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I Wish They All Could Be Jewish Derby Girls

Like Ruth Hater Ginsburg and Mazel Tov Cocktail

Marjorie Ingall
October 28, 2010
The Wall St. traitors put the hurt on someone.(Gotham Girls Roller Derby)
The Wall St. traitors put the hurt on someone.(Gotham Girls Roller Derby)

If the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear sounds too milquetoast for you, perhaps you’d be better off attending Saturday’s Gotham Girls Roller Derby championship bout, featuring the Bronx Gridlock against the Queens of Pain.

Pondering the end of the season made me start thinking about the joys of derby names. The perfect derby name (see dozens of ’em here) displays both aggression and humor; reveals something about the skater (she’s literary, she’s a mom, she’s vegan, she enjoys alcoholic beverages); and if the name’s a bit obscure, so much the better. As a fan of children’s books, I enjoy names derived from kid lit: Lemony Kickit, Eva Lasting Broadstopper, Laura Ingalls Piledriver, Veruca Assault, Pippi Headstomping. I also appreciate names that put a violent spin on pop culture: Beyonslay, Stevie Kicks (“I took your love, I took you down”), Splat Benetar, Soylent Mean, Dame Judi Wench. And who says the younger generation doesn’t follow politics? Witness: Sarah Impalin, Shockin Audrey, Tripper Gore, and a referee who goes by Stimulus Package (refs can be men).

Sadly, however, there are very few openly Jewish derby names. (Gee, I wonder why?) Looking at the current rosters, I found Gefilte Fists; Slammy Davis, Jr.; Anne Frankenstein; Ruth Hater Ginsburg; Uzi Quatro; Mazel Tov Cocktail; Nancy Jew; and refs Jew’d Law and Manny Schevitz. My favorite Jew-y derby name? Meshuggah Walls, who skates for the Emerald City Rollergirls in Oregon. (If you don’t get the reference, click here.)

Tablet Magazine readers: What would your Jewish derby name be? Be bold, be butch. Look to history, literature, and popular culture. And leave them in the comments.

As for me? I’d be Golda Slayir, Henrietta Schooled, Sharona Slaychem, Vashti’d Off, Isha Zona, Marjorie Mourningspar, or, if I want to go lowbrow, Torah Spelling. My ref name would definitely be Morris Ayin. (Some of these jokes are for Jewish Day School students only.)

Marjorie Ingall is a former columnist for Tablet, the author of Mamaleh Knows Best, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.