Metatalktail Hour: Crouton Petting April 29, 2017 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday Evening, Metafilter! This week's topic is from 1f2frfbf, who wants you to share the named inanimate objects in your lives with explanations or mysteries, as they deserve! Remember, they're conversation starters, not conversation limiters, so you can talk about any sociable/personal/sharing thing on your mind -- we're here to kibbitz! posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:06 PM (249 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Did anyone else actually feel pain when Tom Hanks couldn't get Wilson back on the raft?
posted by Melismata at 5:12 PM on April 29 [15 favorites]


I almost had to turn off the movie and frankly I'm still mad. I could only make it through by consoling myself that the Wilson prop is in a museum and NOT DEAD.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:14 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


My wife and I continue to use the names for things my (now 8 year old) son called them when he was 2. Notable examples:

"Hostiboo" - hospital; my wife and I both work at hostiboos.

"Compeeko " - computer; "I have to do some work on the compeeko tonight."

"Picos" - Spaghetti-Os; "Do you guys what Picos for lunch today?" (I don't think my kids even know what Spaghetti-Os are.)

and my favorite...

"Grownup " - tape measure; "I need the grownup to see if the new couch will fit through the door."

I'm embarrassed to say how much I look forward to these threads and I even have plans to go out tonight.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:23 PM on April 29 [48 favorites]


Our car is named Beeza. She's a good car.
posted by languagehat at 5:23 PM on April 29


I have a painful tooth (the bite surface is worn down too far so the nerve is tetchy) that I named The Spoliator, because that's one of the four forms of property tort mentioned in the Talmud and probably translates as a tooth that destroys (like an ox grazing on someone else's crops) and look DON'T JUDGE ME NERDS.

I usually name my cars, the last one was Penelope, the one before that was the Mirth Mobile, but this one doesn't have a name, I've never found one that fits. My kids call it "the racecar minivan" but ... it's just a minivan and frankly I drive like a granny, my kids do not have a strong frame of reference for fast cars.

This is not exactly an inanimate object but more of a family phrase, but we had a cat for 15 years who thought he was people and looooooooved to help with whatever you were doing (puzzles, board games, plumbing, cooking), but his "help" always made things way, way worse. So whenever you're trying to help and you're making things harder or more complicated, that's Jack-help, after the cat. My kids will be like, "I'm helping, mommy!" "No, you're Jack-helping, go watch TV until I'm done." Almost all our friends have picked it up and everyone we know now talks about "Jack-help" and tells their kids to quit Jack-helping.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:32 PM on April 29 [32 favorites]


My first car was named Sweet Pea after an old Tommy Roe song. For some reason I've never named any other cars.

Our snack cabinet in my department at work is referred to as "the elevator" in a very convoluted reference to Big Bang Theory. I love it when people who don't work on my team overhear our conversations--"Do we have any popcorn?" "Yeah--there's some in the elevator." Aside from the oddness of keeping food in an "elevator", our office is in a one-story building.
posted by bookmammal at 5:33 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


I'm a hoarder, but I'm also a curator. My wife and my tastes tend toward mid-Twentieth. I collect print, she collects what catches her eye, with an emphasis on decorative pottery.

My kids' friends think we live in a museum. We've both collected our entire lives and our walls are lined with shelves of books and odd little trinkets, and any wall without bookcases have found paintings, prints, and photos. Ephemera, lost aesthetics, odd expressions of interest.

I was working poor but I'm white and male so now at the end of my life I have more resources than I need. Most of that procures what tickles my fancy. The rest I use to help others.

I believe in stuff. In a world where the digital and networked relationships seem to rule, I have to admit to being a materialist who values facial expressions and chatting. But I also live my life so that what I procure is typically what others throw away, or neglect to find the beauty in. I don't pile these things in my office for sorting and storage because I think they're significant. I do it because I want them to survive me.

Books are another story. I believe books like to move. And books love to be read. Books are for use. Every reader his or her book. Every book its reader. My library is large, eclectic, and fluid. I'm not precious with it. I let my 13 year old read my signed galley of Infinite Jest because it's the only copy on the shelf, and she asked about it. I look for person/book matches and then I make them happen. Nothing makes me happier. Some books are never shared, but only because I haven't met their next readers yet. But if I do, they'll go home with a book.

Here's to stuff. I will always collect it. And some of it only to disseminate at a later date.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:35 PM on April 29 [20 favorites]


We call turning the heat on or off "Glenn Frying" or "un-Glenn Frying" the heat.

cuz the heat is on.
posted by vrakatar at 5:37 PM on April 29 [36 favorites]


My brother had a boat of a car that was named "Aldert Root".

'Squirreling away something or stuffing your maw is refreferred as "Gootering" in reference to a gerbil named Gooter. (Stuffed cheeks anyone?)

The four legged denizens are collectively known as 'beasties'.

My refrigerator is 'Perry'
posted by mightshould at 5:42 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


"My refrigerator is 'Perry'"

SO'S MINE NOW

1985 Bears fans holla!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:50 PM on April 29 [16 favorites]


My first clarinet's name is Scott, the outcome of the usual kind of predictable teenage discussion. I'm just probably the only one who actually remembered the name I gave my band instrument.

Anyway, I also believe in stuff. So many memories are bound up in physical objects for me. I'm just that visual, I guess. When I moved to a house last year, I ended up taking photos of a massive pile of individual shirts that brought back like 10 years' worth of memories, then gave a lot of them to Goodwill. A lot I ended up keeping to have someone turn into pillows eventually, though.
posted by limeonaire at 5:51 PM on April 29


My (best) teapot is named Elizabeth - partially in honour of Her Majesty, but also as it seems suitably appropriate for a teapot that one uses on more formal occasions. By the way, one of my other teapots - the one that is used for Green tea - is named Josh.

+ + + + +

Today was maypole dancing day in a village not far from here. For the MeFites who complained about the lack of online pictures of eighteen pounds of cheese, or the recent Viking-style send off for Nutkins the squirrel, this time there's a load of pictures in my current Flickr album, also linked below.

The weather was set fair this morning, and I struggled to decide between the various events happening today. In one direction: the largest artisan cheese festival in the land. In another, some of my druids friends were doing things on a hilltop. Towards the north, a synchronised primal screaming event organised by two librarians was taking place in a wood, which sounded fun. Or I could have stayed in, but the sun was coming out and I didn't want to see my neighbors playing badminton naked on one side, nor wonder what the dad on the other was going to cook on the barbeque (Conjecture: he's been driving around a lot since recovering, and we suspect he's into roadkill now).

And I have "Traditional maypole dancing" on my list of things to attend before emigration, and a village some way west of here does it better than many. So I got on a bus, was mugged for an extortionate fare (rural England) and some time later, after hurtling down many lanes at excessive speed (the driver was making up time) and causing several motorists heading in the opposite direction to make obscene gestures (big buses travelling quickly on narrow rural lanes have an implied right of way and if you don't like it then go through that hedge for all the bus driver cares), arrived in the village centre. I'd gotten here a little too early, so there wasn't much to see, apart from a covered chair next to the pole. Luckily, there was a coffee morning advertised at the almost-adjacent church, so I stumbled in, and about a dozen people fell silent and observed the strange incomer. They were friendly, and the traditional chocolate cake and traditional erm Oreo's were good, with money going to the local defibrillator appeal.

(Sidetrack. The current in-thing for rural English villages is to buy a defibrillator and install it in the public phone box that no longer contains a phone. This is a popular trend; partially as it is useful, partially a noble cause, partially as vendors of this equipment have caught on to this new and lucrative market, and partially as the parish councils who push for this kind of thing usually consist of the elderly village residents who are most likely to be needing it. Unfortunately, some of the early village adopters have been somewhat scammed with dodgy defibrillators which cost extortionate amounts to recharge.)

Looking round, I realised that the church had a lot of modern extras, including more spotlights than I have ever seen in any village church, and several large wall-mounted heaters. Then I remembered that, in some wealthy English villages, you see things like this - lots of extras and bits and bobs - as some of the retired people are perpetual fundraisers, from each other and any passing person. And so this was proven as a miniature sale of bric-a-brac took place, followed by a raffle where the main prize was an enormous Christmas pudding from Aldi (we all quietly checked the use-by date on it, and it was good).

I exchanged more pleasantries then left, to observe a few people starting to stake a spot. Deciding that this was a little too dull still, I had a stroll around the village which didn't take long, orientated myself, then went to the pub, found wifi and had a splendid miniature pot of tea. Back outside and the crowds were building. Some locals appeared, looking serious with deckchairs. Hmmm. I got hold of a program (an A4 sheet) and then realised why, as it listed a formidable timetable of dances. A burger stand selling perhaps not the healthiest food appeared, with a sign asking people to buy a burger for donations to the defibrillator. I couldn't work out if it was irony or not.

Come two o'clock, the procession of schoolchildren appeared from the direction of the pub (I assume they started out at the school). As administration and logistics were sorted, I checked with a teacher/guardian that it was okay to take pictures; she pointed to the vast array of locals, tourists, random people, and what appeared to be press photographers taking pictures and said fine. The May Queen was crowned and sat on the robed chair. All of her school peers then had to file by and bow to her, which happened with extreme variability of sincerity.

And then the dancing, and my God there was a lot, nearly an hour of it, as different classes and years gave nine different dances. This was led by a pretty good accordion player, and I say this as someone who has a near pathological dislike of the accordion.

(Sidetrack. I lived on an island for five years. Whenever any kind of social drinking took place, an otherwise fine local called Roddy would invariably appear with his accordion and say "Let me sing you a song about the sea". I heard that same song at least 60 times. Spoiler: like most songs in that genre, everyone dies.)

The local residents near me in the now considerable crowd expressed pride at their maypole and tradition and indeed it is a well-maintained maypole (unlike many, unfortunately). A few of the claims about the longevity of the tradition were a little overblown; dancing with ribbons (plait) is quite new, coming in only the last two centuries or so (maypoles in England have been around for about 600 years). The older traditions have dances without the ribbons, so the one today looked like a classic Victorian revivalist. I didn't offer any antiquarian corrections as they probably (and justifiably) wouldn't go down well, and this is a nice village that I want to return to.

And so there was dancing. Much dancing. Really, a lot of dancing, which perplexed the passing tourists after a while, but meant good trade for the burger stand.

I moved around the crowd to get various views, and also started to notice the same people who inhabit many, perhaps all, English villages. And remembered that some BBC comedies, such as Vicar of Dibley and Ever Decreasing Circles, were often good not because they were funny but because they were accurate (also, the film Local Hero).

Taking notes, I observed:

* A local goth. Only one. There's always just one. Never zero, never two or more. One goth per village.
* A local middle-aged man who constantly spoke to anyone nearby about everything he could see in a stream of wittering. These people - and it's always a middle-aged or elderly man - are the bane of my life. You. Have. No. Idea.
* A local lesbian couple.
* A local called Derek.
* A local dog trailing a lead, running freely and happily past.
* A local bigoted elderly couple, who spent all their time staring at the lesbian couple and whispering things like "Look at them, holding hands in public; what would Mavis say?" (Conjecture: Mavis probably doesn't give a shit, like just about everyone else in the crowd and village)
* A local very proud dad who got way too close to the dancing every time his daughter ("Isn't she the best dancer? Isn't she?") swung past and blinded her and the other nearby dancers with the super-flash on his expensive camera.
* A local family from the "big city", standing on the edge, talking to themselves and looking uncomfortable at everything. (Conjecture: from the scar on the eldest son, he ran with the wrong gang or people back in the city, there was an incident, and the family hurriedly made a move to a far away rural village. He will hate it, and at the first opportunity move back or run away there)
* Another local man who took it upon himself to attempt to direct traffic, despite this not being necessary at one car every ten minutes, and managed to somehow cause a traffic jam during the third dance.
* Speaking of traffic, a local resident who bitterly resented having to move his tank-like car ten feet away from "his" usual parking spot because "this is not what I pay my taxes for".
* A happy local Polish plumber, who no-one was speaking to, handing out business cards. (Conjecture: he's happy because despite not acknowledging him in public, most of the village phone him up when they need plumbing as he charges only thirty pounds an hour and gets the job done right there and then, whereas the old plumber, Dave, used to charge eighty pounds an hour and take several weeks and trips and inflate how many hours work he did, and Dave is now a very angry person, especially as he lives opposite the Polish plumber and sees him go out to many jobs, so he sits in the Wetherspoon in the nearby market town for much of the day nursing a single lager as he has blown most of his reduced income at the bookies, swearing at the politians on the TV screen)
* A group of three elderly locals who compare everything unfavourably to how it allegedly was "before the war". For example "Before the war, milk tasted better" and "Before the war we didn't bother with television and we talked to each other" and "Before the war people didn't demand the minimum wage". Don't get stuck in a queue behind them in a shop, as they will start converting every item into pre-decimalisation money e.g. "How much?! That's two and threepence in old money!"
* The local bored "yoof" who unsuccessfully tried to steal burgers from the grill, the yelp and "I'm on fire!" from one indicating that this idea had gone badly wrong in execution.
* A local incompetent dog walker (Conjecture: shortly to lose a client) running past shouting "Did anyone see which way Boris ran?"
* A local asking if you have found God/Jesus, but in a polite and understated English way e.g. "I do like that particular sweater you are wearing; Jesus himself would perhaps choose it when he returns." (Me, quietly thinking "He's not having mine; he can go to Primark and buy his own").
* Two local couples, on opposite sides of the crowd. The man of one couple, and the woman of another, exchange *that* smile. (Conjecture: I'd put money on this - they are having it away, either in one of their houses when the partner is at work, or in a rural lay-by [either option has risks]. They are also making the catastrophic and all-too frequent mistake of thinking that this is "their little secret", adding to the excitement, not realising that half the village have figured this out and it's been one of the top five topics of discussion in the pub for the last fortnight. Later on this summer, he will suddenly find that he's had to move out of the family house into a squalid bedsit in Leicester, and be bewildered at this turn of events; the solicitors specialising in divorce cases in the nearby town will gain extra work)
* Some local children selling home-made coconut icing for charity, but as you politely buy some because it's what you do, you notice that the child who made it is a constant nose-picker, and you make a mental note to discreetly dispose of the coconut icing, still wrapped, on the way home, but not here because one of the parents will see you bin it and rat on you.

Eventually, the dancing concluded. There were several rounds of applause - for the children, the accordion player, the parents, the teachers, Derek (I don't know why, but everyone applauded politely because you are in England and that is what you do). Volunteers were requested to carry the benches, and also the May Queen chair. I did the latter; it wasn't that heavy, and it meant I got to go into the village hall and place it at the head of the table, where one heck of a good feast was laid out for the children. Including what looked like some of the cakes not sold from the church event that morning.

I took a few more pictures of outside, then wandered off, looking back at the village then taking a bridleway and a myriad of footpaths to a nearby town with eccentric shops. I got on another bus, was mugged for an extortionate fare, and now find myself typing this.
posted by Wordshore at 5:52 PM on April 29 [70 favorites]


I took a computer science class last semester, and for some reason the prof decided it would be a good idea to have us learn regular expressions, which is a complicated, miserable method for finding and manipulating data. I hated it so much. Everyone hated it so much. It was completely confusing and involved memorizing a bunch of random symbols, and I ended up getting 25% on the exam and still getting a B- with the curve. So anyway, every year I make this document at work. I usually spend about a week on it, and I get brownie points for making it, because it's a tedious thing that needs to be done. It involves cutting and pasting a bunch of information from a website and arranging it into a chart in Word. So this year, the admin person in my office was like "you know, I can download the data from the website into an excel spreadsheet for you." So she gave me an excel spreadsheet with all the data in a kind of ugly format, and I realized that I could use mail merge to put it into a chart in Word. And then I realized that I could use those fucking regular expressions and find/replace to fix the wonky formatting. I finished my week-long task in about a half an hour.

