First Names Retired

What names are owned by solely one person?

We could think of only two and those are Adolf and Oprah.

If you think about it, this is a pretty remarkable achievement. Only one person since the history of the planet has been associated with that name.

You can take relatively odd, unique names such as “Elvis” and “Pee Wee” but even those have more than one person associated with them (see Grbak / Stoyko and Reese). I know that “Cher” “Madonna” and “Prince” might be considered but these just don’t strike me as real names.

So, who else out there is immortalized as the sole owner of a particular first name?


When you say Adolf, are you talking about my grandfather Adolf, or that German dude? Or maybe Dolf Lundren? Just curious :slight_smile:

*Originally posted by minlokwat *
**What names are owned by solely one person?

We could think of only two and those are Adolf and Oprah.

If you think about it, this is a pretty remarkable achievement. Only one person since the history of the planet has been associated with that name.


Adolf Eichmann, Adolf Coors and a number of others who were well known have had that name. I agree that it has been retired.

Oprah was supposed to be named Orpah which is a Biblical name (from the Book of Ruth) but it was misspelled. Oprah is anything but infamous and I’d be willing to bet that there have been a few babies named Oprah in the last decade.

Benedict (in the US) is anohter one. It was retired about 225 years ago.


uhhh… I do believe your first name is Michel, the English equivalent of “Michael” and whom I’m sure has a vast number of namesakes. One famous example that immediately comes to mind is the French philosopher Michel Foucault but as I say, I’m sure there are plenty of others.

As for you Jabe and hajario we are talking about FAMOUS people and not the good friend of your paternal grandmother’s second cousin. Of course there have been a number of babies christened with the name of “Oprah” but we are discussing those with a bit more notoriety.

I will say that I had no idea that the founder of the Coors empire had the first name of “Adolf”. I will also say that I doubt that most people were familiar with that factoid either. Really I was thinking more along the lines of names that one can immediately think of and I therefore stand by my original post and avow that “Adolf” and “Oprah” are the only two WELL-KNOWN folks who have graced this planet with that monniker.

There are a lot of ‘famous’ Adolfs, depending on what circles you move in. What’s your criteria for ‘famous’? I’d certainly heard of Adolf Eichmann before now.

Adolf Marx, the silent partner of a successful comedy team, is another famous Adolf (though he did change his name). :wink:

Better choices:

Michaelangelo (so well known that few recall his last name)

Ringo, a nice drummer (the Ringo Kid doesn’t count – not his first name).

Bing, a singer (Though I suppose “Bing Cherry” might be a good name for a stripper).

Ringo Starr wasn’t his real name. It was (and still is) Richar Starkey.

Richard, even.

I’ll get me coat.

If minlokwat won’t allow Nostradamus then Ringo (born Richard) and Bing (born Harry) can’t be valid either.


A lot of famous Adolfs? Shirley U. Jest.

For heaven sakes, I think we can define “famous” as more people have heard of you than have not. Does Webster’s back me up? Is this scientific? Who cares. You know what I meant. Sheesh. What insufferable nitpicking. :slight_smile:

I really only meant this as a “Who else can you think of…” post. If we insist on shooting down every worthwhile entry (“Ringo” and “Bing” are both fine choices) well, I’ll…well, I don’t know what I’ll do but when I think of it, you better watch out.

Orenthals anymore.

There was the architect Adolf Loos, relatively well-known for the saying “ornament is crime”.

How about Elton? I can only think of one.

Certainly I’ve never heard of a McGeorge aside from President Kennedy’s advisor McGeorge Bundy.

The Olympic skiier Picabo Street seems to have her name all to herself.

I can only think of one famous Lyndon.

Cotton Mather had one of those names that seem to have been retired a couple centuries ago.

Reinhold Messner seems to meet the qualifications at least as much as Adolf Hitler.

And lastly, Beck seems pretty unique as well.

Are we allowing name changes? If not, Sir Elton Hercules John doesn’t count.

I’ll add Crispus, though, as in Attucks, the first man (supposedly) killed at the Boston Massacre.

How about Groucho and Harpo? Madonna?

I am not so sure the name “Adolf” has been really retired in central Europe.
I mean Joesph Stalin was about as bad as Hitler - but no one today would associate a guy named Joe with Gulag terror. “Adolf” is a common enough name in Germany (with variants like Adolphe in France, Adolfo in Italy, Spain etc.) that Hitler would obliterate it from the list of names.
This search of business listings alone in Germany for “Adolf” came up with over 9,000 listings.

I would associate this both with the Virgin Mary and Madonna Ciccone.

Buonarotti! Right?

Don’t think “Judas” has been a very popular name for the last 2000 years. Any Judases besides Iscariot and Priest?