Oranjello and Lemonjello

Sep 26th 2004

So you've heard about the twin boys named Oranjello and Lemonjello, right? No? Then probably your aunt the nurse knew a woman who heard a beautiful name in the hospital where she was giving birth, and decided to name her daughter...Chlamydia. Or was it Gonorrhea?

These legends have been around for generations. The details change--the veneral disease girls would have been named Eczema 100 years ago--but the core is the same. The key is a stupendously ignorant mother who doesn't understand what she's done. And often, there's an ugly racial undertone to the humor.

Yes, people do get stupid and crazy names, but most of the parents knew what they were doing, for better or worse. Most of them. Here, for reference, are some of the most common tall tales of cursed children and the parents who named them:

Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Placenta, etc.: Sounds reasonable, right? Nope.

Oranjello and Lemonjello, the twins: Forget about it. Though Mark Lemongello did pitch for the Astros and Blue Jays in the '70s.

Male and Female--that's "MAH-lay" and "feh-MAHL-ay": The story is that the parents saw the word written on the baby's hospital bracelet and thought the doctor had already chosen a name.

Nosmo King: This one's from a sign in the hospital, get it?

Shithead--that's "shuh-THEED," thank you very much: No way. But don't neglect factual football star Craphonso.


Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the urban legend names is that they're not true. It's a big country, and you'll find plenty of real people named Robin Banks and Sunny Day.

Next up: Fact names, stranger than fiction

Comments

1
By ClintJCL (not verified)
December 8, 2004 8:07 PM

One of my crap jobs involved looking through medical files at George Washington University hospital. Literally 75% of these records were African-Americans with no health insurance who had gotten into a fight that hospitalized them. Literally 50% were addicted to cocaine.Anyway, I did find two hilarious firstnames for people's babies: Princess, and VELVEETA.I think VELVEETA takes the cake.Actually, that would be a bad-tasting cake.

2
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 10, 2005 12:50 AM

I actually do know (not the kid of the aunt of a friend of a friend, but actually know her myself) a girl named Senta whose name was inspired by the word "placenta". I believe her only because the details of the story make it plausible. Sister 3-4 years older; hippy parents who explained the birth process to the sister and then allowed her to help pick a name.

3
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 11, 2005 7:30 AM

There really was a girl named Tijuana in my 6th grade gym class. (It was in San Diego.)At another point, I worked in a college administrative office and came across the name "Tsz Ng". I always thought that was probably one of the shortest first and last name combos around, and also one of the most difficult to pronounce!

4
By Rose (not verified)
February 11, 2005 2:02 PM

I have a pediatrician friend who swears he knows twin boys named Boya and Boyb (Boy A and Boy B, on their hospital bracelets).

5
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 11, 2005 10:50 PM

I knew a guy in high school whose name was spelled "Timonthy" but insisted on it being pronounced "Timothy" saying "it's a silent n". Sure. I never asked him, but always assumed his parents didn't know how "Timothy" was supposed to be spelled

6
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 13, 2005 12:46 AM

Very easy to dismiss these as urban legends just because you haven't encountered them. But my father's had a patient who named her daughter Gonorrhea and Syphillis ("sih - phillus") and another whose name is Spud Potate - and a family friend swears to have had students named Oranjello and Lemonjello.

7
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 14, 2005 2:55 AM

Two thaughts - One I did have a sunday school teacher who's first name was Kimerly - her mother was so nervous filling out the bith certificate she misspelledSecond my husband worked with a girl named Sauna (not sure if that is the correct spelling) she joked that was where she was concieved but states that it is considered a perfectly good name in her parents native Norway.

8
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 14, 2005 6:09 PM

I actually met a light skinned African American lady at a shopping mall whose name was Vanilla. "But Vanilla, you're chocolate!" She was a beautiful girl, with a personality to match.

9
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 15, 2005 12:11 AM

My oldest son really did have second-grade classmates named Lemonjello (la mon ghe lo) and Oranjello (a ron ghe lo), and yes, they were African-American twin boys.

10
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 15, 2005 2:51 PM

My sister in law works at a ob-gyn office where they sent back pictures and names of the baby and claims there was a lady who named her girl "She-tahd" a.k.a shithead.

11
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 18, 2005 12:12 PM

Speaking of Velveeta, perhaps there will soon be a "Food Names" category.I know a family with the last name "Baer". They named their daughter HONEY. (Son Theodore they call TEDDY.) Ouch.Our good friend has classmates - sisters - named Paprika and Cumin.Candy and Sugar seem a bit tame by comparison.With the somewhat pretentious last- name-as-first-name trend upon us (i.e. Paxton, Harrison etc.), wine and grape varietal names will soon follow. Pinot Smith, Shiraz Jones and Chardonnay Johnson are coming to a preschool near you, I swear it.

12
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 21, 2005 11:58 AM

In the neighborhood where I grew up a Hippie couple with the sirname Pool named their little girl Jewel...Jewel Pool!