I can't decide whether I should tell my boss or not. And now I'm wondering what other tedious tasks can magically be solved with the help of regular expressions.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:54 PM on April 29 [48 favorites]


I've gotten in the habit of thanking the various devices in my life for their service, as a sort of practice for when things other than your smartphone can hear you and respond to your requests/demands.

However, when any particular object is failing to provide the requested function, it is always a Nathan.
posted by carsonb at 5:54 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


"And I have "Traditional maypole dancing" on my list of things to attend before emigration"

Wait, where are you emigrating?
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:59 PM on April 29


1. Wilson floating away is one of the saddest moments in cinema history, period.

2. Tommy Roe fucking rules.

3. My daughter has a turtle-shaped play mat that I named Shelton. Pretty proud of myself there.

4. On the topic of being proud of myself for naming something: when I was in middle school, our local Putt-Putt installed a bunch of Fiberglas megafauna around the course, and then held contests to name them. I submitted an entry for the zebra: Spot.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:01 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


ArbitraryAndCapricious, please send your old computer science teacher a note about your regex success!

My daughter's high school car was Dolores, because it was a rather staid old lady station wagon in a parking lot of little sporty cars and pickup trucks.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:03 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


A friend's housemate named their coffee maker Steve. My current unit bears a striking resemblance, and so is named Steve also.
posted by klarck at 6:21 PM on April 29


I'm like, the anti-crouton petter. My entire apartment could burn down and I can't think of anything I would miss (assuming the cats were okay). I don't know anyone else as unsentimental as me.
posted by AFABulous at 6:22 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


We call our 2004 Honda Element "truk" and our 2015 Rouge Geraldine, because we promised we would when my dad gifted it to us, as a condition of him giving up his DL. He has dementia.
posted by vrakatar at 6:26 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


I don't name very many things, but my last car (a tan 98 Nissan Sentra) was named Penfold, and my computers (past and current) are named Jeremy, Nicodemus, Tilo, Jyrras, Bianca and Micro. The astute amongst you might discern a general theme.
posted by Aleyn at 6:32 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


When our littlest was learning to talk, she wanted us to get her "Mama's blue cup." We couldn't figure it out for the life of us, and we went through all the patient repeats to try and understand, to no avail. There were tears. Eventually, some days later, we realized she was referring to "Mother Goose Club" on Netflix. So, we had a fun time doing this:

LittleSS, say "Mama's blue cup."

"Mama's blue cup."

LittleSS, say "Mother Goose Club."

"Mama's blue cup."

To her there was an obvious difference.

When you don't actually have time to watch Netflix anymore, that was some good entertainment.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:35 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


The cat's toys have names, so that I can refer to them when addressing the cat. The hand-made sock monkey is a particular favourite. I often find him left in strange places - the crawl space beside the kitchen, or stuffed behind the toilet.

"Oh, do you really think that just because your left him in the bathroom, I'm going to believe it was Monkey who shredded up all this toilet paper?" "If you're angry about something, you can take it out on Monkey, not the bath towels."

Yesterday I saw the cat clamp his jaws around Monkey's neck and give him the death shake, so I guess he's still refusing to take the fall.
posted by janepanic at 6:40 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


I have a hand-carved hiking stick named Stick.
I have an antique dressmaker form named Woman.

My house is named Pearl. She's over 100 years old and a bit frowzy, but I think she's beautiful. She's so very Pearl that strangers don't find this the least bit weird. They actually talk to her and call her by name.
posted by mochapickle at 6:41 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Since we have two sets of coat hooks in our house (inside the front door and under the stairs), I made a concerted effort to name the inside-the-front-door ones "The Coathooks Of Doom", but somehow it never caught on...
posted by Samarium at 6:45 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


This is Little Bertha (ignore the obvious wrong name given by the vendor). So called because at one time my journeyman had Big Bertha and Little Bertha was named in the ironic way big guys are named Tiny.

My car is named Jaws. No really deep reason just because Fuelly wanted a name and it's a Tiburon and "The name "Tiburon", a slight variation of "tiburón", [is] the Spanish word for "shark"".

ArbitraryAndCapricious: "I can't decide whether I should tell my boss or not. And now I'm wondering what other tedious tasks can magically be solved with the help of regular expressions."

And now you have two problems.
posted by Mitheral at 6:49 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


I name my cars and try to give them names that could stand for a few things. My current car which is a boring black CRV that makes me feel like a tool driving it is called Prince. And if people ask I tell them

- you know like Prince Fielder, a little broad in the beam but also smoking hot
- you know like Prince of Darkness which is what they used to call my dad at work (it's his car, also this story is true)
- Prince because I miss him and his music every day

I don't have kids or pets and naming plants is a bit too far even for me, so this is what I have.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:56 PM on April 29 [10 favorites]


When I was 30 I took a solo cross-country road trip; I rented the car for the occasion, and when I got to the dealership it was one of the ones where instead of designating a specific car for you, they bring you out to a lot for your price category and just say "one of these." I went with a bright red Chrysler, mainly because it was bright red.

I was an hour outside New York City limits heading for Route 6 (where i would then turn west), with George Thorogood's "Who Do You Love" blasting on the tape deck, when I got the idea to name the car "Lolita".

The trip, which took about a week and ended in Las Vegas, was one-way, so I left Lolita in a dealership at the Vegas airport - and actually got a bit choked up. But then about a month later, when I was back in New York, I was wandering around the East Village one Saturday and came out of a bookstore - and Lolita was sitting there. I actually beamed and ran over, looking over the shiny red fenders and peering through the window at the dashboard - and then saw that there was some other person's stuff in it, and wait, the knobs on the stereo are a slightly different color, this is someone else's Chrysler that just looks like Lolita. The owner of the car was walking towards it as I realized this, and looking at me puzzled; I just backed off, gave him a nod and left.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:01 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


My husband named my cowhide bag "Norman," after the cow in City Slickers, and my Scandinavian fur hat "Olaf." Sometimes we have pretend conversations between Norman and Olaf where they snark at each other, and one inevitably stalks off in a huff. Sometimes, our other, non-named possessions get in on this. The crouton-petting in this household goes up to eleven.
posted by Atrahasis at 7:14 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


I always pet the subway car when it arrives, and say (in my head) "thankyou, choochoo!" - I think it helps encourage them to arrive on time.
posted by moonmilk at 7:17 PM on April 29 [24 favorites]


I named our weight machine That Fucking Thing My Wife Makes Me Use.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:25 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


I bought my 6 year old son an EMF "Ghost Meter" and he brought it to the Whole Foods and interrogated an employee about a haunted case of Michelob High Life.

Lo, we have become Avatars of White Middle Class Privilege.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:31 PM on April 29 [17 favorites]


I've named my PC Gary. I'm not sure why but Gary he is and I treat him with kindness.

Right up until I don't and then I threaten to dismantle him and sell his parts. I even make sure to mention to him that I'll sell him to different people, as if I'm breaking up a family.
“The GPU will go to my best friend, and your fans, your fans will be with my sister. And you'll never see your SSD again, so you better behave Gary, or its the end for you!”
posted by Fizz at 7:35 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


This is not really something I do. I have stuff and I like and cherish and use my stuff, but I have very few things that are irreplaceable. Even things I put (literal) blood and sweat into, like things I've built, I could just build again.

The only things I can think of is our Garmin GPS, which my wife and I refer to as Jill, after the voice that we picked for her. We refer to her with she/her pronouns and often joke about her steering us wrong or whatever. My wife was always the navigator in the pre-GPS days and I took to calling her Magellan when we went on road trips and now I'll tease her about how Jill is taking over for her or any number of silly things like that. It's all in fun, and we only do it because in the voice settings this particular voice is called Jill.

I also named my bandsaw Sawy McSawface because I got it while all that silliness was going on and I named my spindle/belt sander Bernie because, well, you'll figure it out, you're clever. Again, though, it's all just being goofy and not because I'm particularly attached to those things.
posted by bondcliff at 7:35 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I have a potted plant we call Robert.
posted by jazon at 7:41 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


This is him doing research at our local bookstore in support of Indie Bookstore Day.
I'm pretty sure he will be booking walking tours by the time he is 10.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:46 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


I've named my PC Gary

The user name on my PC is and has always been "Dat Ass" and I still laugh like a loon every time I back it up.
posted by barchan at 7:48 PM on April 29 [46 favorites]



"My refrigerator is 'Perry'"

SO'S MINE NOW

1985 Bears fans holla!


I moved to Chicago a little before that magical Bears season. I am a huge NY Giants fan. But I digress. I am going to name my refrigerator McMahon because he was a cool as the inside of a refrigerator (with apologies to William Perry).

My softball bat is named Betty Ann. My truck is named, Elliot. Because Bill Elliot and now his son Chase. My bass guitar is named Lesh for obvious reasons. My road bike is named Jennifer after an ex girlfriend. Both are/were a pain in my ass.

My grandfather used to call anyone he did not know their name, Oscar. I have no idea why, but he referred to you or called you Oscar if he did not know your real name. "Hey Augie, who were those two Oscars?" I rarely ever meet someone whose name is actually Oscar, but whenever I do, I think back fondly of my grandfather.

My kids refer to each other by their birth order. The oldest is One, etc. They have been doing it since they were about 8 or 9. Only when talking to each other or sometimes to me. Never to someone outside of the immediate family. I would ask the oldest to take out the garbage and they might respond, "Tell Two to do it."

My family has names for certain actions more than inanimate objects. Leaving an event early without telling anyone or saying goodbye is a "Simon" (Slip sliding away...). Going to drop a deuce is called talking to Steve. "Gotta run, gotta go talk to Steve." Or, where's Uncle Joe? Oh, he's talking to Steve. One of my HS math teachers used to say, "Don't worry about the actual score on the test, I am going to Betty Boop it. " It wasn't until years later I realized he was talking about curves and he would grade it on a curve.
posted by AugustWest at 7:50 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


"I moved to Chicago a little before that magical Bears season. I am a huge NY Giants fan. But I digress. I am going to name my refrigerator McMahon because he was a cool as the inside of a refrigerator (with apologies to William Perry)."

I have told this story before, but I was a little kid in the Chicago burbs in 1985, and it was such a weird year. We'd go to Sunday morning Mass and if we hit the 11:30 Mass (which was VERY UNPOPULAR that year, 9:30 was always unusually packed with people trying to get church done before the game), the Bears would often already be playing, and the deacon would listen to a transistor radio by an earpiece during the after communion prayer, and go whisper the score to Father. At dismissal, Father would say, "The Mass is ended, go now in peace to love and serve the Lord. 3:27 left in the second, Bears 14, Packers 10, Go Bears! Amen." It was totally clear to me God was a Bears fan.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:55 PM on April 29 [29 favorites]


I don't tend to name things, though I apologize fairly often to furniture for bumping into it. I do tend to say, encouragingly, "Come on, little computer! You can do it!" when a computer is running particularly slowly, and I very much believe that my cheerleading helps the computer regain its confidence, but I say that to all computers, so it's not specific to my own.
posted by lazuli at 7:57 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


My father (semi) convinced me that an extendable pole with a line attached to a lever that cuts off a limb up high in a tree is called a "whomper-stomper".

Hey, don't make fun; can you think of the real name for this tool?

Many years later when I had my own house, and my own trees with limbs high up that needed cutting off as well, I convinced my wife that the real name of the tool is in fact a "whomper-stomper".

Which made it real fun the day she saw our neighbor struggling on a ladder trying to saw off a limb in one of his trees and offered to bring over our whomper-stomper.
posted by yhbc at 8:14 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I got into collecting a small rock from special hikes. Once, however I found a flat three inch oval rock that had lighter sandstone on the outer inch and half of the oval, and a dark sandstone center. So, this rock broke in half, now I have two half circle stones with an odd center in each. All the small rocks I collected including the addition of some bigger quartz crystals, and you know a coupla other rocky things were in a large, ceramic tray. Then the tray broke in half during my recent move, so now I have two half oval rocks, and two halves of a tray, filled with rocks. It is a theme. Eh? One rock though is sandstone and about 2.5 inches at the most. It is like a thought bubble, with a little point, then a little bigger joint, then the globule where the thought goes. This rock was up against the face of a mesa, down in Canyonlands, sitting on top of its mother rock, which looked like a 3X4 foot Alka Seltzer going off. This little rock was the only loose bubble. I have had this for 46 years. This was the trip where I was hiking below my boyfriend, and I reached out deciding which way to go around a large boulder, but this little triangle of moving sand just below it, made me go to the right, and then reach to the left to steady myself. This rock let go, and it was the size of a large refrigerator, it had been right above me, I always listen to that little voice, or thought bubble breaking mechanism, when it whispers, ever so softly...I ducked and watched that rock just slide by and then begin to tumble and leap and break stuff, and do this for maybe 500 feet before coming to a stop. I then looked up over the little ledge I was coming around, and my friend was aghast, absolutely horrified. I waved and we never hiked in a straight line up a boulder field again. The cliffs were booming in that March, as the sun warmed them up, the ice was swelling and you could hear the fractures making, we were so cold, we had hiked up to get into the sun. Only as the event progressed, did we realize the risks involved. The night before we were so cold we had gotten out of the tent, and pitched it up against an Anasazi rock shelter with a seven humped shake symbol. We crawled under the rock, and slept there to keep the howling wind off. I love the little rocks I have collected over time. I am reminded of that poem...



How happy is the little stone
That rambles in the road alone,
And doesn’t care about careers,
And exigencies never fears;
Whose coat of elemental brown
A passing universe put on;
And independent as the sun,
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute decree
In casual simplicity.

Emily Dickinson
posted by Oyéah at 8:16 PM on April 29 [16 favorites]


I always pet the subway car when it arrives, and say (in my head) "thankyou, choochoo!" - I think it helps encourage them to arrive on time.

So, my oldest child and I have been watching a British baking show contest where someone doesn't advance each week. My daughter loves the competition of it all, but she also feels bad when people get voted out. So she always has something nice to say when a person loses, as she wants them to feel encouraged.

"That's okay, you still have nice shoes."

"Don't feel bad, your hair looked really nice today!"
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:16 PM on April 29 [20 favorites]


We still call it a whomper-stomper of course, but I don't know if our neighbor has adopted the term or not.
posted by yhbc at 8:16 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


The wife's old 240 Volvo wagon was named, "The Shoebox"... what else would you call one of those. (26 years old, and the kid has claimed it, repaired all the problems and drives it as a beater when the souped up Mustang won't run in the snow).
posted by HuronBob at 8:23 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I don't know what it is about my mental or emotional makeup that keeps me from wanting to name inanimate objects, but...well, I don't name inanimate objects. I did have a '71 VW camper van that under pressure from my then-wife I named Branford, but it never stuck. Since then I've suffered through a few cheapo very-used cars I generally referred to by a rude swear word or three.

