suggestive names

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 11 03:05:54 UTC 2006

And there was the other set of twins, my favorites: Mark and Sparkle Farkle.


On 6/10/06, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      suggestive names
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> a correspondent writes, in connection with my writing on Language Log
> on substitutes for taboo vocabulary, mentioning the character
> Slartibartfast from the Hitchhiker's Guide, adding
> > Adams wrote that he wanted a name
> > that sounded obscene but wasn't, so he started with Phartiphuckborlz
> > and tweaked it until he had something he could broadcast.
> *someone* must (he says, for the hundredth time or so) have collected
> names that are invented to sound indecent without being so, and/or to
> trip you into making a speech error with unfortunate consequences.
> i'm trying to recall the whole Farkle Family on Laugh-In: Fred and
> Fannie Farkle, and their children, including Flicker, the youngest
> Sparkle, and the twins Simon and Garr.  the whole thing was designed
> to induce unfortunate speech errors.
> is there a term for such names?  anyone studied, or at least
> collected, them?
> arnold, who hasn't
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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