13
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 22, 2005 9:17 PM

Bad names seem to pop up every decade. My sister when to school with a Herberta Hoar. Dads name was Herbert and wanted a boy and got a girl instead. I went to school with Darling Loving, Candy Kane, and Star Bright. I once knew a women by the name of Jan Grocock but luckily she got married and her name changed to something normal. I really pitied her brother!

14
By totmom (not verified)
February 23, 2005 7:14 AM

I think that these "urban legend" names have actually become factual due to their legendary status. Imagine, an african american mother gives birth to twins...what better way to have them go down in history than by naming them Oranjello and Lemanjello?My problem is when parents name their kids a first name that when paired with their last name means something. That drives me nuts. For example, I have known people in my life with the following names:Justin CasePenny BanksLefton WrightCrystal Shanda LearWendy DaySunny Day -- Sisters (not twins)Honey MoonIt also bothers me when people "double up" their first name and last name, ie John Johnson, Tom Thompson, or David Davidson. This shows a complete lack of creativity on the parents part. Course, having too much creativity is also a problem!Personally, as a former school teacher I have heard some bad ones in my time. We had twins named Emerald Jade and Sapphire Star...those sounded like stripper names if you ask me. Some favorites also include Tyrrani, Merconia, Aquanetta, and Prissy. Also, in school, you can see what the effect of having a stupid name can do to a child. There are pleanty of normal names out there, why do people feel the need to make up their own??

15
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 23, 2005 6:33 PM

I really thought that Otto Titzling (tit sling)invented the brassiere. According to some website, it's just urban legend rooted in some 1972 novel.

16
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 24, 2005 1:02 PM

my mom knew a man once named Harry Dick. Also my family is predisposed to weird names my cousin named her kids Zenobia and Nuvel(Navrose), and her friend has a kid named Spatula.

17
By Anonymous (not verified)
February 25, 2005 6:39 PM

I'm a teacher & an associate actually taught a shithead & her little brother, Demon. I taught a youngest child, Finale and had numerous Phuc's including Phuc Yu - he pronounced it puck.

18
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 7, 2005 7:58 PM

My husband used to work with a woman named Gonorrhea, but she pronounced it Gah-NOR-ah. That was in Cleveland, Ohio in the late 1980s.

19
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 8, 2005 3:32 AM

This isn't somebody who knew somebody .. but I went to high school with Jay Red BirdRobbie Blue BirdJustin Other Bird

20
By Julia (not verified)
March 10, 2005 1:55 AM

I used to temp for a large insurance company, and I often spent my downtime persuing the company directory for unusual names. There was a Dick Rash, a Dick Burns, and the worst ... Tijuana Hooker. Poor thing. My parents were hippies, and they often remind me that I'm lucky I'm not a "Rainy" or a "Moonshadow" (both names of children I went to school with.) The worst name, however, belonged to a girl whose parents apparently put a lot of thought into coming up with the silliest name possible. Their last name was Seancy ("see-an-see"), so they named their daughter Nancy Anne ... Nancy Anne Seancy.

21
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 10, 2005 4:15 AM

I knew a Peter Pan, a Spring Blossom (she actually changed her name to that though) and a Tiffany Topps.

22
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 13, 2005 12:47 AM

My mother was a nurse on an OB floor in the 70's and once assisted a couple in the delivery their 12th child. Naturally, they had exhausted their supply of names and took some time to come up with one for their new son. One day, while standing down at the nursery staring at their newborn and brain-storming for names, they heard the nurses discussing meconium (which, for anyone who doesn't know, is the medical term for a baby's first stool). They decided that was very interesting and called their new son that!

23
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 15, 2005 1:55 AM

There was actually an article about a single man on the methodone program in Phoenix (this actually made the cover of the "living" section of the Sunday paper. He named his children... and you can research this for yourself in the Arizona Daily Republic...DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....SpidermanAquamanand last but not least...Wonder Woman.I also lived three houses from a woman named Dinah who married Marty Mite--- making her name "Dinah Mite". Didn't last long... gee I wonder why????

24
By Jeff Dougan (not verified)
March 22, 2005 1:33 PM

My stepfather cop once wrote a ticket (speeding, I think) to a woman named Female (FEM-uh-lee) Johnson.

25
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 23, 2005 3:15 PM

I had a neighbor whose name was Aquanet. And when she introduced herself to me, she said, "Yep, it's after the hairspray!"

26
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 23, 2005 3:23 PM

Knew of a couple that named their baby girl, Guiness (after the beer.)

27
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 24, 2005 4:11 AM

My aunt teaches twins: Toyota and Tercel.

28
By Anonymous (not verified)
March 29, 2005 8:06 PM

when I was in 5th grade, my teacher was pregnant for the 1st time so we all tried to think of names for the baby. My favorite was, "Mercedes". My teacher's last name was "Benzel".

29
By Anonymous (not verified)
April 4, 2005 9:56 PM

I teach in a predominantly minority area. One of my students is a twin--named Alazay and his twin brother is Tangeray...I know the spelling isn't the same--but, you take a guess as to the meaning!

