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Name My Boat! (Sorry, I know, but it's really hard)
March 5, 2013 5:10 AM   Subscribe

I am very slowly getting to the final stage of buying a boat to live in. This boat will be where my wife and I live most of the time. The problem is the boat that we're in the process of buying has a very dutch name that is not really pronouncable by English speakers and also we don't like it very much. Give us some ideas for boat names. Further criterion supplied below.

Than name must be:
Not silly or punny (I LOVE puns, but they never work written down, or even said more than once, so I don't want to be stuck witha pun 10 years later)

Pronouncable and Understandable to English ears. (Important for radio calls etc. should be spellable)

Relatively short (also for radio reasons: between 1 and three words)

Now the more fun extra point bits:
I am an engineer, she is a philosopher, references that hit that cross section get points.

We both love Hitchhikers guide (see username)

We both love Doctor Who (Her more than me, but it's fine. We were tempted to call it Varos, but there is a nearby boat called that, oddly enough).

This particular boat is not very graceful and naturey. It's a nice boat, but it's solid and did duty as a party boat for some years. It probably wouldn't really suit "willow breeze" or similar. Probably...

I kinda like names that start with a V. (Although that's not super relevant)
posted by Just this guy, y'know to Home & Garden (56 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Heart of Gold seems like an amazing name for a houseboat.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:13 AM on March 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


Furthur.
posted by musofire at 5:14 AM on March 5, 2013


Given it has a history as a party boat, something like the Foggy Memory would be appropriate and hold a double meaning.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:17 AM on March 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Vogon Constructor Boat.

Paint it yellow.
posted by Flunkie at 5:18 AM on March 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Heart of Gold is indeed the best name for a houseboat crewed by HHG fans who are an engineer and philosopher. You don't have to explain it to anyone, but the reference is clear for anyone who wants to pick it up.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:25 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Heart of Gold is a much better name than Bistromathics.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:29 AM on March 5, 2013


Eddie.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 5:29 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not Invented Here
Ends Of Invention
see also...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:31 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think the reference of Heart of Gold "is clear for anyone who wants to pick it up". I'd think that most people haven't read HHG, and that many of those who have won't remember the name of the ship. I furthermore think that a lot of people would think it's a reference to the Neil Young song, and finally I think it's generic enough that a lot of people -- quite possibly by far most -- wouldn't think it's a reference to anything in particular.
posted by Flunkie at 5:33 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I should be more clear: I'm not saying it would be a bad name. I'm only disagreeing with the idea that the reference is clear.
posted by Flunkie at 5:34 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


(The) Valeyard
posted by MuffinMan at 5:35 AM on March 5, 2013


What's the Dutch name? You could give it an English name that preserves the spirit of the original name, if that's your thing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:36 AM on March 5, 2013


Paradox. Name your boat Paradox.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:16 AM on March 5, 2013


Total Perspective Vortex
posted by ZipRibbons at 6:18 AM on March 5, 2013


TARDIS
Bad Wolf
Brought My Towel
Arthur - which is HHG and also makes me think of George's hairstyle in A Hard Day's Night. Plus, boats have personality and could use first names.

FWIW - I *totally* got the Heart of Gold reference immediately.

"It's a nice boat, but it's solid..." Homely? Hildegard? Bertha? Velma? (sorry!)

Do you and your wife have any inside jokes of things you routinely say? My dad's favorite saying when he was trying to get us on the road for a family trip: "We're burning daylight!" So when he bought a new boat, we named it "Burnin' Daylight".
posted by jillithd at 6:31 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can a boat have a number for a name? If so, "42".
posted by artychoke at 6:34 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ultimate Answer.
posted by Shepherd at 6:37 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just this boat
posted by Namlit at 6:42 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kevin
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 6:48 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Watership
posted by JohnR at 6:49 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The notion of the Ship of Theseus has engineering and philosophical elements, but doesn't readily yield a catchy name...
posted by misteraitch at 7:07 AM on March 5, 2013


Thales.

My future, unlikely-ever-to-happen boat will be named Akrasia.

I'm also partial to Rocinante, but I'm sure there's a few out there.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:11 AM on March 5, 2013


Milliways

Timelady

Ada (or Lovelace for that matter)

The notion of the Ship of Theseus has engineering and philosophical elements, but doesn't readily yield a catchy name...

The Ship of Theseus was part of Athens' ritual tribute to Apollo. So, maybe Apollonia. Although people would probably assume a reference to the saint.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:20 AM on March 5, 2013


Singularity.


when you call you would be saying "this is the singularity"

philosophy. engineering. short. spell-able. not punny. done.
posted by chasles at 7:22 AM on March 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


If you rename it the english version of the dutch name, does it count as renaming? Renaming boats holds extraordinary superstitions. Even if you don't believe in them, you are going to get lectured in the future.
posted by bensherman at 7:28 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like Bad Wolf, but I'm not sure that it fits for a houseboat. I favor two word boat names, though, and it's easy to understand over the radio, with few homonyms,
posted by mercredi at 7:31 AM on March 5, 2013


Former Dutchman. (in reference to Flying Dutchman )
I want a houseboat!
posted by WeekendJen at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2013


The "Share And Enjoy"? (the motto of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division, which occupies all of the major landmasses on the first three planets in the Sirius Tau system.)
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:17 AM on March 5, 2013


If you do decide to rename the boat, be sure to do it right to prevent bad luck. And then rechristen it with the new name, of course.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:50 AM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Douglas, after Douglas Adams, writer of both Hitchhikers and a certain period of Dr Who.
posted by Sara C. at 8:51 AM on March 5, 2013


The B Ark
posted by mikepop at 8:53 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


many of those who have won't remember the name of the ship

I've read it but didn't necessarily remember the name of the ship. At least not on the level that I know the Enterprise, the Millenium Falcon, the TARDIS, the Galactica, etc.

