Feb 6, 2011

What’s In A (Randomly Generated) Name?

Hi, my name is, my name is…… no, not Slim Shady. My name is Green Egg Forty Sippa. That's my Gangsta name anyway and don't you forget it. Yo.
I'm thinking Dr Seuss and 50cent must have collaboratively invented the Random Name Generator that came up with my alias.

No longer do we have to piece together the names of our childhood dog and the first street we lived on (Zippy Balcombe) or our favourite pet and childhood food (Candy Cupcake) to embrace a fantasy name for a character in a story or a fake ID or umm, you know, roleplay, whatever. Ahem.

As with most things these days, we need look no further than the amazing Spiritual Guide of All Things Bizarre, the Internet. Find the name generator you want, type in your real name, one click and there's your new pseudonym. It's that simple. And that stupid.

Why do I even look at these things? Could I really not go another minute of my life without knowing that my Pirate name is Captain Mary Bonney? Like, am I planning to run away to sea to sail on the Black Pearl, drink rum with Johnny Depp and swap spit with Orlando Bloom? Actually, that doesn't sound like a bad idea…

Was it essential that I know my Mexican Wrestler name? Which, by the way, is Ratón Último. It means Last Mouse. Does that mean I am a fantastic fighter and will be the last rodent to survive, or is it just something that would look good listed on a WWE Smackdown poster next to Dolph Ziggler, Ricardo Rodriguez and The Undertaker?

I was hoping my Mafia name would be really sexy, like something straight out of a Brian De Palma movie. So disappointed, I find nothing sexy about Alley Cat Sandra. Pussy jokes included.

And then there's my Porn Star name. Tonya Sinn. It sounds a bit too sophisticated; more like a champagne-sipping high-class callgirl than someone who does pizza delivery guys on a pool table to an electro-pop soundtrack. (I admit my idea of porn may be a bit out of date, but ahhh... those were the days.)

My real, boring human name is Cathryn, derived from the Greek Katharos (Katherine), meaning 'pure'. Yes, I know. Go on, I'll wait while you have a good laugh at that.

I have never really adored my own name (do any of us?) but I do have to thank my oldest sister for saving me from a fate worse than Cathryn. My siblings were 17, 14 and 11 when I burst onto the scene as the Great Mistake of 1964 (mistake [mis-teyk] noun, verb: an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge or lack of birth control) and cries of "She had the baby", "It's a girl" and "You woke me at 2am for that?" were quickly followed by "What's her name?"

One or both of my parents (neither will admit guilt in this heinous almost-committed crime) wished to call me… Patricia.

Apologies to those of you who are named Patricia and love it. But, really….

Look at me.

Do you see Patricia?




(I acknowledge maybe there are some similarities with AbFab's Patsy, but....)
No, absolutely no. Just… no.

For starters, I am not an old-age pensioner. The popularity of the name Patricia peaked in the late 1930s through to the 1940s and has plunged into a steady decline since, so I may have been able to accept the name if I was a war baby, conceived in the back of a Ford coupe utility during a hastily arranged shore leave. But I wasn't.

Nor am I Catholic, wanting to bear the name of an Italian virgin martyr and Saint. I mean, I admire her for escaping an arranged marriage, but women usually do that so they can shag whoever they want, not to stay a virgin.

Anyway, you could say my sister was the 60s version of the Random Name Generator, as she insists she plucked the name from nowhere. Apparently, whilst announcing that nobody better dare tell her to turn her radio down once the baby came home, she also declared there was no way she was having a sister called Patricia, that was a horrible name, but a Katherine/Catherine/Kathryn/Cathryn would be fine. (Exactly who chose my particular spelling is unclear, but there is a rumour that it was a mistake by Dad, his second one that year.)

At some stage during the early school years Cathryn of course got shortened to 'Cathy'; it's the Aussie way. I remember trying to get people to call me 'Cate' at one point, but Dad was the only one who did and others argued I couldn't be a Cate, it had to be Kate with a K (these were the years long before Cate Blanchett came along). And I attempted 'Cathie' during the rebellious teenage years, because a group of 26 of my closest friends all voted that it was much more of a cool-surfie-chick way to spell it. Hey, it was the 70s. But it didn't stick. Neither did 'Imogen'. Don't ask.

So over the years Cathryn has evolved. Don't be surprised if you call me Cate, then my Mum approaches with 'Cathryn', a friend greets me as 'Cath', the kids moan at 'Mum', Dad lets slip 'Chook' and the Husband yells 'Bloody hell Cathy, are they more new shoes?'…. I will answer to them all. Some more politely than others.

