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Noisy Shrimp Named After Pink Floyd

Pistol shrimp's bright-pink claw makes such a loud sound it'll blow your mind

(Newser) - If you've ever been blown away by Pink Floyd, you'll get why scientists just named a similarly thunderous crustacean in its honor. Per a post in the Zootaxa journal , a species of pistol shrimp with an intensely colored red-pink claw, found in the Pacific Ocean near Panama, has... More »

Stranger Enjoys Free Trip to Spain—Because of His Name

The 21-year-old joined a surprise 30th birthday trip

(Newser) - When a complete stranger messaged Joe McGrath on Facebook last week about a free trip to Spain, the 21-year-old in Manchester, England, thought it sounded like a hoax. But he says the invitation kept replaying in his head, and soon he found himself on the phone with a man who... More »

Royal Caribbean Asks 'Boaty McBoatface' Guy to Help Name Ship

He's offered a cruise as publicity stunt

(Newser) - Royal Caribbean has crowdsourced the public before to help it name its cruise ships, but it's tapping into a rather unusual source this time around: the guy who came up with "Boaty McBoatface." The company invited British bloke James Hand—whose "whimsical moniker," as a... More »

Most Common Name in the US Is Identified

It's James Smith, according to two groups of analysts

(Newser) - Statistical experts at undertook a project last week to discover the most common name in the US. Based on an investigation of Social Security Administration first-name records, Census data on last names, adjusted probabilities, and a number of statistical steps, the site ultimately estimated that "James Smith"... More »

To Sound Smarter, Use Your Middle Initial

And if you want people to trust your kid, give him an easy-to-pronounce name: studies

(Newser) - Want to be seen as an intellectual? Here's an easy first step: Start using your middle initial in writing. Doing so, a study finds, boosts "positive evaluations of people's intellectual capacities and achievements." The study—run by researchers Wijnand A.P. van Tilburg and Eric R.... More »

Guy Named 'God' Has a Problem

He's had to file a lawsuit over credit reporting issue

(Newser) - If you thought Rainbow Aurora , Lyric Sonny Roads Goldberg , Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele , and whoever made these laws necessary had it bad, consider the plight of God Gazarov. The Russian-born Gazarov was named after his grandfather, and now lives in Brooklyn. But the 26-year-old businessman was recently rejected for an auto loan... More »

Parents Can Name Baby 'Messiah,' Judge Rules

Says original judge acted unconstitutionally by ordering name change

(Newser) - A Tennessee woman will be allowed to name her 8-month-old son "Messiah," a judge ruled today, overturning an order from another judge who said the boy's name should be changed to Martin because "'Messiah' is a title that is held only by Jesus Christ."... More »

Hawaii Chops Woman's Super-Long Last Name

It's 'Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele'

(Newser) - Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele was used to her last name not fitting on her Hawaii driver's license, which drops the last letter (and must also exclude her first or middle name). But now her state ID—which she's always carried because it included her full name—also includes the shortened... More »

Tenn. Judge: Baby Can't Be Named 'Messiah'

She names child 'Martin' instead

(Newser) - According to one Tennessee judge, only one person in history deserves the name "Messiah"—so on Thursday she changed a 7-month-old's name to Martin instead. "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that... More »

Dolphins Have Names for Each Other

They respond to 'signature whistles': researchers

(Newser) - Sure, call him Flipper, but he's probably already got a name among his own kind. Bottlenose dolphins appear to have individual identifying whistles, researchers in Scotland find. The scientists recorded the "signature whistles" of several of the animals in a group, along with other sounds they make. The... More »

Pope Francis: The Meaning Behind the Name

Celebrates St. Francis of Assisi: Vatican

(Newser) - So we've got a new pope , and he's got a new name—but what exactly does the moniker mean? It's a salute to St. Francis of Assisi, says a Vatican spokesman.
  • For a Jesuit pope, the choice is a nod to the Franciscans, often seen as Jesuit
... More »

Iceland Teen Can Use 'Unapproved' Name

'Blaer,' meaning 'light breeze,' wasn't on list of OK names

(Newser) - An Icelandic 15-year-old whose name had been, for all official purposes, just "Girl," has won a lawsuit to keep her given name. Iceland's government had held that she couldn't use the name Blaer because it wasn't on the country's approved-name list, which rules out... More »

Iceland Teen Fights to Keep Name of 'Light Breeze'

Government says 'Blaer' is not on the approved list

(Newser) - The unusual lawsuit of the day comes from Iceland, where a 15-year-old is suing the government to keep her given name of "Blaer." The problem, as the AP explains, is that it's not on the list of 1,853 approved names for girls. It translates into "... More »

To Really Shake Up Your Life, Change Your Name

Anonymity offers the chance for a fresh start: Alina Simone

(Newser) - Twelve years ago, Alina Vilenkin took her mother's maiden name and became Alina Simone, and with the switch came a whole new life. She went from being a person who never followed through on anything to one who finally pursued her true passion: singing. "I changed my name... More »

Can Your Name Influence Your Job Choice?

Experts say yes in new study

(Newser) - Ever noticed how perfect the name Wordsworth is for a poet, or wondered whether Usain Bolt's last name prompted his running career? Researchers are currently investigating whether one's name can influence one's choice of job, with one study already suggesting it can. Indeed, it's become a... More »

In Western States, Weirder Baby Names

You'll find more traditional names in the original 13 states

(Newser) - Sarah Palin's brood—Bristol, Willow, Track, Piper, and Trig—are more typical than you think, at least when it comes to their names. Babies born in the youngest of the 50 states have more unusual names than newborns in the original 13 states and their neighbors, finds a new study.... More »

Japanese Women Sue to Keep Maiden Names

Group is challenging requirement to take husband's name

(Newser) - Reminiscent of the Shogun TV miniseries set in 17th-century Japan, women there still must change their last names to that of their husbands when they marry. So a number of happily married women are suing the government over the requirement, seeking to use their maiden names instead, reports the Guardian... More »

Dads' Names Demoted in Spain

Father's surname won't get automatic priority

(Newser) - A planned change to Spain’s baby-naming laws means dads’ monikers will no longer automatically take precedence, the Guardian reports. In Spain, people typically have two last names, with the father’s traditionally appearing first—and automatically taking the first slot if the parents can’t agree on an order.... More »

Mohammed: Top Brit Baby Name?

'Oliver' tops official list

(Newser) - Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys in England, according to some calculations. Official figures released this week reveal that Oliver is now the country's most popular boy's name—ending Jack's 14-year-reign—but some publications have noted that if the various spellings of the prophet's name were... More »

Yes, I'm a Mom— But That's Not My Name

(Newser) - The latest trend in nomenclature rings false to at least one person who recently realized that "Mom" has become "the now generic name for every female parent in our country." Thinking it over, Anne Albeck dates the phenomenon to the early '90s, but familiarity—and overfamiliarity—... More »

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