Big Bad Booty Daddy? Contest seeks names for Russian nukes

What should Russia's advanced nuclear weapons be called? President Vladimir Putin invites the public for suggestions, and they're rolling in online.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
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Leslie Katz
2 min read

Nukey McNukeface?

We've all seen what happens when the internet gets recruited for naming help. So it's anyone's guess what Russia's new advanced nuclear weapons will be called once the online masses have their say.


A nuclear-capable underwater drone by any other name...

Russian Ministry of Defence screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Will one be known as Super Laser Pointer? Another as Big Bad Booty Daddy? What about The Hand of the Kremlin? Goodbye America? Armageddon? 

Those proposed names come in response to a comment Russian President Vladimir Putin made while describing the country's improved nuclear missile capabilities in an annual speech to the Federal Assembly last week. In the address, he described powerful weapons and showed animation videos depicting multiple warheads aimed at Florida. 

"Those interested in military equipment," he said, "are welcome to suggest a name for this new weaponry." The weaponry he described includes an ominous-sounding full-range nuclear-powered cruise missile, a combat laser weapon and a nuclear-capable underwater drone that Putin said would be impossible to intercept.

Russia's Ministry of Defence promptly set up a website where the public can suggest names. People are also offering possible monikers on the ministry's Facebook page, with ideas ranging from the patriotic to the damning and the aggressive to the, well, less aggressive. 

"We need to get back to practice, give delicate female names like katyusha," one man wrote.

Crowdsourced naming has grabbed the spotlight since Britain's National Environment Research Council asked the internet to help it name a new high-tech unmanned polar research vessel in 2016. 

That's when the world first heard of Boaty McBoatface, which ran away with the vote. While more serious minds opted for "RRS Sir David Attenborough" after the popular naturalist and television presenter, Boaty McBoatface persisted on a class of bright yellow research submersibles. 

Since then, Footy McFooty Face led a poll for a soccer team's name, with the internet also suggesting various other Blanky McBlankface titles whenever asked for naming assistance. 

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