By Emma Mitchell •
Published: 26 Oct 2023 • 17:47
Alphabet soup. Credit: Image by azerbaijan_stockers on Freepik
The 17th Duke of Huéscar, Fernando Juan Fitz-James Stuart y de Solís, heir apparent to the dukedom of Alba, and his wife Sofia have been given a royal ticking off by the legal registry office for the length of the name chosen for their baby daughter, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais
The infant, Sofía Fernanda Dolores Cayetana Teresa Ángela de la Cruz Micaela del Santísimo Sacramento del Perpetuo Socorro de la Santísima Trinidad y de Todos Los Santos was named in honour of the late Duchess of Alba. Unfortunately for the Duke, the laws around registering children in Spain dictate that the name must not exceed “one compound name” and “two simple ones.”
The Duke is not the first Spaniard to saddle his child with an exceptionally long name. The famous artist and sculptor, Pablo Picasso, was officially named Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.
When it comes to stupidly long names, even the Duke of Huéscar and Pablo Picasso take a back seat to some of these beauties.
To begin, the Guinness Book of Records holder of the longest personal name is Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Senior, a German who was born in 1914. That name’s a bit of a mouthful in itself, however, that’s the shortened version because Hubert’s full name was
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffwelchevoralternwarengewissenhaft schaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzen vonangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternz wolftausendjahresvorandieerscheinenvanderersteer demenschderraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinursprung vonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufdersuchenachdiestern welchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichund wohinderneurassevonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortpflanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglich freudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvonandererintelligent geschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum.
The name is a staggering 747 characters long. So long, in fact, that we had to put spaces in it so that it didn’t break our article. Hubert died in 1997 and, given the length of his name, we can only presume the memorial ceremony is still going on.
Back in the 1600s, the Puritans were a group of particularly extreme Christians who had a penchant for saddling their children with some pretty odd names. Nicolas Barbon was born in London in 1640 and for some inexplicable reason decided to go with that simple moniker rather than his true birthname of Nicholas Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon – we can’t think why. Nicholas grew up to be a doctor and, following the Great Fire of London, switched his career to building.
Another figure from history whose parents were clearly not thinking too clearly when it came to naming was a lady known, for short, as Anna, or Alphabet, Pepper. In 1883 Anna was born in Liverpool, UK, and her parents decided it’d be a great idea to leverage every single damn letter in the alphabet when they named her Anna Bertha Cecilia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Inez Jane Kate Louise Maud Nora Ophelia Prudence Quince Rebecca Sarah Teresa Ulysis Venus Winifred Xenophon Yetty Zeno Pepper. In 1910 she married the delightfully named Arthur Von Der Donk Wait, introducing the possibility of hyphenating her surname to Pepper-Von Der Donk Wait.
Across the channel in France in 1812 a violinist called Antonio decided it’d be a great idea to name his son after his Godfathers. The only slight wrinkle was that Antonio asked every member of the orchestra if they’d like to be his son’s Godfather and all 36 of them said yes, leaving his son with the great listicle name of Louis George Maurice Adolphe Roche Albert Abel Antonio Alexandre Noë Jean Lucien Daniel Eugène Joseph-le-brun Joseph-Barême Thomas Thomas Thomas-Thomas Pierre Arbon Pierre-Maurel Barthélemi Artus Alphonse Bertrand Dieudonné Emanuel Josué Vincent Luc Michel Jules-de-la-plane Jules-Bazin Julio César Jullien.
In the modern world, changing one’s birth name is a fairly simple process and this ability has produced the next set of humungously large names. Why do people do it? Well in some cases it’s a straight play at trying to get a world record, but sometimes it can simply be to stand out and be unique or as a way to raise money for charity.
On the standing out from the crowd team is David Fearn, a council worker from Stafford, UK who celebrated his love of James Bond in 2006 by changing his name via Deed Poll to James Dr No From Russia with Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live and Let Die The Man with the Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View to a Kill The Living Daylights Licence to Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond.
