Thursday, November 8, 2012


Your 2012 Baby Name Guide: The 1947 Wellesley Bulletin Edition

1. Palfrey Perkins

2. Elizabeth Kimball Kendall

3. Carol Corn

4. Helen Joy Sleeper

5. Virginia Onderdonk

6. Seal Thompson

7. Joan Bopp

8. Marcia Bready Jacobs

9. Helen Virginia Booze

10. Marie Rahr Haffenreffer

11. Vida Dutton Scutter

12. Olive Dutcher Doggett

13. Myrtilla Avery

14. Antoinette Brigham Putnam Metcalf 

15. Mabel Minerva Young

16. Louise Pettibone Smith

17. Judith Blow Williams

18. Florence Rockwood Kluckhohn

19. Helen Meredith Mustard

20. Babette Samelson Whipple

21. Carol Scott Scott

22. Mary Elizabeth Buttfield

23. Anne Cracker Eagles

24. Elizabeth Poole Hall

25. Content Douglas Morse

26. Ainferr Toulba

27. Rosanne Livingston Truckenbrod

28. Barron Blewett

29. Chorale Mayo Cook

30. Rose Wind

Previously: Baseball Edition.

Sarah Marshall is a graduate student living in Portland, Oregon.

97 Comments / Post A Comment


I thought it peaked with Onderdonk, but then I saw Buttfield.

Also, going to start bellowing "CRACKER EAGLES" whenever I stub my toe or miss the bus.

This is even better than the time I was organizing records in a radio library and found a classical record conducted by a man named Furtwrangler.


@yeah-elle In my husband's hometown, there's a historic mansion that's the "Onderdonk House" - there can't possibly be more than one family with that name, right?

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@yeah-elle I'd like to get Virginia Onderdonk, but I don't know what I would do with a whole Buttfield...


Onderdonk sounds like a far away butt. I realize that I am morphing it in my head to, "Yonder, a donk!" but my butt-brain knows no sense.


@Bus Driver Stu Benedict Or onder it.



Wilhelm Furtwängler was a really famous and influential conductor in the 20th century. His name is on lots of well-known classical recordings.


@Bus Driver Stu Benedict Oops, didn't see you'd actually linked to the song. Sorry for repetition. (Though my version also has an AMAZING bonus dancing sign-language woman.)


@yunkstahn I didn't know that! But this guy was definitely a wrangler, not a wängler. Ah, to live in the shadow of a more famous wängler. Or maybe it was a typo? I used to have a photo of it that I took with my cellphone, but I no longer have the photo, nor the phone.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Decca I concur, yours is the superior version.


@Bus Driver Stu Benedict All donks are made equal.


@yeah-elle I have a volunteer at work named Onderdonk. Apparently sometimes it's spelled "Onderdonck."

Tragically Ludicrous

@yeah-elle I am watching a soccer game RIGHT NOW and there's a player named Donk. No Onder, just Donk. I think his first name is Ryan. Ryan Donk.


@Tragically Ludicrous He should get together with Luol Deng of the Bulls - the Deng & Donk Show.


it's a good blog@a



Also, I think #17 should have her middle name in quotation marks.

Judith Slutler

@Ophelia #24 forever!!!


@Ophelia "Blow" Williams and Barron Blewett are definitely partners in crime. (But Barron always fucks up because, you know, she blew it).


@Ophelia: "No, no, no. Not like that, Judy. 'Blow' is just an expression..."

Claire Zulkey@twitter

"Rose Wind" is awesome. Sort of like the world's loveliest fart.

The other day I started going crazy trying to decide if "Betty" is cute and can be pulled off in this day and age or if I just haven't been getting enough sleep.


@Claire Zulkey@twitter I hope Rose Wind and Barron Blewett were lesbians who stayed together for the next 60 years and hyphenated their names the moment they were allowed to marry.


@Claire Zulkey@twitter I had the exact same thought about a dainty fart.


@olivebee Me too! It sounds terribly old-fashioned. "Does milady have the rose winds today?"


@DandelionTacy Snort laughing at "Does milady have the rose winds today?"


@Claire Zulkey@twitter Ladies only pass rose wind. They piss rose water. And naturally, they never, ever, take a shit.


