Help give this cute octopus a dumb name!


Good idea: the National Zoo is letting us name its Giant Pacific octopus.
Bad idea: the names. All four are terrible:

Olympus: This octopus arrived at the Zoo just before the 2010 Winter Olympics, and for many zoogoers the octopus gets a gold medal for being a compelling animal.

Ceph: Octopuses belong to the fascinating group of animals called cephalopods (class Cephalopoda), which means "head-foot." The arms or feet (podos in Greek) of these animals are on the front of their head ("cephalo" comes from the Greek kephale, for head).

Octavius: "Octavius the Octopus" is more than just a pretty, alliterative name. The prefix "oct" means eight--that's how many arms an octopus has, and "Octavius" was the Latin name traditionally given to the eighth child.

Vancouver: Home may be where the heart is--three hearts in the case of the octopus--and this octopus came the Zoo from an organization in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the end of January.

"The octopus gets a gold medal for being a compelling animal"?? Well, then the National Zoo gets a gold medal for cheese.

Who came up with this shortlist? I'd never have burdened the poor thing with "Cthulhu," but I'd like some creative names to choose from! Their ballot won't even let you write anything better in. (My guess is they're afraid of the "Octopussy" contingent winning).

In response to the bitter malcontents like yours truly, Alan Peters, the National Zoo's curator of invertebrates , observes, "Naming an octopus is always a tough decision, but each of these names is unique and has a specific meaning." Is this guy Sarah Palin's baby name advisor?

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They were probably actually afraid someone would figure out a way to name it after PZ Myers. Cephalopoda, online polling, it would have been inevitable.

Senior Beaky
Admiral Flexipants
Hans Von Squishyhead the III

How am I doing?

They sure sound better to me than any of their ideas.

I'm sure it was the threat of trolls that ruined write-ins... but for goodness sakes thaose are horrible options.

Oh man, I live near DC. I've seen this octopus.

How about Thalassa, Thetis, Metis, Tyche, or Amphitrite?

By Katharine (not verified) on 29 Mar 2010 #permalink

Alternately, I support naming it Fleet Admiral Tentacles von Inkypants the Twenty-Seventh.

By Katharine (not verified) on 29 Mar 2010 #permalink

"Nicholas Bradford."

If it's a boy, either Rusty or Rufus.

If it's a girl, either Scarlet or Ruby.

I actually liked the fifth option, "Email address", on the poll, so I pressed that one. Not sure my vote got counted, though (the poll site acted in a somewhat surprising manner when I pressed it).

I like all the suggestions so far much better than the Zoo's, even if some of them are a bit esoteric (Otto, you're dating youself with that reference!) :)

I have to second the vote for "Admiral Flexipants". That is an awesome name.

How about "Inkybutt"
"Solomon" (octopuses are some WISE creatures)

But none of these beat "Admiral Flexipants".

Given the wide range of name suggestions from people staring at our little friend and some of the associations previously mentioned, seems you could do a lot worse than calling him Rorschach.

Admiral Rorschach von Flexipants will probably have to abide by the nickname "Ceph" for the time being, but we will all know his/her true identity (though not his/her gender).

My contributions:

- Nemo
- Jules
- Bic
- Haliburton
- Dick Armey

By Stevo Darkly (not verified) on 30 Mar 2010 #permalink

Ceph??? That makes the poor thing sound like it should be living in the the Playoctopus Mansion.