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Did you know there is a cousin of yerba mate that grows in the southern part of North America? You may not because it has a rather unsavory name. Ilex vomitoria, or yaupon holly, was once a potential competitor to the teas of the old world. What's more, it was a potential competitor to the growing sugar business in the British colonies because the lack of tannins made it more palatable without the sugar. A British botanist nipped this in the bud, however, by dubbing the plant Ilex vomitoria based on an incorrect belief that some Native American tribes used it to induce vomiting, so no one wanted to drink the tea that makes you vomit. Only now has the plant begun to make its comeback as a drink, but it did live on as a decorative hedge.

The moral of this story? Maybe that when choosing a pen name you should not use a name like Vomiting Vicky or Diarrhea Dave. Unless of course you have a good reason because there is always an exception to everything. What else can you learn?
 

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That rings a bell, thank you. :) When I was writing my first novel, I came up with what I thought was a great name for one of the leads: a fantasy name, a really cool one. It was a good job I decided to Google it! Turned out, the word already existed and it meant some kind of rare illegal drug :)
 

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Noooo, my career as Dave is over before it ever started.  Heh, but seriously yeah, names that specifically aren't bad are good.  If the name was something normal like Ilex Rubens, and it may not be a great name, but at least it's not purposely bad.  Because I guess as Ilex Vomitoria will tell you, not all publicity is good publicity.

Also, I'm impressed that people in the day knew the latin name of the plants they were teaing.  I went to botany school and I remember a questionnaire study where they found that people now adays can identify less than 10 plants.  10 years ago it was 20, and 100 years ago it was 200 or something like that.  So I always think that maybe people were super smart back in the day, just kinda different smart.
 
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