Anything I can't think of the term for, I call a "whickydoo".

On the animate-object front, even when I was a kid I had a cornball sense of humor; when I was 11 (years before "The Simpsons" was even a gleam in Matt Groening's eye) we got an all-black cat I was quite tickled to name Snowball - yes, I know, I did say "cornball"... In my 20's I picked up a kitten from a neighbor's cat's litter that I chose because it had an ugly little dog-face I couldn't resist...but I couldn't bring myself to name a cat Dogface, so I named it Spike. It grew up to be a very normal-looking cat, but it remained Spike forever more.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:33 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I've been part of naming a "thing that happens" rather than inanimate objects. My friend Beth and I were having a text conversation a few years ago; she kept attempting to type "etc" and her iPhone continually autocorrected to "Eric." So we have developed this elaborate backstory for Eric being this unloved bastard child that purposefully screws up conversations and impedes communication and is just this all around asshole. Originally, he was blamed only for autocorrect fails; at this point we've blamed almost everything, including the trump presidency, on Eric. Because he's a bastard.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 8:48 PM on April 29 [9 favorites]


"And I have "Traditional maypole dancing" on my list of things to attend before emigration"

"Wait, where are you emigrating?"


and furthermore why
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:52 PM on April 29




Among many other inane names, I have taken to calling our humidifier the David. This evolved from calling it the hume-o (which is because I called the light switch the bright-o).
posted by ferret branca at 8:57 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


I've tried calling my little beater 1990 pickup "Skip" ever since I bought him 15 years ago but it never felt right. I'm selling him next week so I don't think I'll ever know his name.
posted by not_the_water at 9:00 PM on April 29


My Honda Fit is the TARDIS because those things are bigger on the inside. I recently hauled a pre-hung exterior door in it with the hatch closed.

The license plate contains the letters WDM, so I was going to call it THE WIDOWMAKER. I told my wife this and she said she'd noticed the letters too and decided they stood for White Dorky Male. TARDIS it is.

My son named a bunch of stuff too. A cafe latte is a wattay, because of the time I took him to preschool and he noticed I was sleep-deprived and looked very concerned and said "you need a wattay." Then came the day he saw me making seltzer, asked what it was, and when I explained it to him, he gleefully began shouting YOU DRIIIIIIIINK TOOT WATERRRRRRRRRR, so yeah seltzer has been toot water ever since.

Then there's Molly's Watch. It's not a made up nickname, and I guess it's technically my watch now, but it was Molly's Watch, and though she was not a relative, I loved Molly so much that I thought I had a third grandmother.

Hers was my first death, my occasion for learning about death, learning that it meant I would never see Molly again. My dad got her hand-engraved pocket watch when she died, and he gave it to me, and now I carry Molly's Watch every day. Not my great grandfather's watch, not the sliver of meteorite my dad bought me, but Molly's Watch. Every morning I wind Molly's Watch and loop the leather strap I made for it through my right hip belt loop and put the watch in my pocket. Every three days I set Molly's Watch back two minutes and remind myself that I still need to give that set screw a turn and slow it down a bit. Couple times a year I set it on my night stand so I can listen to it while I drift off.

Oh, and my home wifi SSID is Shaolin LAN-tastic.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:03 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


Years ago we got this climbing backpack. It was made by a European company and was a kind of patchwork of different bright colors, in similar fashion to the multicolored pants we saw on many hikers in the alps. No American company would have used such a color scheme. So the backpack was named Eurotrash. We got to have hilarious-to-us conversations like "Have you packed for tomorrow yet?" "Yes, I've got Eurotrash."

A few years passed, and good old Eurotrash fell apart in spectacular fashion - the welded seams failed. We took it back to the shop, where they said yes, this is clearly a manufacturing defect. The manufacturer sent us a brand new backpack of the same model - but in a solid color! Eurotrash, we didn't realize how fond we were of your ridiculous colors until you were gone. Naturally the new pack's name is Daughter of Eurotrash, but we usually call her D.O.E. for short.
posted by medusa at 9:09 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


My home wifi is Abraham Linksys. (Appropriate for Illinoisians who have worked in the history realm!) I secretly hope all the time that my neighbor will name theirs "Router E. Lee."
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:10 PM on April 29 [26 favorites]


I am very much the crouton-petting type. When I was a kid, my mom used to try to get me and my sister to finish our dinner by saying "your peas are crying because you aren't eating them! Don't make your peas sad!"

It totally worked, but it worked a little too well. My sister and I have confirmed with each other that we both went through a long period of apologizing to food if we couldn't finish it. I remember saying "I'm sorry, you were a good lunch but I just couldn't finish you" and feeling sort of sad every time I threw away the crusts of my sandwich in middle school. This lasted well into my teen years. Even through my 20s, if I dropped a piece of food, I'd intentionally drop a second one, so the first one wouldn't get lonely in the trash.

Don't judge me.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:12 PM on April 29 [22 favorites]


In college, I learned that all wifi routers are better with googly eyes.
posted by zachlipton at 9:14 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


A lot of frames used to fall over unexpectedly in the store where I worked, probably because of slightly off-kilter balance, trucks going past, and gravity, but we chose to believe that it was because of our ghost, Gary.

Gary was a framer who was locked on the roof and only had fish heads to eat and a box to sleep in. He died trying to catch a pigeon for variety. Gary is playful and naughty, but if you blame Gary for a lot of broken frames on a conference call to corporate, it won't go well. We used to tell him good night when we closed up!

And my personal hammer is named Tiffany.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:19 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


I named my backup disk Wintermute. He doesn't forget things.

And I've been having the feeling that one day he'll turn against me.
posted by runcifex at 9:20 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


My home wifi network is "BUTTSLOL". Everyone else in the neighborhood is boring.

Someone's network in a commercial district down the road from my house is "TURD FURGUSON" which always makes me giggle because Celebrity Jeopardy.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 9:26 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


1. My friend's dad made Wilson. That's his hand. It's easily the coolest thing about him, and he's a pretty cool guy.

2. Wordshore, I'd read anything you'd like to write.

3. My chicken coop is named Coop de Ville. My beehive is named Ida Bee Wells. I have a mannequin named Barb. That's it as far as naming goes.

4. I am becoming less and less sentimental as I age. I am currently using Facebook marketplace and eBay to get rid of everything that is not nailed down. Need anything? Ask. I might have it.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:34 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


Great topic! I, too, have a mix of animate/inanimate object names to share:

* Sparrows have always been "boink-boink birds" to my mind, for the adorable way they hop about.

* Construction workers are "Doozers", because Fraggle Rock.

* Zip-up footie pajamas are "Bumbles", after Yukon Cornelius' name for The Abominable Snowmonster of the North, from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. As a child, I once wore a particularly fuzzy and much-beloved pair. Family history has it that whilst watching the special one Christmas, I suddenly looked down at my pajamas and gasped loudly, then declared to my mother: "Mommy! I AM A BUMBLE!! AND I LOVE TO BOUNCE, TOO!!" To this day, Bumbles are what all the children in our family wear to sleep (ex. "Go put on your Bumble, brush your teeth, and get ready for bed.").

* Hair ties are "hair bobbles", and headbands are "Alice bands".

Aside to Greg_Ace: I had a male black and white Mini Lop rabbit that I named "Moo" - his sister was "Aristophenes". All the six goldfish I ever owned were named "Fido Ichabod", with corresponding Roman numeral for each successor ('Fido' because I liked the incongruity, and 'Ichabod' after Ichabod Crane). Right now, I have a female Roborovsky hamster named "Balthazar". So, there you go. Same! ;)
posted by Amor Bellator at 9:36 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah, happy walpurgisnacht, Beltane and may day for those who celebrate!
posted by Sophie1 at 9:36 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


(*Aristophanes/*Roborovski, even! I can spell, my spellchecker thinks I am wrong. Didn't notice in time to edit, sorry!)
posted by Amor Bellator at 9:53 PM on April 29


Our cars are Blue Car and Green Car because that's the color the factory painted them, peeling topcoat on the former notwithstanding. I suppose that makes us dull people, I'm ok with that.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:56 PM on April 29


I worked in an office where we named our computers. We had a Sun network and the computer names were fish species. I named mine fugu.

I have no memory of ever naming my tools or possessions. Every time the subject comes up I think of buying a cleaver and a boning knife so I could name them Beater and Biter, from LOTR, but I haven't done it yet.

I occasionally think of getting a cat so I could name it Great Big Ol' Nasty Hairy Pussy.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:56 PM on April 29


The place I worked named all their build servers, before I took them over, after species of New Zealand birds and/or Muppets. I love me some muppets but that shit had to go.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:59 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


We're big crouton petters in our family. We name most of our stuffed animals. We love rabbits, so they're mostly bunnies. My favorite of the bunch is a tiny brown and white dutch plush that we named Yorkie.

This two ounce, one inch tall plush rabbit is a passive-aggressive megalomaniac with a hat addiction. What he doesn't know is that the "hats" are really cardboard coffee sleeves that we collect from trips to various coffee shops. He is currently wearing 8 hats, but he's so small and they're so tall that I had to attach them to his head with a small length of embroidery floss as a chin strap so they don't fall off.

If you ask Yorkie something like whether you can send the hats out for cleaning, he'll say, "SURE. THAT'S FINE I, GUESS. NO, NO DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME. I'M OKAY HERE." in an increasingly aggrieved and sarcastic tone. If you ask him what the meaning of life is, his answer is, "Hats." If you ask him almost any question, really, the answer is, "Hats." Even if that doesn't make sense. He wants to take over the world so he can own all the hats. He has a very adorable evil maniacal cackle.

Among our other stuffed rabbits of note are:

- Scotchy the Former Peter Rabbit (who has a carrot attached to his paws and says, "Dave's not here." a lot. We're not entirely sure whether he's imagining things or if there's more to the carrot than we know.)

- Ears McGee (a group of very long eared buns collectively named after MeFi's own Eyebrows McGee)

- L&O (who mostly just sings the Law and Order theme song. Yes, he can sing the whole thing, including the NBC outro and the wolf howl at the end.)

- Jama Bunny (a bunny who wears pajamas, has a bunny blanket and wears bunny slippers. There's a Big Jama and several smaller Jamas and they all have different colored pajamas.).
posted by Arrrgyle at 10:07 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


"- Ears McGee (a group of very long eared buns collectively named after MeFi's own Eyebrows McGee)"

Dawwwww, I can be a bunny!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:21 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


I am another anti-crouton-petter. The only thing in my house with a name is my cat and mostly I still just refer to her as The Cat.

One of my earliest memories was a friend of my mother being horrified because she asked me what my dolly's name was and I explained she didn't have one because she wasn't real.
posted by lollusc at 10:37 PM on April 29 [12 favorites]


In fact, I've just realised how far the resistance goes: my husband and I both call each other, as our preferred terms of endearment, "Thing".
posted by lollusc at 10:39 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Our roomba vacuum is Alfred (after servant Alfred in an Astrid Lindgren book, but it seems it's a common name for servants?). He gets talked to a lot...like this week when he ate half of the sweater I'm knitting. Mostly there'll be an 'Ooooh, Alfred!' when I come home and he's choking on a sandal/stuck on a grate/locked himself in the lobby. He's not smart but he tries.
posted by The Toad at 10:46 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


Greg_Ace, what you call whickydoo, I call a whichadidja.

My family calls blueberry cream cheese spread "purple butter" after my four year old daughter did one day. She's not really wrong...
posted by Night_owl at 11:08 PM on April 29


I decided that all of my Amateur Radio equipment will be collectively known as 'Wayne'.

When I got back into the hobby here in the USA, I realized that the core demographics didn't change, and was probably going to be filled with old white guys named 'Wayne'. So then, I got my license, I got a radio, I tuned into a local repeater, and guess what I heard?

Some dude named Wayne talking about his car. I've since gotten to know him, and he's pretty neat to talk to.

Consequently? Everything is named 'Wayne'. The radios, the antennae, everything.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:13 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Definitely not a crouton-petter. I am a sucker for cool-looking things (that I don't buy, because I'm on year 5 of a no-extra-stuff kick), but what makes me happiest about objects is their usefulness. Like a well-formed and -weighted cook's knife. Or, let's say, a lightweight, medium-sized, east-west, crossbody purse that's only as deep as halfway to my elbow (with enough structure so it can stand upright, but enough give to curve along a hip when walking), just enough appropriately-sized pockets in the right places, a single adjustable strap, a front pocket that fits my transit pass, and a proper zipper (vs a single magnet, come on) - this makes me ecstatic. Or would if I could find it...

(I don't get it. It's just a common sense purse, basic AF. Why is finding one mission impossible? Because designers love getting together and deciding on making just one kind of ridiculous purse per season. The other year, it was mini bucket purses. Who wants to walk around with a goddamn pail on their arm? Black-hole totes before that. You can sometimes find faux-practical purses - these almost piss me off more. Completely flat leather envelopes that don't hold or rest on anything, with aggressively toothed, flesh-ripping zippers - they must hate us, there's no other explanation.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:59 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Let's see:

Mr. Palmcorder's satchel is named Randolph Manbag because he is a lifelong fan of Emergency!.

Our car (an eight-year-old Mazda3) is called Thelonius Zoom. "Zoom" comes from Mazda's ad campaign at the time we bought the car, and "Thelonius" comes from the fact that, compared to our previous car, it corners brilliantly.

Our TV is called Dogan after Dogan Boole.

Our vacuum has a pet hair removal attachment with a kind of clawlike look, so it is named Logan after Wolverine.

And since it has a pergola out back, our house is called Perg Hapley.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:24 AM on April 30 [6 favorites]


My girlfriend named our hot water bottle Geir because it has a somewhat Scandinavian patterned cover. This has somehow become totally normal to me.
posted by knapah at 12:47 AM on April 30


Also - I do literally pet my radios. Wayne is SO CUTE.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:48 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Computers, plants and bicycles in our household are all named.

- Big Bill, Little Bill, and Melly are the too obvious names for our desktop, laptop, and tablet.

- Leo is a yellow bird of paradise shrub/tree casting a tiny patch of shade on the back patio, while Princess is an out of control Queen of Sheba vine dominating the far corner of our yard. Rapunzel is a ridiculously long pothos that stretches down and up then down and up a tall bookcase.

- Old Yellar is a Heavy Duti yellow Schwinn, while Eleanor is an elegant cream colored commuter bike with a wicker basket.
posted by kbar1 at 1:03 AM on April 30


For future reference: whomper stompers are pole pruners. The saw version is a pole saw.

In our household the remote (currently missing) is more than occasionally referred to as the wand of power.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:21 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


I am just not a namer of things. I've tried naming cars, computers, musical instruments... the names never stick. I think it's a hardware issue in my brain. Things are just things to me.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:22 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Wow, this thread has made me realise I've not named my latest PC! My bikes, on the other hand, all have names. Computers have become mere tools, it seems (I also long ago stopped obsessively customising the OS), and my emotional attachment has moved elsewhere. My iToys still have names, tho.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 3:00 AM on April 30


Not an inanimate object, but sometimes when my dog trots outside to help me hang out the washing I say "come on George Washingdog", but only when there's nobody else around.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 3:06 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


My 788t is named Scott Davidson for obvious reasons.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:12 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


My car is named Boris because it is German.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:13 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


My home wifi is Linda Lovelace.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:13 AM on April 30


My girlfriend named our hot water bottle Geir because it has a somewhat Scandinavian patterned cover.

