Monday, April 2, 2012

Your 2011 Name of the Year

Is Taco B.M. Monster. Of course it's Taco B.M. Monster.

What were we thinking those scant 13 months ago when we gave Taco B.M. Monster a No. 2 seed? Did we actually believe the Dutch pharmacoepidemiologist bore an inferior name to any of the No. 1's—Monquarius Mungo (a pale imitation of 2009 NOTY Barkevious Mingo), Atticus Disney, stonegarden grindlife or La'Peaches Pitts? Did we?

Did we honestly not foresee that the author of "Oral Contraceptive Use and Hormone Replacement Therapy Are Associated With Microalbuminuria" would be Amsterdammed if he didn't don a clog and stomp the opposition into submission?

We did not. But then we always, foolishly, underestimate the power of a well-placed scatological onomastic reference. And a taco. And a monster. Especially when juxtaposed.

Let's recap. Dr. Monster ran roughshod over the field. Down went Florida murder victim Commie Spead. Then it was retired Lutheran preacher the Rev. Demon Sox. If ever we thought Taco B.M. Monster would be threatened, it was in a Wrestlemania-style Sweet 16 throwdown against wine merchant Monsterville Horton IV. Not even a speed bump. Elite 8: girlfriend attacker Vernon Lee Bad Marriage. Final Four: Neptune Pringle III.

And, finally, the final, a Nixonian 61-39 rout of Florida teen and fellow No. 2 seed Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson.

Welcome to the Hall of Champions, Taco B.M. Monster. Your fellow names stand and applaud.

(NOTY 2012 will commence soon. Or pretty soon. Soon-ish.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2011 NOTY Final

Flag us for delay of game. We won't stomp around like Ndamukong Suh (whose name, while not NOTY worthy, does mean "house of spears" in the dialect of his father's ancestral tribe, which is pretty cool). We will accept our five yards with humility and a pledge to do better next year, meaning this year.

Introducing your 2011 Name of the Year finalists...

Out of the Bulltron Region, he was arrested in November 2010 in connection with a string of bank robberies around Orlando, just 19 years old, standing five feet ten (in one sock) and weighing 155 pounds, according to his mug shot, from Leesburg, Fla., a No. 2 seed, Courvoisier Winetavius "Crime Tyme" Richardson.

And from the Netherlands, more specifically the Department of Social Pharmacy and Pharmacoepidemiology, Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration (GUIDE), Groningen, The Netherlands, or at least at the time of publication of "The impact of antihypertensive drug groups on urinary albumin excretion in a non-diabetic population" by the British Pharmacological Society, or maybe he's now at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus and Aalborg, Denmark, with whom he was affiliated at the time of publication of "Antidepressants and risk of first-time hospitalization for myocardial infarction: A population-based case-control study," he's also a No. 2 seed, out of the Dragonwagon Region, his name might be "perfectly normal" in Dutch, but we're not Dutch, Taco B.M. Monster.

Thank you for your continued support. Vote.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Final Four

Sure, in just six days, Grantland can complete a Wire bracket. (Can't wait for the White Shadow bracket; I've got Coolidge over Salami in the final.) Here at NOTY, meanwhile, it's taken us a mere year just to get to the Final Four.

But here we are.

To no one's surprise (except perhaps that of No. 3 seed Joe Shortsleeve; we can still watch that video all day), No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson finished off the Bulltron with an easy win over No.9 Rockwell C. Bonecutter. He'll face the Sithole champ, No. 4 Delorean Blow, who eked by the upstart No. 15 seed, medical illustrator Yolanda Supersad, who must be.

On the other side of the bracket, presumptive champion Taco B.M. Monster, the No. 2 seed in the Dragonwagon, blew out No. 5 Vernon Lee Bad Marriage Jr. He'll square off against the lowest seed standing, the Chrotchtangle No. 13, music man Neptune Pringle III, who barely dispatched the No. 2, former high-school runner Madz Negro.

Let's get the vote totals up, people. Spread the word, spread the NOTY love.

(The Wire characters, by the way? Weak names.)

No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson: Mug shot available.
No. 4 Delorean Blow: Mug shot not available.

No. 2 Taco B.M. Monster: Dutch pharmacoepidemiologist.

No. 13 Neptune Pringle III: Nickname: Tunes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Elite Eight, Part 2

It wasn't even close.

With a shocking rout of No. 11 seed Monsterville Horton IV, Dragonwagon Regional No. 2 Taco B.M. Monster announced himself as the favorite to flash the sign of the championship belt in balloting for the 2011 Name of the Year.

(Speaking of Dragonwagon, our very Crescent was just on public radio, talking beans—she's just written a book about them—with Tom Ashbrook of WBUR's "On Point." We love you, Crescent!)

