Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sexpun TK

Because Netflix’s streamable James Bond movies have been my world this week, I am presenting a list of Bond girls whose names serve as a pun, a sexual reference or something else with meaning beyond what a “straight” character name does. Here are the ones I could decipher or read something into:
  • Honey Rider in Dr. No: Kind of gets there in terms of suggesting that she’s sweet but also up for a roll in the hay.
  • Sylvia Trench in From Russia With Love: Not a pun, especially, but the sexual implications of the word trench are debatable.
  • Pussy Galore in Goldfinger: Well, doy. And double for appearing in a movie titled Goldfinger. Triple for the fact that in the book version, she is a lesbian until Bond “turns” her.
  • Fiona Volpe in Thunderball: Volpe is Italian for “fox,” which could be used to describe just about every woman to ever cross paths with James Bond.
  • Patricia Fearing in Never Say Never Again: She goes by Pat, and that combined with her last name indicates a character who is less than welcoming towards Bond’s physical advances. The fact that Fearing receives a massage from Bond makes me think her name is not coincidental.
  • Kissy Suzuki in You Only Live Twice: A fairly unsubtle reference that must have confused thoughtful English-speaking viewers as much as it did Japanese people who had never comes across a Japanese woman named Kissy.
  • Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever: I think she’s the first Bond girl to have an awareness that her name means something. She earned it as a result of being born in a Tiffany & Co. store.
  • Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds Are Forever: And she totally is. It has nothing to do with her name, but can I just mentioned that this otherwise amusing Bond bit player has been completely ruined for me since I found out that she’s played by Lana Wood, Natalie Wood’s sister? This fact makes Plenty’s drowning death especially awkward.
  • Bambi and Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever: Because obviously if you acquire henchwomen who happen to be named after characters from a Disney movie, you’d have them work as a team.
  • Holly Goodhead in Moonraker: Yep.
  • Bibi Dahl in For Your Eyes Only: A name made all the more awkward by the fact that it’s associated with a hypersexual 15-year-old who tries her damnedest to get Bond to take her virginity.
  • Octopussy in Octopussy: The thing people may forget about this character is that she has a full, normal name, Octavia Charlotte Smythe, but she goes by Octopussy because her father was a scientist known for studying octopuses. I believe this is called “owning it.” But seriously, does it seem weird to anybody else that there was a movie called Octopussy?
  • Penelope Smallbone in Octopussy: She’s the mini-Moneypenny. Her first name reflects her connection to Moneypenny, and her last name enforces her inferior status while also hinting that she might have a teeny peen.
  • Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again: Knowing the Bond series, I’d guess that that last name Blush — which is strange, seeing as how it’s connected to a non-Anglo-seeming character — is a reference to sex blush, though the fact that the character hates men might provide evidence that this isn’t the case.
  • May Day in A View to Kill: Just by her name, you can tell that she’s bad news. Alternately, you could interpret her name as a sign that she supports workers’ rights, but that would be stupid.
  • Jenny Flex in A View to Kill: As I noted in a previous post, it’s a pun on genuflect, “to bend the knee,” which is arguably sexual in that a woman might bend her knees to engage in various sexual positions.
  • Pan Ho in A View to Kill: As commenter Sam points out, you could interpret her name as meaning something like “all ho,” but that interpretation would be stretching plausibility… though not all that much more than names in other Bond films.
  • Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye: Given the connotations of xenia and hospitality, it’s decidedly sexual.
  • Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies: Would I put it past the Bond movie writers to create a character whose name reads like wailing? No.
  • Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough: Considering her major daddy issues and the fact that she’s the heiress to her father’s oil fortune, her name is anything but random.
  • Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough: A character seemingly named solely to set up the classic Bond quip, “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”
  • Molly Warmflash in The World Is Not Enough: Maybe one of the Bond names that drags the series into self-parody. Unless that name is supposed to be a menopause reference, I guess.
  • Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale: It’s not sexual at all, but the name apparently has been interpreted by some as a pun on “West Berlin” as a reference to the fact that she’s a double agent loyal to two different powers.
  • Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace: As I noted in a previous post, In accordance with the Daniel Craig-era bond films skewing grittier and less campy, a classic Bond pun name wouldn’t work. That’s why this character — whose name references a Beatles song — refuses to tell Bond her first name. Only the credits reveal it to be Strawberry. Alas, she dies, and Strawberry Fields proves to not be, in fact, forever.
Did I miss anyone?

6 comments:

  1. Strawberry Fields was also the name of the lead female character in the 1978 musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. I'd like to pretend that the scriptwriters took the name from that movie, but I highly doubt it.

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  2. Yeah, it seems doubtful, but who knows? Regardless of the source, I love how subtle the joke is.

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  3. Anonymous2:52 AM

    I would've thought that the "Strawberry Fields" reference was largely due to her being a redhead and it being a common "Does the carpet match the curtains?" joke in the UK and Ireland. Clearly that went way over people's heads!

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    1. That's actually a really common joke here in the U.S. too. And that's probably the joke the writer was making when he picked that name, now that you point it out.

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  4. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Onatopp = "Ohne Top" German for "topless"

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