On Naming, Part 2
November 12, 2011 § 2 Comments
In my first post on naming, I avoided commenting on naming trends particular to certain racial groups, specifically, the black penchant for adding “Da” or “D’ ” – and also “Ja” – to the beginning of existing names, giving us DaMarcus, Dashawn, DaWinston (I wish), etc. After talking to my dad on the phone the other night about this very issue, however, I decided I couldn’t keep my silence. He brought to my attention a name so hilarious I had to bring it to your attention as well: New York Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
If you pay more attention to football than I do – my interest is mostly limited to the Stanford Cardinal and the kind of football that is played with a round, black and white ball – you are probably already aware of our friend D’Brickashaw. It’s my understanding that the Jets are currently a successful team, and D’Brickashaw seems appropriately happy about this.
This man is adorable. I just want him to give me a giant hug. Instead, I’m going to make fun of his name.
Sorry, ‘Rick. Can I call you ‘Rick? I cannot address another human being as D’Brickashaw in all seriousness. Actually, let’s go with Brick. This man is 6’6 and 310 pounds, so I imagine he hits people like a brick wall.
Our friend Brick’s parents were quite ambitious, for they combined bad-naming strategies 1, 4, and 5 from my previous post. Strategy 4 involves naming your child with an existing English word. “Rickshaw” is an English word that was adapted from the Japanese word “jinrikisha” and that has been used since the 19th century, whereas “ricochet” comes from the French and means, “a glancing rebound (as of a projectile off a flat surface).” “Brick” is an English word meaning a “handy-sized unit of building or paving material typically being rectangular and about 2 1/4 by 3 3/8 x 8 inches (57 x 95 x 203 millimeters) and of moist clay hardened by heat” (Thanks, Merriam Webster. Note: being a massive linguistic nerd, I’d link to the Oxford English Dictionary online, but you need a paid subscription to read it, and since many people no longer pay to subscribe to newspapers, I doubt they’re lining up to shell out cash for the etymology of “teleological.”)
Strategy 1 involves spelling a normal name in a strange way, and while Brick’s parents didn’t do that, they did take normal words and spell them strangely. Of course, we could just diagnose a usage of Strategy 5, completely making up a name, and be done with it, since D’Brickashaw only retains passing likeness to any pre-existing word ever uttered.
Of course, perhaps his parents were simply prescient and knew that their son would grow up to be an NFL tackle, thus giving him an onomatopoeic name after the sound that opposing team’s players make when they bounce off his massive frame.
Perhaps, then, these psychic parents knew that their son wouldn’t have to worry about being teased for his unique name once he grew up to look like this:
Maybe they also knew, then, that in addition to being a fearsome giant,their son would be in good company with the other weirdly named NFL players. Frostee Rucker of the Cincinnati Bengals was obviously conceived and/or delivered in a Frostee Freeze, while C.J. Ah You of the St. Louis Rams was named after “the customary expression to use when you realize that the person walking through the shadows of your darkened home is just your spouse and not an ax wielding lunatic,” according to The Smoking Jacket.
Plaxico Burress, my favorite NFL player name, until I heard about Brick here, has done the seemingly impossible by living up to the incredible stupidity of his name. While he has yet to forge a dental cleanliness empire crusading against the dangers of plaque, he did accidentally shoot himself in the leg in a New York City nightclub, after the loaded Glock he had tucked into the waistband of his sweatpants (he should have been arrested for wearing sweatpants at a nightclub, forget the lack of a Concealed Carry permit) began to slide down his leg. Attempting to stop the gun from falling, Plaxico grabbed it and accidentally pressed the trigger, shooting himself in the leg. He was later arrested and charged with criminal possession of a handgun and reckless endangerment. His team, the New York Giants, were understandably less than thrilled and immediately tried to revoke the $1 million signing bonus Plaxico was due to receive. He was sentenced to two years in jail, serving most of that time, and after being released early this year, has returned to the NFL, playing for the New York Jets, along with our friend Brick.
Brick’s name is no longer anywhere close to the most embarrassing thing about a Jets player. This makes him happy.