July 16 – Happy Birthday, Anna Smashnova

Posted on July 16, 2017

If you wanted to be a tennis player, wouldn't Smashnova be a really great last name?

Born on this date in 1976, Anna Smashnova was born in the Soviet Union and moved to Israel in her teens. She had a good - but not super-fantastic-amazing - career in professional tennis, reaching #15 as her top ranking. 

She won 12 finals, and as a junior she won a Grand Slam championship. 

And she may have won the Best Name for a Tennis Player competition, if there had ever been one!

(Margaret Court, the Australian tennis great, could be runner up.)

What's in a name...?

Some people do not have the perfect name for their chosen profession. 

Like dentist Ken Hurt...don't you think he should've changed his name?

Dr. Richard Chopp does some surgical procedures that involve careful cutting, not chopping.

Bob Walk became a pitcher. Hopefully, he didn't throw a lot of walks!

And come on! A lawyer named Sue Yoo? Is that a joke? (It's apparently not.)

Others do have perfect names, like Smashnova. Here are a few more:

Brad Slaughter became a meat manager at a store. Perfect!

President Ronald Reagan had a spokesman named Larry Speakes. (Honest!)

Sara Blizzard and Larry Sprinkle both report the weather. And Amy Freeze is a meteorologist (someone who studies the weather) as well as an onscreen weather reporter.

Scott Speed became a race car driver.

Michael Vickers became a vicar (a pastor).

Marion Moon birthed and raised the second human ever to step on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin.


I don't know if these last two examples are oh-no's or very-cool's. I guess they're moderately ha-ha?:

Mr. White, who is a Republican politician, has the first name Rich. So, on the ballot, this is what you see:


And Mr. Guy sometimes appears on TV to discuss current events. His first name is Christian, so the name bar underneath his face, when he's on TV, reads, "Christian Guy."

These fellows should probably go with Richard White and Chris Guy, but maybe they appreciate the grins. I mean, in a world where there's a gardener named Bob Flowerdew, why shouldn't we interview some Christian Guy on TV, or elect some Rich White (Republican)?

Here's the great thing about all this - there are names for these sorts of names: 

A name that is especially well suited to its owner is called an aptronym. (The word apt means appropriate, suitable.)

And a name that is ironic or seems like the exact opposite of a well-suited name is called an inaptronym. (Yep, you guessed it; the word inapt means inappropriate, unsuitable.)

Also on this date:

Global Hug Your Kids Day

Unaine (Elderly Woman Day) on Kiribati

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