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Southern Traditions: Crazy Names

Updated on December 7, 2016

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:

Octaboona

Mundrickus

Flindivia

Patrocious

Karindashaka

Mascara

Felonious

Fabrica

Lexapro

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'"?

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    • profile image

      olivia 4 years ago

      cheese

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 5 years ago from Texas, USA

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Gee, I really like that name! lol

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Your mom's a smart lady!

    • vballkel profile image

      vballkel 7 years ago from Michigan

      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!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • U Neek profile image

      U Neek 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      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.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Still laughing! Your a mess Habee!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you enjoyed it, Idea!

    • IdeaMorphist profile image

      IdeaMorphist 7 years ago from Chicagoland

      So hilarious!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Clessie Alta!! lol

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      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      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!

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 7 years ago from Florida

      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.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      There are definitely some hilarious ones in there. :)

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Laurel! Sad, isn't it?

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Glad you enjoyed it, Tammy!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, KEn! Good to see you!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Too funny, Helen! Thanks for reading!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by, Mtsi!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Delaney, thanks so much for the warm words!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      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 profile image

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      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 profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

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

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      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 profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

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

    • SusanVMUSA profile image

      SusanVMUSA 7 years ago

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

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

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

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      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!

    • profile image

      helengi 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Delaney Boling 7 years ago

      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!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      So glad you enjoyed it, NAncy!

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Waywithwords - got it! Thanks!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      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!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the wonderful comment, Frogyfish!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Link away, Dolores!

    • Has_aWayWithWords profile image

      Has_aWayWithWords 7 years ago from United States

      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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, Sabre, those are some FUNNY names!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      G, honest-to-goodness real names!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      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 profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Hope it didn't disappoint, Rope!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      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 profile image

      Delaney Boling 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      sabrebIade 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      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 profile image

      tantrum 7 years ago from Tropic of Capricorn

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

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      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 profile image

      GPAGE 7 years ago from California

      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

    • profile image

      ThePeeDeeWildcat 7 years ago from Just Across The State Line

      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 profile image

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      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, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

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

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      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.

    • profile image

      Woody 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Has_aWayWithWords 7 years ago from United States

      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

    • profile image

      Vanne Way 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Has_aWayWithWords 7 years ago from United States

      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 profile image

      The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

      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.