, with names like GW, RG, etc. They weren’t initials, didn’t stand for anything! There was also a sweet old lady named Survanner.

If you decide to do a hub on traditional Southern names, let me know. My family has some doozies I can send you!

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on February 03, 2010:

There's some great names there habee. Are they all for real?

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on February 03, 2010:

Fabulously funny, girl! Sherri Lima Beane? Peters Gay? Sarah Eates Dix? ARGHH!

Seriously, though, as you pointed out, the torture these poor kids must have gone through growing up makes me cringe.

Tammy Lochmann on February 03, 2010:

Funny funny...I was laughing out loud. I needed it.

SusanVMUSA on February 03, 2010:

This is hilarious!! The parents involved with all these names...they have issues...

Ken R. Abell from ON THE ROAD on February 03, 2010:

Funny stuff. Truth stranger than fiction. Thanks for some laughs.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on February 03, 2010:

I think some parents just have way too much of a sense of humor! Cute stuff and good laughs! Too bad I am past my child bearing years or might be tempted....I could always pass on for grandchildren's names but somehow I don't think those are gonna fly! Love Mary Christmas!

helengi on February 03, 2010:

I worked with a girl named Krishna but everybody called her Kris. Her surname ...... Mistry. I still giggle ater almost ten years!

mtsi1098 on February 03, 2010:

habee - These are great names...I like the nearby Rome and Athens GA - I did not know there could be so much travel in such a nearby area...I cannot imagine a better name for a school teacher :)

Delaney Boling on February 02, 2010:

Besides your creative writing style, I love that you reply to everyone who comments on your writings. Truly a class act. I'm a huge fan of your unique style Habee. Keep it up!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

So glad you enjoyed it, NAncy!

nancy_30 from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Thanks for the great hub. I couldn't quit laughing. I can't wait to show it to my friends.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Waywithwords - got it! Thanks!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Randy, I forgot to tell you - they sent yours with mine when I hit the century mark. I was supposed to give it to you when you hit 100, but I pawned it with Don. Sorry, I needed some ice cream!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

John, you are a NUT!! you should write a hub about the military names!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Thanks for the wonderful comment, Frogyfish!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Link away, Dolores!

Has_aWayWithWords from United States on February 02, 2010:

Habee, I posted a response to your request on my hub that you wanted an example. I am still Laughing at this list on here.. LOL I may have to come back here every day just for a chuckle

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Delaney, that is too freakin' funny! La-a. Love it!!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Wow, Sabre, those are some FUNNY names!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Thanks, Tantrum! glad you got a chuck from it.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Ann, I've never known a Rainbow! Too funny!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

G, honest-to-goodness real names!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

PD, Mrs. Tiddy was in N. Carolina! Johnny might have drooled...he didn't say. lol

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on February 02, 2010:

That would have been a memorable name, for sure. Hey, I finally got a 100 hub score. Where's my gold watch?

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Randy, I still wish thry had named your granddaughter Laurel Ann HArdy!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

HH, we have those, too - we call them "hippie names." lol

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

I know what you mean, Spring! Thanks for reading!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Woody, I know who you're talking about. Glad you stopped by for a read.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Vanne, don't forget Gonorrhea, pronounced gah-NOR-ee-ah!

Hmrjmr1 from Georgia, USA on February 02, 2010:

Habee - Great Hub! Of course my encounters with 'special names' was in the military, with guys who had the last names of Sergeant, or Major, I've seen a Sergeant Major ( he actually became a Sergeant Major Major) and a Major Sergeant. But never met a Sergeant Major Sergeant or a General Sergeant...Though Major General is a whole 'nother story!LOL

frogyfish from Central United States of America on February 02, 2010:

Goodness, this was a delightful treat! Thanks for your putting it all together for us. Just unbelievably great!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Waywithwords, my friend had a dog named Farbarker! Thanks for reading!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on February 02, 2010:

Hope it didn't disappoint, Rope!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on February 02, 2010:

I used to have a friend that worked at an office where a lot of names came across her desk. She always kept lists of names and would come home from work and read them to me. Otherwise, I would not believe half of those ridiculous names. Except for the ones that I kinda like. If it's okay, I'm going to link this hub to my hub about what not to name the baby, okay?

