Have you ever gone to a butcher whose name was Trevor Lamb, or had a school-teacher called Ms. Chalke? Someone whose name has a fit – ironic or otherwise – with the job they do? It’s a common enough occurence that the phenomenon even has a name: aptonyms.
Aptonyms are, of course, a great source of humour. Although he didn’t actually invent the flush toilet, Thomas Crapper was a plumber in 19th Century London, as well as a manufacturer and purveyor of lavatorial equipment. And what other career could Doctor D Weedon have pursued, but urology?
But aptonyms raise serious questions also about nominative determinism. Could somebody’s name actually determine their career choice? Or is it just random chance – try enough lawyers and you’re bound to come across one called Crook?
To bring this topic a little closer to my early morning TV viewing habits, I want to ask, “Did Rolls-Royce-driving, private-jet-flying, Prosperity-Gospel-preaching, quality-dental-work-advertising, televangelist Creflo Dollar become the multi-millionaire Senior Pastor of World Changers Church International and CEO of Creflo Dollar Ministries (offices in the USA, Australia, the UK, Nigeria and South Africa) because his surname is Dollar? Or because Jesus told him to?”
Now, I can’t decide what I think. Sure, this is exactly the kind of thing Jesus got up to back in the day. He had nowhere to lay his head except an uptown Nazareth condo. His last supper was caviar and truffles and imported wines from the Roman Empire’s western provinces. And, of course, his ministry received the clearest sign of God’s abundant blessing when he was executed. Because nothing says, “God wants you to experience release and prosperity in every aspect of your life – financial, physical and spiritual” better than getting hung on a cross until you are dead.
But still, I’m left with some lingering doubts. Maybe I’d be able to figure it out if I had a different surname.
File under: prosperity pyramid scheme | ok, so how do you explain prince aka love symbol aka the artist formerly known as prince?
(Image source: bossip)
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Bad life ahead if your name is Ramsbottom!
Unless you are, in fact, a ram. In which case that is the appropriate bottom for you to be in possession of.