While celebrities often change their names to stand out (or blend in), motivations among the general population are a little more eclectic—from thinking you’re the reincarnation of King Arthur to really loving lizards. Read on for 11 especially offbeat name changes and the reasons behind them.
1. Darren QX Bean!
In 2006, a California Court of Appeal ruled that since apostrophes and periods had been used in legal names before, Darren Lloyd Bean was allowed to change his name to Darren QX Bean! (exclamation point included). It was a win for Bean!, but not quite the victory he’d originally wanted: His first request had been for “Darren QX [pronounced Lloyd] Bean!” He decided to omit “[pronounced Lloyd]” so he could focus on fighting for the exclamation point. It’s not clear how or why Lloyd became QX, but we do know the reasoning behind Bean! According to Slate, Bean’s friends “[raised] the pitch and the volume of their voices above their usual spoken tone” when greeting him as “Bean!”
2. Bacon Double Cheeseburger
Londoner Sam Smith differentiated himself from all the other Sams, Smiths, and Sam Smiths by changing his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger in 2016. Though Smith told the Evening Standard the idea was “a culmination of probably too many drinks in the pub,” he didn’t regret it at all. His friends, colleagues, and father found it funny, too, but the same couldn’t be said for his mother or fiancée. “My fiancée is fairly reluctant about marrying a Cheeseburger,” Cheeseburger said. “No girl ever dreams of spending her big day marrying a man called Bacon.”
3. Tim Pppppppppprice
In 2012, 49-year-old Tim Price of Leicester, UK, got so tired of answering telemarketers’ calls that he came up with a scheme to deter them from phoning him in the first place. He added an extra nine p’s to his surname, making it Tim Pppppppppprice. “My theory is that when these salesmen see my name on their list of names to call, they’ll think: ‘Blow that—I can’t even pronounce his name, so I won’t call him,’ he told Metro. According to Pppppppppprice, “it’s pronounced Tim Per-per-per-per-per-per-per-per-per-per-rice,” but he simply calls himself “Tim ‘10p’ Price.”
4. Henry Lizardlover
After Henry Schiff made a name for himself as a lizard lover, he made a name for himself: Lizardlover. “I wanted to show my love and dedication for the lizards,” he said on ABC's 20/20. He swapped Schiff for Lizardlover back in the 1980s, and he’s been working for decades to convince people that lizards are much less creepy than they seem. To do this, he photographs them reclining on couches, “playing” the guitar, and exhibiting other characteristically human behaviors. “I knew that if I photographed lizards in these cute, human-like positions, that it would be easier for people to warm up to them and appreciate them,” he explained in the video above.
5. Sexy Crabtree
To be fair, “Crabtree” wasn’t new. After years of despising what she considered her “ugly” first name, Ohio resident Sheila Ranea Crabtree swapped it for something sexier in 2014. “I feel like I'm a free-spirited person, I love to have fun, and this is the last piece to make my life complete,” she told the judge, who granted her permission to become Sexy Crabtree.
6. Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined
In 2008, a 19-year-old from Glastonbury, UK, traded in his birth name, George Garratt, for Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined. The idea to christen himself a superhero was his own, and his friends helped come up with well-known superhero names that they thought he should include. “My family have begun to expect these sorts of things from me, and although my friends thought it was ridiculous most people do call me Captain and it's been a great conversation starter,” he told BBC News.
7. King Arthur Uther Pendragon
King Arthur Uther Pendragon, formerly John Rothwell, believes he’s the reincarnation of King Arthur himself. “I go to sleep as Arthur and I wake up as Arthur,” he said in 2018. “I believe I was here before and I believe I was doing what I’m doing now.” Pendragon considers himself a protector of freedom, which mostly entails opposing bureaucratic policies he doesn’t like—such as high parking prices at Stonehenge. Before he changed his name in 1986 and took up King Arthur’s medieval mantle, Pendragon headed up a biker gang. He still has a motorcycle, which he calls his “iron steed.”
8. Ynot Bubba
In 2007, a New Mexico judge decided to let a 43-year-old truck driver change his name from Justin Brady to Ynot Bubba. “Bubba” was what his loved ones already called him, and he got the idea for “Ynot” from place names like Whynot, North Carolina, and Wynot, Nebraska. Before choosing Ynot Bubba, he also toyed with the idea of going by “More Chek,” since he wished he had more money.
9. Lianne Madonna Vogue On The Cover Of A Magazine McHale Dawson
If your middle name is Madonna, people might just think you like the sound of it. If your middle name is “Madonna Vogue On The Cover Of A Magazine,” and your twin sister’s middle name is “Madonna Confessions Of A Dance Floor,” people will assume you’re the biggest Madonna fan who ever lived. And according to Lianna and Emma Dawson, who changed their names in 2009, that’s exactly correct. “We absolutely love Madonna, we have been to see her as much as we can and we have got every single album and DVD she has ever made,” Emma said at the time. “We have never met her in person but if we did, we would collapse.”
10. Luther Devine None of the Above Knox
In the late 1970s, Luther Devine Knox ran for governor of Louisiana primarily on the platform that voters should have the option to choose “None of the above” on their ballots. To raise awareness for his cause—and to literally get the words none of the above on Louisiana’s ballots—he added “None of the Above” to his own name. Unfortunately, Knox’s modified moniker didn’t make it onto the ballot, and he also lost the election.
11. Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-bop-bop
Shakespeare’s Romeo may not think there’s very much in a name, but Jeffrey Drew Wilschke definitely does. He changed his in 2012 to “Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop” and explained the reasons in an interview for the Wisconsin State Journal: “Beezow” for “the explosion of awareness of the interconnectedness of the infinite love in the universe;” “Doo-doo” for “the struggle of our daily lives with that awareness, that with love comes chaos;” and “Zopittybop-bop-bop” as “the outcome of that struggle, which is often ironic, especially because all life ends in death.”