A Brief History
On December 8, 395, Later Yan was defeated by Earlier Yan. No, we are indeed kidding this time! Actually, Later Yan, a Murong-Xianbei state (during the period of 16 Kingdoms in China), was defeated by one of its previously vassal states, Northern Wei, at the Battle of Canhe Slope. We just wanted to have fun at the expense of the odd sounding Chinese kingdom.
Also on December 8, this time in a guy named Du Fu (sounds like a joke in an Austin Powers movie) returned to Chang’an to serve in the court of Emperor Xuanzong (sounds like swansong…) Not to be topped by goofy names, on December 8, 877, Louis the Stammerer, who was oddly enough the son of Charles the Bald, was crowned King of the West Frankish Kingdom. No real respect for the leaders in that crowd!
On December 8, 1817, a future Prime Minister of Denmark was born, Christian Emil Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs. Can you imagine plopping that name in the blanks provided on an application form? On the other hand, some people make their name a bit easier to remember, which works especially well for Hollywood types, such as Slim Pickens, who adopted that name after being born Louis Burton Lindley, Jr. (He died on December 8, 1983 and once rode a Hydrogen bomb dropped from a B-52 down to bomb Moscow in a movie.) A founding member of rock bands Pantera and Damagplan, Dimebag Darrel, also died on December 8 (2004). With a name like Dimebag, perhaps we should not be surprised he met his end being shot to death while on performing stage in Columbus, Ohio. (His given name was Darrell Lance Abbot.)
If it is okay to lay descriptive monikers on old timey kings and on modern Gangsters and Rappers, why do we not do the same for politicians? We will not appear to take sides by suggesting any particular names for this year’s crop of Presidential wannabes (Donald Trump did enough of that), but our heads spin thinking about how hilarious this could get. Okay, maybe one…. have you noticed the similarity between Rudy Giuliani and Nosferatu? (Look it up if you are not familiar with the character.)
Question for students (and subscribers): We have touched on the subject of goofy names in the past, and this time we invite you, our dear reader, to offer some suggestions for modern people, especially politicians. Please let us know in the comments section below this article. Just be sure you have a sense of humor and can withstand the groans from other readers!
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For more information, please see…
Changru, Tang. History of the 16 Kingdoms and Sui Danasty/Chinese Encyclopedia Library (Chinese Edition). Encyclopedia of China Publishing House, 2012.
MING, BEN SHE.YI. Historical Atlas of China (1 ~ 8) (Hardcover) (Hardcover)(Chinese Edition). China Map Publishing House, 2007.