Storm Names

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Feb 11 17:50:14 UTC 2013

Well!  I didn't know anyone made lists of Winter Storm
Names.  Although it seems to be very unofficial, and a bit self-promoting.

At 2/11/2013 11:22 AM, Baker, John wrote:
>         The storm names in several instances appear to be playing
> on associations of public domain names with others' intellectual property.

Perhaps in all instances?

>In addition to Gandolf and Nemo, consider the following:
>Draco: The first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece.  But better
>known to modern Americans as the first name of Draco Malfoy in the
>Harry Potter books.
>Khan: Mongolian conqueror and emperor of the Mongol empire.  Better
>known in some quarters as a Star Trek character.
>Rocky: A single mountain in the Rockies.  But, to many people, more
>suggestive of Rocky Balboa.
>         And I believe that there are other examples; this is by no
> means a complete list.

John Baker, how could you forget Yogi?   Both baseball player and
bear.  (I was going to mention Walda, but I don't think he's
sufficiently lost yet to have become transgendered.)

[In passing, I note that although there are a few (3?) females in
TWC's list, they do not alternate as in the hurricane list.]

There are surely many popular culture names corresponding to TWC's
choices of Roman, Norse, and Greek gods and persons.  Such as:

Brutus:  Alternative name for Bluto, Popeye's Nemesis (who would have
been a better N storm choice than Nemo).  Or if "Bluto's not
acceptable, a character in The Hunger Games.

Freyr: A fertility [The Weather Channel doesn't tell us that!] god in
Norse mythology.  Also "a fictional character in Stargate SG-1, based
on this god."

Others noted:

Q: The Broadway Express subway line in New York City.  "Q (Star
Trek), a fictional, purportedly omnipotent character from the Q
Continuum."  [Here TWC seems especially disingenuous.]

Ukko -- isn't he the mucky younger brother of Orko?


>John Baker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>Behalf Of Ben Zimmer
>Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 10:47 AM
>Subject: Re: OT: Saturday 11:30 AM - 26 inches
>On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:54 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> >
> > So what -- and when, and why -- were A--- through M---??  (The 2012
> > *hurricanes* were not Nemo and Orko, but Nadine and Oscar.  And the
> > list ended at Tony, so U--- and V--- are available if we were to
> > continue that line.)
>A moment's Googling reveals's full lineup, along with
>glosses for the names:
>Some interesting choices, such as "Gandolf" (not "Gandalf") for "G" --
>glossed as "A character in a 1896 fantasy novel in a pseudo-medieval
>countryside." Turns out that's _The Well at the World's End_ by
>William Morris, one of Tolkien's inspirations. Perhaps they were
>avoiding having to deal with the Tolkien estate by going with the
>public-domain spelling.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list