aunt swear that she once had twins in her class named Oranjello
myths are a common feature of our society. With the rise of the
internet, urban legends get passed along faster than ever!
legend names are popular. People swear by them. Unlike jokes and
anecdotes, you really only need to remember the name in
question, not the context or a punchline. They often begin "My
cousin is a nurse, and she gets some of the weirdest patients!"
or "My uncle is a teacher, and he had a _____ in his class." So
if you've heard someone swear they know someone by these names,
I wouldn't believe it unless you've met that person
darker side of these urban legend names is that 9 times out of
10, they are racist/classist in nature-- they almost always
involve a less-educated (often poor/black/rural) woman who
"doesn't know any better" and thus saddles her innocent child
with some weird name. People "in the know" are then invited to
laugh at the unfortunate name.
sure to check out our More Unusual
Names page for more odd names in this vein!
Pronounced "la dash a" (sometimes reported as Ka-a or Sha-a).
The punchline is, the mother supposedly says “the dash
don’t be silent.” There is no evidence that such a person has
Oranjello & Lemonjello
This is a perennial favorite. Usually, the parents of these
fruity twins is either Creole or from Louisiana. Their mother
thought that Oran (or Orange or Oranjello depending on the
telling) were nice sounding names, and being unaccustomed to the
English language, bestowed them upon her twins.
Brexit's parents are usually Mexican, or from some
other non-English speaking place. The legend originated with
Mexican people, but I've also heard it with Middle Easterners.
The original Mexican story came with a photo of a birth
certificate, which has since been proven to have been
Photoshopped. No, no babies accidentally got named Brexit in
This is probably the second most prolific urban legend around.
The story goes: An uneducated or non-English speaking mother
gives birth to boy/girl twins. The hospital labels them "Male"
and "female". Thinking the hospital has assigned the babies
names, the woman officially calls her children Male and Female,
only pronounced like Molly and Femolly.
The mother of little Nosmo King was supposedly inspired by a "No
Smoking" sign in the lobby of the hospital where the baby was
Unlike the other names above, Ima Hogg actually does exist. She
was the daughter of a early 20th century Texan politician. She
was also a philanthropist. However, nobody has verified
variations like Ima Pigg and Ura Hogg.
I think I'm the only one who's heard this one, thus making not
so much of an urban legend. If anyone else has heard about
Porcelain Latrine, fact or fiction, please let me know! The
story goes that Porcelain's mom, and uneducated rural
African-American woman saw a van deliver a box marked "porcelain
latrine." not knowing what it was, she thought the name was
beautiful, and gave the name to her daughter. Sounds fishy to
me! I mean, how many people (and especially delivery companies
and furniture manufacturers) actually use the word "latrine"?
You'd probably be more likely to see "toilet".
Long Dong is quite a legend, particularly in towns with high
Asian populations. Long Dong is the ever-elusive Chinese
immigrant (male, of course) with a name that is funny in
English. After someone finishes telling a Long Dong story, he
usually ends with something like "well, Bob Smith probably
means, like, 'screw you' in Chinese or something!" I went to the
Chinese Surnames page (click
here for more info) and I couldn't find any surname that
approximates Dong. If Dong was actually the forename (as Chinese
tradition puts the family name first) then Long does exist as a
surname. However, most Chinese immigrants adopt the system used
by Americans, and put their family name 2nd.
Urine, Eczema, Vagina
Another variation on the non-English speaking/undereducated
mother theme, a woman in a hospital saw a vial marked Urine, and
bestowed this name upon her daughter, with the pronunciation
you-reen. Eczema was from a book in the waiting room, and
pronounced /ek ZEE ma/. Vagina has an even more unfortunate back
story, dating back from the early 20th century-- Vagina /va JEE
na/'s mother, when told what a "vagina" is, says "that ain't a
'gina, it's a coochie!" or words to that effect.
This unfortunate child's parents pronounced his or her name
/shih TEED/, /SHEETH edd/ or /SHY thed/.
Here's an e-mail I received--"Okay, I have no proof of this, but
my Aunt swears that she has a distant cousin somewhere in the
USA (we're in Melbourne, Australia) who has the name Innocent
Bystander. Bystander being the surname." Have you ever heard the
last name "Bystander?" I haven't.
**UPDATE!!** this just in from an
Hey, I saw the "urban legends" page and wanted to throw in some
information. There is in fact the last name Bystander
(Innocent Bystander) Originally it was Bisthander, but I have
seen Bystander in the genealogy files @ the library. I've
also seen Porrie Latrine (in the old city lists). Pretty close
From another e-mail I received: "I read a blip under news of the
weird in a newspaper once saying that someone named their
daughter Atheist Evolution. Don't know if that's true or not."
Unfounded Urban Legend Names
(if anyone personally has met anyone with one of these names,
and I mean KNOWS them- not just has heard about them or knows
someone who knows them, please e-mail me!): We received so many
e-mails about these, they now have their
Castle, Sandy Beaches
- Candy Kane
Shanda Leer- There is a Shanda Lear, however, of Lear Jet
- April Mae
June- there is an April May, though, from Portland, ME.
- Jay Walker
There's also a rumor around the the name Damian means
"devil" or "devil's child" or something like that.
This idea shows the power of movies! The possessed tyke in "the
Omen" and some of its sequels was named Damian. It also didn't
hurt that the priest in "The Exorcist" was also named Damian.
With all of this association with 70s possession flicks, no
wonder people have attached the meaning to it! This illustrates
the importance of the cultural meaning as opposed to the
etymological meaning. While Damian actually comes from a Greek
word meaning "watcher", how many people will know this when they
see your son? Will they always think of him as the "devil's
Many People also believe that the name Rhiannon means
It was that Fleetwood Mac song of the 1970s that spread this
idea. Rhiannon probably means something closer to "divine
queen." in Welsh.
I think it may have started with the book The Thorn Birds,
by Australian novelist Colleen McCullough--many people of Irish
descent swear up and down that Megan is an Irish name.
It's actually a Welsh pet form of Margaret. You can spell it
Meghan, Meeghan, Meagan, Meaghan and any other spelling you can
think of, but Megan will never be Irish!
more on name books and meaning, see Why
Your Baby Name Book Sucks.
We have some more unusual names in this vein on this page:
Other Unusual Names. Check them out!