More Reaction to Pope Francis
Sorta funny, sorta not


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have to vote for Gussie. His name is just so perfect for him. :)

Sometimes I say "Gussie Fink-Nottle" to myself just to hear it roll off my tongue, or because I need a good laugh, because it always makes me think about the scene when he is distributing Bible prizes in the school. But hearing GFN is like hearing the name of an old friend, whereas CPP is more fancy and special.


And why is the word "newt" so funny--even before Mr. Gingrich, I mean? And what was the matter with his parents anyway?


I think I would give the nod to GFN, too. The names in themselves are pretty evenly matched, but I can't think of Gussie without also thinking of newts, so that makes it funnier.

With Gingrich's parents? I guess it never occurred to them that "Newton" would become "Newt." Culpable negligence on their part, I would think. It would have been ok as a middle name. Coupled with a last name so close to "Grinch," it is a great gift to his enemies.

What was Potter-Pirbright's real first name? Gussie's was Augustus I believe.

Yes, Gussie is Augustus, but I don't know about Catsmeat. For all I know that's his real name. I'm reading Joy in the Morning and he was just mentioned in passing. I don't know if he gets featured more prominently in other books. I sort of think he's at least mentioned but I could just be remembering it from having read Joy before.

C P-P also has the additional resonance for me of "meat" + "potter" suggesting a noxious canned food substance known as "potted meat," which I think is just a step above cat food. I don't know if it's known outside the south, but poor people here used to eat it.

According to Wikipedia, Gingrich was named after his father, Newton McPherson. He didn't become a Gingrich until after his parents divorced and his mother married Mr. Gingrich.

Would "Newt McPherson" have escaped the name jokes?

Maybe reduced, but not completely avoided. "Newt" is just irresistible.

I think the McPherson makes it even funnier.


Had no idea "potted" was used for canned meat paste in the South. I thought it was only used by the Brits that way -- I always come across "potted shrimp" in their novels, for instance.

And they're always referring to something as a "potted history," though I've never been quite sure I know what that means.


I used to like a somewhat similar, but I think not as nasty, thing called Underwood Deviled Ham.

His middle name is Cattermole (an existing surname).

The elements Cat+Pot+Pur is really a winning combination.

Ha. I've been pronouncing it wrong--"pi" as in "pick"--so I missed that.

I actually wasn't sure whether Catsmeat was an existing name. I gather not, as far as you know?

Potted meat features somewhat prominently in Sling Blade. When we were kids we called it "potty meat" for obvious reasons. But I liked it AND devilled ham.

Ha! Per wikipedia, Potter-Pirbright's "real" name is Claude Cattermole Potter-Pirbright.

I'd forgotten that about Sling Blade, but it's very appropriate for the character. And I see Cattermole is definitely a real name, also used in the Harry Potter books (for a very minor character).

Underwood Deviled Ham has been around for a long time.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)