Like me, you probably come across all sorts of odds and ends when you research, especially in Wikipedia. This month, I came across a guy who held the Guinness Book of World Records record of the longest personal name (until Guinness discontinued the category). His 26 first names were alphabetical, and his last name told a story in German. However, he wasn’t quite consistent with his last name. The longest version is 666 letters; shortest is 32, which (I believe) was his birth surname.
He must have been quite a character. At some point, he refused to pay a utility bill because it wasn’t spelled correctly. When he was a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, he settled the case, in part, because the players (defendant, judge, etc.) couldn’t pronounce his name. Probably couldn’t spell it, either.
Here’s his entire name, followed by the translation of his last name’s story.
“Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffwelchevoralternwarengewissenhaftschaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvorangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolfhunderttausendjahresvorandieerscheinenvonderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgenachtmittungsteinundsiebeniridiumelektrischmotorsgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufdersuchennachbarschaftdersternwelchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneuerassevonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortpflanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvorandererintelligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum Sr.”
“…Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff himself provided the following explanation of his prodigious surname:
‘It tells a story of a wolf-killer, a resident of a stonehouse in a village, whose ancestors were conscientious shepherds whose sheep were well fed and carefully guarded against attack by ferocious enemies and whose ancestors 1,200,000 years before the first earth man, in a space ship made with tungsten and seven iridium motors and using light as a source of power, started a long journey across interstellar space, searching for a star around which was an inhabitable planet where they could establish a new race of intelligent mankind and where they would live long, happy lives and be free from attack by other intelligentsia from the outer space from whence they came.'”