Sunday, April 5, 2009

What's a Drongo?


Just look at my name for a second. It won't bite. I promise.

Say it with me: Dron-gow-ski. If you're Russian you can pronounce it Druhn-govf-ski and I will be fine with it.

When your last name has ten letters, people get confused when they look at it. They end up adding letters that aren't there, resulting in some pretty strange gibberish. I've been called everything from the earnest Dragon-kerchief-ski to the tongue-in-cheek Drunk-Cows-Ski. As an added bonus, my name has been spelled incorrectly on everything except my college diploma, my tax documents and my sales awards. What does this say about the priorities of the world we live in?

I needed a nickname. My father tried to call me J-Bird, but that one never made it outside the family. There had to be something better.

If you look at my name, you can see how I got the name Drongo. It started in grade school but it didn't really catch on until college. At that point I had to pick an email address and "drongo3" was shorter than "jeff.drongowski." The name stuck and I've been Drongo for years.

I like the name Drongo. It's catchy, it fits me and it's a lot easier for people to spell than Drongowski. Perfect, right? I even have a doctor who calls me Drongo P.I. and pretends that I'm a secret agent, ready to kill him at a moments notice. He came up with that on his own by studying my name tag. If that's not proof of a good nickname, I don't know what is. All was right with the world.


One day I met a guy named David from Australia. We started talking and exchanged email addresses. When he looked at mine he started belly laughing right away, even slapped me on the shoulder.

"That's brilliant, mate," he said.

"Um... what's brilliant?"

"Drongo3. I love it!"

"I don't get it." He stopped laughing, trying to figure me out.

"It's like, idiot cubed, right? Genius." Uh oh.

Urban Dictionary defines Drongo like this: Dumbass, idiot (Aussie slang) "You've really mucked that up, ya drongo!"

I did a quick Wikipedia search and found out that it was also a "family of small passerine birds of the Old World tropics." They also had a very helpful picture of a Spangled Drongo.

So to sum up, my nickname, the name I've been going by for over ten years now, can be boiled down to Idiot-Bird. I've learned to embrace it. There's a certain poetry to it and, I'm sure my father will agree, it fits me.


  1. So, you're telling me I can call you a 'drongidiot'? Because that's my new favorite word. Ok, after ninjinuity.

  2. You can call me whatever you like. It's up to me whether I answer or not.

  3. You are such a freak! LOL Drunky!