Caveman name fashions

In the latest (February 6th) New Yorker, a Jeremy Nguyen cartoon on names:


Once, real men had masculine names like Bart and Max. Now they’re all named Justin and Taylor.

The names. All four names in #1 are monosyllables ending in the stop /g/ (good choices for high-masculinity names), but Florg and Smurg are longer — with the sonorant /r/ before that /g/, and with complex non-stop initial onsets, /fl/ and /sm/ (both fricative+ sonorant).

The artist and his neighborhood. This is Jeremy Nguyen’s first New Yorker cartoon. From the Bushwick Daily:

Jeremy Nguyen is a cartoonist based in Bushwick and has lived in the area for the past three years. He writes and illustrates “Stranger Than Bushwick” for Bushwick Daily, and his illustrations have appeared on College Humor, Oyster Reviews, comiXology, and Comic Book Resources.

Cartoonist and illustrator Nguyen grew up in Oakland CA, but is now an ornament of Bushwick. He also does stand-up comedy.

The Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn was historically working class (first Germanic, then Hispanic), now is a haven for young creative types like Nguyen. From Wikipedia:

A flourishing artist community, which has existed in Bushwick for decades, now is a main demographic of Bushwick; dozens of art studios and galleries are scattered throughout the neighborhood. There are several open studios programs that help the public visit artist studios and galleries and a number of websites dedicated to promoting neighborhood art and events. Bushwick artists display their works in galleries and private spaces throughout the neighborhood.

These days, hip grows in Brooklyn.

The image on Nguyen’s Twitter account, a hip Vietnamese guy done in manga style:


Real-life Nguyen:


And Nguyen’s first comic book, with cartoons from the Bushwick Daily:


One Response to “Caveman name fashions”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Good to see a fresh face among the dreary round of ancient New Yorker cartoonists. Hope it begins a trend. This is a beautifully drawn cartoon, and funny as well.

    Some of your readers may not know that the common Vietnamese surname Nguyễn is customarily pronounced “Winn” in English. The Wikipedia article about the name goes into this in great detail.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: