Tame. Yes, it's drawn its detractors, perplexities, perked eyebrows and downright sniggers. More often than not, it's mispronounced as a name of Maori descent. Like Tame Iti.
How I wish it were.
Except it's Tame. Like "aim" but with a "T" at the front.
Tame. Like a pathetic, suckling little puppy.
I met New Zealand playwright Arthur Meek a few days ago, a man somewhat sympathetic to my experience. He wisely suggested we immediately discard our careers and form some name-based firm together - "Tame and Meek" or "Meek and Tame".
Debt collectors. Sub-prime mortgage salesmen. Personal litigation attorneys. Sigh.
But I digress. The only reason I draw on my own surname experiences is to give some context for my authority as a bad-name expert. A doyen of daft denominations. And trust me, things could be much worse. I could be Anthony Weiner.
In the US, you'd be very hard-pressed to find a sillier surname. You can picture the kid named Weiner struggling about the schoolyard, his skin allergies, permanent sinus infection and Coke-bottle glasses the only distraction from twice-daily beatings at the hands of the neighbourhood's thugs. Weiner.
It's the sort of name with which most people would avoid public attention at any length. Like Crapbucket. Or Hogstench.
Most people with such a name wouldn't chase the limelight. Except Anthony Weiner did and does. And if you thought the former congressman couldn't have chosen a more apt public disgrace than photographing and publishing his own thinly-veiled genitals (as he did in 2011), keep in mind his latest sex scandal was uncovered on National Hotdog Day.
He sext-messaged a woman who most certainly isn't his wife, a woman almost young enough to be his daughter. Now, the website that leaked the sexts says it has more Weiner weiner to divulge and his continued campaign for the New York mayoralty has become a debate of morality instead.
And yet, the biggest surprise of Weiner's second scandal isn't that he failed to learn from past mistakes or that the sexts were uncovered during his mayoral campaign.
It's that Anthony Weiner out-did Weiner, with a pseudonym for the ages.
Carlos Danger, he called himself.
How did he himself, a man of undoubted intelligence (if not wisdom) not burst into wild hysterics as he typed the words?
Carlos Danger. Like a character in a low-budget Venezuelan soap.
Still, it's a whole lot more interesting than George.