What's Your Seashell Name?

Apr 19th 2013

This special Spring Break edition of the Baby Name Wizard Blog comes courtesy of a regional seashell identification chart. As pretty as the shells are, what really captured me was their names.

A thick but otherwise unremarkable clamshell takes on gravitas as the Ponderous Ark. A tiny cone of whorled white, like a miniature serving of soft-serve ice cream, goes by the improbably Dickensian name Humphrey Wentletrap. And don't you feel a little betrayed  at the thought of a False Cerith?

Shell names come in several flavors, which correspond to the main categories of surnames. Locative names indicate a place you're associated with, as in the surname Meadows or the shell name North Atlantic Whelk. Occupational names indicate a job or function you perform, like Baker or the Borer Shell. Personal association names are taken from the given name of someone you're linked to, as in Anderson or the Fulton's Cowrie. Finally, physical nicknames take their cues from distinctive elements of appearance, like Bianchi or...ah how to choose? For it's in the physical descriptions that seashell names really soar. The Hard-Edged Fleshy Limpet, the Blood-Mouthed Conch, the Wrinkled Dog Winkle, the Turkey Wing?

Looking over the chart I couldn't help but contemplate, if I were a seashell, what would they call me? So in the grand tradition of "what's your soap opera name" (middle name + street where you grew up) and "porn name" (childhood pet + street), let's find our seashell names. I'll give you two options:

Place you grew up + Breed of first pet + First object you see when you look up from your computer


Word that describes your hair + Your best feature + -ed + Occupation

I look forward to reading about all of you New Jersey Spaniel Teacups and Curly-Lipped Teachers.


p.s. You still have time to enter the annual Baby Name Pool! The deadline has been extended to April 20 to welcome new BNW blog readers from the Huffington Post. So fill out your ballot now!


April 19, 2013 11:07 AM

I got:

Conejo Valley American Shorthair Watering Can (short form California Shorthair Watering Can), and

Thin-legged Homemaker

And because of my completist streak, my soap opera name is Michael -- just Michael -- and my porn name is Bütyök Michael(s). They really don't work nearly as well as Laura's shell-name formulae.

April 19, 2013 11:35 AM

Austin Siamese Canned Air?  Unkempt-Eyed Mother?  

Certainly more entertaining that most Weird Name Generators.


April 19, 2013 12:20 PM

I am LOL-ing at these already!

Here are mine:

Woodlawn German Shepherd Vase

Frizzy-Teethed Entrepeneur

And for good measure, my soap opera name: Alice Lylewood

Porn name: General Lylewood (I love this one!)

April 19, 2013 12:29 PM

Virginia Schnauzer Onesie (toddler is nearby)


Wavy-Eyed Teacher

Soap name: Ann King Mountain

Porn name: Pumpkin King Mountain (alternate: Mr. Lucky King Mountain, but that seems weird since I'm female)

April 19, 2013 12:49 PM

Seashell names:  Silver Spring Tabby printer or Pixie-eyed mom

I'll add my soap opera name:  Antoinette Briggs


By Amy3
April 19, 2013 1:14 PM

Stillwater Mutt Paper Clip or Pixie-Smiled Librarian


April 19, 2013 2:25 PM

These are awesome!

Nevada Boxer Tumbler

Bob-Eyed Professor


And just to round it out: 

Soap Opera - Louisa Keystone

Porn Star - Cassie Keystone

April 19, 2013 4:33 PM

Sea shell names;
Wood Lake Mutt Television & Dirty Eyed Homemaker -> LOL

Soap Opera- Lynne First Avenue
Porn Star- Kricket 30th

April 19, 2013 4:48 PM

Brilliant, Laura! Although I don't think any of us can quite compete with some of those real shell names you shared!


I would be Santa Monica Moggy Blanket or Wavy-Legged Coach.

April 20, 2013 12:30 AM

Well, since I've never had a pet, I'm going to do multiple versions of the second seashell name formula. I'm a rebel that way.

Curly-smiled student?

Raven-waisted researcher?

No. Black-hourglassed doctoral candidate (I don't know what you're talking about. That isn't wordy at all.)


Oh, and I seriously laughed at "Unkempt-Eyed Mother" and "Dirty-Eyed Homemaker". Seriously, can't you see an artisanal jam company or something named Dirty-Eyed Homemaker?

