Baby name story: Wonderful Terrific

Baseball player Wonderful Monds III
Wonderful Monds III

In the late 1920s, Henry and Sallie Monds of Brooks County, Georgia, welcomed a baby boy and named him Wonderful Terrific.

According to Monds family history, Henry had fathered a number of daughters — some sources say 11, others say 12 — and longed for a son. When his wife finally delivered a boy, he was so overjoyed that he exclaimed, “Oh, this is wonderful! This is terrific!” And that’s how the name came about.

Wonderful Monds on 1930 U.S. Census
Wonderful Monds on the 1930 U.S. Census

Years later, when Wonderful Terrific Monds had a son, the unique name was passed down.

Wonderful Terrific “Wonder” Monds, Jr., was born in 1952. A talented athlete, he played football at the University of Nebraska in the mid-1970s. He went on to play professionally for four seasons: three in Canada, and one in the U.S. with the San Francisco 49ers.

When Wonder Monds had a son, the name was passed down again.

Wonderful Terrific Monds III was born in 1973. He played baseball at Tennessee State in the early 1990s. He went on to play in the minor leagues for seven seasons, mostly in the Atlanta Braves farm system. He told reporters in 1996 that he loved his name, and was “happy being Wonderful,” but also noted:

The fans get on you when you’re not playing well and your name is Wonderful. They’ll say, ‘I thought you were wonderful.’ I’ve heard it all.

Ready for the confusing part? Wonder Monds (the football player) also passed the name down a second time.

His fourth son, Wonderful Terrific Monds, was born in 1992 and played college football in the early 2010s. As far as I know, he’s the most recent Wonderful Terrific.

(The second and third sons got the not-as-wonderful names named Devin and Mario.)

What are your thoughts on the name Wonderful? How about just Wonder?


Image: Wonderful Monds III trading card

2 thoughts on “Baby name story: Wonderful Terrific

  1. Such an interesting story.

    With a name like that I can understand being passed down since pretty much no one else on the planet will have the same name

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