@Linette When my mom thinks someone's a snob, she declares, "They think they piss eau de cologne."


@Claire Zulkey@twitter "the world's loveliest fart" is making me giggle so very hard. Also this entire thread. I'm failing really hard at stifling the giggles.


@Claire Zulkey@twitter Bette! DO IT.


Is "Bready" a nickname or an actual name?


@Decca She was very white, bland, and kind of porous?

Or, alternatively, super crusty and delightfully studded with olives.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@Decca I want to know if the Cracker Eagles can invite the Bready Jacobs to Seder!

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

Wait... That's the Cracker Eagleses and the Bready Jacobses -- or is it the Crackers' Eagles and the Breadys' Jacobs?


Anne Cracker Eagles is going to be my crime-fighting name from now on.

Old Katrina

The softest spot in my heart is the space for old-time names. Mabel Blythe will be the name of my first daughter... Had my cat been a lady, he would've been Prudence (he ended up Optimus Prime instead - Timus for short).

Miss Maszkerádi

Helen Virginia....BOOZE.


About half of these sound like brand names.

Judith Slutler

Also, "Truckenbrod"? Yes.


@Emmanuelle Cunt: Like an R. Crumb heroine.


@laurel Perfect.

Dr. Iris Puffybush

@Emmanuelle Cunt I once knew someone with the last name Druckenbrod...which is dangerously close to Drunken Broad, so that's fun.


Palfrey Perkins sounds like he wandered out of a Wodehouse story. Oh! Wodehouse Baby Name Guide, please!

Priscilla Peel

@emkay "Oofy" would be a great cat name.

Loitering With Intent

@emkay That would be a dream come true :). I'd love to be a Fink-Nottle.


Love the pic with this....and I STEPPED on the BALL!


@Stickynee Also, I totally read the alt-text in a VERY pretentious old-school New England accent.



Well, it was ghastly. Well, it was just ghastly.

Loitering With Intent

@Stickynee Love that movie! Have you heard of the UK Tory name game? That's a good one too.


@Loitering With Intent I love it. My Tory name is Patricia Park-Corbin, which I ADORE. #toryname is pretty hilarious right now. Some of them are so posh!

Little Goose

@Stickynee I hadn't done this until now but it was so fun! Helen-Elise Prague-Louie.

Loitering With Intent

@Stickynee Mine is Evelyn Earlspark-McVittie. #toryname people do seem to own a lot of land. And parks :).

Sarah Marshall@facebook

@Stickynee Mary Lee Reeder-Bennett. That is disappointing.

Leslie Popplewell

@par_parenthese Marjorie Welsford-Estes


My cat's name is Olive, but I never gave her a middle name. I now christen her Olive Dutcher Doggett (kind of ironic for a cat, though).


Helen Meredith Mustard, wife of the Colonel.


Whoa - how the hell did I miss "Content" the first time around?? Do you suppose she pronounces it like the definition that means happy/satisfied or like the parts that make up something?

Also, Ainferr has to be one of the most unattractive sounding names I have ever heard. (No offense if that is your name...oh god, I hope that's not someone's name! Because then I am an asshole.)

ETA Carol Scott Scott!! I keep finding even better ones the second time through. And Babette Whipple sounds vaguely old-timey porn star to me.


@olivebee Or a grotesque sex act. "I gave 'er the ole Babette Whipple, yes I did."


@Nocs I hope you said that in a cockney accent, because that's how I heard it.


"Mary Elizabeth Buttfield" is almost as good as the guy I saw quoted in a NYT article named Harry deButts.


@mangosara At work we have a guy in the client database named Keith Butts and without fail, I have to stifle a cackle when I see it. I just imagine his parents being like, "It's a baby boy! Oh, let's name him Keith, after your uncle. Keith. Keith Butts."

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

No one beats former Children's Secretary Ed Balls. Not down there at least.

And they shouldn't, because it would hurt.

Tragically Ludicrous

@Bus Driver Stu Benedict I see you your Ed Balls, and I raise you Paul van Ass, head coach of the Netherlands' men's field hockey team.


@Tragically Ludicrous And then there's Dick Trickle, retired NASCAR driver.