Interesting postscript. I have just discovered if I use Cathryn on the Porn Star Name Generator I am actually…. Sweatee Asstronaut.

Oh yeah. That's more like it.

Did somebody order pizza?





  1. Imagine the fun and frolics in the school yard when other kids found out 'Bronwyn' was Welsh for 'white breast'. Thanks Mum and Dad. Not.

  2. Consider this: you, in fact, got off lightly. I am saddled with that 2nd most bogan of 60s/70s names - Tracy; the one that rides shotgun to the boganest of all - Sharon. *breathy sigh*

    I got lucky, though, with my middle name, which is *your* name... ;)Spent years trying to get people to call me Cat, to no avail. *sighs again*

    Have to say, I found the name generators a bit boring ('No-pants Gangsta'? Really?) until I got to the Pet names one, as suitable for new lovers.

    Wait until I tell old Gerbil Ass what his Kitty Ears has been up to today...! ;)

  3. Oh no!! Don't take away my first pet and the street I grew up in game away from me?!What's your porn star name is my favourite "getting to know you" game. I actually played it with a high level US Government official a few years ago at a meeting in Hawaii ... yeah ... there was a bunch of us and it was late at night after a week long meeting ... we were tired ... and emotional ... and I was grasping at straws to make conversation. Anyway his porn star name ended up as Pumpy Dix. The game ended there. No one could do better ...
    Oh, and I think I have the 3rd most popular bogan name. Leanne .... I think I like my porn name better ... Trixie Rhoda! Yeah baby ...

  4. You are Cate to me. My parents wanted "Penelope" as in Pitstop, for me.

    My porn name is top secret - she is my alter ego. I use her....ha, remind me to tell you about that top secret mission next time I see you in person!

  5. All I ever wanted to be called was Tracy. Or Kelly. Or Jodie. Or Melissa Jane. Anything but Naomi. But my parents had other ideas.

    And really, when your sister is called Roxanne, and it's the late 70's and The Police are urging her not to put on the red light, it doesn't matter what I'm called, because my baby sister will always have a better porn name than me.

  6. I was worryingly very nearly called Virginia - WTF? Sadly my Mother settled on Wendy which I hate with a passions, it's so flimsy and middle class.

    My porn name however is 'Muffin Hooker' - which I'm sure you'll agree is just fabulous.

  7. My name means "Little Rome". I could never find it on wall plaques or mugs like my friends. I hate my parents still to this day over it. My porn name is Stella Kenny which doesn't even do me justice. WTF?
    Loved the post!

  8. I adore Very bored's porn name - that is ace!

    I always quite liked my name, Heather. could have been a lot worse. I love the porn name game, in fact i refuse to look at your name generator as I don't want to replace my porn name - Trixie Lane. I adore it.

  9. I was told a porn star name was the name of your first pet and the name of your first street - which makes mine Flopsy Moor (oh dear!) - I had a lucky escape with Catherine also...my mum's first choice was Morag (help?!)

  10. When I was pregnant with my first kid, my mom gave me a card listing all of the horrific family names we should try desperately to avoid. Wasn't hard to comply!! :)

  11. Cate is great,
    But Sweetee Asstronaut is hot.
    I can't keep rhyming,
    So before I lose timing,
    I'll say you were right on the money,
    As usual, your post was quite funny!

  12. Yaaa...I'm pretty sure it was Sweatee Asstronaut. Anyway...*YIKES* LOL
    Another great post by Cathryn, Cathy, Cate! Funny that....my younger brother was a 1964 "Mistake" too! Hmmmm...
    Thanks for the Light hearted read Girl! :))) *CHEERS*

  13. I go by lots of names and if you knew my real name you'd understand... but I'm often called Cathy...

  14. Weird - we have a lot in common! I am a Katherine and spent the first 25.5 years of my life being Kathy (with a similar brief fling being Kathie - what can I say, I was young at the time) and then I changed to Kate and have never looked back.

    The big difference between us is that I won't answer to anything else. Old friends who catch up with me shouting,"Kath!" are greeted by me saying dispassionately, "Holy WOW nobody has called me that for YEARS. I'm Kate now. So - how are you?"

    I'm rude like that.

  15. I have to say when you wrote "Look at me" I did. I er saw your Patricia's ;)

  16. Tee hee, Asstronaut! I love it.

    I've been thinking of names a bit lately, given that I actually have to bestow one on a new human in a few short weeks. And I think of how much I like my own name... Stacey Lee is a bit cute. And very '80s. But finding another is looking damned impossible!

    I know for a fact I WILL steer clear of Patricia however... man, aren't you lucky...


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