Nit: Geir is a very Norwegian name. It's hardly used elsewhere in Scandinavia.
posted by effbot at 3:28 AM on April 30


I don't name inanimate objects, really, but I've collected a number of pretty awesome stuffed animals over the past couple of years. In high school, all my stuffed animals were named after characters from Shakespearean plays - Ferdinand the Sea Turtle, Prospero the Orangutan, Benvolio the tiny hedgehog - but I've branched out. There's the Blue Meanie, Quon the Gnome, and Didier Drogba the red river hog. I also have Floyd the Komodo Dragon, but I don't seem to have photographed him. My newest family member, as yet unnamed, is a highly attractive Sifaka lemur! And, of course, my oldest stuffed animal is Bunny, whom I have had since I was 2 and not very good at naming stuffed animals. Bunny is definitely real by now and has had his stuffing replaced at least 5 times over the course of his life.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:41 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


My home wifi network is "BUTTSLOL". Everyone else in the neighborhood is boring.

There was someone in my neighborhood when I lived in North Carolina who named their wifi ASSTOMOUTHFUCKING and it was super awkward having to see that every time I pulled up my connection settings.

My friend had a sideboard named Steve.

In our family we call sunscreen "sun shout" because when she was little my sister called it "sun scream" and when my great-grandma heard this, she laughed and said, "Next thing you know, you'll be calling it 'sun shout'", and so now we do.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:19 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


My home wifi is Abraham Linksys. (Appropriate for Illinoisians who have worked in the history realm!) I secretly hope all the time that my neighbor will name theirs "Router E. Lee."

Also hopefully acceptable:

Firewall Jackson
March To The C:\
On a notably slow connection, First Molasses (Or for enthusiasts of the masculine hinder, First Manasses (or dare one say Fist Manasses))
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:23 AM on April 30 [9 favorites]


My younger daughter mispronounced Netflix as Netflakes and we still call it that. Sometimes I'll ask her if she'd like to sit down and watch a bowl of Netflakes with me. Our dog Lucy frequently inspires us to refer to her as Lucifer. Among my closest friends we all use "supposably" in reference to a time we heard it used in a bar in an attempted dis.

I grew up in an extended family and lived with my Italian grandfather and Romani grandmother, and I still use things I heard from them all the time, like "da ting" which means the thing you can't find right now and you can't even remember what it's called. Usage: "Honey, can you run over to da picnic table and see if I left da ting over dare." And My Show, which refers to a television program you're watching. Usage: "Dat bum played a rat in one of my shows. Ooo how I hate dat dirty bastard." Or, "Not now honey, my show is coming on and I want to see if dere gonna keep dat baby." Kagutes, which is a kind of ragu made buy reducing a lot of peppers with a few tomatoes and a little onion and olive oil. It becomes an all purpose spread and condiment. And finally, Da Clicker, which is a remote control, unless it's lost and then it becomes Da Ting.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:30 AM on April 30 [11 favorites]


I guess the other thing I do name is hard drives. I keep a list, though it's missing a few of the most recent ones: Zuma, Zora, Miyamori.

Also, my router is named Spandy, after cartoonist James Kochalka's dear departed cat. I named it that years ago, while she was still alive, and now it feels like a fitting tribute.

.
posted by limeonaire at 6:34 AM on April 30


we do this for a couple of instances. Our toaster is "Mark 6" after the BSG cylons. It's a seductive temptress that plies me with delicous smelling toast for my french butter. Also, it's the shiny black Kitchenaid model with the white light up stripe at one end, so it kind of looks like a cylon. I always remember to thank her when she "dings" that the bread is ready.

Also whenever we rent a car with a speaking GPS we try to find it's personality in the voice. So far, we've been guided by Ulla, Minerva and Johnston. Some are more friendly than others (looking at you Ulla.....)..

Lastly, I once dated a girl that at one moment could not remember the word for "hand blender" so, in exasperation and need, asked for the "UURRRRR-thingy".
posted by alchemist at 6:48 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Ooh, I do pet books, but they already come with names.
posted by lazuli at 6:49 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Our little potted jade plant is named Bartholomew.

My sister and I call hair ties "hairy leg sticks" because once I asked her for a "hair elastic" and I talk very fast. Go ahead, say it out loud super fast. You'll see.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 6:57 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Somehow I totally forgot that over the summer when I am at my fathers old house we'll name all the animals in the yard. So there is a heron named Helen, a groundhog named Rupert and a nuthatch named Johnny Cash (he had a little feather that sticks up in a cool rocking way). When I am out walking in the neighborhood, I talk to all the cats I see as if I was just a cat temporarily wearing a human suit because that is basically true.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:13 AM on April 30 [12 favorites]


Every pet I've ever had has had "misgendered" names, starting with Peter the cat, who I named at age 3 because Peter Rabbit was my jimmy jam.

Then Greyman, her daughter.

Charlie, a sheltie.

Roscoe, a female hedgehog. Daisy, her son.

And now Ricky, my female Siamese cat.

The only one who was intentionally named that way was Daisy. And I have literally no idea why I gave those hogs Dukes of Hazard names. I've never seen the show, wasn't interested in it, and the hogs preceded the movie remake, which I also haven't seen.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:16 AM on April 30


Our wifi router is named 🌳 (U+1F333) because unicode symbols are legal for wifi device names -- you just need a router that allows you to use 'em.
posted by ardgedee at 7:25 AM on April 30 [7 favorites]


Lastly, I once dated a girl that at one moment could not remember the word for "hand blender" so, in exasperation and need, asked for the "UURRRRR-thingy".

My father calls handblenders "dildos".

Yes he knows what dildos actaully are, he sometimes likes to be naughty.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Our wifi router is named "thebeforepicture" because our house has been under construction for a decade now and it still looks like the "Before" half of a "Before and After" photo set. Someday we'll be done with it and will have to rename the router.
posted by octothorpe at 7:41 AM on April 30


GPS based navigation systems are called Ethyl, usually said in an exasperated way. "Ethyl is reeecaaalcualting"
Also used casually in conversation, "Ethyl will get me there". This was started by my wife's stepmother.

The green '96 F-150 we just got rid of was called "The Green Beast"
Current vehicles were named by the kid:
Dark gray w/ black interior Accord is Thundercloud
Silver w/ black interior Tacoma is Silver Lining
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:47 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


My bike is called Linus because that's who made it. It's the only inanimate object in my life with a name and it's the most literal I have ever been. My other bike--the one I ride in the snow--is called "My Other Bike" or sometimes "My Snow Bike"
posted by crush at 7:56 AM on April 30


I apologize for my tardiness to the thread I instigated, but I shall hopefully create a few mysteries for you so as to make up for it.

Our Roomba is called Aloysius, after Mr. Belvedere and/or Mr. Snuffleuffagus, depending on my mood.

My Volvo is called Freya, and my wife's Jeep is called Maggie. My motorcycle is Karen and my wife's is Red Molly. I don't know why all are female, but there you are.

Other random named things in my life include my pea coat (Matilda), my guitars (Ms. Martin and The Stick), our Kitchen Aid mixer (Pierre), all my computers and assorted peripherals (Calvin, Hobbes, Susie, Wormwood, Spaceman Spiff, Tracer Bullet, Rosalyn, Mr. Bun, Moe), my daily carry pocket knife (Lil' Stabby), one of the dog toys (Jared the Monkey Toy with no Beard) and the cat's favorite toy (Jesus).

The cat toy requires explanation. The cat likes to carry this particular toy around if and only if she is alone. So, Jesus moves in mysterious ways. She will mewl loudly while carting Jesus about, so in the dark of night, my wife and I will hear her and one of us will remark that "Daisy has found Jesus again" and is making her joyful noise.

Now that I have demonstrated the levels of my deep insanity to you, the kind strangers of the Internet, you may now judge me as you wish.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:57 AM on April 30 [22 favorites]


Another name of note, is the pet name my wife and I have for each other, which is "Other Human." And by pet name, I mean it is the name we tell the pets.

To wit: "Where is she? Go find her! Go get Other Human!" "Who's that? Who's Home? It's Other Human!"
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:00 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


We call the google maps voice Gerty. Gerty Google. Also I have a soon-to-be-removed ovarian cyst called Cecil. Cecil Cyst.
posted by drunkonthemoon at 8:03 AM on April 30


My wife has named her little Subaru "Humphry the Very Sensible Car."

Mine is the Battlestar Rhode Island.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:06 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I've occasionally named cars, but only if I have a name that fits. My mom had a white 1981 Mazda 626 when i was a kid that we named Ginger, which really stuck because that car was so much a Ginger. The first car I ever bought for myself was just about the most basic truck Toyota offered, back when the model was still called a "pickup" - 4 cylinder, standard cab, manual transmission, no power anything, and I had to get out of the car and lock the front wheel hubs to put it in 4WD. That car was Joe. His replacement, a full-feature Tacoma that I've had to 13 years, has yet to earn a name.
posted by LionIndex at 8:32 AM on April 30


We call the google maps voice Gerty. Gerty Google.

We call her Gigi.
posted by LionIndex at 8:34 AM on April 30


I have a skull topped sword cane named Rooky. You know. The way Scooby Doo would say spooky.
posted by Splunge at 9:03 AM on April 30 [4 favorites]


My home wifi is Abraham Linksys. (Appropriate for Illinoisians who have worked in the history realm!) I secretly hope all the time that my neighbor will name theirs "Router E. Lee."


"Router E. Lee [NOT RACIST]" would absolutely be my router name if I was your neighbor, even if it would absolutely ruin my very long running habit of naming all computers/technology after computers/tech from Doctor Who, which was a lot harder to explain to people before 2005. ("Why is one of your computers named WOTAN? Is it a Norse thing?" "No, it's my oldest computer and it's named after a supercomputer in an early episode of Doctor Who called "The War Machines" and that episode was black and white and the computer is black and white and..." "Wait, what's Doctor Who?")

Our coffee maker, which used to have a working grinder (never buy an in-grinder coffee pot, we've since learned) and is more programmable than is needed) is called the "robot coffee maker") by our ward who often has problems with it, such as "Mike, the Robot Coffee Maker hates me, please come make it work."

I can't believe we don't have more named stuff around here because we have so much stuff and such a tendency to anthropomorphize.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:07 AM on April 30


I've named most of my vehicles over the years. My current truck is a bright red Durango so it's Clifford the Big Red Truck. Though I sometimes call it The Red Special.

My first car is a '73 Duster named Wendy from Born to Run. I think Bruce is singing to his car named Wendy and not a person. "I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight in an everlasting kiss" is a fantastic line. That car actually has her name on the front of the hood. I still have her and will never be done building her, but that's kind of the point of a project car - even 22 years on.

The motorcycle I had in college was a complete piece of junk (I paid $62.75 for it - it was every penny I had) named The Filthy Whore. Cabin Boy had just come out and that's the name of the ship in he movie. I don't stand by the name, but the movie holds up. Later I renamed it The Happy Idiot from Jackson Browne's The Pretender after I had stripped it completely down, rebuilt the engine, and painted everything. I had also grown out of the thought that the original name was any good at all. It was the first of five XS650 (The 650 Special) bikes I'd have.

The first vehicle I had that was reliable was a very basic Chevy work truck with power nothing, no AC, no options of any kind. But it was in great shape and very reliable. I named it Roger Taylor because "I'm in Love with My Car" just because I was pretty sure it'd get me where I was going. That was a very big deal to me at the time.

As a young child I had an imaginary friend named Sally. Sally was a boy about my age. I was teased constantly by my mom for having an imaginary friend and for thinking a boy could be named Sally. So I stopped talking about Sally and he kind of went away. When I'd have extreme stress in my life Sally would show back up, having aged along with me. It came up later that people don't normally see their imaginary friends, especially as adults, but sometimes I'll see him somewhere and I've learned to not ask others who it is because when there's nobody there I look a bit crazy. Sally is 40 now and has been a good friend. He helped me get sober, he talks me through things at work. Maybe I shouldn't still be talking to thin air or maybe we all should. I don't know but I'm going to keep on because Sally is a pal and never tells me to hurt people or walk off a bridge or anything, so I'm not too worried. I still don't see why Sally is such a weird name for a boy.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:13 AM on April 30 [15 favorites]


I have something that needs a name - so, good folk of Metafilter, perhaps you can offer a suggestion or two? My 1958 Rambler is done & on the road now {project link here, Shutterfly site w/ more pics here}, and is my daily driver (ok, I telecommute for work, but my driver when I drive) and I have had several people ask me what her name is.

And I say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So if anyone has a good car name, I'm all ears.
posted by hilaryjade at 9:13 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


The first car I ever bought for myself was just about the most basic truck Toyota offered, back when the model was still called a "pickup" - 4 cylinder, standard cab, manual transmission, no power anything, and I had to get out of the car and lock the front wheel hubs to put it in 4WD. That car was Joe.

Well that put a damper on this for me.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:17 AM on April 30


I have decided to name my doctorate degree THAT FUCKING THING I'M DONE WITH because I successfully defended Friday! Of course now I'm spending my beautiful Sunday in Boston trying to wrestle with ProQuest but it's done!

now I just need to get some of these papers ready to submit to journals, start new projects, figure out how to teach next year, figure out when we're moving, and finish planning my wedding (a little more than a month to go!) but I'm so glad to have the hard part of grad school behind me.
posted by dismas at 9:22 AM on April 30 [19 favorites]


Our Jeep Patriot is named Molly because we are in New Jersey and Molly Pitcher is truly a New Jersey patriot!

While I don't name everything, we are the worst at buying little animal tchotchkes at stores because they're the last one there and "alone." Like a single owl salt shaker that was on clearance at Target or the last pewter mouse figurine at the Ren Faire. I put them all on the same shelf so they can have company. My husband is the same way.

I also still have my doll from when I was six (Snuggles) on a shelf in my closet, with the door cracked open so she can "see" out because of &@%!^%! Jessie from Toy Story 2. How many people here were effed up by that song in Toy Story 2?
posted by kimberussell at 9:25 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


My Steiff panther is Irena.
posted by brujita at 9:53 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Whenever I've got something browning in the oven, it's Elizabeth Barrett, but only until it's done.

Hmm... Donne? Dunn?
posted by moonmilk at 9:54 AM on April 30 [6 favorites]


My key and my knife. Allen and Stanley, respectively.
posted by pipeski at 10:08 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


When my son was 3 years old, we moved into an apartment complex that didn't allow pets. So for several months he had a pet orange, named Eddy, who had a little bed made out of a throw pillow, with a towel for a blanket, and a felt robe wrapped around him. He would sometimes even tie a string around Eddy for a leash and take him out for a walk.

When he was older, he named our first GPS "Starla" (because she got all her data from satellites).
posted by drlith at 10:08 AM on April 30 [6 favorites]


I am a crouton petter (in some contexts, not in others) but I have a friend who is waaaaaay worse. Like, I found out that it breaks his heart to see shopping carts far from the store where they 'live'. Anyway, in conversation a few years ago I mentioned that we had a piece of yellow rope hanging high up in the tree out front of our house - it had been there when we moved in - and how I wished I could get it outta' there because it looked shitty to have it blowing in the breeze. My friend got upset and basically said that "That rope LIVES there. He loves swinging in the breeze and watching the children walking to and from school on your street!"

