Or, this neural network is terrible at puns.

There’s a contact roller skate sport called roller derby where participants tend to use pseudonyms when they play. There are online databases of derby names so players can make sure their chosen name hasn’t been taken. Derby names are often mock-violent and/or sexy, but their most distinguishing feature is that most are based on puns. (The Wikipedia page has examples with the puns excruciatingly explained)

I learned all this when Lauren Barmore (aka Z Machine) sent me the full dataset of names from twoevils.org and derbyrollcall.com. She was one of several people who suggested I train a neural network on derby names. As with craft beers, coming up with a unique but clever name has become a challenge (there were more than 66k in the dataset she sent me), and she wondered if a neural network would be able to help generate new names.

The neural networks I train learn by example, and are good at mimicking the sounds and rhythms and common words of their input datasets (here, I used textgenrnn). With the derby names, it was the best at the “violence” category, although it sometimes forgot about the “playful” part.

Shady Bruise
Miss Carnage
Darth Death
Spank Bomb
Vicious Killer
Lil Hunter
Fun Stabs
Pain Pain
The Danger
Boom Storm
Princess Damage
Shredda Gore
Fatal Strike
Gore Storm
Bruise Bruiser
Rage Hatchet
Battle of Bop
Destroyer Smash
JoJo The Murder
Zog Mangler
Bonnie Skullmall
Princess Morgue
Hey Pain
Bear Rage
Danger Boom Box
The Fight Eye Command
Screaming Boom Chaos

Most of the time, I couldn’t tell what category it was going for. At least these names aren’t taken.

The Comma
Rude Professor
Lox O'Horror
Mayhem Chicken
Triple Cookie
Snow Warn
Badger Bambi
Moon Mage
Bruised Toast
Show Cat Emma
Sand Chaos
Lil Panter
Duck Chains
Shell Piper
Secret Booty
Cat Hand Stomps
Scream Ass Ele
Strawberry Pusher
Butter Mack Dash
Rumble Floobie
Sauce Bang Whip Short
Maim Shellbull
Damage Bunny
Farm Slayer
Pug Mile
Peach Atom
Bog Quad
It The Skater
Slurrs. Buggg
The Fusty Eyes
Nurfie Boops of Jenni
Morgunn Grace Shrimp

It also generated some horrible names I would not recommend. (Unless, perhaps, you are a bombardier beetle.) These are the printable ones.

Butty Destroy
Anus Attack
Booty Butter
Colon Boom Skillz
Bud Crack
Hell Poo
Drop Nightmare Lump

You’ll notice I have not gotten to the largest category of derby names: the puns. It turns out this neural network does not understand puns AT ALL, and it’s incredibly painful when it tries.

Kim Stroyer
Mary Splockings
Ikra B. Up
Aana Dastrophe
Burning Sweet C. Bang
Lucious Ally Mo
Anita WreckPIED
Miss A. It Menace
Ace ‘N’ Hardy
Pan De Lucious
Pitty Tea N. Little
Shota Monster
Dizard Danky Maul
Frankin De Fight
Silence Stroye
La Vandastrophe
Harry Stabble
Sugar & Stranger

It’s positively weird. They’re pun-shaped objects that contain no actual puns. Occasionally one of its puns alllmost works and I think that’s somehow even worse.

Prince Slam Lot
Booty Count Dawn
Pain Ferri
Boot Skateer
The Sweet Roll
Bone Damned Killer

It also tried to do the “sexy” category, but it was pretty bad at it. From what I can tell, text-generating neural networks do not understand what humans find sexy. Again, these are the printable ones.

Body Sparkly
Death Hot Sporty
Darth Sugar
Rotten Sassy
Booty-Slammer Big
Mighty Danger Sass
Dirty Scream!

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