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


By Anonymous (not verified)
July 20, 2005 1:28 AM

No joke.I was looking through old school yearbooks and found a one: Rusty Dike.

By Anonymous (not verified)
July 27, 2005 3:01 PM

What's with the racist crap?

By Anonymous (not verified)
July 29, 2005 1:44 PM

in response to " What's with the racist crap?"black people are known to make up foolish names for their children.It's not racist to observe reality. I imagine that you are a bleeding heart white person that is guilty about their race and feels that they should be offended for black people. Ironically your nobless oblige belies a deep ingrained paternalist racist world view.I assume that you are not black because if you were or actually knew black people you would know that blacks often make up foolish names for their kids.

By Korie (not verified)
August 3, 2005 7:21 PM

I went to school with boys named Mike Hunt and Dick Large (poor kids). I also knew a gal way back when named Starzanne Stipes. And I never forgot a guy in one of my college classes...Payne Blubaugh.

By Anonymous (not verified)
August 18, 2005 7:26 AM

School friend of mine, tragically took his life...his name was Richard Pierce, ie. Dick Pierce.Poor bugger- we are still unsure of the motive to this day

By Shelby (not verified)
August 23, 2005 4:22 PM

I was looking through my recent yearbook, and I found a Britney Spear and a My Dung Wynn.

By Meaghan (not verified)
August 24, 2005 3:20 AM

My sister is a physical therapist and has a little black boy as a client whose name is Shihade. But his mother has a New Jersey accent and when she says his name it sounds like Shithead. I'm predicting the child will end up on a psychiatrist's couch by the time he's thirty.

By Anonymous (not verified)
September 2, 2005 5:44 PM

When I was younger my family belonged to a sailing club and one of the guys (who was a pilot)was Dick Long. Also I went to high school with a girl named Love Lee she went by Love (she was a very nice girl)

By Anonymous (not verified)
September 13, 2005 5:08 AM

Heh heh, I do indeed know a Phuc. Goes by Pete. Have cousins Munday, her daughters Sunday and Spring Brook.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 4, 2005 1:55 PM

My partner had the name Shithead come through the ER on a lab requisition just a couple of months ago, and I have a patient who's name (on his drivers license) is Dick Head. His wife's name is Anita. I went to school with Dick Leak and my dad used to work for Harry Butz.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 7, 2005 2:32 AM

Looking at an alumni web page for my high schoolI found a person named Allegra!

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 20, 2005 7:24 PM

Oranjello and Lemonjello are NOT an urban legend. I know of two boys (not twins) who have these names. I also know a boy whose name is Benjamin (Ben) Dover. No lie.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 20, 2005 8:08 PM

As an ER physician I have come across many strange names. I once worked with a urologist named Richard Oliver Steele who we all called Dick O. Steel. I met an african american child named Neandra Thall. I have treated an Indian gentleman named Tak Ashit who we called Take A Shit. Another Dr. I know inadvertently named his children Sam and Ella.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 21, 2005 2:57 AM

There is a cardiologist at the hospital I work at named 'Royal Gay'. He makes fun of it too. Hes a white guy.

By The Mikado (not verified)
October 24, 2005 9:29 PM

I know a lady who works here at NASA who named her kid Shecola, because it was a girl (she) and mom liked Coke!All I could say was I was glad she didn't like Pepsi. I couldn't say Shepepsi without laughing up a lung...now, Shefanta - that I'd like.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 28, 2005 5:38 PM

