What’s In A Name Week continues, bringing you the stories of some pretty unforgettable names.
Today’s name is definitely unforgettable. It’s not unpronounceable, though you may want to practice the word a few times.
The word is: Oomphalapompatronium!
It’s a musical instrument invented by Boston area musician/composer/inventor Len Solomon.
He’s a classically trained musician who’s also worked as a professional cabinetmaker.
In the 1980s he made his first instrument, the Majestic Bellowphone, which is sort of a combination bicycle horn pipe organ, xylophone and kazoo holder.
He’s been playing, performing and inventing ever since, building instruments with PVC pipes, bicycle tires, plastic bottles and tubes from old vacuum cleaners.
The Oomphalapompatronium is a kind of pump organ.
A series of wheels engage a mechanism that creates a reservoir of air, and when Solomon presses the keys, air comes out of the pipes and generates tones the way a pipe organ does, even though the notes sound a little more like a tuba with a stuffy nose than an organ.
The name Oomphalapompatronium definitely fits the character of the instrument. Every note definitely has some “oomph” in it.
What is your favorite name for a musical instrument? Didgeridoo? Chapman stick? Hurdy-Gurdy? Zeusaphone? Send us your favorites.
Apparently this is called an "aptronym"!!
Aptronym: a person's name that is regarded as amusingly appropriate to their occupation.
— Raven the Science Maven (@ravenscimaven) August 20, 2020
Last week I learned a new word from a scientist who goes by the name of Raven the Science Maven.
The word is “aptronym,” and it means a person whose name is also apt for what they do for work.
Like, an entomologist named Bee, or when someone named Baker is in charge of the doughnut shop.
If there’s someone out there whose last name is Influencer? I hope you’re on Instagram, pal.
Aptronym (Raven the Science Maven on Twitter)