New Yorkers whose names were their destinies

Former congressman Anthony Weiner
Former congressman Anthony Weiner
lev radin/Shutterstock
Former congressman Anthony Weiner

New Yorkers whose names were their destinies

Chevy Chase isn't the only one whose name is his or her destiny
February 23, 2018

When actor Chevy Chase chased a driver in Westchester on Feb. 9 – the make of the car is unknown, but hopefully it was a Chevrolet – the New York tabloids oddly blew off an opportunity to write pun headlines. But we at City & State are not ones to ignore such a gift from the news gods.

A person’s name occasionally fits their profession – or their crime. There’s even a word for that: aptronym. New York, with its colorful characters and often equally colorful names, has provided us with an impressive array of aptronyms. We have assembled a guide to just the most recent examples. We welcome your suggestions in the comments below:

Carol Cashdollar

This former employee of the state Department of Children and Family Services was arrested in October for stealing over $9,000 in wages by forging medical records, giving her 111 paid sick days, and lots of cash and dollars to go around. Cashdollar died suddenly in January.

Chevy Chase

The former Saturday Night Live star made local headlines this week when he was involved in a road rage incident near his Westchester home, chasing a driver down a highway after the person cut him off on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The two were involved in an altercation by the side of the road, and the fight ended when other driver, a 22-year-old from Long Island, kicked Chase in the shoulder, which he claims was intended to block a punch. (Chase is 6’4”, raising questions about the aim of the kick and the height of the other driver, as well as why one would ever kick someone to block a punch.) While the actor’s car is a Dodge and we can only assume the pick up truck he went after was a Chevy.

Francine Prose

Prose is the distinguished writer-in-residence at Bard College, and a prominent novelist, critic and essayist.

Sheldon Silver

The former Assembly speaker, whose hair color matches his name, was arrested for obtaining $4 million in bribes and payoffs (if not in actual silver dollars). Silver’s corruption charges were vacated in July, but his retrial is set to occur in the spring.

Karl Sleight

Hopefully Sleight, the leader of the Racing and Gaming Industry Team at the law firm Harris Beach, is not prone to sleight of hand at the poker table, as that would mean he’s cheating.

Anthony Weiner

The most obvious entry on this list, Weiner’s once-promising political career was derailed  because he couldn’t keep his, ahem, appendages out of the news. Weiner resigned as a congressman in 2011 for sending women pictures of his titular body part. He then dropped out of the 2013 mayoral race over revelations that his sexting behavior had continued. To complete the trifecta of creepiness, he sexted an underage girl in 2016, and the resulting investigation into his illegal behavior may have cost Hillary Clinton the presidential election. He was arrested and sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2017. One can only hope that we do not see his name, or any other part of him, in the news for a long time to come.

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.
20200926