suggestive names

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Jun 11 21:54:48 UTC 2006

They also had a neighbor, Ferd Berfel, to whom the children bore a startling resemblance.

  It has never occurred to me to collect such things, perhaps because they are so uncommon.

  But I am reminded, perhaps irrelevantly, of an old thread about "authors of putative books" like "I Whipped My Weight in Wildcats," by Claude Balls. (Note hilarious translinguistic pun in PUTA-tive.  Comes from reading too much_Finnegans Wake_. Sorry.)


"Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
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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