The names are back!

moses regular

Moses Regular Jr is excited by Name Curator’s return

I’m back! After a bit of a break, it seemed like a good thing to do.

Previously I was pumping out 15 names a week, blogging, doing Q&As and generally letting names take over my life.

This time I’m a bit more relaxed about it: it will be much less than  15 names a week, no blogging/Q&As to start with, and very much in the mode of ‘when I get around to it’.

So please follow me on Twitter to get the latest. As always, I welcome any and all name submissions and thank you for your support!


Finishing up

Quintavious Drains

Don’t be sad, Quintavious Drains – it’s been a great ride.

After some 15 months of name curation – and many hundreds of brilliant, fantastic names – I’ve decided to put this site and Twitter feed on indefinite hiatus.

Pretty simply, I’m stopping because I no longer have the time or energy to find and curate the names to a standard I’m happy with.

It’s been terrific fun. I’ve loved collating names, researching who these people are, and putting together 15 names each week.

I’ve loved that others have gotten involved: suggesting names, retweeting ones I’ve found that they’ve liked, and so on.

I’ve really loved that those people with great names themselves – most of whom had no idea who I was other than I lived on the other side of the world – have willingly opened up and talked about their names.

There’s lots of very good sites out there that take similar delight in names (Name of the Year and Funny Names Blog are two of the better ones) but it’s a source of pride to me that mine is the only one that goes above and beyond the initial ‘isn’t that a strange name?’ reaction to actually ask the real person behind the name what they think of their own name.

It’s my way of trying to show that there’s a human being, who exists in real life, behind all of these names as they come cascading off the computer screen.

Thank you

I couldn’t have come up with 15 names a week for more than a year if it wasn’t for the help of many fine folk. Isaac Forman, Kate Potter, Ben Fitzsimons, Hilary Talbot,CJ Fogler and Marcy Elliott-Rupert in particular helped with names, laughed, cried, etc. I sincerely appreciate their input.

A big thank you to Richard Deitsch, a fine reporter for Sports Illustrated who gave me an unsolicited and very welcome shoutout on Twitter. Another Sports Illustrated writer – and my writing hero – Steve Rushin is, and will always be, the benchmark for name analysis and writing in general.

Finally, a thank you to the fine men and women who agreed to provide As to my Qs. In particular, Q’orianka Kilcher will always have my eternal gratitude for her willingness to be the first. She made it an ‘easier sell’ for those who followed.

What’s next?

There’ll be no new names – under the guise of Name Curator – for the foreseeable future. I have a couple of Q & As up my sleeve which I’ll endeavour to get up before Xmas, plus I need to bring my archives up to date. Maybe in the New Year I can sign off in style with a ‘Best of the Best’ countdown of all the names curated.

If Sports Illustrated would like to employ me as a ‘Names Reporter’, I’d be quite willing to discuss terms. Similarly, if a US college wished to throw a PhD scholarship at me for name-related research, I’d be willing to entertain that notion too.

But for now, as the Year of the Name draws to a close, I’m signing off as the Secretary-General of the United Name-tions.

In the name of Quintavious Drains,


Q & A with Britt Goodwin

Britt Goodwin

Britt Goodwin

Britt Goodwin is a British handballer who competed for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics – and who has also won a season of Norwegian Big Brother.

Bigger than both of those achievements: finishing in the top 10 of my Olympic Name Countdown! She breaks down her name in an illuminating Q &A here: thanks Britt!

Is there a story (that you’ve been told) about where your name comes from?

Yes, I’ve been told by my parents that I was named after the Swedish actress Britt Ekland, the Bond girl. They also said that since I’m British that Britt makes me a true Brit as well. 🙂

What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?

I think my name is great. It’s short and simple. It represents who I am. I am British Britt and I am also a very “Good winner” , since my surname is Goodwin. 🙂

Your name takes on an extra dimension when considered in the context of Britain hosting the Games, Team GB, and so on. Did you attract any attention for it during the Games?

Yes, there were some people on Twitter that asked if my name was real and didn’t quite believe that there was someone representing team GB called Britt Goodwin. So I had to tell them that yes, this is my real name and that it was an actual fact. 🙂

Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?

No, I really don’t care what other people think of my name. I think I’ve got a great name and I am very proud of it. 🙂

From what I can glean from the Olympic results, how did it feel, as a Brit(t), not to have a good win? 🙂

No one was expecting us to win and of course we were disappointed when we didn’t win the one game we had hoped to win against Angola. But for me, I’m a winner that even got to compete at the Olympic Games and that I got to experience what most other people only can dream about.

So for me to even make the team, be selected by Team GB and get to play in the London 2012 Olympics was a good win anyway. 🙂

Biggest career achievement: representing your country at the Olympics, or finishing in the top 10 of my Olympic name countdown? 🙂

Representing my country at the Olympics of course , but it was nice to win a spot on your top 10 list. 😉

Do you have a favourite name you’ve come across over the years?

I think my GB teammate has a good surname, her name is Fudge. Like the chocolate bar. That’s a good one. 🙂

Q & A with Rusty Shellhorn


Rusty Shellhorn

Rusty Shellhorn

Rusty Shellhorn is a US professional baseballer who has quite graciously agreed to be Qed about his name. His As are really good! I thank him for his help and commend to you this Q & A.

1) Is there a story (that you’ve been told) about where your name comes from?

My dad tells me he played baseball with a kid named Rusty when he was younger, and he loved the name. My middle name, George, is a family tradition dating back about 6 generations. The Shellhorn family came to America from Germany around 1750. When the first Shellhorn arrived, the spelling of the name was a little ambiguous, and he often signed documents with different spellings of his last name.