This is addressed to some of the racist comments I have read on this website: I think it's IGNORANT that in 2005 people still can not respect the different cultures that are present in America and throughout the world for that matter. In particular, I am offended by some of the comments made about African Americans and how they have chosen to name their children. African Americans were separated from their African culture when they were stolen from their homeland and brought to America to provide free labor to build this country. They were beaten for speaking their language and trying to maintain their customs and so inevitably they lost track of their roots and everything that made them African with the exception of their skin color. African Americans are the only group of people in America that have completely lost to ties to their country of origin. They have lost ties to the customs, beliefs, community and languages of their homeland Africa! They were forced to leave their culture behind. They were forced to accept the American culture as their own. But, up until the Civil Rights Movement they were still rejected by the American government and the majority of private American citizens and treated as second class citizens. So, they have since tried to create their own form of culture. What you see today in the African American community is the product of what African Americans have tried to create for themselves…through their food, their music, their community, even their speech and yes their NAMES. African Americans are a people who were detached from their culture...and so they had to create their own…so they’ve taken a mixture of many different cultures and created one super-culture which is not African and not American, but is AFRICAN AMERICAN. The names many have chosen for their children demonstrate this. They have taken a mixture of African names and names of other origins and created their own names as a part of their effort to establish a form of culture here in America…something their children can hold onto and learn from and pass on to their children. Many of the names people call “unusual” or “weird” are of African origin or are Americanized variations of these names. Other names are from other ethnic backgrounds (Hebrew and Arabic names are very prominent in the African American community) or a combination of all of the aforementioned. And yes a few of the names are just plain and simply “made up”. But, still I think it’s ignorant to call these names “weird” or “stupid” because they are different from traditional American names. America is a diverse melting pot or have you forgotten? For example: There are names like Phuc (Vietnamese), Shahenaz, Prasheila and Shailendra (Indian), Keisha and Lateefa (African), Cheyenne (Native American), Aaliyah (Arabic, Hebrew), Doron (Hebrew), Jabari and Jelani (African). There are many names that some White (and other) Americans call “weird” because they are virtually unheard of in American culture, but are actually very common in India, Vietnam or Russia for example. If you go to India, the names “Emily, Abigail and Rebecca” would sound weird to them as well. And as a matter of fact American names such as “Taylor, Madison and Sydney “might sound downright stupid as the Hindu people have understanding of their origin! (I’ve noted an interesting fact that Hindu names, African names and African American names have many similarities.)People, we have to stop thinking American culture is the only culture in the world!I want to remind some of you of something that you seem to have forgotten: America is made up with different people from different cultural backgrounds and that is what has made this country great and wealthy! We are the most diverse country in the WORLD and we are the RICHEST COUNTRY (well maybe the 3rd) in the world and we are the last known SUPER POWER in the world. Hmmh…all of these things seem to be working together and the people who make up this country have a whole lot to do with that!

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 29, 2005 4:27 AM

I agree with the last poster about keeping in mind that it is a melting pot, but how about counselors and teachers suggesting to parents of transplanted/foreign kids, that they go by a nickname? Do you think the parent would have picked that name in their culture if it meant the same thing? No! So because they are ignorant, the kids shouldn't have to suffer. The school system should help out a little where it can and step up for the kids who can't help their own name!

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 4, 2005 12:57 AM

Regarding the names Oranjello and Lemonjello, my sister-in-law went to school a few years back with a set of twin boys by this name! It was due to the cravings the mother had when she was pregnant!

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 5, 2005 3:56 PM

I the cemetary many of my family members are buried in are gravestones which read Seymore Dick (See more) and Ada Dick (Ate a). These people have long been dead and the word "dick" probably wasn't as common for genetalia in the 1800s when they were born.

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 11, 2005 4:31 PM

Bo Jo. Talahassee, Florida.

By elle (not verified)
November 24, 2005 10:37 PM

I for a fact know of two twins named Oranjello and Lemonjello. They were seniors in highschool when I was a freshman. Yes, I can show you yearbooks. In fact, the first thing I thought when I saw the names on thw myth-list was, "Hey, I actually know those kids!"

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 5, 2005 10:43 PM

I'm so sorry but i have to say this. And i do not trying to be mean. But so of the things said on this site it vary racist. And you must be just stuped white people. And I'm sorry. That dose mean you clintjcl

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 5, 2005 10:47 PM

The last person sad stuped whit people yes they just dont understand. Like ever white kid i knew in high school was named Jessica and Tim. And we dont whant to be like them.

By KK (not verified)
December 12, 2005 3:39 AM

My dad is a local talk radio personality. Every morning he does a birthday list and a person on the list wins a cake. Our listeners don't particularly have great senses of humor all things considerd and we talk to the people who call in the birthdays, it is mostly older women who who are like the unofficial callers for their churches. Anyway, we've gotten some odd names over the years but one time my dad really did have to wish a happy birthday to Lemonjello and Orangejello. I can't remember if they won the cake. Perhaps the mother had heard the story and liked the names.Also, when I was younger I cheered for a junior football league. My mom used to sit in the stands during games meeting all the other moms (of both the cheerleaders and football players). She says one of her favorite moms (whose son played for my team and whose daughter cheered for an opposing team) had children with unusual names. Their names...Nurse and Doctor.

By KK (not verified)
December 12, 2005 3:41 AM

oh yes, I'm a file clerk in a law firm that deals with collections. Most of our records are african american and latino. I've run across many names. Here are some...Turkeesha, Georginia, Mirage

By KK (not verified)
December 12, 2005 4:08 AM

ok one more comment and I'm done. I don't think this is racist. i think that black people just come up with funnier names. But the white people have their share...I mean, look at all these white Hollywood types nowadays and the crazy names they give their kids. And, I grew up with Robert Roberts. My brother went to school with Ben Dover. No one is saying this is strictly a black thing, just that the REALLy wacky ones tend to be. Perhaps they are more creative...uh oh, that would be stereotyping too. I think the ultimate thing is that we all, no matter what color, need to seriously consider what we name our children. For instance, my last name is Walker. My mom (who was a hippie) always jokes (and it better be a joke) that she was going to name me Street. Yeah. No joke. Of course, she only came up with it cause my grandfather was obsessed with everyone having the initials SW. He even tried to get her to change her name when she married my dad.