Fuuuuuuck. Okay. But.. Huh. I was not emotionally prepared for that - but I also really didn't want a rope in the tree. Augh. So, when the time came to remove the rope from the tree, I carefully packaged it up in tissue paper, wrote a long note about how excited "Mr. Rope" was to be travelling to my friend's hometown, and how he was thrilled about his retirement to said town. That he looked forward to many years of joy, hanging out there. etc.etc. All written from Mr. Rope's perspective. And then I sent it by mail to my friend.

Mr. Rope, several years later, is still hanging in my friend's backyard - high up in the tree. The kicker is that my friend uses a wheelchair, so he had to get someone else to hang the rope up there - I don't know how he explained that. But, y'know, at least Mr. Rope has a good home now. And my friend knows not to mess with my emotions because I'll mess his up in return.
posted by VioletU at 10:11 AM on April 30 [40 favorites]


My wife calls Siri "Bitch in a box". They do NOT have a good relationship.
posted by HuronBob at 10:14 AM on April 30 [8 favorites]


I feel like I should include the letter that I sent. Apologies for the length here.

26 March 2009

Dear [name redacted]

Please forgive me for my sudden and no-doubt unexpected arrival on your doorstep. Under normal circumstances, I would have written to you in advance but.. this is no ordinary circumstance. I am in dire need of your help. I beg of you to have patience and allow me to explain.

For several years I have resided in a tree in the midst of a small city. It was a very simple life for me – not stressful or difficult. It was my pleasure to watch the comings, and, too, the goings, of the various people of the city.

Though it will sound fanciful, I am not embarrassed to admit that I deeply enjoyed the feeling of the sun (though I admit it has left me looking less vibrant – I was not told of this “sunscreen” thing until recently) and the wind and, yes, even the snow and rains. Seasons changed around me and there I remained.

Although I lived alone there, with no one like me with which to speak or laugh or tell secrets, I was comfortable and safe. I lived my life in the whims of nature. I knew squirrels up-close (they're rather stinky – a gas problem, I believe, from all those nuts) and I had the pleasure of conversing with all manner of birds. I loved the falling red leaves in autumn and the tight green burst of the buds in the spring!

Before I continue, I feel that I should reassure you that I am not a ne'er-do-well or lay-about.. At one time I served a purpose in that tree, beyond my own entertainment! Sadly, the details of my task have been lost with time (my memory is, admittedly, not strong and my service was short). I cannot recall if I held up a sign or a banner or something more dramatic, but I was carefully knotted onto a very high limb and it is that knot which allowed me to stay for so long. Not even the tallest man could reach me unassisted.

And that brings me to the present.

Recently I was cut down from my home by the city workers – for reasons beyond my control. They felt I was a detriment to the growth of the tree – though I don't recall them consulting with either of us on this matter, and I know that the tree was healthy and fine beneath my knots. Using a long pole with a sharp cutter on the end, they plucked at me and cut into me and dragged me down from the tree. I don't mind admitting that I have never felt such pain! It was terrifying.

Oh, [name redacted] there are no words to describe my feelings as I fell away from my home.

Were it my decision, I'd have remained affixed to a high limb on the tree for the rest of my days – quite likely for a long, long time (I was born of sturdy stock; my grandfather lived for more than 70 years in a garage in Toronto!).

I am not one to bemoan fate, but on finding myself coiled limply on the cold, wet ground, I gave in to the deepest of despair. What did I have left? Nothing. I had lost everything: My dreams! My hopes! My beautiful view of the comings-and-goings!

I wept and I trembled and I wondered as to my future. I admit that I half-desired the swift death that I witnessed for the tree limbs – chipped and shredded and quickly disposed. An end to the pain.

As I lay weeping, a kindly (and beautiful and smart and also funny) woman came along and carefully scooped me up in her small hands. She looked at me and, I confess, I felt a warmth spread through me at this – for it has been many years since someone gazed at me for more than a passing moment. I had forgotten the feeling of warmth, too, that exudes from the flesh of humans!

I could see the concern in her (beautiful, green, soulful) eyes and, too, her hesitation. As she held me, she whispered, “I cannot leave you on the ground but.. I have too many humans and animals and a ridiculously large collection of inanimate objects relying on me.. but I cannot bear to break your heart. I must think of how I can help you.”

She carried me into her home, the one I have watched for some time now, and gently placed me down. I sat on the counter in her kitchen for several hours and felt comfortable and safe (perhaps unrelated, I am certain that I heard her giggling, quietly, in the living room) No matter, though, as I was so curious as to my surroundings! The dogs, up close! The cat, so soft-furred! The scent of warmth and home and family and happiness!

The beautiful (smart, funny, and wonderful) woman soon returned to tell me that she had found a perfect solution and it was then that she suggested I come to your home. She told me that you were a kind man, a caring man, who would ensure that I could live out my remaining days in the sunshine – and the wind and rain and snow. She felt you would understand this, shall we say, “unique” situation.

Perhaps sensing my hesitation, she reminded me, too, that life is about accepting change and embracing new adventures. I was still sad, of course, but I began to feel myself filling with.. hope.

Oh [name redacted], I had never dreamt that I'd find myself in need of the kindness of strangers! I feel so awkward and out of sorts as I type this!

It is my intent to make a new start, with your assistance. I realize that, in my present physical state and advanced age, I am not of much help in the way a new rope might be. I am no longer strong enough to use for many tasks nor, I realize, do I have sufficient length for many projects. For this reason, I will understand if you are unable to keep me.. but, oh, I hope you will take a chance!

I assure you that I am not fussy or particular – I do not require a high limb in a tree with a sturdy knot! In fact, a change of scenery might be exactly what's needed to restore my faith – a shrub? A railing? A chair? Or perhaps it is time for me to experience life “indoors”?

Although we have only just now met, I am afraid that I must place my future and my fate into your hands. I have no other choice! But.. I trust that you will care for me, inasmuch as you are able. I would be grateful for even the tiniest of consideration and will do my best to make you smile with my (faded) cheerful yellow colour and my appreciation of your kindness.

I will, of course, understand if you must dispose of me – I know that most men would - and I can only hope that, should you choose that path, you will do so swiftly and spare me great suffering.

Yours Sincerely and Hopefully,

Mr. Yellow A. Rope.
posted by VioletU at 10:16 AM on April 30 [37 favorites]

ArbitraryAndCapricious: "I can't decide whether I should tell my boss or not. And now I'm wondering what other tedious tasks can magically be solved with the help of regular expressions."

And now you have two problems.
Ha! I am so glad to hear that hating RegExes is a thing. To be fair, I think that hacker extraordinaire Jamie Zawinski was probably talking about tasks that were a little more complex than taking a zillion entries in the format "Thing1_Thing2" and reformatting them to be "Thing2 Thing1". I'm not coding here: I'm just doing a dumb clerical task that involves translating a bunch of things from Computer to Human.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:16 AM on April 30


I thought I had none-well, except the huge stainless waffle maker named Wafflestar Galactica, and the British Siri who is my boyfriend, Colin. Then I asked my 11 year old, and before I could finish explaining the topic, she was off with her list:
-our Xbox is Shelly.
-her soccer cleats are mula, one the right one, and cula)
-violin is leonardo
-giant blue beanbag pillow is Puffball McGee. Eyebrows, your kin are everywhere.
posted by purenitrous at 10:27 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


If you have a list of things (data) that has a certain pattern and you need it in another specific pattern regex is just toasty, annoying and fiddly but really handy. I suppose one could rebuild an engine block with just a screwdriver, but it's the wrong tool so just don't.

I grew up with cars with names, drove some and used the names, but just have not met a car recently that deserved a name (well a printable name).
posted by sammyo at 10:32 AM on April 30


I will anthropomorphize basically everything (the bus is sleeping) and I will pat and thank the big machines at work for doing their jobs, but not that many objects have names. The tiny truck I drove in college and grad school was Puppy (a little clumsy, and wayward but willing). My car after that was Fez (license plate related). The plates are since transferred to newer wheels... babyFez/FezJr hasn't really settled on a name yet.

But when I was young whoo-boy was I a namer of things in my life. My school backpack was Malcolm, my bigger hiking pack Cormac. My parents still use these names to ask after my luggage. Only one of their cars has ever gotten named, though. Blucher. (neigh). It was a blue Astro van -- from back when you could get the configuration with a bench seat and windows all around, but the hose-out-able rubber matting everywhere. That van was incredible. It had far more power than it needed, and a really terrifyingly high center of gravity. It was the go-to for camping and road trips and hauling mulch and teaching teenage janell to drive. Anyway, the "blue car" morphed into Blucar and then the Young Frankenstein Frau Blucher neighing horses gag entered the scene and Blucher (neigh) was born. That van's been out of the picture for maybe 20 years? Everyone still neighs, except for the person whose story mentioned the name.
posted by janell at 10:38 AM on April 30


I'm naturally prone to crouton petting. (It's something I've worked very hard to control, especially when it comes to large heavy things that serve no purpose.) But, for some reason, it never occurs to me to name things. My mom names everything, which is delightful. I think she was genuinely disappointed when I couldn't come up with a name for my first car. It sounds like a fun tradition, but not at all something that comes natural to me.

My most cherished pet object is a mechanical pencil that I've had for more than 20 years. I bought it in 9th or 10th grade and used it exclusively, nearly every day, for decades. After it finished marking up final changes to a PhD thesis, I decided it had served long enough with distinction that it should be allowed to enjoy retirement. (Besides, my joy at using it failed to keep up with the concern that it might get lost. Carrying it around increased the chances that an attempted mugging would lead to violence by a hundred fold.) Fortunately, in a rare feat of strategic planning, I'd purchased a lifetime supply of identical pencils before the company stopped making them. I'm now using pencil #2 at home and pencil #3 at work, with many more safely stored away until the need arises. The original sits unceremoniously in a felt jacket in a desk drawer. All of the paint and finish are worn away from finger contact, so it's dull aluminum and brass colored with just a hint of black. But it still works great.

For the curious, it's a Yafa "executive pencil." Looks like they no longer make it. (And as far as I can tell, they've never made anything else worth buying.) Here's a questionable looking auction site archive with images. It is the perfect pencil.

But. . . I never thought of naming it. It's just "the pencil."
posted by eotvos at 11:13 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Hillary Jade, try Rose, homage to Ramblin' Rose, here.
posted by Oyéah at 12:12 PM on April 30


So we have developed this elaborate backstory for Eric being this unloved bastard child that purposefully screws up conversations

That reminds me of the last place I lived, that had a slightly flaky wireless doorbell system. Every once in a while, with nobody at the front door, the receiver would emit a single "bing" or "-bong" - never both together. Whenever it happened while we had guests, my housemate and I explained that we had an extremely selective poltergeist named "George".
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:13 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


I have a 25-year-old toaster oven whose name is Alfredo. I also have a coffee thermos named Stanley. These are actual model and brand names, respectively, but I like the idea that they have names that are actual names.
posted by scratch at 12:20 PM on April 30


The first family car I remember as a kid was a 1956 Ford named Betsy; Mom named all their cars Betsy.

The car I learned to drive in, a 1962 Ford Falcon, was named the Magic Machine --- as in, "look, it's magic: the car wants to go over 30mph today!" Seriously. It was, as you can imagine, an exceedingly safe car for teen drivers: you could not speed in that thing.

The first car I actually owned, a 1969 3-speed VW semi-automatic, was Horst. Sigh. I still miss Horst.

My last car, an 'electric blue' 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser (murdered by a damn fool who T-boned me when she ran a red light last September) was Babe, the Beautiful Blob.

The current car, a 2016 Honda HR-V, hasn't yet told me its name; but I'm sure it will, sooner or later.
posted by easily confused at 12:22 PM on April 30


No American company would have used such a color scheme. So the backpack was named Eurotrash.

If you hadn't specified climbing backpack I would have bet good money on the brand being Invicta; I still boggle at all the tiny little school kids with enormous backpacks in an eye-searingly hideous print.

Dawwwww, I can be asome bunny!

My apologies but a genetic disposition towards bad puns forced me to FTFY.

It's been a month and change since the new car arrived but so far it hasn't lent itself to a name other than "la Up!" like Hub's car is "la Leon." I'm musing upon Diana, taking a cue from my four year old who pronounces our favorite superhero as "Wonder Woy" when she's overly excited.
posted by romakimmy at 12:25 PM on April 30


We are a family of crouton petters, and one thing our daughter noticed, articulated, and hates, is the naming or anthropomorphizing of objects. Do NOT say 'Thank you, Toothbrush, you have served us well.' when you throw an old toothbrush into the trash. You have just made it sad, Mom. Ditto, 'Godspeed, old pair of sneakers' etc etc.

Live and learn.

Let's not even get started on Cuddles the Bear, a thirty-year-old teddy bear who was also *my* teddy bear. He has a little crack at his butt seam we have to have fixed and it's like he's going in for major surgery.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:42 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Also, we put googly eyes on a lot of objects we shouldn't, like vacuum cleaners. So we definitely have a family-level series of cognitive conflicts. The dustbuster and robot vacuums have googly eyes and are collectively termed the Friendly Cleanlies.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:44 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


Sorry for the third comment but I just realized Cuddles is forty.

No wonder he eats all the Tums.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:46 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I'm like, the anti-crouton petter. My entire apartment could burn down and I can't think of anything I would miss (assuming the cats were okay). I don't know anyone else as unsentimental as me.

I'm this way, too. A friend of mine describes her wife as "the kind of person who will throw out a snow shovel in July because it hasn't been used for a few months." I can be like that, too.

There are a few things I've gotten rid of that I sometimes regret. One is the crap mass-market paperback of Leaves of Grass that I bought when I was 14. I marked all the poems I liked with paperclips, which left rust stains. When I got older, I had the resources to buy better copies of LoG, and did so, and eventually in a purge I let that copy go. I'd have it back, if I could, because it was such a touchstone of my discovery of Whitman and of poetry more generally during Freshman English in 1979. And all those hours in my bedroom reading it! And memorizing poems.

Another is a poster from the 1987 March on Washington, the "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are" one, because that was a really important moment in my life.

I think when I was 30 and 40, I was quick to get rid of things—like old lesbian jewelry, political buttons, and so on—that I didn't "need" anymore. Now that I'm past 50, there are just a few of those things I'd like to be able to hold in my hands again. A few years ago, a good friend of mine found a carved wooden box in which she had a crystal necklace, a labrys earring, and so on, from our late-80s lesbian life. When you opened the box, it smelled like patchouli. I didn't know when I was younger that I might someday value a little time capsule like that.

It's a minor regret, in part because I know myself pretty well, and I know if I still had those things, I'd be experiencing them as burdensome clutter. If I hadn't gotten rid of them 15 years ago, I'd have gotten rid of them ten years ago, or five years ago. And if I were to come across them now, I'd think, "Why the hell do I still have this? I thought I got rid of it ages ago." But I do have a pang or two from time to time.
posted by Orlop at 12:52 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


I name things by the sounds they make, which is hard to explain in text.

But, people seem to enjoy my enactments of objects such as spray bottles, keys, or other objects that make sounds in use.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:52 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


On the animate-object front, even when I was a kid I had a cornball sense of humor; when I was 11 (years before "The Simpsons" was even a gleam in Matt Groening's eye) we got an all-black cat I was quite tickled to name Snowball -

I have a friend who bought a very, very old sealskin cap in a vintage shop some years ago. He calls it "Clubby" because he is a bad, bad person.
posted by Orlop at 12:57 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


Lastly, I once dated a girl that at one moment could not remember the word for "hand blender" so, in exasperation and need, asked for the "UURRRRR-thingy".

