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The Class Menagerie

Claim:   A registrar, as a joke, fills one entire class with students whose last names are also animal names (e.g., Byrd, Fox, Lyon, Finch, Lamb).

LEGEND

Origins:   A registrar, as a joke, fills one entire class with students whose last names are also animal names (e.g., Byrd, Fox, Lyon, Finch, Lamb). Animals

Origins:   As reported by Brunvand, this prank allegedly occurred in a Freshman English section at Yale University. Since nearly all universities have switched over to systems that allow the students themselves to choose which sections they want to attend, this legend is now outdated and seldom repeated.

The appeal of groups with related surnames is manifested in fact and fiction, as evidenced by this excerpt from one of Patrick O'Brian's historical novels, in which two Royal Navy captains discuss the efforts of a third captain to steal a crewman
away from them solely because of the crewman's last name:
'There is that ass Baker,' said Dundas, nodding in the direction of the captain of the Iris. 'He came aboard me yesterday, trying to get one of my hands, a forecastleman called Blew.'

'Why did he do that?' asked Jack.

'Because he dresses his bargemen in all colours of the rainbow, and likes them to have answerable names. He has a Green, a Brown, a Black, a White, a Gray and even a Scarlet, and he fairly longed for my John Blew.'
Last updated:   30 June 2011

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Sources:

    Brunvand, Jan Harold.   The Baby Train.
    New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.   ISBN 0-393-31208-9   (p. 293).

    O'Brian, Patrick.   The Far Side of the World.
    New York: W. W. Norton, 1983.   ISBN 0-393-30862-6   (p. 63).