The Odd Tales of 5 People Named After Brands or Products


What’s funnier than a woman named Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer? Well, how about an academic advisor named Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer? No, the screenshot that turned up on BuzzFeed today is not a hoax; there really is a lady rocking this name — and it’s been hers since birth. After the jump, learn all about Sawyer and the origin of her name, along with the weird stories behind four other real people named for Swedish furniture superstores, Microsoft operating systems, and more.

Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer It hasn’t been easy going through life as Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer, a motorcycle-riding teacher from Wisconsin who’s going for her Ph.D. “Everybody I meet says this: You’re nothing like I thought you’d be,” Sawyer told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which is probably a good thing, considering the assumptions one might be inclined to make about someone named after a drug and a soft drink. Apparently, she was named after two of her hippie parents’ favorite refreshments, and according to Sawyer, her mom’s logic went something like this: “She said that she knew when I was born that you could take this name and go around the world with it. At the time as a child, I’m thinking yeah, right. You named my older sister Kimberly. You named my younger sister Robin.” Although she struggled early on in school and endured a difficult family life, Sawyer left home at 15, became a serious student, and has now succeeded despite her name.

ESPN Moms, beware: Let your husband name your kid and your son just may end up with a cable sports network for a name. A few years ago, a man in just this situation named his kid ESPN Montana (the football player, of course, not the state) Real. But perhaps what’s really remarkable here is that, when this blessed event occurred, the Reals were at least the fourth couple on record to have named their baby after ESPN.

Ikea It’s been alleged that there are lots of young’uns named after our favorite place to buy cheap, Swedish furniture. But this BBC article was only able to track down one: Back in May 2002, a 26-year-old mom christened her fourth child “Ikea,” explaining to her local paper, “I was pregnant, sitting on the sofa with my boyfriend and trying to think of a name for the little girl I was going to have when I noticed the Ikea advert… I saw the name Ikea and thought it would make a nice name for my baby.” The kicker? She hadn’t even been to the store when she decided to name her baby after it. But, hey. It could be worse. Given the unpronounceable names the chain has bestowed on many of its products, some kid whose parents spent too long with the Ikea catalog could be walking into kindergarten with the name “Knutstorp.”

Vista Avalon Windows Vista may have been a punchline to some in the tech world, but Microsoft apparently still has its share of hardcore fans. Like, for example, the folks who named their daughter Vista Avalon Simser. As for the kid’s middle name, Information Week explains, “Avalon was the code name for the Windows Presentation Foundation, the graphical subsystem of .Net 3.0.” Meanwhile, if she had been a boy, her name would have been “Dev” (as in “developer”), and her initials would have been “DOS.”

Wrigley Alexander Fields What is it with sports fans and their weird baby names? Blessed with a serendipitous last name, Cubs superfans Paul and Teri Fields planned for years to name their child Wrigley Alexander Fields — and when that little boy came into the world on September 12, 2007, that is indeed the name they gave him.