Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ours Go to 11: Volume 35, Names that Essentially Define an Art Form (and Serve as Shorthand for Greatness)

As some may know, for the last couple years, I've also maintained a blog called 6word Portraits, on which I celebrate a noteworthy artist, leader, athlete, etc. each day, typically on their birthday.

Today's entry of Mikhail Baryshnikov got me thinking about individuals whose names--often just a surname--essentially serve as shorthand for an entire art form or idiom.

As in, "He/she is going to grow up to be a real __________" and the connotation would be widely understood by a large percentage of the population, at least of a certain age.

Obviously, it's an imperfect list, as I am not ranking or reflecting mere virtuosity, but my perception of genre-defining fame (as a white suburban Chicago Jewish male of 50 years old).

But here goes:

1. Shakespeare
2. Mozart
3. Picasso
4. Houdini
5. Hemingway
6. Hitchcock
7. Rodgers & Hammerstein 
8. Baryshnikov
9. Einstein
10. Elvis
11. Sinatra

A few others

"Bird" (Charlie Parker)

Brando (or Olivier)
Lucy (Lucille Ball)
Babe Ruth
Michael Jordan
"Lady Day" (Billie Holiday)
Pele (or Messi for the modern age)
Carson (Johnny)
Vin Scully
Frank Lloyd Wright
Ansel Adams
Beau Brummell


Mikes said...

DaVinci, Dion, Jesus Christ, Cher, Marley, Brooks (Mel),
Carlin, Williams (Ted), Rickles, King Tut (19yo boy king
Tutankhamun, 1325BC, Jobs, Gates, Buffet, Prince,
& more.

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