What's in a Name?

Category:  BloggERy
Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 11:28 AM
What's in a Name? by Jay Stevens
Joshua Buck Photography

Here's the original opening of the roller derby cover that appeared this week. After the first draft, the piece was about 1,200 words too long -- nearly three single-spaced pages -- and this got cut. Still, I like it -- and hope you do, too. It's all about the derby names...

The single most important act of self-determination in the career of a roller derby girl is the selection of her derby name.

It's not an easy task. A good derby name is a clever play on words that project corruption, sex, or aggression to its bearer. They range from the crude – “Ace Hole” or “Fanny Fister,” say – to a funny combination of words, like “Eye Candy Stroy.” Some riff off of celebrities or famous historical figures. “Skatey Gaga.” “Feara Nightly.” “Awesome Welles.” Alcohol is popular, too. “Absinthe Minded” or “Buzz Lightbeer.” And there are the classics: “Wreckanomic Stimulus.” “Call of Booty.” “Wounder Woman.”

A good name conveys something personal. On the Eerie Roller Girls squad, examples abound. “Mad Flasher” is a professional photographer, and the “The Naughty Professor” teaches college math. “Ginger Vixxen” has bright red hair. “Shell Shocked” and “Chris T Bone” play off the names, “Shelly” and “Christy”. “Sybille Disobedience” is a motorcycle-riding politically-minded intellectual. “Hemorrhoidal Rage” is...well, there are some questions even I shy away from.

The list of names goes on. And, yes, there is a list. It's kept at twoevils.org, and it's where the roller derby girl submits her name once she's committed to the sport by participating for a certain length of time – thirty days for the Eerie Roller Girls. The website owner checks the submitted name against the list to ensure her name doesn't encroach on any other. After approval, which can take up to four months, the derby name belongs to the skater as long as she skates. It follows her everywhere. She'll see it on the official roster, she'll hear it over the PA at bouts. It's the name used at roll call during practices, the name the other skaters call her, the name that appears on the website and, if she's lucky, on her roller derby trading card.

That's to say, despite its outward campy appearance, its irreverence and vulgarity, the roller derby name is serious business.

In that way it's a lot like roller derby itself.

Photo from Joshua Buck Photogaphy.

Erie Reader: Vol. 5, No. 2
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Historic Chautauqua Amphitheater named a National Treasure in an attempt to save the site from demolition. 

Stay warm this winter with Five and 20 Spirits. 

Comic rock genius to grace the Warner stage in July.

The 2015 municipal primary season is underway. It's time to get judgy.

MCIII, the rocker's third solo album, will be released via Merge Records May 5.

IN THIS ISSUE

Headlines — aside from saying a lot with a little — generate conversation because they entice and provoke us to read onward. 

Finally finding out what researchers do and the Spidey Sense is gettin' ready -- wait, what? It's News of the Weird

Fans of rough-and-tumble rock ‘n’ roll should love the pairing of Special Guest and Pale Green Stars

Two acclaimed movies, two dates, one place.

The earnest singer/songwriter releases his highly anticipated sophomore album.

The Point -- it's not just for gulls...

After every local team being defeated in the Buger King Classic, we are left wondering whether or not the size of our players is holding us back. Also, a Super Bowl prediction.

D'angelo and The Vanguard trade pop for soul in a groovy sonic move. 

The Sidekicks build on their punk roots in the latest evolution of their sound.

Sleater-Kinney returns in style.