Why do rich people get to have ALL the money and ALL the last names? I bet if they made a minor cut--like, ONE last name--the other 99% of this country could finally get that second last name they've been clamoring for. Redistribute them!

I'm realizing if I did that Mom's maiden name as a middle name thing I would sound absolutely bananas--like a bunch of drunk north Europeans just boned and BOOM, there I was.


@parallel-lines I have my mom's last name as a middle name, but conveniently, my last name is clearly not patrician, so it isn't so bad.


@parallel-lines If rich people didn't get the good last names, we wouldn't have depressing economics research like this.


My grandparents used to operate a summer camp near NYC and my mom and my aunt would always talk about people with names like "Dunker." I never got it.

Side note, am I crazy or is Gertrude a name that could make a comeback (like Sophia, Emma, etc)? I am nowhere close to having kids, but the more I think about it the more I want to call a baby girl Gertie!

Judith Slutler

@rallisaurus Gertie is pretty cute, for sure, but the Hamlet connection raises some eyebrows, no?


@rallisaurus My mom had a friend growing up whose name was Hortense Powdermaker. Gotta love New England.


@Emmanuelle Cunt My brain never made that connection. I just have a lot of dead relatives named Gert/Gertrude and I like the idea of a family name to pass down.


@rallisaurus Many of my friends are reproducing and I have heard talk of Gertrude. I participated in that talk, until my husband exercised his veto power. Worked out okay, though - we got a Mathilde instead, another name that is making a bit of a comeback (but not too much! Please don't make my daughter go to school with 27 Mathildes!).

Jillsy Sloper

@rallisaurus Or Trudie!

Judith Slutler

@rallisaurus I say go for it then. Maybe the Hamlet thing will prevent your kid from being "Gertrude S." in order to distinguish her from Gertrude C., Gertrude G. and Gertrude N. in her class!


@rallisaurus Wait, did Sophia and Emma (particularly Emma) ever go away? I think of Emma as having been popular for the last 40 years, at least.


@rallisaurus No to the Gertrude, or Gertie, because then she's a Pye. That's too much baggage for a girl.

There are some old-fashioned names I just don't think are coming back.


@Bittersweet Gasp! You're right! How could I be so stupid?


@Verity I don't know, I never knew any Emmas or Sophias growing up. As a product of the 80s the names I heard a lot were Ashley, Jennifer, Laura, Sara, Emily, etc. I think Sara is eternally popular, but I bet most moms these days aren't as drawn to Ashley or Jennifer.


@rallisaurus Some people just ruin nice names, you know? My friend was going to name her little boy Matthew, then she taught a little sh*t named Matthew in her class, and boom, now he's Justin.


@rallisaurus I was born in 1989 and there were several Emmas in my year at school; there were more Sophies that Sophias, but I suppose I still don't think of it as "old-fashioned" in the same way as Gertrude.


Ainferr Toulba?! It sounds....ethnic!

Dog Ballou

Y'all. I went to Ole Miss and this list sounds like half the girls in my sorority. Old South names are sooooo eccentrically old school.

Queen Elisatits

Number 25 seems like its the result of a paperwork mix-up, no?


the use of the Gloria Upson photo is genius


Myrtilla... how has this never occurred to me before? Dibs on Myrtilla, y'all!


#25's parents were creating Content before their time.


@stuffisthings That's... you should be ashamed. As should I, for giggling.


I think it must be Judith "Blow" Williams.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I like Barron as a girl's name.


Meredith Mustard bears repeating based on alliteration and syllabic flow. Might she be Colonal's wife? Also Joy Sleeper. I wish I were more of a joy sleeper rather than a randy sleeper. Welp, Randy Sleeper is a character I'm developing now.

Lush Life

Actual Wellesley College yearbook from 1947, viewable as a (low-res and slow-to-load) PDF or for download. The HAIR!


I just came here to say Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Brown. And her mother, "Oh Let's Not Stand On Ceremony, You Can Call Me" Lady Brown.


@par_parenthese Chummy!!!


Rahr Haffenreffer Rahr Haffenreffer Rahr Haffenreffer Rahr Haffenreffer...

Barry Grant




I started laughing as soon as I got to "Virginia Onderdonk".

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