2) What does your name mean to you? Do YOU think you have a great name?

My name is my own, and I think that’s the most important part. There isn’t another Rusty Shellhorn in this world. So I suppose that makes it hard to forget me.

3) Is it good or bad – or perhaps a bit of both – to have a distinctive name?

I think it’s great. I’ll never be confused with someone else. I’m an individual and my name proves it. It’s nice to be the only one of my kind!

4) Do you care what others think of your name? What reactions from others have you encountered over the years?

My name isn’t too embarrassing or incredibly hard to spell, so I’d say I’m pretty proud of it. Most people hear my name and just want to see the face behind it. I don’t get made fun of too much, yet it helps me stick out of the crowd quite a bit.

5) Do you have a favourite name you’ve come across over the years?

I’m playing minor league baseball for the Seattle Mariners, and our physical trainer’s name is Spyder Webb. I can’t imagine you see that very often.

The best 50 names of the London 2012 Olympics

Quentin Bigot

Quentin Bigot

The London 2012 Olympics have come and gone, but the memories of the manifold great names live on.

Here are my top 50:

(1) Joydeep Karmakar, Indian shooter

(2) Ignace Tirkey, Indian hockeyer

(3) Quazi Syque Caesar, Bangladesh gymnast

(4) Destinee Hooker, US volleyballer

(5) Traves Smikle, Jamaican discus thrower

(6) Rigoberto Uran Uran, Colombian cyclist

(7) Rich Fellers, US equestrian

(8) Quentin Bigot, French hammer thrower

(9) Hansle Parchment, Jamaican hurdler

(10) Britt Goodwin, British handballer

(11) Ignisious Gaisah, Ghanaian long jumper

(12) Epke Zonderland, Dutch gymnast

(13) Kanika Beckles, Granadian sprinter

(14) Bolade Apithy, French fencer (Frencher?)

(15) Eduardo Schwank, Argentinian tenniser

(16) Ruggero Pertile, Italian marathoner

(17) Priscah Jeptoo, Kenyan marathoner

(18) Blessing Oborududu, Nigerian wrestler

(19) Miguel Ponce, Mexican footballer

(20) Eelco Sintnicolaas, Dutch decathlete

(21) Sven Knipphals, German sprinter

(22) Chakyl Pfiffer Camal, Mozambican swimmer

(23) Nabil Kebbab, Algerian swimmer

(24) Miao Miao, Australian table tenniser

(25) Azza Alqasmi, Bahraini shooter

(26) Fortunato Pacavira, Angolan canoeist

(27) Butts Leon, horse of Thai equestrienne Nina Lamsam Ligon

(28) Harinelina Rakotondramanana, Malagasy weightlifter

(29) Mamarallo Tjoka, Mosotho (Lesotho) marathoner

(30) Dudu Karakaya, Turkish runner

(31) Werner Muff, Swiss equestrian

(32) Xavier Trenchs, Spanish hockeyer

(33) Silke Spiegelburg, German pole vaulter

(34) Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari, Iranian wrestler

(35) Storm Uru, New Zealand rower

(36) Dong Dong, Chinese trampolinist

(37) Tjasa Oder, Slovenian swimmer

(38) Leuris Pupo, Cuban shooter

(39) Raul Lall, Guyanese judoka

(40) Leevan Sands, Bahamian triple jumper

(41) Clark Burckle, US swimmer

(42) Lukas Lacko, Slovakian tennis player

(43) Takumi Kuki, Japanese sprinter

(44) Trell Kimmons, US sprinter

(45) Carmelita Jeter, US sprinter

(46) Heerden Herman, South African swimmer

(47) Moana Moo Caille, French BMXer

(48) Clemens Rapp, German swimmer

(49) Tim Lips, Dutch equestrian

(50) Roxroy Cato, Jamaican 400m hurdler

(50 + 1) Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg, Mongolian boxer

An ode to Joydeep Karmakar, the best-named London 2012 athlete

Joydeep Karmakar

Joydeep Karmakar

It gives me deep joy to bring you (in a karma car) the best-named athlete of the London 2012 Olympics: Joydeep Karmakar.

Joydeep is an Indian shooter who finished fourth in his class at London. Sure, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves at home, but his name more than makes up for it.

He also possesses what I deemed to be the best name of the 10,500 athletes competing. Better than Destinee Hooker. Better than Miao Miao. Better than Ignisious Gaisah.

And why is this?

It’s the vivid mental imagery his name portrays. It’s that it’s made up of four separate words which combine for full awesomeness:

  • He has joy, but not just any joy – it is a deep joy
  • He has a car, but not just any car – it’s a karma car

Here is a man who is deeply happy, driving around in a automobile which delivers cosmic justice and fairness.

Here is Joydeep Karmakar. Let us pause and give thanks to him, and his name.

A lament for Fumiyuki Beppu

Fumiyuki Beppu

Fumiyuki Beppu

Oh, Fumiyuki Beppu, we hardly knew yu.

Self-described as the Fastest Ninja on 2 Wheels, Fumiyuki was originally in 7th place in the top 50 Olympic name countdown.

That was until I learnt recently about Rich Fellers, a name which, while not as much fun to say as Fumiyuki Beppi, is certainly more suggestive and incredibly well suited to the equestrian endeavour.

So Beppu was bumped.

Because I had scheduled the names in advance, it was too late (and to be honest, too much effort) to re-jig things entirely. Much simpler to perform a straight substitution: Beppu out, Fellers in.

But it’s a shame – near a crime – for Beppu not to appear at all; hence him being bloggified here. It’s such a beautiful name to say.

Fumiyuki Beppu: We salute yu.