Meet the Man Who Claimed to Have the World's Longest Last Name
Think John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt is a long name? Meet Hubert B. Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff—and that's the abbreviated version.
His whole name is a doozy. First of all, Hubert—a Philadelphia linotype operator who is now deceased—had 26 first names, one for each letter of the alphabet. And his surname was nearly 700 letters long. Here goes:
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, Senior. (Yes—he gave his son the same name.)
As you might imagine, he often shortened his name for practical purposes. According to a report on his entry in the 1978 Guinness Book of World Records, Hubert usually chose to go by Mr. Wolfe + 585, Senior. He also used the last name Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff for official documents. In 1952, a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, presumably amused by the moniker, wrote a blurb to report that a "Hubert B. Wolfeschlegelsteinhasenbergerdorff" had recently registered to vote. Hubert wrote the Inquirer to correct the reporter's misspelling—the "u" in "hausen" had been omitted.
In a 1964 newspaper article in which he claimed to have the country's longest name, Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff gave a loose translation of the words. He claimed it told the story, in German, of a wolf-killer who lived in a stone house in a village, and whose ancestors were sheep herders. (It went on from there.) "I like to be unique," Wolfe + 585 also said, unnecessarily. "I don't like being part of the common herd."
These days, having a ridiculously long name isn't quite as unique. In 2012, a British woman formerly known as Dawn McManus changed her name to Red Wacky League Antlez Broke the Stereo Neon Tide Bring Back Honesty Coalition Feedback Hand of Aces Keep Going Captain Let’s Pretend Lost State of Dance Paper Taxis Lunar Road Up Down Strange All and I Neon Sheep Eve Hornby Faye Bradley AJ Wilde Michael Rice Dion Watts Matthew Appleyard John Ashurst Lauren Swales Zoe Angus Jaspreet Singh Emma Matthews Nicola Brown Leanne Pickering Victoria Davies Rachel Burnside Gil Parker Freya Watson Alisha Watts James Pearson Jacob Sotheran Darley Beth Lowery Jasmine Hewitt Chloe Gibson Molly Farquhar Lewis Murphy Abbie Coulson Nick Davies Harvey Parker Kyran Williamson Michael Anderson Bethany Murray Sophie Hamilton Amy Wilkins Emma Simpson Liam Wales Jacob Bartram Alex Hooks Rebecca Miller Caitlin Miller Sean McCloskey Dominic Parker Abbey Sharpe Elena Larkin Rebecca Simpson Nick Dixon Abbie Farrelly Liam Grieves Casey Smith Liam Downing Ben Wignall Elizabeth Hann Danielle Walker Lauren Glen James Johnson Ben Ervine Kate Burton James Hudson Daniel Mayes Matthew Kitching Josh Bennett Evolution Dreams. (The move was part of a charity drive.)
Before that, a Scottish man who was once just Nicholas Usansky changed his name to claim the Guinness title. His seems positively short by comparison: Barnaby Marmaduke Aloysius Benjy Cobweb Dartagnan Egbert Felix Gaspar Humbert Ignatius Jayden Kaspar Leroy Maximilian Neddy Obiajulu Pepin Quilliam Rosencrantz Sexton Teddy Upwood Vivatma Wayland Xylon Yardley Zachary Usansky.