New Scientist magazine coined the terms "nominative determinism" or "aptonyms" to describe the phenomenon of people whose names reflect their jobs - or rather, who end up working in areas that reflect their names (hence the "determinism"!).
An example might be a plumber called Pipe. Real life instances abound.
A great one recently included in New Scientist's 12 February 2005 Feedback section: the noise and vibrations engineer for the Queensland Electricity Commission, Australia used to be someone called Ron Rumble.
Ones I've come across myself - there's a finance director called Stephen Purse. And an RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) warden called Partridge.
Added on 17 February 2005: In London there's a dentist called Blood-Smyth. And a surgeon named Hack! More of a homonym for an almost aptonym, but have you heard of the sexologist and author whose surname is Heiman?
Contributions from others to add to the list would be welcome, and will be duly credited - just email me (link in the footer) or post a comment!
Update: for more examples of nominative determinism and other funnies see
- Interesting names
- Another great name
- Nominative determinism 4
- Nominative determinism 5 and similar stuff
- Nominative determinism 6
- Nominative determinism 7 and other funnies
- Nominative determinism 8
- Nominative determinism 9
- Nominative determinism 10: dogs lead in Barking, woof woof!
- Funny cut-off name
- Funny food name
- Funny food name 2
- Funny patent decision: soul power, maaaan!
- Silly names - Cornwall Records Office
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