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 14, 2005 2:59 AM

A friend knows a girl named Truley Boring (boring is her husbands name that she took). I think I would stick with my maiden name in that case.

By Chris (not verified)
December 14, 2005 2:34 PM

I knew a kid in middle school who's father was named Harry. The kids name was Andy Dick. He had a cousin named Anita Dick. And this isn't racist, but black people are stupid.

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 14, 2005 7:30 PM

I went to highschool with a boy named Will Igoe (will I go), he could have gone by Bill but he said he liked Will better.

By Cleveland Kent Evans (not verified)
December 20, 2005 3:41 AM

To the people who claim to have seen Orangejello & Lemonjello in a high school yearbook or other official record:Send me a notarized photocopy, and I'll believe it. No one has ever given me evidence that these twins exist, and I've been hearing about them for over 30 years. This is an urban legend, folks, and you are just making yourself look foolish by repeating it. There are some real examples of men named Orangelo (NOT "Orangejello", but a blend of Oren and Angelo), and the legend seems to have begun back when the singer Peter Lemongello (a legitimate Italian surname) was famous, so that's the kernel of truth in the legend. But twins named this? Sure.Send me the proof and I'll be happy to publicize it.Cleveland EvansPresident, American Name SocietyBellevue UniversityBellevue, NE 68005-3098

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 6, 2006 2:19 AM

my grandpa's high school yearbook shows a student named Art Fay - 'fart' in pig latin.

By jen (not verified)
January 8, 2006 9:21 PM

First of all, I think comments from ignorant people such as chris should not be allowed to be displayed as they are offensive. If only he could see how "stupid" he is for even posting a comment like that. What do you have to gain in making racist remarks? Are you trying to prove you are superior because you’re white? You just end up sounding like uneducated American white trash (look there's another stereotype for you). We are supposed to be discussing silly names, not stereotyping people. On that note, I would like share the name of my pharmacist: Seymour Weiner.

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 8, 2006 10:08 PM

Come on everyone. Just because people want to name their children "unique" names that involve 17 syllables and a silent "Q" doesn't automatically mean that they are black, asian, honkeys, etc. It just means that their anti-psychotic medications are in desperate need of adjustment. That, or maybe they ARE idiots and can't be helpd.

By KK (not verified)
January 10, 2006 4:17 AM

amen... anyone, regardless of race,religion, or nationality can name their kid stupid things that will get their kids taunted in school!

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 17, 2006 1:54 AM

Hi.I've been collecting crazy black names for over 11 years. I am strict about excluding nicknames - only verifiable, legal first names allowed.Here are a few of my favorites:http://www.jacksonayala.com/cbn.htmThanks,Jackson AyalaBronx, NY

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 23, 2006 1:11 AM

These are names of people who actually went to my school...Kita Lockette (Key to lock it)Diamond Penn (Diamond pin)Anita Riser (I need a riser)Kari Nichols (Carry nickels)Jack Imhoff (jack him off)FridayJenny TinnyBilly WilliamsCandy CaneDaquiri and Chablis GlimmerSome other funny ones...Crystal and Canon BallAdolf Oliver BuschRusty ToolAnd as for Allegra.... it was a name way before it was a pill... and a beautiful name in my opinion

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 23, 2006 3:19 PM

Can't vouch for the validity of this, but in my home town it is rumoured that there are twin girls named Atlantica and Oceania.

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 25, 2006 1:37 AM

I am a pediatrician who works in the greater Chicago area. I heard this story and always considered it to be apocryphal... Until I started my new job. I now know the nurses who took care of Lemonjello and ORANGEJELLO (note the corrected spelling). They were the mother's two favorite flavors of jello, per the nurses. They (if they are still around), are in their late teens or early twenties now. As for female, shithead, urine (pronounced your-eye-knee) and others, the truth is ALWAYS stranger than fiction.

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 27, 2006 12:10 AM

I worked with an event coordinator at a popular restaurant in San Francisco whose name was (and probably still is) Phil Ip. I also had a student years ago whose name was (and, again, probably still is) Mike Gudekuntz (pronounced goodie).

