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Author Topic: Penn Jillette names son Zolten after Dracula's dog
snopes
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After naming their first-born girl Moxie CrimeFighter, comedian Penn Jillette and wife came up with something a bit more mainstream for their new son - Zolten Penn.

http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/0523Jillette-ON.html

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pob14
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It would have been cooler for him to name his kid 'Fang', after the dog in the Chick tracts. (Yes, thank you, I realize that I have an unhealthy obsession with Fang. Now leave me alone.)

I actually think 'Moxie' is a cute name (not Crimefighter, though), but 'Zoltan' is just going to make people think he's from another planet.

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
"Zolten is a common Hungarian name, it's my wife's maiden name and most importantly, it's the name of Dracula's dog," Jillette, the 51-year-old larger half of the comedy-and-magic duo Penn & Teller, said in a statement.
Um, no, ZoltAN is a common first name in Hungary. And Zoltan is the name in the movie I think they are refering to, Zoltan: Hound of Dracula.

ETA-The first time I was introduced to a Zoltan, I had to bite my lip. It sounded like a comic book hero to me. All I could think was "Zoltan! Defender of the Universe!"

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Errata
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Names have their spelling changed slightly all the time, particularly when they cross the Atlantic. There are no hard and fast rules. I think the misspelling is intentional to Americanize the sound of the name a little. ZoltAn is more science fictiony sounding than ZoltEn. And since he says its his wife's maiden name, the actual change goes back a while. It might have been an Ellis Island spelling change back in previous generations. A lot of American surnames dating back to 19th century immigrants are spelled differently, because the immigrant families were not very literate. My own last name is a misspelling of a much more common surname.

As for the "CrimeFighter" thing, most people don't actually use their first and middle names together. Some people use a middle intial, while some don't even bother with the initial. So having a silly middle name doesn't matter nearly as much as first or last name.

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AdmiralDinty
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I knew of a high school teacher with the first name of Zolten. I'm not sure what his country of origin was though.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
Names have their spelling changed slightly all the time, particularly when they cross the Atlantic. There are no hard and fast rules. I think the misspelling is intentional to Americanize the sound of the name a little...

I recognize that names get changed in America, but that doesn't alter the fact that "Zolten" is not itself a "common Hungarian name." If you go to Google.hu and search the magyar oldalak for Zolten, you get 7 hits. Search for Zoltan, and you get 22,595.

American adaptations of foreign names are common enough, but they are adaptations, nonetheless.

I'm being picky from an American standpoint, but not from a Hungarian one. It would be like a Hungarian saying, "Grag is a common American name."

Heck, let's just call him Zoli and be done with it. [Razz]

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
[QUOTE]The first time I was introduced to a Zoltan, I had to bite my lip. It sounded like a comic book hero to me. All I could think was "Zoltan! Defender of the Universe!"

Watch him defeat the evil Grag! [lol]

Seriously, I'm glad you said that, because Zoltan makes me giggle, and I thought I was just being provincial.

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
[QUOTE]The first time I was introduced to a Zoltan, I had to bite my lip. It sounded like a comic book hero to me. All I could think was "Zoltan! Defender of the Universe!"

Watch him defeat the evil Grag! [lol]
[lol]

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Xia
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The first thing I thought of when I saw this thread was an episode of "Trading Spouses." One of the couples had a son named Zebulon... [Razz]

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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Karmyn
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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh.

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Vinnichanka
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So we know the name of Dracula's puppy... There must be some vampire glurge here somewhere. [Big Grin]
On the other hand, I suggested to my very good friend that she names her newborn Vladislav in a sucessful attempt to Draculize the future generation. (insert a fanged smiley here)

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Hubert Cumberdale
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They should do an episode of Bullshit on the stupid names celebrities give their kids.
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snoozn
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I have a question about Penn and Teller pretty much irrelevant to the OP. I've never seen their act, but I was watching them host a TMC movie evening. I didn't see the whole thing, just the middle two movies. Teller didn't speak the entire time. Is this part of their act? Is this why the host never even seemed to direct a question at Teller? It just seemed a bit odd.

snoozn

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Sylvanz
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Teller never speaks; it is part of the act because I'm pretty sure he can talk. Really, Penn is so chatty does Teller really need to speak? [Wink]

P&LL, Syl

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Radical Dory
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quote:
Originally posted by Xia:
The first thing I thought of when I saw this thread was an episode of "Trading Spouses." One of the couples had a son named Zebulon... [Razz]

What's wrong with Zebulon? I had a perfectly respectable ancestor named Zebulon.

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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Cervus
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quote:
Originally posted by snoozn:
I have a question about Penn and Teller pretty much irrelevant to the OP. I've never seen their act, but I was watching them host a TMC movie evening. I didn't see the whole thing, just the middle two movies. Teller didn't speak the entire time. Is this part of their act? Is this why the host never even seemed to direct a question at Teller? It just seemed a bit odd.

Yeah, it's part of their act. Teller can speak perfectly well, and I've seen him interviewed (amazingly, without Penn present) for other TV documentaries and biographies.

The realized early in their act that Penn was so loquacious and exuberant that Teller could play sort of a Harpo Marx role and it would draw more attention if he never spoke.

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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TheBobo
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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
quote:
Originally posted by snoozn:
I have a question about Penn and Teller pretty much irrelevant to the OP. I've never seen their act, but I was watching them host a TMC movie evening. I didn't see the whole thing, just the middle two movies. Teller didn't speak the entire time. Is this part of their act? Is this why the host never even seemed to direct a question at Teller? It just seemed a bit odd.

Yeah, it's part of their act. Teller can speak perfectly well, and I've seen him interviewed (amazingly, without Penn present) for other TV documentaries and biographies.

The realized early in their act that Penn was so loquacious and exuberant that Teller could play sort of a Harpo Marx role and it would draw more attention if he never spoke.

I heard Teller speak before. However I could swear he spoke in the presence of Penn. Maybe I imagined this.
You mentioned early in their career Teller went the way of Harpo Marx for his role. So perhaps he did speak at one point while doing a show. Seems like he spoke but very little. Maybe I am just all confused.

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Miles Invictus
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I saw Teller speak once, during a documentary on Harry Houdini. However, they concealed his face in darkness. I found it kind of amusing that they would go to that length to ensure that he was never "seen" speaking publicly.
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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by Karmyn:
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh.

Are you joking? I mean...

Well, it's just that I've been using the phrase "Shile of Pit" for years as a spoonerism for something nasty!

Silas

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Signora Del Drago
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quote:
Originally posted by Radical Dory:
quote:
Originally posted by Xia:
The first thing I thought of when I saw this thread was an episode of "Trading Spouses." One of the couples had a son named Zebulon... [Razz]

What's wrong with Zebulon? I had a perfectly respectable ancestor named Zebulon.
And let us not forget Zebulon Pike.

I have a friend whose husband is called "Zeb." I've never known his whole name. Anyone want to bet it's "Zebulon?"

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
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