Frank Zappa talks about his kids’ names

Musician Frank Zappa (1940-1993)
Frank Zappa (in 1977)

Frank Zappa’s four children are named:

  • Moon Unit (female, born on September 28, 1967)
  • Dweezil (male, b. September 5, 1969)
  • Ahmet Emuukha Rodan (male, b. May 15, 1974, and named for Ahmet Ertegun)
  • Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen (female, b. July 30, 1979)

In this interview from 1975 — years before Diva arrived — Frank Zappa talked a bit about his kids’ unorthodox names:

Scott Cohen: Is one of your children named Moon Unit?

Frank Zappa: Yep.

Cohen: Son or daughter?

Zappa: Daughter.

Cohen: What are your other children’s names?

Zappa: Dweezil and Ahmet.

Cohen: Is Moon Unit the oldest?

Zappa: Yep.

Cohen: What do you call her around the house?

Zappa: I call her Moon and I call Dweezil ‘Dweezil’ and I call Ahmet ‘Ahmet.’

Cohen: I’m wondering what psychological effects a name can have.

Zappa: Well, first of all, I knew that they were going to be unique anyway because of certain other attributes, so why not have a name that goes with it. They all like their names and the kids at school do too. They don’t make fun of them; in fact, most of them are jealous of their names. You know, it always amazes me when someone who is in my age group, or even younger, asks me a question like why did you name your children that. It’s a reactionary kind of question. Why the f*ck not name your kids something like that? They’re having a good time. Besides that, if they ever wanted to change their names they can do it. It only costs about $15.

Cohen: You can’t tell from the name Moon Unit whether it’s a boy or a girl. Had Moon Unit been a boy, would you have named him the same thing?

Zappa: No, I would have named him Motor Head.

Source: Cohen, Scott. “Frank Zappa: Outraged Consumer.” Circus Raves Dec. 1975: 3.
Image: Adapted from Frank Zappa by Helge Øveras under CC BY-SA 4.0.

6 thoughts on “Frank Zappa talks about his kids’ names

  1. I do think if he had a thing for trees, he could have had two sons named Linden and Oak and two daughters named Hazel and Elm.

  2. Well at least none of his kids found 3 others in their first grade classroom with the same name !!!

  3. What do you re-name a grown artist when said artist is highly praised as a genius but is actually quite adolescent in outlook, and sophomoric in relating to actual adults?

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