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Renaming the Schwar(t)zkopf baby.

DEBORAH GLUPCZYNSKI does not need to repeat herself. There she is in all her glory--a doctor from western Massachusetts--18 letters, no repeats, and a new record for a real person's name. She surpasses the previous record-holder, clearly departed 17-letter MELVIN SCHWARZKOPF, formerly of Illinois. This discovery begs some important questions in the exciting field of heterogrammic onomastics--the study of names which do not repeat a letter. (The term heterogram--a word with no repeated letters--refers to a word in which all letters appear the same number &times.) These questions demand answers.

Brief History

In "Naming the Schwarzkopf Baby" (August 1991), Ross Eckler pseudonymously issued the challenge of finding a real name of at least 15 letters with no repeats, unaware of the then-quite-vital Melvin. He also proposed naming the hypothetical baby EMILY JUNG SCHWARZKOPF (20 letters). Soon, readers would concoct 22 to 26-letter proposals employing various devices.

In the realm of famous people, shorter records were noted--most famously MICHAEL TYSON (12), who is tied by baseball's BUTCH WYNEGAR and BUCK MARTINEZ if common nicknames are allowed. I noted manager BUCK SHOWALTER (13)--often called BUCKY (14)--and fictional character PINKY TUSCADERO (14) of TV's Happy Days.

More creative theoretical names have been proposed, each consisting of a real first and last name, though not of the same person. At 17 letters, we meet BARNEY WOLFSCHMIDT, FLOYD KIRSCHENBAUM, and MARK YEDLOUTSCHNIG. At 18, BEULAH TROMPCZYNSKI and MELVIN SCHWARTZKOPF with a T. (While the General and the real Melvin have no T, others do.) However, none of these exceeds our very real friend Deborah.

New Discoveries

The challenge remains: What is the longest theoretical name--consisting of names of actual people or characters--with no repeated letters? Here are some new discoveries which go beyond previous efforts. Sure, Google makes it easier to find some strange stuff but that's not my fault--I just report the news.

To rein in the chaos, we order our search by the number of words in the name. First, it is natural to seek the longest heterogrammic first and last names. As it happens, both may be satisfied by BARTLOMIEJCZYK (14), a Polish diminutive form of Bartholomew, which surpasses all previously noted names. If 1920's artist Edmund had adopted a Vietnamese son, PHUNG BARTLOMIEJCZYK (19) might have had some explaining to do at homeroom roll call, but he would have exceeded our 18-letter benchmark. Considering people named after fictional characters, Beulah's boy JUGHEAD TROMPCZYNSKI (19) would tie the mark. (In the Archie comics his real name was the far less interesting Jones). But to find our record holder we return to our favorite family. Turns out they have a Dickens fetish. Named after the Nicholas Nickleby character Dingleby Dabber, young DINGLEBY SCHWARTZKOPF (20), tops our list--for now. No doubt computer searches of name databases could improve on this.

We can also look for a real person whose first and last names are each heterograms on their own. In this case, the longest minimum name would be of interest. Again Polish obliges--painter FRANTISZEK SMUGLJEWICZ (10,11) has at least 10 letters in each heterogrammic name.

Including middle names is again a family affair. Melvin's actual son, who passed on in September 2003, was named Gerald Melvin Schwarzkopf. If his daughter had been named JUDY MELVIN SCHWARZKOPF (21) she would have surpassed EMILY JUNG. We can climb this ladder of theoretical names step by step--first we add back the T for a total of 22. Next we note the Belgian surname VLEMING, which would allow the very plausible JUDY VLEMING SCHWARTZKOPF (23). But also possible is the alternate spelling VLEMINX (often, but not always, spelled with a CK before the X). In concert with the (very real) adult film star Judgy Saville, we can now form the (very theoretical) JUDGY VLEMINX SCHWARTZKOPF (24) which tops our list --again, only for now. And there it lies, in all its glory. One theoretical person, three actual names, 24 letters.

Records for real, famous, and fictional 3-word names are left as open questions for the reader.

Of course, as with previous concoctions, one could go further allowing titles, middle initials, generational markers, etc. These quickly test the limits of contrivance. Allowing only one of each to maintain at least some plausibility, in ten generations we might see the honorable JUDGE VIMBLY Q. SCHWARTZKOPF, X (25) named after Punjabi journalist Vimbly Sumbly. Or someday the football-playing QB JUDGY VLEMINX SCHWARTZKOPF (26). No point in considering these as 'records'--in this family, there's no need to repeat yourself.

Summary of Current Known Records, names with no repeated letters:

longest first name or last name, real or fictional: BARTLOMIEJCZYK (14)

longest full name (first+last), real person: DEBORAH GLUPCZYNSKI (18)

longest full name (first+last), famous person (nickname allowed): BUCKY SHOWALTER (14)

longest full name (first+last), famous person (no nickname): MICHAEL TYSON (12)

longest full name (first+last), fictional character: PINKY TUSCADERO (14)

longest minimum name (first, last--each heterograms), real person: FRANTISZEK SMUGLJEWICZ (10,11)

longest theoretical name (first+last), both real: PHUNG BARTLOMIEJCZYK (19)

longest theoretical name (first+last), real or fictional: DINGLEBY SCHWARTZKOPF (20)

longest full name (first+middle+last), real, famous, fictional: ?,?,?

longest theoretical name (first+middle+last), plausible: JUDY VLEMING SCHWARTZKOPF (23)

longest theoretical name (first+middle+last), less plausible: JUDGY VLEMINX SCHWARTZKOPF (24)


Aug 1991 article "Naming the Schwarzkopf Baby", Robert Cass Keller. MELVIN SCHWARZKOPF (17, hypothetical), EMILY JUNG SCHWARZKOPF (20)

Nov 1991 Colloquy, John Bulten, BIG MEL TY SCHWARZKOPF, JUN. (22)

Aug 1992 Colloquy, John Bulten, RANDY SCHULTZ (12)

Aug 92 Kickshaws "The Schwarzkopf challenge", Dave Morice. MICHAEL TYSON (12), DAVORIN KEMPF (12), BENJY GIL Q.T. "MUD" SCHWARZKOPF, XV(26)

Aug 1993 Colloquy, Andrew Griscom / Eckler. MARK YEDLOUTSCHNIG (17)

Nov 1996 Colloquy, Richard Hyde / Eckler. BEULAH TROMPCZYNSKI (18)


May 1997 Kickshaws. BLAGOJEVICH (11)

Aug 1998 Colloquy. Eric Chaikin, BUCK SHOWALTER (13)
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Author:Chaikin, Eric
Publication:Word Ways
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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