Does your aunt swear
that she once had twins in her class named Oranjello and Lemonjello?
myths are a common feature of our society. We probably receive tons of
e-mail about sick children with rich benefactors who will send 1 cent
for every e-mail you forward. Perhaps you're cousin swears her cousin
was stuck in an elevator with Eddie Murphy, and his dog...(if you haven't
heard this one, visit the Urban
Legends Reference Pages.)
heard this, and believed it and passed it along...you're the recipient
of another urban legend. Urban legend names are most prolific because
people swear by them. So if you've heard someone swear they know someone
by these names, I wouldn't believe it unless you've met them in person!
The Urban Legends Reference Pages has a nice
article on these names as well.
to check out our More Unusual Names page
for more odd names in this vein!
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
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 born.
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
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
Another variation on the non-English speaking parent theme, a woman in
a hospital saw a vial marked Urine, and bestowed this name upon her daughter,
with the pronunciation you-reen.
This unfortunate child's parents pronounced his or her name sheath-edd
Here's an e-mail I recieved--"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.
this just in from an alert reader:
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 to Porcelaine.
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
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
- Sandy Castle, Sandy
- Candy Kane
- Crystal Shanda
Leer- There is a Shanda Lear, however, of Lear Jet fame.
- April Mae June-
there is an April May, though, from Portland, ME.
- Jay Walker
- Paige Turner
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 child?"
People also believe that the name Rhiannon means "witch."
It was that Fleetwood Mac song of the 1970s that spread this idea. Rhiannon
probably means something closer to "divine queen." in Welsh.
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!
on name books and meaning, see Why Your Baby Name
some more unusual names in this vein on this page:
Other Unusual Names. Check them out!