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“Nutzapper,” The Rules On Naming Horses, And This Simple Lesson: When You Get What You Want, Zip It.

If you want your horse to race in North America, the name must be approved by the Jockey Club. Andy Hillis wanted to name his horse “Nutzapper” after hearing it used in a joke on the Tonight Show. So Hillis told the Jockey Club (as reported in Slate) that he wanted the name because (prepare to dab away the tears) “as a young boy in Canada, he loved to zap walnuts in boiling oil and sprinkle them on salads.” With this explanation, the name was approved. Then Hillis just had to crow to a reporter that he’d never been to Canada, and had made up the whole story.

The racing gods were not amused. They zapped the name almost immediately. Hillis sued and he … lost! Just like the Jockey Club knew he would, because they had recently won a similar suit. (“Nutzapper” is now known as “Awaiting Justice.” Lame.) So what are the Jockey Club’s naming rules?

No horse can have a name longer than 18 characters, a name that breaches a copyright or has obvious commercial significance, or the name of a “notorious” person. Emphatically forbidden are “names that are suggestive or have a vulgar or obscene meaning; names considered in poor taste; or names that may be offensive to religious, political or ethnic groups.”

Now that you know the rules, you might be surprised that the following names have been approved by the Jockey Club:

Nut Buster (1942)
Pussy Galore (1965),
Blow Me (1945)
Get It On (both 1971 and 1986)
On Your Knees (1977 and 2005)
Spank It (1985)
Go Down (1963)
Jail Bait (1947 and 1983)
Barely Legal (1982 and 1989)
Date More Minors (1998)
Cunning Stunt (1969)
Lagnaf (1978) [“let’s all get naked and …]
Golden Shower (1955)
Cherry Pop (1961 and 1978)
Cum Rocket (1969)
Ménage Á Trois (1974)
She’s Easy (1978)
Adultress (1979)
Strip Teaser (1980)
Rhythm Method (1982)
Bodacious Tatas (1985)
Tit’n Your Girdle (1988)
Kinky Lingerie (1991)
Hard Like a Rock (1995)
Sexual Harassment (1997)
X Rated Fantasy (1999)

The above comes from a great article in Slate by T.D. Thornton that you can find here.

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