Funny Names and Those SOBs in Coffee County


Funny names tickle me. Like Lulu Bobo from Ty Ty.

I don’t know if there is or ever was a real person named Lulu Bobo from Ty Ty, Georgia — and I don’t want to know. It’s too good a story to ruin with facts.

southern humorSpeaking of funny names, my own parents were named Dot and Spec. My brother and sister too. I escaped being named Spot.

funny names
Spec Hall (l) and Freak Eubanks

My father had a cousin whose name was Alfred Eubanks. He was an elegant, handsome, prince of a man. Somehow he was saddled with the nickname Freak. Freak Eubanks. He was my Uncle Freak. I never gave that odd nickname a second thought.

My brother-in-law’s father told me he knew a man named Seventeen Burdeen. He came from of family of 17 children and, you guessed it, he was number 17.

A man named Sue? I’ve know two men named Lacey, several Leslies, and one Doris.

Jeff McLendon’s aunt is named Marganelle and her cousins are Videlle and Lanelle. A distant cousin is Marynelle.

I’m stuck with being called by my middle name. Apparently that was the fashion at some point in the South. Because was taken this website is named I figured would be viewed as putting on airs.

There are plenty of J. Something or Anothers in the South. My favorite is J. Laddie Boatright, who is or was a well-known attorney in south Georgia.

Again, I don’t know if this story is true or hogwash but I’m telling it anyway.

J. Laddie arrived at the county jail to visit his client who was charged with murder. The deputy allowed J. Laddie to enter posthaste. A woman had been waiting and protested that the lawyer was admitted before her. Her son was charged with livestock rustling.

J. Laddie reportedly peered at the woman and replied, “Lady, lots of sons of bitches in Coffee County need killing but ain’t no hogs need stealing.”

funny names like WashThe J. Laddie story was told to me by a friend from home who’s name is Wash. I’ve encountered only one other Wash in my life, both in Georgia.

In the mid-seventies Wash Larsen ran for Congress in the 8th District (then known as W. S. [Bill] “Candyman” Stuckey Jr. Country). Wash raised a bunch of money and blanketed south Georgia with giant billboards bearing his mug.

The candidate stopped at a watermelon farm in Clinch County and walked across an expansive melon field as two men were harvesting the fruit. One farm hand would pick a melon and toss it to a second man standing in the bed of a truck.

As Wash drew closer, the fellow in the truck froze in astonishment and proclaimed, “Looka-yonder that man done come down off that billboard.”

A watermelon splattered on the ground.

Sweet & Clear features Southern humor and culture. Little ditties that caught my eye and made me think, laugh or cry.

8 Responses to Funny Names and Those SOBs in Coffee County

  1. John Robins July 15, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    I’ve always been intrigued by odd names. Often they’re nicknames; sometimes they’re not. I recall a girl at my High School named Derfla – her parents had their hearts set on having a male child & were to name him “Alfred”. Alas, for them, a female was born & she was, thereafter, named Derfla – yes, “Alfred” reversed.
    At primary school one of my classmates was given the nickname Boofhead (Russell); I’m not sure why but he accepted it good-naturedly.
    I recall that two of my Uncle Sam’s friends had odd nicknames – Cock-eye McCrohan & Drongo Rodgers.
    I came across some weird ones in Hong Kong – Hardon Lo, Urine Yip, Pudenda Lee, Mucus Chan, Ivan Ho, and, of course, Alky Sin. I worked with Alky & have stored somewhere the Transport Dept certificate of vehicle registration for Hardon Lo.
    Enjoyed the article, Doug.

    • Doug Hall July 15, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      And thanks from adding some color from Australia, John.

  2. Mary Crowson July 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    In Kentucky I knew a woman named Winnie Howard Pleasant. She went by Howard….and she was NOT a pleasant person. Her best friend was
    Mary Whitaker…who was before her marriage Mary Ada Hogg. How could someone name their daughter that and sleep at night?
    My husband heard of a family by the name of Leer….named their daughter Crystal Chanda.
    A Dr. friend told me they knew of a new mother of twins and had several children already but was struggling to come up with names until she looked at the menu on her hospital tray.She named them Lemonjello and Oranjello

  3. Lynn McMurdo July 19, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    There are some interesting names in my maternal grandmother’s families. The name “Devine” shows up, often. My great-great grandmother was named “Mahala Devine”-they all called her “Haley”. My great aunt was named “Dovie Devine”…she went by “Dovie”. The middle sister was named “Virene”. Aunt Virene had two daughters, named “Clastell” and “Serepta”. My great-great grandfather was named “Parker Rice”…but, for whatever reason, he went by the nickname “Tobe”. He and Mahala named my great grandfather “Doctor Young”-first and middle names. Haven’t a clue as to why. He went by “Young”. My other great great grandmother was named “George McDuffee”…first and middle names. She was named after her father. I thought it might be a writing mistake (maybe Georgia instead of George), but it’s on her headstone. She and my great great grandfather, Owen Ozias Williams, named one of their sons “Silas Spurgeon”….he went by “Spurgeon”. O.O. Williams was a pastor, and I guess was greatly influenced by the preacher Charles Spurgeon.
    One of my uncles was named “Merkel”. He was named for a notable baseball player from the 1920s, I believe. My grandfather loved baseball.

  4. Andrew Hardy July 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    Don’t forget Lu-a, pronounced Ludasha.

  5. Charlene Love July 30, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    My father had several brothers. One was named Loraine. He married a woman named Willie Mae. They called her Willie. Therefore I had an Uncle Loraine and Aunt Willie. Their mail was often mislabled.

    • Doug Hall July 30, 2014 at 10:36 am #

      Those names are wonderful.

  6. Alice Jones June 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    Wash is my second cousin. His father, William Washington Larsen, was a U . S . Congressman from Georgia. Like many first generation Americans, as his father was (parents arrived from Denmark), an American patriot’s name was chosen as part of the family name.