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robertc

Last Names And Ancestries Of The Main Character?

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(Correction - In the subject line I meant CharacterS)

 

Does anyone know what Koothrappali means in Hindi?

Also, how did the show's creators think of that name?

 

Is Howard a Polish person?  He may also be Russian or other Eastern European descent.

Wolowitz seems like a Polish name - anyone know its origin?

 

Hofstadter is obviously a German name and is also the name of the computer science author, Douglas Hofstadter.

He wrote "Godel Escher Bach."

"Stadt" means "country" in German.

 

Amy's middle name is Farrah and was possibly because of the TV star of the seventies, but they've never mentioned it.

 

Rostenkowski is a Polish name.  I wonder what it means.

Edited by robertc

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I think that there's something about why they chose the names Sheldon and Leonard or Cooper and Hofstadter or something like that, but I forget the lore.

 

There was a brief line in one episode where Bernadette says something about how she and Howard or someone had done some research into their family histories and had found out that her grandparents or whatever had lived in the same town as his in Poland, so I'm guessing they are implying that Wolowitz is a Polish name.

 

As for Koothrappali, I think the writers said that originally the character's name was supposed to be just Dave, supposedly to be some kind of joke referring to the Indian customer service guys adopting American-sounding names.  But they changed their minds I think when they cast Kunal and that they asked him to come up with a name for his character.  That's the way I remember the story, anyway.  I think it's on one of the DVD sets--maybe the regular (not bluray) S1 set?

 

I don't know that they necessarily intended to choose specific ancestries for the characters except perhaps for Raj, but of course their names would certainly suggest their nationality the way anyone's name might.

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There was an old movie actor named Sheldon Leonard and that's how they got those two first names.

 

I remember now, they mentioned Poland in the last episodes of Season 5.

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Sheldon Leonard was originally an actor in movies and on radio in the 1940s and 1950s.  He was part of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin's radio show.  He is best known today as the creator, producer, and writer of four iconic American TV series of the late 50s and 60s.  The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and I Spy.  He also produced My World and Welcome To It, Gomer Pyle USMC, and Shirley's World.   He also directed several episodes of My Favorite Martian.  Chuck Lorre is a fan of Leonard's work, hence the names of the main characters.   Here's a clip of Sheldon Leonard.  You might guess from his voice, that he played several mobsters in the movies and on radio, although he was Jewish.  

 

Both Cooper and Hofstadter  were Nobel Laureates.   Leon Cooper won the 1972 Nobel Prize (along with two others) for their work in superconductivity.  The effect is described due to Cooper Pairs named after, Leon Cooper.    Robert Hofstadter won the 1961 Nobel Prize (shared with one other) for his work in electron scattering by atoms.   Hofstadter was an American, although his grandparents came from Germany.  I haven't been able to find any reference to Cooper ancestry, but he was born in New York City in 1930.  

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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

I don't know if this was intentional but:

 

Mayim is an anagram for Im Amy

 

fun fact: Amy's character was going to be named Victoria. They changed the name when they hired Mayim, so it could be.

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I don't know if this was intentional but:

 

Mayim is an anagram for Im Amy

 

fun fact: Amy's character was going to be named Victoria. They changed the name when they hired Mayim, so it could be.

 

I did not know this! Oh I'm glad they changed it, she doesn't strike me as a Victoria. Also, what would they be? Shectoria? LOL. I always liked Amy as a name, even before the character.

 

Wolowitz is named after Bill Prady's good friend. There are photos around of Simon and Melissa with the real Wolowitz's when they came to visit the set I believe.

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Penny, of course has no last name but In 2.03 "The Barbarian Sublimation", Sheldon and Penny had this exchange:

 

Penny: Why? I’ll tell you why. Because today I had an audition, it took me two hours to get there, I waited an hour for my turn, and before I could even start they told me I looked too Midwest for the part. Too Midwest? What the hell does that even mean?

Sheldon: Well, the American Midwest was mostly settled by Scandinavian and Germanic peoples who, well they have a characteristic facial bone structure….

 

Kaley Cuoco is actually Half-Italian (her father) but many people from northern Italy are very Germanic in origin and her mother's maiden name is the very WASPish, Wingate. So Penny would have a very Germanic look.