But when the first comment suggested that, it immediately hit me. Which is really a better feeling than passing a boat at a dock, seeing that it's called Enterprise and thinking, "huh, they must be really un-creative trekkies..."

Some people will get Heart Of Gold immediately. Some won't get it at all, or won't care if they did. Some will have the lovely experience of having it slowly dawn on them.

(My only reservation about HOG is that it's long and a lot of words, which might be annoying to constantly spell out for people. "This is Some Guy, Y'Know, from the Heart Of Gold." "The Hartigo?" "No, the Heart Of Gold. Three Words. Heart. Of. Gold. G O L D. Like the organ that lives in your chest, but constructed from a precious metal..." "Sorry, repeat that? Hagerty?")
posted by Sara C. at 8:57 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Timelady

Romana?

She's from the Douglas Adams era of Who, too.
posted by Sara C. at 8:58 AM on March 5, 2013


Like Sara C says, radio pronunciation is critical. I named my boat "Earthrise", like the photo, and that was no end of trouble to say.

How about Zeno's Paradox? Always halfway there.
posted by BeeDo at 9:13 AM on March 5, 2013


How about Zeno's Paradox?

No matter how much money you pour into it, there are always more bills to pay!

How about "Turbulence" as a name?
posted by yoink at 10:05 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gallifrey
Our Towel
posted by platinum at 10:16 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


what, no picture?

okay, that started out as a complaint, but it's not a half bad name.
posted by mule98J at 10:33 AM on March 5, 2013


Moonbase Alpha (from Space:1999)
posted by bentley at 10:41 AM on March 5, 2013


I came in to say that you need to do a proper denaming and renaming ceremony as stated above, but while I'm here I'll throw my hat in with Heart of Gold and Romana (actually, name it Romana II why not).
posted by elsietheeel at 11:37 AM on March 5, 2013


I love Heart of Gold, but if you really need one more: Mostly Harmless.
posted by thewildgreen at 11:50 AM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I could suggest Prefect, but there is no better name on earth for your boat than Heart of Gold.
posted by bluejayway at 1:09 PM on March 5, 2013


I love Heart of Gold. Which is also a Firefly reference, if you care about that.

(When I get a boat of my own I'm naming it the Seaward).
posted by padraigin at 5:20 PM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Golden Mean/Golden Section/Golden Ratio
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 5:59 PM on March 5, 2013


Wannabigger I

(That's a Roman numeral one... Get it now?). I saw that boat on the Detroit River and never forgot it.
posted by Lornalulu at 7:03 PM on March 5, 2013


This particular boat is not very graceful and naturey. It's a nice boat, but it's solid and did duty as a party boat for some years

The Donna Noble
posted by Brody's chum at 8:44 PM on March 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hoopy frood or 42, any Douglas Adams fan would get those references. I like Hoopy frood because you'd definitely want people to know where their towel is at on a house boat.
posted by stray thoughts at 9:10 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


My brother-in-law and his dad (in business together as contractors) had a boat they named The Job Site. When people would call, they'd be told, "Oh, they're out on The Job Site..." Maybe something similar that fits the two of you, without getting too punny?
posted by xedrik at 10:35 PM on March 5, 2013


Great Suggestions so far, thanks everyone.

We had thought of Heart of Gold and already looked through the Culture ship names but they just didn't quite feel right.
It's really tricky finding a good name, because it has to feel right for the boat.

We did think of calling it Theseus for a while also, which just goes to show you are all very much on the right track.
The dutch name is Naaltje which basically translates as Nellie.

The valeyard was a popular suggestion, and I really liked Hoopy Frood, but that was vetoed sadly.
We're giving Magrathea a go for the day to see if it sticks, but more suggestion are certainly welcome.

On the renaming subject the dutch don't have the same superstition about renaming boats.
Apparently it derives from the insurance industry.
In Britain owners owned boats and hired crew, if a boat was a bit dodgy and couldn't easily be insured some owners would rename the boat and try to get insurance on it before anyone realised it was the same boat. So if a crew spotted that a boat had been hastily renamed it was a sign that all was not well with the boat.
The dutch (again, I am told, I could be wrong) tended to have owners who were also the boats skipper, so they knew the boat well enough and renaming was not a big deal.
Although if anyone knows any more about the general history and attitude of boat renaming in other places to verify this then I would be intrigued to know more.
That said, I like a party, so I will hold a proper renaming ceremony of some sort.

Also, since you asked mule98J, Here is a picture.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:09 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh also it was caleld Akrasia for a couple of hours yesterday, but then we couldn't settle on a pronounciation we liked. It is otherwise a great name.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:12 AM on March 6, 2013


The Latin philosophers translated Akrasia as Incontinentia, which is quite a euphonious name and easy to pronounce. I guess you'd get sick of the Depends jokes, though.
posted by yoink at 9:01 AM on March 6, 2013


Incontinentia, which is quite a euphonious name
You would so have to go all the way and name it Incontinentia Buttocks.
posted by xedrik at 10:38 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Incontinentia Buttocks

Oh God, that's perfect!
posted by yoink at 10:53 AM on March 6, 2013


yoink: Incontinentia Buttocks

And in case you ever get a little dinghy, she has a friend, you know...
posted by Rock Steady at 1:05 PM on March 6, 2013


Do you like Dexter? His boat is Slice of Life.
posted by deborah at 8:59 PM on March 6, 2013


Gerald Durrell reports in My Family and Other Animals that his childhood boat was called "The Bootle Bumtrinket". I guess that's not a pun, and easy to pronounce to boot, even (especially) in Holland.
posted by Namlit at 4:27 AM on March 7, 2013


To satisfy this MeTa

We went with Vagary
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


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