Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Schlemiel, Schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!

Can anyone recall where that comes from? I’ll tell you where it comes from. The opening of Laverne and Shirley, that’s where.

Comedian Soupy Sales spoke often of the legal firm that represented him: Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe.

I love unusual names. Laverne was Laverne DeFazio and Shirley was Shirley Feeney. When Shirley married in her final season, she became Shirley Feeney-Meany, which reminds me that in Murphy Brown the character Corky Sherwood became Corky Sherwood Forest. But back to Laverne and Shirley. They worked at Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee and Shirley’s on-again, off-again boyfriend was Carmine Ragusa. And who could forget Lenny and Squiggy?

Woody Allen says he had a childhood friend named Guy de Maupassant Rabinowitz, Geeda for short. I think Woody just made him up.

Tennessee Williams gave us Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

I went to high school with a girl named Fredonia Musselwhite and her brother, Wayne.

I went to college with a girl named Tranquilla Furbush and her brother, Carlton.

From her younger days in Philadelphia, my mother remembered Violet Roach.

I know an English fellow named Alan Shacklock who says he can trace his family name back to the thirteenth century.

I got to thinking about unusual names again after viewing an episode of Forensic Files a few nights ago that featured Colin Pitchfork, whose name I had never heard before. Colin Pitchfork is a convicted British murderer and rapist. He was the first person in the world convicted of a crime based on DNA fingerprinting evidence, and the first to be caught as a result of mass DNA screening. His story, if you care to read it, is here. Forensic Files failed to mention that he has been in prison since 1988 and might be paroled in 2016.

The following person is (A) Carmine Ragusa, (B) Guy de Maupassant, (C) Colin Pitchfork, (D) Neville who died of ennui:

Do you know anyone whose name might be considered unusual?


  1. Who could forget Lenny and Squiggy? ANSWER - Me because I had never heard of "Laverne and Shirley" until you mentioned it. As for unusual names, one of my teaching colleagues was called Miss Condom and another was Mrs Boreham, another was Muriel Stonehewer and she was built like a brick outhouse. And I taught a boy called Alan Alan and a girl called Tinkerbell Brague....(I made the last one up just to annoy you!)

  2. I had a teacher named Clover Polkinghorne ... and I went to a dentist named Dodrill ... Then there was Roy G. Biv (I made the last one up just to imitate YP.)

  3. Thank you for your comments, Yorkshire Pudding and ThreeOldKeys.

    I forgot to mention that my first-grade teacher in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was Miss Edith Wildegoose, and she is not made up.

  4. My Physical Education class teacher in junior high was Miss Bonna Egg. She married and came back as Mrs. Bonna Strange!

    I did suggest to my husband, when I was pregnant with our first child, that I had thought up an excellent name if it were a girl....Polly. He pondered it, and I continued - with a middle name of Esther! Oh, that's nice, says he. Then he put it all together......

  5. Thanks, Hilly, for your contribution! Polly Esther -- that's a good one!

    I forgot to mention Phyllis Tickle.

  6. 1\3 of my classmates were named Smith, another 1/3 case, and the rest had various other English names. When I moved to Minnesota, and started hearing all these weird Swedish and Norwegian names, I knew the country was being overrun by foreigners.