April 20, 2013 12:43 AM

Washington Teddy Bear Hamster Microwave


Thick Eyed RN


April 20, 2013 10:17 AM

This has made my day!  You can call me the Oxfordshire Ginger Tabby Dictionary.  Or the Short-Smiled Librarian (hi, @Amy3!)

April 20, 2013 6:32 PM

Super fun.  I think this would be an awesome party game.  Let everyone guess who's who.

I'm Lindon Dalmation Ruler or

Brave Lashed Mamma

(My friend told me my new hair cut was "brave")


April 21, 2013 10:48 AM

Ahahahaha!  These are great.  Mine are:

West Des Moines German Shorthaired Pointer gourd-chicken 

(we have a standing sculpture of a chicken fashioned out of gourds which is pretty hard to describe).

Shiny-cheekboned med student.  

I'm not convinced either of these matches the brilliance I'm seeing above, but my soap opera name is pretty great:

Elaine Ashworth.

April 21, 2013 12:01 PM
  • Shell 1) Adelaide Labrador Lamp
  • Shell 2) Curly Haired Lamp Speech Therapist?!?
  • Soap Opera Name: Francesca Ray
  • Porn Name: Beauty Briardale (In Australia, we say this is your first pet and first street you lived on)..


April 21, 2013 12:06 PM

Shell 1: Michigan Cockatiel Jewelry Box

shell 2: Brunette Smiled Paraprofessional (love this one!)


Soap opera: Rose Summerset

April 22, 2013 2:52 AM

Hahaha, how could I turn down a go at this game?

Option 1) Rossford Cocker Spaniel Comforter
Option 2) Red Teethed Accountant (my favorite, also sounds like a Tim Burton monster)

April 22, 2013 4:45 PM

Hee hee . . .


1) Airforce Mutt Child

2) Red Haired Mother

April 23, 2013 9:03 AM

OK, lets have a go...

Shell 1: West ST Paul Jack Dancer
(long version: West St Paul Jack Daniel Chihuahua cross Dancer)
Shell 2: Black-Lipped Educator

And, for good measure:
Soap Name: Alexander Beechwood
Porno Name (because "porno" is waay dirtier-sounding than just "porn"): Mitzi Pendennis

April 23, 2013 1:14 PM

Hee hee!

Shell 1:  West Haven Labrador Holepunch

Shell 2:  Curly-Tushed Educator


Mine are lame compared to some of those out there.  This is fun!

April 23, 2013 3:39 PM

Shell 1: Bellevue Siamese stuffed Koala

Shell 2: Auburn eyed substitute teacher

April 23, 2013 4:17 PM

For the sake of completeness, I'm doing all the names:

Soap opera name: Violet-Heather Dalkeith

Porn name: Woody Windred (... it's almost a shame I'm female...)

Seashell 1: Gilgandra Cavy Curtain

Seashell 2: Fritzy Eyed Receptionist

April 23, 2013 6:01 PM

Too fun!

Panaca Rex Sunlight

or Long-lashed Mother

Soap opera: Lee Ranch (sounds more like a salad dressing)

Porn: Shadow Ranch

April 23, 2013 8:22 PM

Soap opera: Blaine Shipe

Porn: Smokey Shipe

Shell: a) Sunbury Laborador Retriever Lighthouse

b) Fine Green-eyed Medical Technologist

April 23, 2013 10:48 PM

Florence Maltese Blanket 


Curly Eyed Therapist

Soap: Dawn Hope

Porn: Sugar Hope

April 25, 2013 3:14 PM

These are way too funny!

Soap Opera Name: Jayne Lakeside

Porn Name: Smokey Lakeside although I've always suggested Ecstasy which is an anagram of my first name.

Seashell name: Wavy Legged Mother (um??- no)

Or-Norwalk Collie Toaster

April 26, 2013 3:27 PM

Carolina Calico Book


Brown Eyed Mom

May 4, 2013 10:37 PM


Olympia Angora Lamp


Curly-eyed Teacher.


I love the first one!

May 9, 2013 1:56 PM

Monrovia Lab Turtle


Curly Haired Mom

I think the second one is my name...

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