The other night, I wanted to ask my partner to open some windows and run the attic fan to get some cool air in the house, and I couldn't remember the phrase "attic fan" so I told him to turn on the "suck-air machine."

I love these kind of things for the hints they give us about how our brain works, how it stores and recalls information.
posted by Orlop at 1:01 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]


I'm not a particularly sentimental person, so when I first saw the term, through some leaps in logic, I ended up calling sentimental objects "croutons". ("I don't understand, why do I want to keep this small reminder of a particularly nice time in my life? How strange.")

Anyway, shortly after discovering the term, I had to box up my life to be moved: pack in february, then a friend would come retrieve it it in march, and it would be moved cross-country in may or june when we moved in together... so I labelled all the boxen very specifically, so I'd be able to unpack in some semblance of order: books, kitchen utensils, plates, baking goods, sheets, ... croutons. When friend and I were unloading the cube of out packed boxes, they asked me: "Why did you pack an entire box of croutons?"

They and the cohuman also picked up on this usage of crouton (easier to write than SENTIMENTAL OBJECTS or MEMORABILIA on a moving box), so when we moved again last month, the three of us labeled the boxen of croutons "CROUTONS". Fourth housemate didn't hear about this usage in the last two years, apparently, because we found them staring at the boxen: "Why did you pack four boxes of croutons?"
posted by you could feel the sky at 1:17 PM on April 30 [11 favorites]


(All these things bubbling up as I read other people's stories...)

My friends and I have a habit, when we can't remember a name of a person or item, of referring to it in unhelpful generic terms:

"You remember that show? The one with the thing?"
"Which thing?"
"You know, the thing, and that...stuff. Where they went to the place?"
"Oh yeah, that had that guy in it."
"That's the one!"

It isn't until after we get tired of that game that we actually try to name/describe whatever it was we were trying to remember. Surprisingly often, just going through that bit of silliness helps bust loose the term or title we'd forgotten.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:27 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


My first car, an ancient red Miata, was "Big Bertha" (obviously).

My current car, a powder blue New Beetle convertible is "Eleanor". I did not name this car. The car was named thusly by her first owner, after his grandmother, and I could not bring myself to change it.

I have a shaggy faux-fur jacket that I refer to as my PLUR coat. For those not up on 90s rave slang, PLUR stands for "peace, love, unity, and respect", and is the proper name for this type of fur, which is made from the extruded spinal fluid of candy ravers, as opposed to skinned Muppet, the more common material for these coats.

I have a taxidermy red fox from the 1920s that is named Simon Templar.

I used to own a plastic deer decoy named Buck Rogers. I friend (who owned a clothing shop a block away from mine) had one named Louis Vuitton. We had a running window display fight between the two deer via speech bubbles that lasted around 6 months. The deer would insult one another, but secretly they were lovers.
posted by ananci at 1:45 PM on April 30 [6 favorites]


I'm a crouton petter extraordinaire, to the point where I have felt extraordinarily guilty throwing non-recyclable plastic wrapping away because it's going to be alone! in a landfill! for thousands and thousands of years! And like others in this thread, my parents brought it on themselves. For example:

1. We used to drive past a yard where school buses were parked off-hours. It became known, in a rough translation of the Cantonese, the busy-wusy house.

2. When I was a toddler, our local grocery store was one where they had, inside the store, at the end of one of the aisles, a talking Coke machine. When you got close, it would ask out loud, "Would you like to buy a Coke today?" We only spoke Chinese at home, so I didn't understand what it was, and my dad told me had to translate. And then he added that it was a Coke Mommy and the little Coke cans that we drank were her children, and if you gave her fifty cents or whatever, she would sell you one of her children. And when the Coke Mommy talked to you, you should politely say hello and thank her back.

He assumed it was a cute thing and if we went and said hello when we were in the store, and it might be a way to kill time while my mom was grocery shopping.

Annnnnd then came the day when we were in the vicinity somebody bought a soda and cracked the top in front of Coke Mommy, and my toddler self might have lost her ever-loving shit about the idea of a kid having its head ripped off and drunk right in front of its mommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:56 PM on April 30 [16 favorites]


I have never named an inanimate object. Not even stuffed animals when I was a kid. The closest thing I can think of is that I name all clueless and slow people who are driving in front of me "Clem." As in, "OK, Clem, it's the pedal on the right," or "What precisely are you looking for, Clem?"
posted by Daily Alice at 2:01 PM on April 30


Household appliances are 'The Robot'. 'The Robot' will wash the dishes.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:05 PM on April 30


The kitchen timer (or anything that beeps loudly and persistently until you deal with it, old washing machine at the end of a cycle, I am looking at you) is known as The Beepy Overlord in my house.

My ancient iPod classic is called Taxi Duck III (can't remember why, it was an iPod mini to start so that was the original Taxi Duck, then this classic was TD II and then I had to reformat it after mumble mumble years recently so it became TD III), my laptop has been Black Widow for awhile and my wifi is 'a_series_of_tubes' so I am always connecting to a series of tubes.

A friend of ours once forgot the concept of a letter box and end up calling it an envelope house. So that's a thing that gets said now.

My husband is a Smarmasaurus Rex if he is being particularly cheesy at me.
posted by halcyonday at 2:21 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why but I've never actually named any of my gear. My car is "The Zee," not "The Zed," even though I have enough Canadian/British cultural influence that it really ought to be a thing. For whatever reason I've taken to naming my computers after Deep Space Nine runabouts (or big rivers, take your pick), though. I've never used those names in a crouton-petting sort of context, though.

Maybe the closest thing I come is affectionately calling my cat "The Cat" even though she has a name, Thea. As in, "Are you ready for your scritchings, The Cat? Who's a good The Cat?" (I occasionally make very bad puns like, "So, Miss Thea, how are you thea-ling today? Thea-ling like running around? Yes you are!"

My router's SSID is "Madame Thea's Casa de Spice" (which is both a pun on my name, trolling the neighbors, AND my acknowledgement of what we all know to be true -- the cat runs the place).
posted by Alterscape at 2:33 PM on April 30


me too lazuli!
I also, before I restart the electronic thing to (hopefully) fix whatever issue, tell my devices that they are gonna have a nice refreshing nap and then pat them affectionately.
I know you are tired. It'll be okay.
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:45 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


"I couldn't remember the phrase "attic fan" so I told him to turn on the "suck-air machine."
I love these kind of things for the hints they give us about how our brain works, how it stores and recalls information."


I call my pot holders "hot hands" and I can never, ever remember the term "potholder."

I also call both the dishwasher and clothes washer "the washing machine" which drives me husband crazy but they are BOTH MACHINES THAT WASH.

"Or, let's say, a lightweight, medium-sized, east-west, crossbody purse that's only as deep as halfway to my elbow (with enough structure so it can stand upright, but enough give to curve along a hip when walking), just enough appropriately-sized pockets in the right places, a single adjustable strap, a front pocket that fits my transit pass, and a proper zipper (vs a single magnet, come on) - this makes me ecstatic. Or would if I could find it... "

How about this one? Or this? Fancier, but may not stand. Kate Spade option, although I don't think you'll like the external pocket.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:47 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Other things:

After an unfortunate experience with a really cold tube of Arrid Extra Dry gel back about 2001, we started referring to all deodorant as "armpit squid." It's been a decade and a half now, and that's still what we call it.

We called our first dog's crate "the dog box." We now have a Chihuahua mix whose nickname is "BugBug," so her crate is called "the Bug box."

"Trudy" is the name for the plaintive little inner voice that tells us that our home/car/outfit/letterhead/canapes/whatever aren't good enough, and that by not having better ones, we're showing active disrespect for the people around us, all of whom will most certainly (and justifiably) loathe us in response. When we do something time consuming, expensive, or otherwise bizarre in response to Trudy's urgings, "Trudy" becomes a verb.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:40 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


We have a massive hosta named Mr. Creosote. And the laser light the cat is obsessed with is the Demon, as in "daddy summon the demon so I can vanquish it!"
posted by Cocodrillo at 5:08 PM on April 30


My daughter had two toy monkeys when she was little called Monkey C and Monkey Do. I may have had a hand in naming them.

In an alternate reality I have a wine shop called Bottlestore Galactica.
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 5:29 PM on April 30 [11 favorites]


I named my Zojirushi rice cooker Bernard after the character from Westworld.
posted by stowaway at 5:58 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


My friends and I have a habit, when we can't remember a name of a person or item, of referring to it in unhelpful generic terms

My coworker does this but she's serious about it. The worst recent example was, "Who's that client? The one with the arm?" She absolutely expected that this description would be sufficient for us to know who she was talking about.
posted by lazuli at 6:12 PM on April 30 [3 favorites]


My father had this giant kind of hideous alternating white and yellow umbrella that mostly lived in his car. When my husband and I would visit Dad at his retirement community, my husband would grill things like burgers and hotdogs on Dad's tiny Weber grill, and if it started to rain, the big umbrella would come out to protect the burgers till they were done. Somewhere along the line Mr. gudrun and Dad started calling the umbrella "Old Yaller" (playing off of Old Yeller), really drawling out the pronunciation of the "a" of the "Yaller" part when they said the word. And so "Old Yaller" it remained, till it headed off to the umbrella graveyard.
posted by gudrun at 6:14 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


My wife has been known to feel apologetic towards socks or underwear she hasn't worn for a while.

I've never really been one for naming inanimate objects, but I have a lot of nicknames for my daughters. The main ones being Sausage Blossom and Chuckleberry.
posted by nickmark at 6:20 PM on April 30


My piano is the most important inanimate object in the house. She is named Hildegard. Hildegard von Blüthner.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:29 PM on April 30


My first car was on old Plymouth Duster. It somehow through the influence of Motörhead and beer became know among me and my friends as Eine Düster. Yes, we knew that made no sense.

I worked at a copy and printing shop in Cambridge off and on during school and later. Think indie Kinkos but with a blueprint machine and no corporate overlords. We named all the copiers after dead rock stars. Copiers would go out of service or "die" until the maintenance guys came which led to conversations like this that may have confirmed customers' opinions that we were all fucked up kids.

"Hey, got this new job in. Is Elvis still dead?"
-- "Yeah, Elvis is still dead."
"How about Buddy?"
-- "Dead too, but Jimi is back."
"OK, we can have that for you in about 15 minutes."

One time the owners let us make up some ads. So, the first week we had a sandwich board out front with giant clip art bunnies on it and the cheesy slogan, "Typotech: Come in and watch us reproduce." My week was the sneery "Typotech: Better copies than you deserve." They really let us do whatever the hell we wanted. It was a great place to work. But, we also had all the business for two Harvard graduate divisions, and a local spy agency think tank, so we must have been doing something right.

These days, the only named inanimate object in my life is The Princess. She is a large, antique Japanese chest of drawers, or tansu, that sits in the living room. She is so named because she was very expensive, required delicate care, traveled better than we human owners did across the Pacific (twice), and now is kind of too big and imposing for the rest of our home.
posted by Gotanda at 6:30 PM on April 30 [5 favorites]


I've given my wife Harley the pet name of Kitten, because I was reading Carter Brown's classic noir novel The Deadly Kitten when we first hooked-up. She reminded me of the titular femme fatale of the book and it stuck, though she hasn't yet tried to kill me like the dame in the ink and pulp. Because I was 13 years older than her I became Ol' Pappy, which she's since shortened to Pappy or just Pap, when in a rush, like a smear.

Once we were working on a project documenting odd roadside attractions and museums of the mid-atlantic, requiring weeks of backroad travel and roadside camping, and she bought two old red hand towels at a thrift store along the way which became our all purpose galactic hitchhikers towels for most of the trip, always at our sides. She wrote KITTEN on the bottom of hers and PAPPY on mine with a black Sharpie. Fifteen years later they still hang next to the sink in the downstairs bathroom with our faded nicks still visible and legible to the knowing ones. I love my Deadly Kitten so much.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:30 PM on April 30 [11 favorites]


In our household the remote (currently missing) is more than occasionally referred to as the wand of power.

In the Gotanda household it is simple, "The Power." Resulting in...
"Have you got the power?"
"I got the power!"
posted by Gotanda at 6:51 PM on April 30 [6 favorites]


All of my computers have been named "Disco Machine." My ipods are "big disco machine", "80s disco machine", "yard work disco machine", and "dance dance disco machine."

My home network is, "kittensandporns."
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:54 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


For reasons that I believe actually made sense at the time, I call the pet-hair-remover / lint brush a "broctoon," after an obscure SNL sketch about Mr. Belvedere. I used to explain the reference, but now that's just what it's called. I was thrilled the day I learned there's a MeFite here also named after that sketch. Or after my lint brush.

I haven't figured out how to rename our WiFi router, but I do have a sign up in our guest room giving this handy mnemonic to remember the assigned password: Tell Grandma 1,873 green fried bananas for 8 cat stew. I haven't forgotten it myself, since. I changed some of the numbers here. I'm not giving my password away on the internet that easily
posted by Mchelly at 6:56 PM on April 30


We call the remote the Wand of Watoomb.
posted by vrakatar at 7:39 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I live alone, so I talk to my cats even more than I might usually. I also brush their teeth every night, and I work hard to make that seem like something fun we do. I used to call out, "Kitties! Toothbrushing time!" One night, however, I mistakenly said, "Kitties! Brushtoothing time!" and now that's what it's called. Brushtoothing. Only the cat version though.

I realize this means I have inside jokes with my cats. I'll own that.
posted by lazuli at 7:52 PM on April 30 [33 favorites]


I'm not much of a namer of things, though I do talk to (and pat, with varying levels of force) the appliances and cars. Even if they don't have names, they do seem to have feelings. The older car, the Protege, is annoyed with me and it acts up every time I drive it. Behaves just fine for my mom, who drives it more often.

Someone in my neighborhood named their wifi network Paper Street Soap Co. Which pissed me off at the time, because I had intended to name mine something Fight Club-ish. So I went with a Star Trek captain, and now that I have two bands, two captains. Because they're still there. So is Mike's bachelor pad. We used to have an FBI Surveillence Van, but they seem to have driven off. Typical.
posted by monopas at 8:10 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]




lazuli: everything you need, all in one aisle.

