Aptronym Watch: Tony Snow

Aptronym Watch: Tony Snow

Aptronym Watch: Tony Snow

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
April 26 2006 7:01 PM

Aptronym Watch: Tony Snow

The new White House press secretary's surname is also his job.

Please welcome to the Aptronym* Yellow Pages  the new White House press secretary, Tony Snow. There's room for disagreement as to whether Snow's name was an aptronym when he was a mere Fox News commentator and talk-show host. There can be none in the context of his new job. Snowing is what press secretaries do, especially in the Bush White House. The reigning champ is Ari Fleischer. Let's see if this aptronymic rookie can seize the title.

Although Snow's name is instant grist  for press wisecracks, he might consider, when he's feeling low, how much worse off he'd be were he were burdened with a surname whose meaning was the opposite of his job title. Such was the sad plight of Matt Gobush, former spokesman to Democrats Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. And while "Snow" is a very fine aptronym, the most sublime aptronym under the "spokespersons" heading remains that of  Am Rong, onetime spokesman for the Khmer Rouge.

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*aptronym (n): A name that inadvertently describes its bearer's occupation. Widely attributed to Franklin P. Adams, aka "F.P.A.," whose newspaper column, "The Conning Tower," was popular during the 1920s and 1930s.

Updated Aptronym Yellow Pages:

Anger Management
Dr. Richard Madden (Hudson, N.Y.)

Astronomers
Alan Heavens (University of Edinburgh)

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Cabinet Secretaries
Margaret Spellings (Secretary of Education)

Clergy
Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin, former archbishop of Manila

Dentists/Orthodontists
Ngoc Quang Chu, DDS (Bethesda, Md.)
Dalbert Fear, Jr., DDS (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Ken Hurt, DDS (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Kenneth Krowne, DDS (Brookline, Mass.)
Les Plack, DDS (San Francisco, Calif.)
Anthony J. Puller, DDS (Richmond, Va.)
Randall Toothaker, DDS (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Barth, Lacy, and Craig Toothman (Columbus, Ohio)

Food Critics
Jamie Maw (Vancouver magazine)

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Football Players
Brian Baldinger (former defensive lineman, Dallas Cowboys, Indiana Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles)
Joey Goodspeed (former running back, St. Louis Rams)
Quentin Jammer (cornerback for the San Diego Chargers)

Gastroenterologists
Angel Colon(Annapolis, Md.)

Gynecologists
Dr. Bonnie Beaver (West Hills, Calif.)
Dr. Harry Beaver, retired (Fairfax, Va.)
Sheldon H. Cherry (New York, N.Y.)
Dr. Hyman Meltzer, deceased (Chicago)

Leadership Expert
Jack Christ (Ripon College, Ripon, Wis.)

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Novelists/Essayists
Francine Prose (New York, N.Y.)

Office Supplies and Equipment
Dean Boring, president, Boring Office Supplies (Lakeland, Fla.)

Opthalmologists
Dr. Kevin Blinder (Washington University)

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Ornithologists
David Bird (director, Avian Science and Conservation Center, McGill University, Canada)

Podiatrists
Dr. Allen Korn (Washington, D.C.)

Police
John Lawless (Haverstraw, N.Y.)

Psychologists/Psychiatrists
Dr. Jules Angst, emeritus professor of psychiatry, University of Zurich
Roberta L. Nutt, Ph.D., director, Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program, Texas Women's University

Race-car Drivers
Scott Goodyear
Scott Speed

Rapists, Convicted
Robert Raper (Boston, Mass.)

Realtors
Ann Greathouse (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Religion, Professors of
Terry Godlove (Hofstra University)

Risk Management
John C. Chicken (author, The Philosophy of Risk)

Sexual Misconduct Researcher
Charol Shakeshaft

Spokespersons

Am Rong (Khmer Rouge spokesman, Cambodia)
Tony Snow  (Washington, D.C.)
Larry Speakes  (Reagan White House flak)


Urologists
Dr. Richard ("Dick") Chopp (Austin, Texas)
Dr. Dennis Peters (Pensacola, Fla.)
Dr. Alexander Philpott (Wheat Ridge, Colo.)
Dr. Keith Waterhouse, retired (New York, N.Y.)