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BS: No funny jokes about people's names

Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 07 - 08:39 AM
Rapparee 05 Sep 07 - 09:04 AM
Wolfgang 05 Sep 07 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Bardford 05 Sep 07 - 10:23 AM
ranger1 05 Sep 07 - 10:29 AM
Little Hawk 05 Sep 07 - 10:30 AM
Becca72 05 Sep 07 - 10:31 AM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 07 - 10:42 AM
Wilfried Schaum 05 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM
katlaughing 05 Sep 07 - 10:50 AM
HouseCat 05 Sep 07 - 10:56 AM
Bat Goddess 05 Sep 07 - 11:00 AM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 07 - 11:43 AM
John Hardly 05 Sep 07 - 11:45 AM
Rapparee 05 Sep 07 - 11:48 AM
John Hardly 05 Sep 07 - 11:52 AM
alanabit 05 Sep 07 - 12:13 PM
Desdemona 05 Sep 07 - 12:15 PM
Bill D 05 Sep 07 - 12:32 PM
TheSnail 05 Sep 07 - 01:09 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 07 - 01:10 PM
Rapparee 05 Sep 07 - 01:12 PM
Bernard 05 Sep 07 - 01:17 PM
Georgiansilver 05 Sep 07 - 01:18 PM
Rapparee 05 Sep 07 - 01:21 PM
John Hardly 05 Sep 07 - 03:07 PM
HuwG 05 Sep 07 - 04:42 PM
Georgiansilver 05 Sep 07 - 04:51 PM
curmudgeon 05 Sep 07 - 04:52 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 05 Sep 07 - 05:43 PM
fumblefingers 05 Sep 07 - 06:19 PM
Peace 05 Sep 07 - 06:50 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 05 Sep 07 - 07:02 PM
Peace 05 Sep 07 - 07:13 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 07 - 07:39 PM
Peace 05 Sep 07 - 07:46 PM
Joe Offer 05 Sep 07 - 08:11 PM
Joybell 05 Sep 07 - 08:24 PM
curmudgeon 05 Sep 07 - 08:27 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 07 - 08:27 PM
catspaw49 05 Sep 07 - 08:28 PM
curmudgeon 05 Sep 07 - 08:40 PM
catspaw49 05 Sep 07 - 09:00 PM
Ebbie 05 Sep 07 - 09:19 PM
TRUBRIT 06 Sep 07 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Bert on Kelly's machine. 06 Sep 07 - 01:16 AM
TRUBRIT 06 Sep 07 - 01:23 AM
Ebbie 06 Sep 07 - 01:31 AM
Genie 06 Sep 07 - 01:37 AM
TRUBRIT 06 Sep 07 - 02:23 AM

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Subject: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:39 AM

Long ago, I adopted the view that there ARE no funny jokes about people's names.

For instance, my own last name, "Oesterreich". It's German up to here, and it's the German word for Austria. I was brought up pronouncing it, not as in German, but "OH-strich".

I wish I had a nickel for every time some clod made an alleged joke to the effect, "Oh, ostrich, huh? Go bury your head in the sand." And it's always delivered with the bland assumption that the speaker has discovered something witty that was fresh and original in the world.

Frankly, that assumption is what galls--the idea that the "joke" is original, when I've been shuddering at it for seventy years.   At least that "joke" is not one that is insulting on its face; it's merely tiresome. Unto death.

The examples that could be related are constant and all around us. I cringe at the examples that come up based on the names of others almost as much as ones (there are more) perpetrated at my expense.

Your experience and comments?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 09:04 AM

Doellman, orginally umlauted on the 'o'. I'm told that it means 'goalie' in Dutch, and orginally meant something like "altar keeper" or "keeper of the sacred place." You can imagine...my father was nicknamed "Dolly."

By the way, I could pronounced "Oesterreich" Germanically the first time I saw it. Even knew what it meant. Of course, I have relatives named "Oestermueller."


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 09:25 AM

It is hard to resist in the case of prominents, in particular politicians.

You have to be very good in German and understand the Bavarian dialect to get this old one from the early sixties (ab)using president Kennedy's name:

Franz-Josef Strauss landet in Washington. Der Praesident empfaengt ihn an der Gangway und stellt sich vor: "Kennedy" Strauss antwortet: "I di aa".

"Kennedy" is exactly pronounced as the Bavarian dialect "I know you".