I AM TOTALLY SHOPPING THERE ALL THE TIME FOREVER MORE.
posted by lazuli at 8:32 PM on April 30 [5 favorites]


I don't currently have a cat(s), but I'm willing to get some just so I can shop under that sign. (Including the butcher's at the back - gotta keep my smoker fed!)
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:31 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


My cats got some lovely grass-fed flank steak this evening because I was making a stir-fry and they were being completely cattishly annoying, so I'm just warning you that combining those signs will require butcher packages slightly larger than required for smoking. Which totally sounds dirty and was not my intent, but I'll go with it.
posted by lazuli at 9:40 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Suuuure....
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:47 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


"crouton petting"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:43 AM on May 1


This is Think. He ponders the dishes . This is Lady Dance. She lives in a bottle of booze that my father won at a Rotary Club raffle in the 70's. She's a clockwork ballerina who dances to the 'Blue Danube'. Both were named by my oldest son when he was just a toddler. They are beloved members of the family and both of my sons are going to fight over who gets them when I finally croak because they love them as much as me. It's possible I might add them to my will but on the other hand, I like the idea of my grown male children fighting over nonsense (I'm not planning on dying until they've become adults).
posted by h00py at 6:51 AM on May 1


We call the remote the Wand of Watoomb. - Vrakatar

Do you wave it and say WATOOMB! WATOOMB! whenever you change the channels?
posted by moonmilk at 7:28 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


When she started riding the city bus by herself a couple years ago, I got my daughter a flip phone. Her first 'device'. She was thrilled that it looked like a Star Trek communicator, and named it Uhura since she's the communications officer. Last month I gave her an old iphone that she can only use for photos and music - it's not connected to phone or data service. So since it's got the ability to do everything, but isn't allowed to do anything, she named it Wesley.
posted by latkes at 7:54 AM on May 1 [21 favorites]


Can you block it from wifi somehow?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:04 AM on May 1


Re naming your Honda Fit the TARDIS: surely it should be the CARDIS?


My car is called Trixie, and my previous one (an ancient Toyota) was Ol' Bessie. My cello is named Harold. My ratty old stuffed panda I've had since I was 6 months old is named Amanda The Panda (though I can't take credit for naming her).

My family also does the using-words-that-children-mispronounced thing, but it goes back generations. So "ambulance" is "ambulix" because that's how I pronounced it, "chocolate milk" is "cockybah" because that's how my dad pronounced it when he was wee, and "misled" is "my-zled" because my grandfather had a reader's vocabulary when he was in elementary school.
posted by coppermoss at 8:08 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


I am definitely not a crouton-petter, and apparently it's genetic because my four-year-old son, who should be in the prime naming-precious-things time, doesn't name anything unless explicitly prompted by an adult. And his names are very on-the-nose because he really doesn't care. He has three dragon stuffed animals and they are named Big Dragon, Little Dragon and Very Little Dragon. His sock monkey is named Monkey Monkey [HisLastName]. And in all cases I had to specifically ask him whether those things had names and if so, what. His entire room and all its contents could vanish tomorrow and he'd be fine.

We definitely do the calling things what the kid calls them long after the kid should have been told differently. He calls sweatpants "relaxing pants" and that is now what all sweatpants for all people in the household are called.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:25 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


Can you block it from wifi somehow?

posted by Joseph Gurl 48 minutes ago [+] [!]


Wellll... I didn't intend to allow her to use wifi but I have been at home. I imagine she sneakily uses it when she's out some too. At home I limit it by just telling her to put it away. It still feels like a middle ground where she is not constantly connected.
posted by latkes at 8:55 AM on May 1


Ah, gotcha. Was wondering if there were some trick I didn't know about.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:01 AM on May 1


Can you block it from wifi somehow?

If you wanted to do such a thing, it could probably be done from the router settings via MAC address filtering.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:33 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Er, I mean, you could block it from your home WiFi that way. That wouldn't block it from connecting to any WiFi.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:34 AM on May 1


I always pet the subway car when it arrives
I touch the outside of the airplane with my right hand as I am boarding. It is not for safety but to touch some paint/metal that will soon be exposed to the air at 35K feet.

My mom always named her cars when we were young and in Kindergarten, it was Emma. My teacher found it odd when that name came up and I told her, "That's our car's name!" She was a good teacher otherwise.
posted by soelo at 9:35 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Slarty Bartfast: My wife and I continue to use the names for things my (now 8 year old) son called them when he was 2.

Oddly, we didn't have many. For all our weird things, the only things with names in our house are toys our boys have named (and rename with some frequency). We had fafu, a variation on foffer, which came from my sister-in-law's name for her pacifier (recalled now as being pronounced in a plaintive, searching wail -- "faaa-fer, faaa-fer" -- the cry of a small child who has lost their pacifier). My brother, as a tiny person, called cement mixers "munkamickers," and cherry pickers (crane trucks) were "perry chickers," names that stuck around through our older childhood.


bondcliff: The only things I can think of is our Garmin GPS, which my wife and I refer to as Jill, after the voice that we picked for her.

My parents-in-law have Gallopin' Gertie, in memory of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. When naming ours, I think it was my wife who picked Lil' Wayne. I'm not sure if we've given it a gender, but the voice is the default feminine voice. In discussing this recently, my wife pointed out it was a lot better than if we had Lil' Jon. Oh Yeah!

My brother, our friend and I named our circa 1994 Gateway PC Orpheus, after looking for naming inspiration from my parents' bookshelves. Somewhere the Lyre of Orpheus came up. I think that was the last computer I named with much consideration. I had some boxy/boxen names, and my wife had Lappy The Revenge.


jessamyn: I don't have kids or pets and naming plants is a bit too far even for me, so this is what I have.

Talking about this yesterday with my wife, she said that now we have boys, it might have been that everything up to that point was practice in picking the right names, which makes sense to me.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 AM on May 1


Interesting that ponytail rubber bands have so many different names. My niece called them ponos when she was 2 or 3 and we've all called them ponos (like pornos without the r) ever since.

I do name my chickens, because they're sort of halfway between livestock and pets. They are/were Noodle, Nugget*, Potpie*, Marsala, Parmesan, Teriyaki, Tikka, Kabob* and Super*. They're layers, not broilers so we don't eat our chickens, but I feel like their names are thinly veiled threats, just in case they decide to stop laying or eat my lettuce garden.


*may they rest in peace
posted by Sophie1 at 10:26 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


I have never named a vehicle. In part, this is because I've never found a name that really felt like a match. Primarily, though, it's because one of my best friends in high school named her ancient LeSabre "Ferris Buick" and I realized that nothing I could ever do would even remotely compare to that.

For many years, I named my computers. Said names were invariably extremely British (the first two were Nigel and Basil, IIRC), because it was so much easier to hurl abuse at them for their misbehavior when constrained by needing to use proper regency insults. I eventually gave up on the naming conventions, both because of ontological ambiguity (if you swap out Nigel's motherboard and RAM, is he still Nigel?) and because my parents started passing worried glances when they heard muted shouts of "Basil, you insufferable git" coming from the upstairs bedroom.
posted by Mayor West at 10:34 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]


Aw, I hate being so late to these threads. I am very fond of naming vehicles:
My first car was a baby blue Toyota Camry that my grandmother gave me. I named it "Gramma" after her. Next was a tan Kia Sephia named "Blandy: The Blandest Little Car in the Whole Wide World". My Jetta never really got a name- which I felt kind of guilty about the whole time I had it.
Currently I have a silver Toyota named "Scar" because it is a silver car. Plus it has a dent.

Finally, my bike is "Comrade Pedals", because it is a loyal companion in my activities, and also it's red.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 11:14 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


I thought, well, I don't really do this, and then I thought--I'm not sure if it's really crouton-petting because it's depictions of people? But I have two Shrinky-Dink style charms of the main characters of an anime movie called Doukyuusei, which I pretend sometimes to like only casually. The reality is that while they currently live on my desk, when they put in the new carpet here in my cube farm, I insisted on transporting them home overnight because it didn't seem safe enough here for them to spend the night in my desk drawer. Even though it was arguably more dangerous to take them home. At one point one of them fell out of my bag and onto the floor of my car. I was kind of a mess about it.

I drive a badly aging PT Cruiser. I'm not going to anthropomorphize it because if I did that I'm pretty sure it wouldn't like me.
posted by Sequence at 11:21 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


My post pounder is also known as My Magic Whanger. When it's time to drive T-posts for the garden, I say I'm off to plunk My Magic Whanger 'cause that ought to hold those little bastards for a while.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:33 AM on May 1 [2 favorites]


"misled" is "my-zled"

Pffft. Every reader knows it's pronounced "mice-ld."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:33 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


Monkey Toes - "pluck the Magic Twanger" is the sound of the cat plucking the wires of a window screen with her claws to signal that she wants to be let in from the front porch door (at my parent's house).
When I grew up and got a cat of my own, I put in a cat door.
posted by janell at 11:50 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


My first car didn't have a name, but by the end of it's life it had not-so-lovingly been called Baby. As in "Baby, I can't afford to take you to the shop again", and "Baby, just a little bit further." (Baby was a total lemon.) My second car was named Ki -- pronounced key. Ki because it was a Kia, and also because a key made a car go. (Puns!)

The current car is called Suki. I picked that mostly because I wanted a name like Ki, as she's another Kia, but different. I was super into Avatar: The Last Airbender at the time, so Suki kind of stuck. I like it, although I don't call her that out loud too much.

I've half-heartedly tried naming electronics over the years, from the computers Novel, Novella, and Novelette (I used them mostly to write projects for NaNoWriMo), to the tablets Dinah, Stephanie, and Zatanna (points for the theme), and my smartphone, Toph... because Suki needed a buddy.

We named the Chromecast Sven and the Roku Olaf because we'd gotten them both right after Frozen came out. The wifi network is named "Net Central Station" because we set it up when Wreck-It Ralph was new.

I keep wanting to name my appliances, but nothing's quite fit. My mother, however, had an automatic pool cleaner she called Lucy when I was a kid. Whenever she was asked why it was called Lucy, my mother would always say "because no man works as hard as it does."
posted by PearlRose at 12:09 PM on May 1


You guys know you shouldn't anthropomorphize inanimate objects, right? They hate it when you do that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:20 PM on May 1 [10 favorites]


Finally, I can tell someone about the hand blender I inherited in college and named Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Then my roommates named the fridge LL Cool J, and the toaster, inexplicably, Dan the Automator.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:09 PM on May 1 [13 favorites]


Nothing in our house really has an interesting name, but my 3-year-old has named most of the lampposts nearby. The nearest two are Ferret and Po, and we must stop and greet them with hugs and air-kisses every time we pass. (I insisted on the air-kisses - she was full-on smooching them before and I already lost this fight with snails, I'm not budging when it comes to lampposts.) They are best friends but are currently having toilet training issues.

Her cuddly toys mostly don't have such rich internal lives. Some of them have names of her creation (Hotel the cat and Telecock the bear - wtf I don't even know) but her current favourite is a rabbit which is just called Rabbit because "some rabbits have got names but some rabbits, they not got names."
posted by Catseye at 1:11 PM on May 1 [19 favorites]


My mom is a Namer, but what amuses me most is the way all her nicknames evolve over time. Grapes turned into grapooslers turned into pooslers - a word I totally forgot until I visited home one time and she asked me if I wanted some pooslers like it was the most normal thing in the world. Similarly, our dog consistently answered to Bandit, B, Beehive, Hivey, and Hivers - one can only wonder what else would have come along had he lived longer.
posted by R a c h e l at 2:09 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


I have a skull topped sword cane named Rooky. You know. The way Scooby Doo would say spooky.

Not everyone is a big fan of naming swords of course.
posted by biffa at 2:17 PM on May 1


My wife bought a auto-opening kitchen garbage can we have named Canakin. Canakin tends to open up when someone stands near him, so I am sometimes told to "Move over, you're upsetting Canakin."
posted by gamera at 2:18 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]




I don't really name things and was musing sort of sadly that even our cats were really named by my husband (with my full agreement). That's when it hit me that many of Buster's toys have names: there's Mister Feathers, whose feathers are all gone; Miz Crochet, who has always relied on the kindness of strangers (accent required); The Burlap Kid, who does not identify as any gender; Lady Rainicorn, a rainbow colored mouse named after, well, Lady Rainicorn; I think that's it. His predecessor Tyler had one toy with a name, Fishy.
posted by Occula at 3:05 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


My mom is a Namer, but what amuses me most is the way all her nicknames evolve over time.

This is my wife, completely. I've had to explain to her several times the reason the dogs ignore her is they can't keep up with all the name changing, sometimes more than half a dozen only vaguely related names for each animal. With cats of course it doesn't matter.

There's not really anthropomorphism in our house, but a lot of nicknaming and renaming, nearly all originating with her and I just pick it up. Minions is what we call little dogs, like French Bulldogs and Pugs. The movies have led to lots of confusion with other people since we haven't seen them and don't really know anything about them.
posted by bongo_x at 3:11 PM on May 1 [2 favorites]


I don't name anything -- if I had children, they'd be lucky not to be named Kid 1 and Kid 2. But I feel intensely bad sometimes when I have to throw away an object that I have had for a long time, so I sort of get the naming impulse.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:31 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


My oldest learned the word "mule" from reading and pronounces it "mool" and refuses to believe me that it's "myule" because he thinks I'm messing with him. Which is maybe a sign I should mess with them a little less? (But there's no point to having children unless you mess with them!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:40 PM on May 1 [3 favorites]


(But there's no point to having children unless you mess with them!)

When I was in second grade, I was fairly into Annie. I was having a hard time parsing the line "Come what may" from "Tomorrow," though, so I asked my mother what it meant.

"Whatever happens, happens," she said. "Like, que sera, sera."

"Oh," I said. "So it's French?" I was taking a before-school French class at the time, and "comme outte-mai" seemed plausible.

"Yes," she said. "It's French."

Fast-forward NINE YEARS and it's my freshman year of college and something finally clicks and I'm all "COME WHAT MAY! Those are words in English!" and I call my mom and ask WTF? And she has no memory of telling me that was French but said, "Yeah, I used to do that to you guys. How the hell did you believe me for so long? "
posted by lazuli at 9:03 PM on May 1 [4 favorites]


When Mrs. W. was preparing to visit our son in Australia, I had her convinced that drop bears were real for about a week. I told her to look it up and she landed on the Australian Museum's drop bear page. Hook, line and sinker. We still laugh* about it.

*she doesn't laugh
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:15 PM on May 1 [11 favorites]


(The fast forward may have been 11 years. I was flipping between 2nd and 4th grade when writing that. Not trying to imply I went to college early. Obviously, given my mother pranking me like that; with such interference, I could have been a contender!)
posted by lazuli at 9:15 PM on May 1


*without* such interference.
posted by lazuli at 9:43 PM on May 1


My insulin pump is named Papageno. (Papageno the First had a particular set of beeps that sounded like a little chiming melody.)

My nightstand's full name is Owen Nightstand, but I refer to him as Uncle Owen when I'm shooing the cat off of it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:53 PM on May 1



I live alone, so I talk to my cats even more than I might usually. I also brush their teeth every night, and I work hard to make that seem like something fun we do. I used to call out, "Kitties! Toothbrushing time!" One night, however, I mistakenly said, "Kitties! Brushtoothing time!" and now that's what it's called. Brushtoothing. Only the cat version though.


Okay, now I have a sort of excuse to tell a funny kid story. I teach music at a middle school, and also at a couple elementary schools that feed into that school, so kids in separate classes at different schools in 6th grade will end up in class together in 7th grade. Two kids from two elementary different schools were hanging out in my room one morning.

7th grader A, musing: Do you remember that song you taught us last year, "Moons of Jupiter?"

7th grader B, outraged: Wait, you taught them the same SONGS you taught US???

Me: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A: Except she always called it "Joons of Mupiter," that was funny.

B, mind blown, betrayed: YOU TOLD THEM THE SAME JOKES YOU TOLD US????