John Desmond Lewis, a student born in 1959, decided in 1979 to change his name to a character in a Monty Python sketch called Election Night Special as a political statement to mock the UK general elections that year. He was henceforth known as Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel or Tarquin Biscuit-Barrel for short.
In 1984 an American woman called Sandra Williams gave birth to a little girl and did what every Mother does; decided to try and get her daughter into the Guinness Book of Records with the longest single name in the world.
With a first name of 1,019 characters and a two-feet long birth certificate, little Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenkescianne shaimondrischlyndasaccarna renquellenendrasame cashaunettethalemeicoleshiwhalhinive’ onchellecaundenesheaalausondrilynne jeanetrimyranaekuesaundrilynnezekeriakenvaunetra devonneyavondalatarneskcaevontaepreonkeinesceellaviavelza dawnefriendsettajessicannelesciajoyvaelloydietteyvettesparkle nesceaundrieaquenttaekatilyaeveashauwneoraliaevaekizzie shiyjuanewandalecciannereneitheliaprecious nesceverroneccaloveliatyronevekacarrionnehenrietta escecleonpatrarutheliacharsalynnmeok camonaeloiesalynnecsiannemerciadellesciaustilla parissalondonveshadenequamonecaalexetiozetia quaniaenglaundneshiafrancethosharome shaunnehawaineakowethauandavernellchishank carlinaaddoneillesciachristondrafawndrealaotrelle octavionnemiariasarahtashabnequckagailenaxete shiataharadaponsadeloriakoentescacraignecka dellanierstellavonnemyiatangoneshiadiana c rvettinagodtawndrashirlenesce kilokoneyasharrontannamyantoniaaquinette sequioadaurilessiaquatandamerceddiamaebellecesca jamesauwnneltomecapolotyoajohny aetheodoradilcyana Koyaanisquatsiuth Williams made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1997 and heroically managed to pronounce her name without any slip-ups.
Raising money for her charity, Red Dreams, which supports teenagers in the creative arts and media, Dawn McManus, a 41-year-old English woman from Hartlepool, changed her name in April 2012, to encourage fundraising. Following the change via Deed Pool, Dawn became Red Wacky League Antlez Broke the Stereo Neon Tide Bring Back Honesty Coalition Feedback Hand of Aces Keep Going Captain Let’s Pretend Lost State of Dance Paper Taxis Lunar Road Up! Down! Strange! All and I Neon Sheep Eve Hornby Faye Bradley AJ Wilde Michael Rice Dion Watts Matthew Appleyard John Ashurst Lauren Swales Zoe Angus Jaspreet Singh Emma Matthews Nicola Brown Leanne Pickering Victoria Davies Rachel Burnside Gil Parker Freya Watson Alisha Watts James Pearson Jacob Sotheran-Darley Beth Lowery Jasmine Hewitt Chloe Gibson Molly Farquhar Lewis Murphy Abbie Coulson Nick Davies Harvey Parker Kyran Williamson Michael Anderson Bethany Murray Sophie Hamilton Amy Wilkins Emma Simpson Liam Wales Jacob Bartram Alex Hooks Rebecca Miller Caitlin Miller Sean McCloskey Dominic Parker Abbey Sharpe Elena Larkin Rebecca Simpson Nick Dixon Abbie Farrelly Liam Grieves Casey Smith Liam Downing Ben Wignall Elizabeth Hann Danielle Walker Lauren Glen James Johnson Ben Ervine Kate Burton James Hudson Daniel Mayes Matthew Kitching Josh Bennett Evolution Dreams.
Given these true professionals in the name game, it seems that the Spanish aristocracy has some way to go before they can really hit the heights of long names.
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Emma landed in journalism after nearly 30 years as an executive in the Internet industry. She lives in Bédar and her interests include raising one eyebrow, reckless thinking and talking to people randomly. If you have a great human interest story you can contact her on email@example.com
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