Another year, another list of folks whose names match their professions
Though most people are unfamiliar with the word “aptronym” — and spell-checking programs tend to flag it as an error — we’ve all encountered the phenomenon. An aptronym is a name that all too well suits its bearer’s profession, hobby or other distinguishing characteristic. Years ago, for instance, I had a camp nurse named Sandy Sheets, my uncle had a dentist named Lou Smoler and my mom knew an ophthalmologist named Dr. I. Ball. Our local weatherman was Storm Field, and a nearby veterinarian was named Dr. Barker.
Over the past 12 months, Seven Days staffers have compiled a list of nearly two dozen new aptronyms we chanced on in the course of our reporting. A few, like University of Vermont geographer Austin Remy Troy, aren’t immediately obvious. (All three of his names are geographic places.) Then there are the anti-aptronyms, or names that seem to contradict their bearers’ calling — such as Don Black, the former Ku Klux Klansman who founded the white supremacist website Stormfront.
Got a few good aptronyms of your own? Send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org .
And two anti-aptronyms: