Monogrammed Madness

I’m not complaining, but Summertime in the South can require a lot of gear. Coolers for picnics, drink cups and koozies for sporting events, and towels for a day at the beach. Fortunately, we’ve developed a method of keeping track of whose goodies are whose – and that’s monogramming everything.

The desire to put our initials all over everything is nothing new. Humans have been monogramming things for thousands of years. Ancient Greek city-states were branding coins with their initials as far back as 350 BC. In the Middle Ages, monograms were reserved for royalty or nobility, but were still quite popular. Today, any mall or catalog worth its salt in the Southern U.S. is happy to add a monogram to your beach bag, car keys, candle holder, or golf shirt.

The classic Southern monogram follows a simple style – the first and middle initials placed to each side of a large surname initial. For example, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be RGB, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker would be SPJ. While parents who are naming babies, or women planning to take their husband’s last name often consider the implication of their initials in order, thinking of how they’ll look rearranged as a monogram is apparently much less common.

That’s why I had to laugh when I saw this video. Certain monograms end up spelling out words that we’d rather not label ourselves with: DOA, DUD, and PIG are just a few of the three-letter monogram disasters that come to mind.


You think it would occur to you what your monogram might spell before you paid someone to have it emblazoned on your gearshift, hairbrush, or handgun. (Yes, those are all real examples of Things Southerners Will Monogram.)

As for me, my initials monogram out to MNF – and that just makes me think of Monday Night Football. I love football, but I think if I’m gonna show off my love of football, I’d rather just represent my team – Rolltide!

It could always be worse. The hilarious website Cake Wrecks featured a series of some monograms that tragically ruined a very special day when the happy couples monogrammed…their wedding cakes.


I don’t know about you, but those initials always make me crave cake…I hope it’s chocolate!

Happy Monday,