Horney Lakeside Resident Wants to Lose the Horney

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Horney Lakeside Resident Wants to Lose the Horney


A Florida resident is tired of being the butt of Horney jokes and his attempt to have the lake renamed is giving rise to some controversy. Barry Zimmerman, a Horney Lake resident now of some note, has begun a petition to change the lake’s name, and the effort is making a splash.


Zimmerman has gotten tired of the incessant jokes that come up whenever Lake Horney is mentioned, and has sent a petition to the US Board of Geographic names to make a name change, according to local reporters. In the petition Zimmerman was sure to point out that he did not want to “denigrate Mr. Horney’s contributions to the history of Lakeland” but felt the name change was called for as it is a “homonymic to a vulgar term meaning concupiscent or libidinous.”  That last quote is just a mouthful for funny whenever said out loud.


One woman who used to live on Lake Horney Drive admits getting embarrassed by the street name.  She told reporters she would tell people she lived on “lake Hor-nay.”  The woman also said she changed the orientation of her house during a remodel so she didn’t have to tell people she lived on Lake Horney Drive.  Not sure whether you are horny or not, that changing orientation does much good….

The lake was not named after the slang word for sexual desire, but out of a desire to honor Julius Teague Horney, who helped develop the Lakeland in the 1920s, according to ClickOrlando.com.  Zimmerman wants to drop Lake Horney and rename it in honor of Alfred Lodwick, an aviation pioneer who built a military pilot training program in Lakeland during World War II, according to WTSP.

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The Geographic Board has asked Lakeland city officials to weigh in their opinion before making a final decision.  City Manager Tony Delgado told the Lakeland Ledger that the federal agency indicated that by saying nothing, the city government is implicitly in agreement with the change.

Delgado said the comments and emails he’s received suggest most residents are against changing the name of the lake. So is the Miami New Times, which passionately defended Lake Horney’s name in an editorial:

“This is of course very stupid and should not be condoned. What does this say to all the people out there who have to go through life with unintentionally hilarious names? What of all the Mr. and Mrs. Coxes, Dixes, Cummings, Cockburns, and Gaylords? Do we say to the residents of Florida with snicker-worthy last names that no matter how hard they work and how much they contribute to the community that they can never dream of having a street or park or lake named after them all because teenagers have ill-developed senses of humor?”

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