By Anonymous (not verified)
July 2, 2006 8:05 AM

In the eighties, I did hearing and vision screening on children. At one day care center, I queried the director about one name on my list of children to be tested. The girl's first name was Female. The director explained that is was pronounced Feh-MAH-lee and that the mother, having not yet decided on a name for her newborn, saw hospital paperwork listing the child's first name only as Female, for lack of anything else. The mother decided Fe-MAH-lee was a wonderful name. This is not an urban legend ... this really happened.

By Aquanetta (not verified)
October 11, 2006 6:41 PM

My name is Aquanetta and I appreciate having a name that stands out from the crowd. I have been quite successful in my endeavors and my name has presented few, if any known challenges.
My parents did not make up the name it was around way before my birth in the late '60's.
Check out the b-rated actress named Aquanetta who died in 2004. She was 83. She used the name for decades in many films.
I guess my parents were not that original after all.

By White Rabbit (not verified)
October 16, 2006 10:21 PM

My best friend's mom is Anita Thorndick. Also knew a guy at school who went by Harry Wang.

Weirdest I've heard is a guy at work, whose friend is named Stormy Misty Winters. She goes by Misty. Boo! Stormy is so much more intense!

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 26, 2006 10:20 PM

It saddens me so much that every time I read anything regarding names while trying to find a name for my son, posters end up being so racist and ignorant. Yes, some of these names are outrageous but to dismiss an entire race as stupid is hurtful and hard to take in 2006. I ask for blessing for those of you who have posted in such a negative manner. And to the main bloggers who insists that these names are urban legends, sorry but just because you haven't heard of them doesn't mean they don't exist.

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 26, 2006 10:24 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble blogger but while in the Air Force, there was an Airman Shitthead and an Airman Succup (Like Suck up). I also know a
Dusty House and a girl named Gamble. The world is a large place people!

By Crocostimpy (not verified)
November 29, 2006 9:19 PM

My wife told me a long time ago that she did some typing for a doctor and heard the names Lemonjello and Oranjello (sic). She asked someone else at the hospital and they told her that it was for real. I still thought she was pulling my leg, until I watched a program on Discovery Channel or something about the twins festival that's held in Twinsburg Ohio annually. They were talking to a girl who was remarking on all the friends she'd made at the festival. Including, you guessed it, Lemonjello and Oranjello. I never doubt my wife again.

As an aside, I used to work with a guy who swears he went to college with a Harry Quim.

By Amy (not verified)
December 9, 2006 1:35 PM

This may not take the cake when it comes to strangest of names in the book but in highschool I was friends with a guy whose name was Rocky, his last name was Rhodes. Better yet, his mom's name was Sandy. NO Kidding. . . clearly his mom did that on purpose. Also I went to highschool with two kids whose parents were hippies and my girl friend was named Windy (after the song) with a last name, Kidney. They other was a guy named Blue and his last name, Trip. We often joked that they should switch first names to become Windy Trip and Blue Kidney!

By Penny Candy (not verified)
February 3, 2007 7:34 PM

I love my name, I just happened to be in the group of Herr's. Its true all 18 of my Brothers and Sisters have crazy names. It just makes us more unique and makes people laugh. I get tons of compliments..

By Allie (not verified)
February 13, 2007 4:28 AM

This is absolutely true: a set of twins born in Arkansas named -- Ima (pronounced "I'm a") and Ura (pronounced "You're a"), and their last name was Hogg! Talk about cruel and unusual!
Lisa -- love your book!

By Cleveland Kent Evans (not verified)
February 15, 2007 10:18 PM

There was a real woman named Ima Hogg in Houston, Texas, the daughter of a former governor. One can easily find information about her in many reference books:


However, in spite of many legends, she did NOT have a twin named Ura, and no one has ever sent me proof that any Hogg family had twins with that combination of names.

And Orangejello & Lemonjello are still urban legends, folks. Notice no one has given proof -- they just repeat "the nurses told me" or "the people at the hospital _told_ her it was real." I'm sorry, but somebody TELLING you is not evidence, it's just how urban legends are spread! People TELL you, and they believe it themselves, but they are never able to offer concrete proof!
Again, if you have concrete proof, send it to me and I'll be happy to tell the world as an expert that such people really exist.
Cleveland K. Evans
Bellevue University
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098

By David (not verified)
February 22, 2007 9:08 PM

As wonderful as this all sounds you should really check ytour facts correctly... I lived in a community with an Orangello and a Lemongello -
Fort Myers - 1997 - Sorry to be the one who bursts your bubble - and yes people are that stupid - I also work in NYC today with a lady who named her child Intanet - YES you heard it....
THe truth is that as long as there are stupid people in the world - there will be stupid names -