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I really wanna know Penny's last name.  that's about the only thing about the show that really really bugs me, that all the characters have last names but her.

 

The producers have said that not giving her a last name is now like a good luck omen. Looks like she may get the last name Hofstadter before we know her maiden name.

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I think knowing her last name would be like seeing Howard's mother. I think it's going to be something that's never mentioned, I can totally see a scene where Penny and Leonard get married and as the minister says "Do you Penny ... take Leonard Hofstadter as your lawfully wedded husband" someone sneezes right as he says her last name or something. lol. I don't think they should ever give her one.

Edited by spook
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Guest I'm not dead Cheryl

I am one of those who doesn't ever wants to know Penny's last name.

 

She's like Cher... she doesn't need one!

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I think knowing her last name would be like seeing Howard's mother. I think it's going to be something that's never mentioned, I can totally see a scene where Penny and Leonard get married and as the minister says "Do you Penny ... take Leonard Hofstadter as your lawfully wedded husband" someone sneezes right as he says her last name or something. lol. I don't think they should ever give her one.

 

I can totally see that happen. When the two get married her name gets drowned out. When Penny had her daydream about her wedding day, the minister only said, "Do you, Penny, take Leonard to be your lawful wedded husband?" Even in her mind she doesn't have a last name. :icon_biggrin:

Edited by BangerMain

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I am one of those who doesn't ever wants to know Penny's last name.

 

She's like Cher... she doesn't need one!

 

Many shows have this running bit where some key character information is not reveled. One of the most famous is "Cheers", where Norm's wife is never shown. They had a big Thanksgiving episode where Norm's wife was suppose to be there and she came through the door during this big food fight. Of course when she came on screen her face was obscured by a thrown pie.

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 HOFSTADTER was a German topographic name for someone who lived near a barn or granary, or an occupational name for an official who was responsible for receiving thithes into the manorial storehouse. The name was derived from the Middle German word STADEL (barn, granary). The surname is also occasionally borne by Ashkenazic Jews, an adoption of the German surname. The name is also spelt HOFSTADTER, STADELMANN, STADTLER and STADTMANN. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A notable member of the name is Robert HOFSTADTER, born in 1915, the American physicist. He taught at Pennysylvania University and Stanford University, where he became professor of physics in 1954. He shared the Nobel prize for physics in 1961. 

 

 

Albert Hofstadter= Jew

Douglas Richard Hofstadter= Jew

Richard Hofstadter= Jew

Emil A. Hofstadter= Jew

Robert Hofstadter= Polish Jew

Samuel Hofstadter= Austrian Lawyer, uncle of Richard

Albert Hofstadter=American  Jew

 

Cooper Surname is English.

Koothrappali= Southern India

Bloom= English or Jewish

Rostenkowski= Polish

Winkle= Dutch, English, German, Jewish

Fowler= Scottish and English

Farrah= French derives from the Medieval English and Old French terms "ferreor" and "ferour", derivatives of "fer", iron, from the Latin "ferrum" also Arabic for "Joy" 

Jensen= Danish or Norwegian

Jeffries= English

Kripke= German or Jewish.

Sweeney= Irish or Scottish

 Barnett= English or Irish

Wheaton= English

Johnson= English

Rezinov= Russian

 Zarnecki/ Czarnecki = Polish or Jew

Kim = Korean

Underhill= English

Plimpton= English

 Choudry/  Chaudhry= North India

 Latham= Scandinavian

O'Brian= Irish

Nowitzki= German, Polish or Jewish

Crawley= English or Irish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 HOFSTADTER was a German topographic name for someone who lived near a barn or granary, or an occupational name for an official who was responsible for receiving thithes into the manorial storehouse. The name was derived from the Middle German word STADEL (barn, granary). The surname is also occasionally borne by Ashkenazic Jews, an adoption of the German surname. The name is also spelt HOFSTADTER, STADELMANN, STADTLER and STADTMANN. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A notable member of the name is Robert HOFSTADTER, born in 1915, the American physicist. He taught at Pennysylvania University and Stanford University, where he became professor of physics in 1954. He shared the Nobel prize for physics in 1961. 

