First, there was Boaty McBoatface. When the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council asked the public to help them name a new research vessel, the name Boaty McBoatface was the runaway winner (even if they decided not to go for it in the end).
When the people behind San Diego’s potential MLS franchise asked people to vote for a franchise name, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Footy McFooty Face ran away with it. Neither should you be surprised to hear that when Swedish train service MTR Express held a vote to name a new train line, the winning name was Trainy McTrainface.
The lesson, as always, is that if you’re dumb enough to hold a public vote on the internet to name something, you’re going to get a dumb name. Of course, if you’re willing to lean into it, then you can end up with a dumb name to be very proud of.
Sydney recently needed some names for their new ferry fleet and took the internet for help. The Name Your Ferry competition received more than 15,000 suggestions and in the end the winning name was Boaty McBoatface. Again. However, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance told ABC News that, “Given Boaty was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders.”
And so they went with the second-place name, which was…Ferry McFerryface.
— ABC Sydney (@abcsydney) November 13, 2017
The cool thing is that Constance and the city seem pretty cool about the whole thing.
“Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike. This one is for the kids.”
The ferry in question is actually not the one that was initially proposed for the name. The intended vessel was instead named the RSS Sir David Attenborough and Ferry McFerryface went to a different ship. Presumably, this was because no one wanted to explain to Sir David Attenborough that he got beat out by Ferry McFerryface, which is understandable.
And so, Sydney takes the lead over Melbourne when it comes to Australian cities that just get it. Earlier this year, the Victorian Government asked the public to name five new railway stations in their Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel project. When Station McStationface was presented as a viable option, they shot it down.