I too haven't laughed this hard in a very long time. Very
clever, Mark - thanks for posting this list. Sunflower has
her favourites, and mine overlap with hers but I also am
hooting at Boneless Breast of Passionate Nymph, Meat
Loaf Albuquerque, Pot Pie Reno, Ranting Preacher and
Raving Mad Bishop.
What on earth made you start on this vein? I am very glad
you did though [...]
Thanks very much!
A combination of things set me off. I've used this method
before -- I wrote a list of names for universities and
research institutions some years ago (check old newsgroup
posts on google.com) -- but it's not original. There was a
series of cartoons in some handyman magazine when I was
a boy: they featured a series of drawers or bins with labels
that grew more absurd as one went from left to right in a
row. (Mechanix Illustrated?) One starts with one real
name or item (better yet, several), and works logically
from there. A progression logical in itself becomes
absurd when considered as a set of names -- one hopes.
I just had to apply this to roses.
Another thing: the rather twee and silly names that I see
given to otherwise fine roses. Now, I didn't lampoon all
that many of them in my list, partly because I tried to use
well-known real varieties, partly because I'm not clever
enough. Tastes vary, and a name I find hopelessly cutesy
or silly is perfectly okay with the next person, and yet...
Consider the roses bred by the late great Dr. Bayse. Many
of their names set my teeth on edge, even though the roses
are good, some world-class. A real dose of saccharin:
names of miniature roses. Some are enough to make one
want to spade-prune or Roundup the poor innocents (they
had no choice in the matter).
I realize that there are many ways that a new variety gets
a name, that names are changed when one's imported
(Pinata for a rose bred in Japan? yep), and that no variety
aimed at a wide market can have a ribald name like For
Cough (say it out loud in an English accent if you don't get
the joke). But consider the whole thing 1) an attempt to
make people laugh and 2) an earnest plea to shun mawkish
and pretentious names and embrace lighthearted ones. I
plan to start trying to breed new varieties myself, and
considering the huge rate of failure, a merry heart seems
So far, my new Reichpraesident von Hindenburg is doing
beautifully (I recommend it wholeheartedly), and I am
sorely tempted to drive south to Muncy's in Sarasota (aka
Sara's Odor to us Floridians) merely to secure my very own
bush of Happy Butt.