 

 

Albert Hofstadter= Jew

Douglas Richard Hofstadter= Jew

Richard Hofstadter= Jew

Emil A. Hofstadter= Jew

Robert Hofstadter= Polish Jew

Samuel Hofstadter= Austrian Lawyer, uncle of Richard

Albert Hofstadter=American  Jew

 

Cooper Surname is English.

Koothrappali= Southern India

Bloom= English or Jewish

Rostenkowski= Polish

Winkle= Dutch, English, German, Jewish

Fowler= Scottish and English

Farrah= French derives from the Medieval English and Old French terms "ferreor" and "ferour", derivatives of "fer", iron, from the Latin "ferrum" also Arabic for "Joy" 

Jensen= Danish or Norwegian

Jeffries= English

Kripke= German or Jewish.

Sweeney= Irish or Scottish

 Barnett= English or Irish

Wheaton= English

Johnson= English

Rezinov= Russian

 Zarnecki/ Czarnecki = Polish or Jew

Kim = Korean

Underhill= English

Plimpton= English

 Choudry/  Chaudhry= North India

 Latham= Scandinavian

O'Brian= Irish

Nowitzki= German, Polish or Jewish

Crawley= English or Irish

 

Wow, that was completed staff work. :cool:

 

Thanks

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Koothrappali  is a Hindi pun on kutte pati  कु पति meaning Dog's Husband
Hofstadter is Hungarian and means City magistrate, or court official
Cooper means Barrel maker, but Lee Cooper was a brand of Jeans popular in the late 1970's
Wolowitz  is polish for son of a Bull (farmer), but also in Esperanto can mean a desperate or  wilful joke
Fowler in this case is an anagram for flower meaning blossom the character the actor made her name from
Rostenkowski Means child of the Thorn farm, but here may simply be a play on Rotten Cow, since Bernadette is such a dislikeable person
Penny means Flower in Greek (note penny is not in this case short for Penelope) However as Penny is often said to be of Scandinavian stock Pen Nye in most Scandinavian languages mean new legs.

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On 12/14/2012 at 9:05 PM, robertc said:

Is Howard a Polish person?

Howard's family definitely lived in Poland, at some point.

Given Amy's reply, to Penny's response, on hearing about it, I'm guessing they were living there in the late 1930s, or early 1940s.

On 12/14/2012 at 10:09 PM, robertc said:

I remember now, they mentioned Poland in the last episodes of Season 5.

If it's the episode I think you are referring to, it was episode 22, not the finale, which was episode 24.

On 12/14/2012 at 11:57 PM, bigbangsheldon said:

im so glad they changed it it would be horrible having victoria 

I agree.

Victoria Farrah Fowler doesn't sound right, but Amy Farrah Fowler flows off the tongue beautifully.

Edited by Stephen Hawking

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On 27/09/2016 at 4:18 PM, Henry Lions said:

Koothrappali  is a Hindi pun on kutte pati  कु पति meaning Dog's Husband
Hofstadter is Hungarian and means City magistrate, or court official
Cooper means Barrel maker, but Lee Cooper was a brand of Jeans popular in the late 1970's
Wolowitz  is polish for son of a Bull (farmer), but also in Esperanto can mean a desperate or  wilful joke
Fowler in this case is an anagram for flower meaning blossom the character the actor made her name from
Rostenkowski Means child of the Thorn farm, but here may simply be a play on Rotten Cow, since Bernadette is such a dislikeable person
Penny means Flower in Greek (note penny is not in this case short for Penelope) However as Penny is often said to be of Scandinavian stock Pen Nye in most Scandinavian languages mean new legs.

Yes, I wondered if Sheldon was supposed to have something in common with Claude Levi Strauss, but I can't think of anything.

I suppose the Amy character was going to be Victoria because of her victorian tastes. Amy Fowler is the heroine of High Noon; can't see any significance.

Some posters have suggested Penny's surname would come out at the wedding ceremony. Is that so in American wedding ceremonies? I think they just say the first name at church weddings in the UK.

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Never release Penny's last name

 

they really blew it with the Sheldon 3 knocks revelation

it always appeared he was just completely neurotic

now, blah

 

I love the name "wallow" "wits"

Edited by Penord

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