I did not have the heart to tell either of them that the dumb joke is older than either one of them.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:59 PM on May 1 [11 favorites]


Oh lord, somebody please stop me from getting into how I'd frequently make punny name changes to jazz tunes on the bandstand, to either make my bandmates laugh or mess with the audience....
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:20 PM on May 1


The new vacuum cleaner which I introduced in the science thread went initially test-wise as Sucko Marx, the Sixth Brother, but listens now to the name of Rattelmops (which is something my parents used to call some noisy things and which means more or less Rattle Pug, in German).
We have fantasies about our Rattelmops doing the dishes and cooking us meals. As it is, it's a joy to watch him not tipping over into the abyss where we're renovating upstairs and the rack is missing, getting utterly confused by the harpsichord stands (plural) in my work area, or zooming around under the bed like a pro. I'm considering reading him stories when he's charging.
posted by Namlit at 12:38 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]


Joseph Gurl: My home wifi is Linda Lovelace.

Why on earth not Ada? What were you thinking?

Our car is the Paint Can. I'm a signwriter and the car is frequently used to transport paint.
My motorbike does not have a name but I love it to bits and I talk to it. Before I kickstart it I say 'Friend, time to wake up now'. Surely that's nicer than just being kicked awake?
I also pat its tank after an especially satisfying ride.
The bike really is a good friend; it carried me all the way around the Sahara desert, and even when a valve seat came loose, it used its own valve to hammer it back in so it would stay put for quite a while longer. When it eventually gave up, that was because the valve seat had broken and not even the bike's loyalty and sheer willpower could keep it in place.

When some African dude asked me whether I was willing to sell him the bike, I told him 'Mais non. On ne vend pas ses amis'.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:57 AM on May 2 [7 favorites]


My old car (a 1996 Honda Accord) was named either Francis or Frances. My new car (A 2012 Subaru Impreza) is named either Terri or Terry. Neither car had an established, permanent gender.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:37 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


We are major crouton-petters, excluding Mr. altopower.

Our current vehicle is named Turnip in honor of the very first episode of Sarah & Duck on Netflix. My grandmother's car back in the 50s was named Petunia. Stuffed animals all have names, including the stuffed cat that continues to survive after almost 13 years...his name is Dewey Readmorebooks. Anything car-related that you don't know the name of is a "framus."
posted by altopower at 6:57 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Update:

My wee floofiest-of-floofballs hamster, Balthazar, passed away yesterday. Found her on her back, on our return home late last night. She had a really good two years living with us, I'd like to think. Thank you all, for allowing me to share mention of her in my original post above. Can't quite bring myself to deal with her empty cage yet, but we plan to bury her inside her ghastly-orange large cardboard tube, affectionately dubbed her "Elevator". Anytime we wanted to take her out, we'd coo, "C'monnn, Bali, go in your elevator..."; at which she'd immediately scamper right to the center of that darn tube and sit, patiently waiting for her ride up and out. Really gonna miss that little firecracker, and how she'd constantly BONK-BONK-BONK against everything in the living room, while running amok in her exercise ball. Bah. RIP, you eensy cotton ball of pure love. :/
posted by Amor Bellator at 7:03 AM on May 2 [22 favorites]


So sorry, Amor Bellator. It sounds like Balthazar had a good life and will be missed.
.
posted by lazuli at 7:11 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


somebody please stop me from getting into how I'd frequently make punny name changes to jazz tunes

"Nice reputation you have around here. Be a shame if sumthin rooned it." *casually displays envelope containing pictures of Greg_Ace in a suit and tie*
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:45 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


(And sorry about Balthazar, AB)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:46 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


pictures of Greg_Ace in a suit and tie

What-- WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE?? WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD???
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:01 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]


My husband bought a massage chair, which I dutifully call "The Good Wife".
posted by jillithd at 12:24 PM on May 2 [3 favorites]


When we were young cars were so precious and vital to our lives that we named them.

My first platonic girlfriend's unreliable Dodge Dart was first named "Drat" then "Entropy." My first car, a 1973 Capri was "The Fish." Even after I repainted it canary yellow people still called it "The Fish."

And that was it about naming inanimate things until the last few years. The kids named the guns. (Shut up, we're on a farm.) Grandma's revolver, Great Grandpa's Magnificent Exploding Cock Rifle (Lever action Winchester), The Beast (A break-action 12 gauge shotgun).

The Cock Rifle and the Beast got stolen and the thief was caught but it was six months of the guns being held as evidence and the kids asking any police officer they encountered about when they might get the Magnificent Exploding Cock Rifle and The Beast back. I rolled power of explanation several times.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:30 PM on May 2 [4 favorites]


My first wife's car was named Lummox after the alien from the Heinlein book.
posted by Splunge at 3:42 PM on May 2


I named my first car (a honey-brown Volkswagen Beetle) Truman, after Sheriff Harry S. Truman.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:05 PM on May 2


I've never named cars or other inanimate objects. My home computer is simply named for my login. Growing up, our pet turtles were Big Turtle and Little Turtle, and a pet bird was simply The Bird.

But, I get extremely upset at inanimate objects treated badly, especially when necessary maintenance is neglected. Last year when we were looking at houses I would end up getting upset at badly maintained houses. How could the owners let such awful things happen to this poor house, it didn't deserve such mistreatment

I can speak about houses and cars as if they were people, but I still won't name them.
posted by research monkey at 6:32 PM on May 2


I really thought people only named inanimate things as a sort of ironic joke, like 'here's my car, "Bessie". I'm slightly shocked to hear that people do it seriously, like almost half seriously wondering if I woke up in an alternate universe. I don't think I name things at all. I tend to have a slippery grasp on animate things's names, like the cat I referred to last night as "Whatshername, the evil one", and I like to give things elaborate triple barreled names, like the dog of our housemate who I refer to as Needy Xylophone Peepants, but naming inanimate objects...hmmm. !
posted by glitter at 10:22 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Ex-wife and I called filtered water "wadoo". I dunno if it was supposed to be cute or fancy, but when the pitcher got low, one or the other of us would say, "we need water for wadoo."

While in a car with her when we first started dating, a car in front of us slowed way down, and all I could get out of my mouth in time to prevent hitting them was, "MAKING SLOW". The phrase expanded its scope over time to include all traffic that increased drive time, and eventually all procrastination and slowness, often in the form of, "Why for you are making slow?"

As far as proper names, I named my roommates' kitten (Ghost Pepper), but I mostly refer to her as "the kitten" or "this little asshole".

And I sort of have this idea that cats' real names for themselves, while not the names humans properly give them, aren't like "Thunderclaws!" or "Mistress Nightgoddess" either, but that cat names really take the form of the cutesy sounds we make at them, like, "Hoojy-Woojy-Woo" and "Whozakitty-Youare!" and "Smoosh Foozapuss".
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:50 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


reversing the theme here a bit, my SO definitely does NOT like the fact that Siri calls me "Babycakes".
posted by alchemist at 3:42 AM on May 3 [2 favorites]


I'm very much an anti-crouton-petter. Not to say I disapprove, but I'm actively unprotective of my objects - I often write in my books if I can't find paper for notes, for instance, and burnt much of an Infinite Jest copy when we needed a lot of paper for a bonfire.

Those which do have names tend to be very literal - my favoured mug bears the name "Goodcup", mostly muttered as part of "Now where's Goodcup..."
posted by solarion at 4:01 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


We did have a family car when I was a kid that was prone to making unexplained clicking noises when it turned corners. My father dubbed it "The Flying Typewriter".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:53 AM on May 3


lazuli and Johnny Wallflower: thank you both, so much, for the kind condolences. Also, appreciation goes out to those who chose to 'favorite' the update. Virtual hugs to all.
posted by Amor Bellator at 5:48 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


When my son was little, he named his fish Spot and Little Spotty. The boy wanted a dog.
posted by she's not there at 6:18 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]


A long time ago now, my wife named her very-white Honda Civic hatchback Marge. Mine was Gaby, after her first New Mexico license plate. We briefly owned Glinda together, but now we just have Luann the blue van.

I name all my computers and computing hardware. I was on a candy-based naming scheme until my wife complained that they made her hungry, so I switched to Australian animals. That's how Platypus, our Apple TV, serves up video files from Wallaby, our network server, and my wife uses an iMac named Bilby.

Oh, and our home WiFi is named after fine single malts.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:35 AM on May 3


All of our cars except maybe one or two have had names. We've had Roo the red VW Golf, Rusty the Chevy S-10 pickup, Jeeves, the Jaguar XJ6 and Silk, the Jaguar XJS but this is our current ride. Meet Sharkey the Veloster, the only car that has a mascot to go with its name!
posted by Lynsey at 11:15 AM on May 3


I commute 27 miles each way to work and back. Two miles from home I go over a very big high bridge with very low rails. When I'm on the bridge I pat my dashboard and tell it "good car". It seems to be working, I've never gone over the edge and the car -which I bought used for 5k- has lasted for 9 years, longer than any car I've ever owned, knock on wood.
posted by mareli at 11:21 AM on May 3 [4 favorites]


My cars were Brownie, Ladybug, and The Green Hornet.

I did, however, have an uncle whose dog was always called Dog and whose cat was always called Cat. His children had names, but they were never called anything but Boy, Girl, and Baby Girl, even into adulthood.

Grandma always had a blue parakeet named Mr. Bird. I was in my twenties before I realized it wasn't the same bird all those years.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:24 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


I thank the dinger in my car for letting me know I've left my headlights on.

Mr. Ant stops by the flower market on Halloween evening and buys a bunch of the homeless pumpkins, because why be a pumpkin if you're not on someone's porch for Halloween?
posted by workerant at 2:31 PM on May 3 [5 favorites]


Of all things I've only ever named one of my vibrators. A bunch of friends from work gave it to me as a wedding gift and I named it after a work committee we all hated. It made it so much easier to see endless meetings booked for that committee.
posted by biggreenplant at 6:45 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]


I'd call that a unique regifting - and to oneself!
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:38 PM on May 3 [1 favorite]


Large generic storage shelf thing in the garage are Gertrude.
"Have you seen the packing tape"? "Yes, it's in Gertrude"
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:16 PM on May 3


I just rename everything after randomised Ikea-sounding names.

A typical daily conversation goes like this:

"lil ubu, have you seen my Stokku anywhere? I thought I put it on the Tremlo."

"Did you look behind the Strofors?"

"No, there's nothing there but a bunch of dead Kogards."
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:04 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


Not really crouton-petting, but more self-preservation: we named the baby's pacifier Marcel. As in, "Did you remember to put a backup Marcel in the diaper bag?" Because if the baby caught a glimpse of a pacifier or heard us saying the word, he'd screech until he got one, but otherwise was happy in blissful ignorance of Marcel's proximity.
posted by Liesl at 8:30 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


This thread inspired me to finally name my current car: Minerva the Minivan.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:50 AM on May 4 [2 favorites]


Liesl, the euphemisms that we continue to use to this day to talk around things so our kids don't get antsy for the thing are legion:

-fermented dairy product (yogurt)
-the place that's open 6 days a week (Chick Fil A)
-six electric strings (guitar)
-chariot (stroller)
-pommes (french fries)
-device (phone) (discontinued, they caught on pretty quick)
-Italian pie (pizza)
-Blistex (chapstick)

There are more that I can't think of right now but they're mostly foodstuffs. As a bonus, sometimes my two year old son is picky and won't eat the meat we're serving. Sometimes he will if we call it by other names. To wit: nugget, pig, pork, cow, beef, or steak.
posted by Night_owl at 2:39 PM on May 4


"As a bonus, sometimes my two year old son is picky and won't eat the meat we're serving. Sometimes he will if we call it by other names. To wit: nugget, pig, pork, cow, beef, or steak."

My youngest brother rejected orange juice after years of drinking it, as kids do, and it was a giant PITA for my mom as she had to buy apple juice special and serve separately, which drives her crazy with six people to feed, special orders are verboten. So anyway, they went on a business trip with my dad to France, and my mom told my brother that in France there is no apple juice, so he'd have to drink OJ, but that the French OJ was different to American OJ so he'd probably like it. He was like six or seven, I don't know. Anyway, he tried the "French OJ," announced he loved it, drank it all trip. When they got back my mom comes home from the supermarket with the same carton of Minute Maid she's always gotten and says to my brother, "Look! I found the French-style OJ here!" and he started drinking OJ again.

I used essentially this trick on my second child just last week who arbitrarily decided he HATED chicken soup in all forms. So I made a big production out of bringing him herbs to sniff while I was making the stock and telling him I was making a special him-style chicken soup with special seasonings and ingredients that were his favorites. He ate it and announced it the best chicken soup ever and asked if I could always make it that way from now on.

Sure, since it's the same way I've always made it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:28 PM on May 4 [12 favorites]


Oh gosh, I forgot: my sister's motion-activated trash can is named Trash-chan.
posted by blnkfrnk at 7:59 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


I sobbed like crazy over Wilson. Utterly heartbroken.

There was a great post on a previous crouton-petting thread from someone with a roomba named Ricky. And when it stopped midclean they would say "why you dead, Ricky?". Well I loved that so much that it has become my catch phrase for anything not working. You will find me in the print room at work saying to the photocopier "why you dead, Ricky?"

Very sorry for the loss of your dear floofy, Amor :-(
posted by kitten magic at 5:33 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Oyèah I am ashamed that it took me all week to get the "ramblin" reference. I love it.
posted by hilaryjade at 6:35 PM on May 5


I realize that I am late to this party, but I would like everyone to know that I called my resident >1cm kidney stone 'Rick' and the installed kidney stent 'Malifistent' and that they are both gone now and good riddance.

Rick. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by robot-hugs at 9:33 AM on May 8 [5 favorites]


Ah, late I am to this. My present vehicle is known as Menace, short for Menace to Society. My husband had gotten a new car while I was attending a funeral and texted me a picture of the new vehicle. It was all black and seemed weird for a station wagon lady like me. He called it Menace because 1) it looked like some gangsta car that required having a driver with a buzz cut and a definite way of chewing his gum, and 2) I am a horrible driver, according to him, and was a menace to other drivers.

Let me say, that my husband's PUA technique is very strong in the "neg" area.
posted by jadepearl at 11:33 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


I am even later than the last few commenters, but I love this thread. It's completely me. My ipad is "spensive," because my husband was tickling me and I almost dropped it, and I said, "No, I'll break my spensive!" A friend gave me a pillow pet shaped like a unicorn. I named it Tangerine, because it seemed the most unlikely name ever.

As for things that happen, I told my husband, years ago, that I love butterscotch. I didn't realize I told him every time we were in the pudding aisle at the store that, "The great thing about butterscotch is that most people don't like it, so at school if the other kids got butterscotch puddings, they would give them to me." He took to saying, "butterscotch" every time I repeated a story, and now it's what the whole family does, any time anyone repeats a story. We were in Texas at an RV park once, and the owner had cows, and one was named Butterscotch. This happened multiple times:

RV guy - That's butterscotch!
Me - Butterscotch? Husb, did you hear that? Her name is butterscotch.
Husb - Her name is butterscotch?
Son - I think she's called butterscotch.
Me - butterscotch you say?
...and so on.
posted by routergirl at 10:14 AM on May 11


Worth clarifying that the "no, I'll break my spensive" was more of a "NO! NOOOO!!!!! MY SPENSIVE!!!!!!!!!" with significant gusto and emphasis quite beyond my ability to portray it in type.

Also, remind me to tell your guys about the butterscotch story. Man, every single time we walked down the pudding aisle.....
posted by Brockles at 10:34 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]


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