Wolfgang Hell


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:23 AM

From Monty Python's travel agent sketch:


Bounder: Morning, I'm Bounder of Adventure.
Smoketoomuch: Hello, I'm Smoketoomuch.
Bounder: Well, you'd better cut down a little then.
Smoketoomuch: I'm sorry?
Bounder: You'd better cut down a little then.
Smoketoomuch: Oh, I see! Smoke too much so I'd better cut down a little then!
Bounder: Yes, ha ha... I expect you get people making jokes about your name all the time, eh?
Smoketoomuch: No, I never noticed it before.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: ranger1
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:29 AM

My last name is Bill. Anyone out there remember the "Mr. Bill" skits from Saturday Night Live? Well, if I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me "Hey! Is your father Mr. Bill?" and then giggles maniacally, I'd be rich. The last time it happened, I was out with my brother and we both looked at the guy who said it and said at the same time: "oh, hey! I've never heard that one before!"


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:30 AM

Such jokes are inevitable, specially among children. One hopes not to hear them after people reach a certain age, though.

I bet there isn't a single person here who hasn't been driven nuts by hearing the same stupid jokes about their name over and over again.

Children are merciless. They will find a way to make fun of anyone's name. Some names, however, are such a terrible setup for that that it's really a sad situation.

You're right, Dave, there are no funny jokes about people's names, not when they're made to the person's face, anyway.

This is one of the really good things about reincarnation. You finally get to escape the jokes about your old name by taking on a completely new one. And then... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Becca72
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:31 AM

Uncle DaveO

I can relate. Having the first name of Rebecca I was asked about a million times as a child, "oh, are you from Sunnybrook Farm?" Very original. Also with the surname Morse lots of kids in school would come up and say, "dot dot dot dash dash....what did I say?"

And the most annoying part of that IS that they actually think they were the first to come up with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:42 AM

I can't resist relating a joke that WAS funny, that turned out later to be a name joke, though not so intended. Which is a little different from what I was talking about earlier.

As a student, I lived with four other guys in an apartment which communicated via a porch with another apartment. One night we had an impromptu party in our apartment. One of the girls there was a nurse, whom I'd just met that night. For delicacy's sake I'll not give her first name, but I'll call her Helen.

Helen and I went next door to the other apartment, where there was some interesting necking and exploration, but alas, I was unable to get over the goal line. (Is that delicate enough?)

As we were about to go back to the party, one of my roommates came into the next-door apartment with a female companion. Quoth he, "Whatcha been doin'?"

I replied, in an attempt at jocularity, "Learning anatomy, by the Braille method!"   

Helen broke up at that! Really belly-laughed. I had thought it a pleasant enough joke in passing, but was surprised at how funny she considered it.

Later in the party I asked for her telephone number. She said, "Oh, I'm in the telephone book." I had to reply, "Well, what's your last name?" because I only knew her as Helen.

She said, "Oh, come on! You know my last name! You made a joke about it!"

Turns out her last name was Brill, and she'd given me credit for originating a superior pun/name joke.

Not exactly an exception to the founding principle of this thread, because it wasn't really about her name, except by chance and as she took it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:43 AM

Becca, it is SM. What do schoolchildren know about sado-masochism?

My last name Schaum is in English Foam. And there is a well known shampoo named Schauma. Heard it some days at school, but it stopped after some bleeding noses (they stopped a fight immediately).


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:50 AM

I used to get teased a lot about either being Henry Hudson or being related to him, which I suppose I might be. Either way I didn't like the teasing when kids heard my last name. But, I got teased more for packing my violin back and forth to school every day on the school bus. Way too many jokes about being mafia-related and carrying a "tommy" gun to school.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: HouseCat
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 10:56 AM

I have an old school friend whose last name is Gross. You can imagine what she endured from our classmates for years at our small school. I am convinced that the bullying she got helped to make her the sad and disturbed person she is today. Kids can be cruel.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 11:00 AM

Well, it's been some years since either "Hogan's Heroes" or "The Bob Cummings Show" were popular TV fare, but I still really dislike being called "Schulzie" (or being summoned by a fake German accent, "Schooltz").

And it's true, it's not offensive in itself, it's the repetition that is tiresome.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 11:43 AM

When I was in the Army, back in the late carboniferous era sometime, we had a sergeant whose last name was Fadiss (or maybe Faddis; I forget).

Not to his face, but he knew that behind his back he had a universal nickname which might be rephrased as "adipose fundament". (As I indicated before, I try to be delicate about these things.)

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 11:45 AM

There's a very well-known potter named Jeff Oestreich. His name is pronounced "EYE-strick"


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 11:48 AM

Mr. Barrett taught Physical Education when I was in grade school. His name was changed to "Mr. Bare Nuts."


