Thursday, April 23, 2009

Name of the Year

My new favourite website is Name of the Year and I can't believe I haven't heard of it before. It's a vote-off competition to find the funniest or coolest new names of real people each year, from Glorious Johnson to Dick Surprise to Crystal Metheny to Phyllis Mangina. And its an absolute cack, particularly when you pore through the archived voting ballots, and the "Hall of Name" featuring past winners.

The site's compilers have almost reached a verdict on the name of 2009, but its not too late to cast your ballot - its come down to a evenly matched tie between college footballer Barkevious Mingo and Filipina/American student Iris Macadangdang.

If you're wondering which ethnicities are contributing the most awesome names, it's pretty much as you'd expect, although strangely there don't seem to be many Thais featured. The other usual suspects are there: a number from Sub-Saharan Africa, with their predilection for positive adjectives as given names (Courage Shabalala, Largest Agbejemison) while the African-Americans, who love a unique name to set them apart, are a big contingent (Sumatra La'Dontae Jones, Tanqueray Beavers). And of course there are the Chinese, probably Hongkies, who make some good contributions (Vanilla Dong, Steeve Ho Yu Fat [and yes, that is how you spell Steeve]).

As for my vote? Despite the great pleasure one gets when "Macadangdang" rolls off the tongue, I think it kinda loses points for being a relatively common Filipino surname. But "Barkevious Mingo" is so unique, and sounds so much like a comic-book supervillain, that I can't go past it.

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