30
By Kristin (not verified)
April 25, 2005 7:38 PM

I knew a guy in high school named Adam Hoar - a damn hoar. Funniest thing was they were a hyper-religious family. :)

31
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 4, 2005 6:08 PM

I'm from Detroit and let me tell you somethin son...Tequila Sunrise (first and middle name of a girl I went to school with)... another girl named Venus. she was weird... an Irish kid named Tom Collins... worked with a guy who's sister was named Aquanetta... and the notorious twin brother's Coco and Jojo...

32
By Marla (not verified)
May 5, 2005 1:51 PM

The first boy I ever kissed - in Kingergarten - was named Guy Herr.

33
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 5, 2005 8:07 PM

When my husband and I were waiting in the doctor's office the nurse came out and called "Malaria? Malaria,the doctor can see you now." We could hardly believe that we had heard correctly but we BOTH heard it.

34
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 6, 2005 11:35 AM

I once knew of a girl named Venerea (as in venereal). She took a class at a school for pregnant teens that a friend of mine taught.

35
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 6, 2005 11:43 AM

I know a girl who goes by Laura, but her name on her driver's lisence, birth certificate - everything - is Lalura. The doctor mispelled it after she was born.

36
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 6, 2005 7:48 PM

I used to live in a suburb of Augusta, Georgia, which has a very high Indian/Pakistan population. My brother had a boy in his class named Shithead, pronounced Shuh-Theed. Substitute teachers would demand that the boy tell them his real name, as obviously "shithead" had to be a joke. Alas, it was not.

37
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 7, 2005 11:48 PM

I have known a couple of crazy names, including a teacher named Shirley Purdy. I met a guy in university named Rong Rong (it must have been hard to keep positive about his accomplishments while growing up!) Someone I knew also knew a girl named Isadore ("Is a door") Laporte ("the door" in French). Talk about a name that's a sentence... that one's a question!

38
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 9, 2005 1:19 AM

Anyone see the website about a baby girl named Aryan Justice???Horrible for the innocent unknowing child. If its true...

39
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 12, 2005 8:58 PM

I knew a girl in high school was was named Kari Hunt. Not a bad name pair, but switch the first letters of each name and you'll see what everyone in school called her.

40
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 25, 2005 2:12 PM

I have a friend whose cousins names were Soda Pop Dylan, and Magnolia Sunshine.. talk about hippies :)

41
By Anonymous (not verified)
May 27, 2005 2:07 PM

Here at the hospital, I had a specimen for a patient whose name was "Dermatritis." Were the parents trying for Demetrius and had some spelling issues? Or were they sincerely aiming for a combination of dermatitis and detritus? Who knows?

42
By Anonymous (not verified)
June 11, 2005 3:49 PM

True... there was a TV sports reporter that went by "Brad Face" because his real first name was Richard. i.e., "Dick Face"Classmate in college: Benjamin Dover (bend over)

43
By pdx_photoman (not verified)
June 17, 2005 2:17 AM

Veteran metereologist George Winterling of WJXT in Jacksonville, Florida named his daughter Wendy Gail. Wendy Gail Winterling.

44
By Anonymous (not verified)
June 17, 2005 6:19 AM

My friends dad is Richard Powers, aka Dick Powers.

45
By Anonymous (not verified)
June 19, 2005 10:04 PM

Whoever said Zenobia was a weird name, it's not. I happen to think it's gorgeous. And furthermore, it's Greek. At least the person who used it is probably literate. Which is more than you can most likely say for people who make up kree8tyve spellings and say it's unusual.

46
By Anonymous (not verified)
June 20, 2005 8:22 PM

Dont Forget Dick Buttkiss.

47
By Anonymous (not verified)
June 20, 2005 10:33 PM

A good friend of mine has actually taught a kid named Shithead (shuh-THEED). That one's not just a legend. He also had a student named Vagina (vuh-GEEN-uh).Another friend went to high school with a girl named Star Twinkle. No joke, I saw her in his yearbook.Weird names can be fun, though. My friend is a crazy music dork, and is planning on naming his future child Caesura (shih-ZOR-uh).

48
By Anonymous (not verified)
July 3, 2005 4:04 AM

Guy Herr is actually my brother. we are cursed with crazy parents. our names are as follows; jennifer jane herr, guy ease herr, roy milton herr, levi kid herr, johnni jo herr (female), billy jack herr, penny candy herr, and last, but not least.... reverand blujeans herr.

49
By Anonymous (not verified)
July 4, 2005 11:06 PM

My name is Aquanetta. I have had this name for over 50 years. For those that think it is a stupid name it's sort of like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And as for those who think themselves better than others, due to a name, looks, race, sex, or place in life again intelligence is in the eye of the beholder. In my 50 + years as Aquanetta, I have meet many people, visited many places, accomplished wonderful things and learned that stupidity can be attached to Johns, Lindas, Steves and Rebeccas to just name a few.

50
By Anonymous (not verified)
July 11, 2005 3:36 AM

My cousin went to basketball camp with a girl named Deaquaneta. I'm not sure if the spelling is right on that, but thats how it is pronounced. I also knew a girl named Patricia.(pa-tree-see-a). she's a very nice girl.