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 11:52 AM

There was a gymnast at our school named Cal Emhoff. We, of course, called him "Jack".


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 12:13 PM

A taxpayer in my allocation really had been christened, "Olive Branch". No comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Desdemona
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 12:15 PM

My mother's maiden name is Kirby. She grew up in England during WWII, and recalls being upset at having the soubriquet "Kirby Grip" bestowed upon her (a kirby grip is a type of hairpin), not because it was particularly insulting, but because she got so tired of hearng it.

~D


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 12:32 PM

My father's name was Audley Wayne....yes, he spent most of his life using A.W. to avoid the bad puns. (When he worked as a Western Union lineman, they called him 'Red', because he could whip anyone who MADE the bad puns)


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: TheSnail
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 01:09 PM

I used to have a boss whose surname was Cockhead. He had a shaved head and muscles everywhere. Nobody ever said a word.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 01:10 PM

I always like that bit in Diary of a Nobody - he has these two friends called Cummings and Gowing. One day Pooter points out the similarity to coming and going, and they both sit there stony faced - whilst our hero rocks with laughter.

Similar to the Monty Python SmokestooMUch joke.

One kid called Hall, I used to teach - his parents had very considerately named him Albert.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 01:12 PM

Much WAS said of the Sergeant in Basic Training whose name was Glasscock. In the middle of the training his mother got divorced and he came back named Campbell.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Bernard
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 01:17 PM

My last name is Cromarty... so I'm often asked how Viking and Forties are...

For those who aren't aware, they are sea areas mentioned in the legendary BBC Shipping Forecasts.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 01:18 PM

With a surname like HILL I have had my 'ups and downs' and some of them have been a bit 'steep'.......Hill the pill was the old favourite at school in the 60's...the PILL(Contraceptive) was the big thing at the time of course. 'Hilly'...'Pilly' of course followed.
Just glad I was not called Max Bygraves...or people might have thought I left my raincoats in cemeteries!


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 01:21 PM

Cemeteries are nice places. I used to work in them. Quiet, nobody making small talk while you're trying to get things done. Friendly, even, mostly.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: John Hardly
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 03:07 PM

I can dig it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: HuwG
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 04:42 PM

My surname is "Gallon". I have indeed had to put up with a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 04:51 PM

So many men had your measure then.....oops sorry!


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 04:52 PM

We once had a Governor here in NH whose name was Hugh Gallen, but I don't recall any comments on his name.

Then there was the guy I worked with one summer whose name was Randy McNally.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 05:43 PM

About half the people I've ever met with German last names have "Americanized" the pronunciations. Due to having taken numerous German classes in high school and college, I tend to want to "de-Americanize" them and pronounce them the proper German way. A friend's last name is "Claus", which he pronounces to rhyme with "pause", but which I invariably want to rhyme with "house", the way a German would.

And I went to school with a girl whose last name was "Goethe", which her family pronounced "Go-thee". That's almost criminal.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: fumblefingers
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 06:19 PM

My name is Hubbell. It rhymes with lots of words and can be spelled wrong all sorts of ways. In school they called me Bubbles and some around here still do. Most of the kids thought they had come up with something new and hillarious. I went to 12 different schools so it was neither new nor funny to me. I learned early on that it wasn't so funny to them if I didn't object, so I said they could call me anything they liked.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Peace
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 06:50 PM

It's simple. If your name is Ima Dipshit, change it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 07:02 PM

Yeah, change it to Ima Dumbass.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Peace
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 07:13 PM

Yeah. You got it!


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 07:39 PM

Bee-Dubya-Ell, I hear what you say about de-Americanizing names.

As I said above, I was brought up in a family that called "Oesterreich" "OH-strich", and only much later learned how it was pronounced in German, and what it meant.

When I was still in high school, in '47 or '48, my brother ( 5 years older) and his young wife moved to Duluth, where he had found an excellent job. They found that there was another "Oesterreich" family there which was numerous, well-known, and respected there, who pronounced the name "AY-strike", which is within shouting distance of the proper German pronunciation. They decided there was no use fighting a well-known pronunciation, and changed their pronunciation to suit.

To this day, my brother's branch of the family are all AY-strikes, and mine and my children's are still OH-striches.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Peace
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 07:46 PM

I know some Finkelsteins who became Finks. But that was to do with border people at immigration.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:11 PM

My wife's late husband was named Jim Cock. When he moved from the UK to the US, he wisely changed his name to "Cox."

