I’m reading a book called A Fez of the Heart: Travels around Turkey in Search of a Hat. The book relays the story of how Turks came to possess last names:
In the reforming, Westernizing years of the 1930s, a decree went out that all Turkish citizens were to be counted. Everyone was to stay at home and usefully occupy themselves on census day…So countless, however, were the Ahmets sons of Mehmets and Mehmets sons of Ahmets, the patronymics by which Turks were then known, that the census largely fell into confusion, and in 1935, another decree went out that all Turkish citizens were to find themselves a surname…[Some] adopted names such as Overthrower of Mountains, Eagle-Eyed, Pure Turk, and Lion-Hearted. Army officers named themselves after victories for which they believed themselves to have been solely responsible, ministers after rivers that they had helped establish as national frontiers. The country’s first president chose Fathers of the Turks [Ataturk] to add to his first names, Mustafa Kemal.
(Note: this guy, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, also outlawed the fez in a bid to Westernize his country. Well, I hear they had both their advantages and disadvantages anyway.) Anyway, the idea of choosing your own last name made me wonder what my last name would be if I were to pick it. How grandiose and/or accurate could I get? Here are some options from different decades.
1. Headbanger (self-explanatory)
2. WhiteTrash-Dater (ditto)
3. Pingapiner (pinging from thing to thing and pining for Texas)
4. Exit-Monster (in honor of the hours spent at both incarnations of the Exit)
5. Pure Mom (trying SO hard to get this right)
6. Effexor-Hearted (given the years lost to pharmaceuticals)
7. McTriathlafreak (in honor of the sport)
8. O’Paleoite (in honor of the diet)
9. Pure Turk (because who’s going to stop me?)