Meanwhile, in light voting in the Chrotchtangle Regional—light, of course, because we've alienated our once-huge audience with these dilatory proceedings—the last remaining No. 1 seed, La'Peaches Pitts, went down by six votes, 323-317, to No. 13 Neptune Pringle III. Must have been the video.

Vote below.

Dragonwagon Regional
No. 2 Taco B.M. Monster:
Dutch pharmacoepidemiologist.
No. 5 Vernon Lee Bad Marriage Jr.: Defendant, United States v. Bad Marriage.

Chrotchtangle Regional

No. 2 Madz Negro:Mad runner.

No. 13 Neptune Pringle III: Mad musician.

Elite Eight, Part 1

Solo Alone, Chuntania Dangerfield, Ebenezer Noonoo and you up there, Leviticus Payne. Coach want to see you. And bring your playbook.

After a scant year, we're down to two in each of our esteemed regions. Bulltron and Sithole voting below. Go.

Bulltron Regional
No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson:
Florida mugshot model.
No. 9 Rockwell C. Bonecutter: Technology executive.

Sithole Regional

No. 4 Delorean Blow: North Carolina DWI offender.

No. 15 Yolanda Supersad: Georgia medical illustrator.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sweet 16: Chrotchtangle Regional

While you do the Chrotch—or is it actually the Kroch?—please enjoy the dance stylings of the Sweet 16's own Neptune Pringle III, with fellow B-Boy Break Dancer Mat Guenther, "dueling to the music of Fred Wesley & the New JBs" at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington last July.

Great name, great moves.


No. 1 La'Peaches Pitts: Mazeltov to the bride and groom!
No. 13 Neptune Pringle III:. "Tunes" can dance!

No. 14 Heidi Hohl: Realtor.

No. 2 Madz Negro: Runner.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sweet 16: Dragonwagon Regional

We love it when the highest-brow media discover NOTY. We flash back three decades, picture Baskerville Holmes or Herman Veal or Darryl Derryberry scrawled on a piece of lined yellow paper and taped to a dorm-room door. And then we imagine our reaction had some sophomore walked by and told us that The Economist would be writing about our onomastic obsession one day.

But here we are on that august British magazine's delightfully named language blog, Johnson (after the 18th century English lexicographer Samuel Johnson). The magazine's Johnson shows us some love, lists the Sweet 16 and asserts that "many such names belong to black Americans." Blogger R.L.G. (no names at The Economist!) continues:

It's not hard to understand why those cut off for centuries from full American citizenship and human dignity might not choose Dennis or Steve for their children. Many blacks have reached for Swahili influences in choosing names, though most black Americans' ancestors came from western Africa, not Swahili's heartland on the other side of the continent. But many names are either borrowed from unusual sources (brand names like Courvoisier) or made up (Chuntania)—nothing African about either. And I can verify that I have seen an African-American checkout clerk in New Orleans whose name-tag read "Bellowney", and in the same store, a Sayonara.

This is a subject we've tackled ourselves, as have people who, unlike us, actually study names. The Economist's analysis might not be airtight, but we'll agree with its key conclusion: "There's nothing racist at having a smile upon finding a Monsterville or a Chuntania."

Which segues right into the Dragonwagon and the sadly premature throwdown between Monsterville himself and Taco. May the biggest smile win.

No. 2 Taco B.M. Monster: Dutch pharmacoepidemiologist.
No. 11 Monsterville Horton IV: Houston wine salesman.

No. 8 RexAchilles Imperial: Texas swimmer.

No. 5 Vernon Lee Bad Marriage Jr.: Beat his girlfriend.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweet 16: Sithole Regional

Sithole time! Vote:

No. 8 Chuntania Dangerfield: Houston county employee.
No. 4 Delorean Blow: North Carolina DWI offender.

No. 11 Solo Alone: Australian rugby player.

No. 15 Yolanda Supersad: Georgia medical illustrator.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sweet 16: Bulltron Regional

We won't bother you with the details of our busy fall and winter, or our existential NOTY crises. OK, we will for a second. We've been doing this for more than a quarter century, in one form or another, and we've always feared the day when a Nohjay or a Nocandy or a Sidebottom just wouldn't do it anymore. During that busy fall and winter, it felt like that day had arrived.

But we're not willing to concede to Father Time just yet. And we apologize profusely for letting this -- ack, last! -- year's tournament slide. And we're ready to accept assistance for 2012. So how about we just say, wake-up call received, Upshake, and we get back to the business of selecting a 2011 Name of the Year?

Where we were? Oh, yes. The Sweet Sixteen. Let's start with the Bulltron Regional. Vote now.

No. 9 Rockwell Bonecutter: Technology executive.
No. 12 Leviticus Payne: University of Cincinnati defensive back.

No. 2 Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson : Armed robbery suspect.

No. 6 Ebenezer Noonoo: Ex-college hooper.