With a name like "Offer," I've received my share of abuse - expecially in my first couple years of high school. I'm proud of my name and wouldn't think of changing it - but it did hurt when a certain faction decided to make fun of my name every time they saw me.

My name is part of who I am - it tells my story, and the story of my ancestors. Yes, it's hurtful to play with someone's name.

I suppose my wife has a different perspective, and may not be as tied to the name she was born with. She was born Christine and changed to Christina, and some of her friends have had three major first name changes and a number of last name changes. My wife has kept her surname, Slowick, since birth - although it was Anglicized when her grandparents arrived at Ellis Island from Poland.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Joybell
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:24 PM

Mostly at Christmas for me and short-lived.

True-Love once had a friend called John. He got so sick of the toilet/bathroom jokes that he insisted everyone call him "Africa". So from then on everyone said, "Excuse me I have to go to the Africa"
Cheers and Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:27 PM

Many years ago, a fellow teacher and his wife were gifted with a daughter. They had agonised over names to protect her from mean children and finally settled on "Allison."

When Paul returned to class after the birth, a student asked what he had named his daughter. When he told the girl the chosen name, she said, "oh, like Alicein Wonderland!"


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:27 PM

Joy, that's priceless!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:28 PM

Well I've told it before but I went to school with a girl named Sharon Peters. We were innocent enough in the 8th grade that we never noticed anything odd (it was a kinder, gentler time).   One day my friend's Dad heard her name and asked Mike and I, "Is that name or a bathroom game?"

Then we got it........and of course we,uh .................yeah.......... I feel kinda' bad about that..........***sigh***................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: curmudgeon
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 08:40 PM

Has it yet occured to anyone here that Peter O'Toole has a redundant name?


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 09:00 PM

More double phallic than simply redundant as pointed out by Groucho Marx.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Sep 07 - 09:19 PM

My surname is Bontrager. In school on occasion I and my brothers were called 'Barn Dragger', 'Bone Dragger' (Yes. It was a kinder, gentler time!), and 'Trigger'. So far as I know, it never bothered either me or my brothers.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:07 AM

My last name is Coward -- I took my husband's name when I married 30 years ago....(used to be Firth) in England Coward is not an unusual name at all (think Noel) but over here I am amazed by the number of people who comment on it - saying things like - what an awful name. My kids hated it when they were younger but I told them you could make fun of any name under the sun of you wanted to (viz -- oh - your last name is BROWN - oh how gross - brown is the color of poop.....etc etc......at least it made my kids smile.)

My business partner now is Deborah Meek so we are ---- Meek and Coward!!!!! Only a few cracks so far......


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: GUEST,Bert on Kelly's machine.
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:16 AM

I (Bert Hansell) used to get annoyed when people called me Gretel. But I got over it. They get such simple enjoyment out of believing that they are original, that now I just grin.

Making fun of names is a kind of folklore isn't it.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:23 AM

think you are right but it is easier to smile and accept it when you are an adult --- in all honesty sometimes when people comment on my name I am so indifferent to it that I'm not completely sure of what they are saying -- then I realize-- oh ok, we're back in that conversation......


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:31 AM

Meek and Coward does have a certain ambiance, Trubrit. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: Genie
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 01:37 AM

Well, having known people with such names as Dick Cox, Kay Pasa, and Anita Bath, I can empathize with those whose names have inevitably been the butt of jokes at least through grade school.   And as my last name is a single "t" away from a common British slang term for a) one's backside or b) a total jerk, I guess I'm lucky to be a Yank.   

Fortunately, by adulthood most people have ceased to torment everyone whose name suggests an oh-so-clever pun.

Of course, the boor will always be with us. And some of them, sadly, have talk shows with wide listenerships. How much more juvenile can you get than someone named, say, something easily parodied as "Rough Limpballs" calls Ellen Degeneres "Ellen Degenerate?"
(I'd say "Ellen The Generous" is a closer pun.) And sometimes the bad puns on peoples names that I hear from such talk show hosts or would-be comics seem to have nothing to do with the reality.)*

Even in "political satire," I find the pun funny only if it somehow parodies or ridicules something that really is true about the person whose name is being lampooned.


*Yes, I realize that the "conservative" talk show hosts may think being gay is a sin, but Ellen D. is known as being in committed relationships of longer duration than those of many Hollywood celebs, not for being promiscuous or otherwise "degenerate."   And I've heard a lot of similarly inappropriate name-calling from radio and TV personalities trying to be funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: No funny jokes about people's names
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 06 Sep 07 - 02:23 AM

Ebbie - you are right - but what the hell?????


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