Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pennsylvania man claims world's longest surname

A June 24, 1964 Associated Press story introduced a man who claimed to have the longest last name in the United States — 666 letters, plus 26 given names. Hubert B. Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, 47, a Philadelphia resident of German descent, used only the first 35 letters of his last name in signing documents. The computer of the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co., which handled Hubert’s life insurance policy, could only handle up to 35 letters. And his Social Security card carried the “shortened” version of his surname as well.

In an interview, Hubert said the Army used a clipped and Anglicized version of his name when he was drafted in 1942, because they wouldn’t go for his full name.

Ready for it?

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 Wolfe­schlegelsteinhausenberger­dorffvoraltern­waren­gewissenhaft­schaferswessen-schafewaren­wohlgepflege­und­sorgfaltigkeit­beschutzen­von­angreifen­durch­ihrraubgierigfeinde­welyche­voraltern­zwolftausend­jahres­vorandieerscheinen­wander­ersteer­dem­enschderrassumschiff­gebrauchlicht­als­sein­ursprung­von­kraftgestart­sein­lange­fahrt­hinzwischen­sternartigraum­auf­der­suchenach­diestern­welche­gehabt­bewohnbar­planeten­kreise­drehen­sich­und­wohin­der­neurasse­von­verstandigmen­schlichkeit­konnte­fortplanzen­und­sicher­freuen­anlebens­langlich­freude­und­ruhe­mit­nicht­ein­furcht­vor­angreifen­von­anderer­intelligent­geschopfs­von­hinzwischensternartigraum, Senior. Eventually he shortened his name to Hubert Blaine Wolf+585, Sr. He was married with two sons, Hubert etc. etc. Junior and Timothy Wayne etc. etc.

So what does it mean? Hubert gave the following loose translation:

“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.”

Hubert was listed in the “Guinness Book of World Records” from 1975 to 1985 as having the longest personal name; the category disappeared in the late 1980s. Hubert died in 1985.

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