Delaney Boling on February 02, 2010:

Great stuff as always Habee! It's not just the South though... Here in CA a few years back, some woman tried (unsuccessfully) to sue the school system for discrimination because her daughter's teacher couldn't figure out her name. The Mom had named her kid "La-a." Now, looking at that name, how would YOU pronounce it? Kind of like "Lah ah?" Nope. It's actually "LaDASHa..." I can't make this up. Damned you Ebonics! LOL!

sabrebIade from Pennsylvania on February 02, 2010:

I went to school with a Crystal Ball and a Candy Hart. And I met a Candy Rain years later. I too have met a Lemonjello and also a Pajama Lingerie (pronounced Pag-a-ma Lin-ga-ree). Also an Aqua Netta (I kid you not)

Yes I am in the South...LOL

tantrum from Tropic of Capricorn on February 02, 2010:

LOLOLOL!!!!Haven't seen so many funny names together ! :)

Ann Nonymous from Virginia on February 02, 2010:

Way too funny. And it used to be considered eccentric/bad if you named your daughter Rainbow. Look who's talking! Thanks for making me laugh; I really needed this, habee!

GPAGE from California on February 02, 2010:

Very funny Habee! I just can't believe that some of these are REAL! And I thought it was bad enough in Hollywood! ha Really enjoyed this.....I have never had anything close to these in a classroom! ha I have known some people with strange first names though. Best, G

ThePeeDeeWildcat from Just Across The State Line on February 02, 2010:

Habee:---At least Johnny may have spared the embarrassment of drooling in front of Mrs. Tiddy as a schoolboy! By the way, for many years there was a man listed in the Atlanta telephone book named Early Boozer. I think that he lived near Confederate Avenue. Some of the nicknames in our corner of the planet are jewels, too!

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on February 02, 2010:

When my daughter Candace married, she became Candy Joy. "It sounds like a stripper's name" she lamented. I also knew a girl named Stacy who married a guy with the last name Stacy. Yep, she was known as Stacy Stacy.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on February 02, 2010:

The world gone crazy. Over here you get Princess whatever or talula, willow, apple, etc Poor kids.

Springboard from Wisconsin on February 02, 2010:

Very good stuff. Brings me back to high school—and I don't mean that in a derogatory way toward your hub—when names provided much fodder for breaking through the boring school day doldrums.

Keep hubbing.

Woody on February 02, 2010:

Bring some more like this. I have tears rolling from laughing. Got a friend that told me about a little girls name was Shathead. It wasn't spelled like this. I'm being nice

Has_aWayWithWords from United States on February 02, 2010:

you forgot one that I have come across twice in my life as well... Candice Bahr and Candice Barr lmfao who doesn't know that every girl named candace gets it shortened to Candy and then she becomes candi bar lmfao

Vanne Way on February 02, 2010:

My personal favorite is Fa-mah-lee! Spelled female. And another goody was Ven-er-ia. Wouldn't you know her last name began with a D.

Has_aWayWithWords from United States on February 02, 2010:

LOL I name pets crazy names.. I had a boxer named Montana, a rottweiler named Cheyenne ( as in Wyoming) and another Rottweiler named Dakota ( I also dated a stripper with the stage name Dakota) LMFAO so anyhooooo I get the crazy names I have had some others too, a Boxer named Misha which I think of every time I see him post here

The Rope from SE US on February 02, 2010:

I've been waiting on this one to get published - I knew you'd bring us something really fun! Thanks! I'm still laughing. It was well worth hearing about it last week and reading it now.

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