To Say Guppy Or Not To Say Guppy

By Lovel Tippit

Dr. Robert John Lechmere Guppy

The Guppy was named after a Guppy, then it was not, and then it was again. What is in a name? The name guppy is a good name for a little fish. Guppy, this two syllable word whips off the tongue quickly. Just like the word fishbowl, it’s not overly fun to say, but it gets the job done! It has just enough syllables to make the reader curious and evokes enough warmth to be charming. The word Guppy sounds like it rose up out of a muddy pond in search of a friend. If frogs can be kissed by maidens and leap off into the happily ever after, then so can the guppy. Although to be honest, I’m not sure about the kissing part, but you get the idea.

Robert Lechmere Guppy Later In Life

It has been written that the name Guppy was set in indelible ink and it is true. Since it’s introduction into the hobby it has carried the same common name, unlike platies which were once known as “Moon’s.” The fish was named for a minister who served in Trinidad by the name of Dr. Robert John Lechmere Guppy. The funny thing is that the man had very little to do with fish, and kind of everything to do with it. Mr. Guppy thought he discovered a new fish, a mistake followed, a paper was written, and the fish was given a scientific name in his honor. Some time later it was discovered that the fish was already described and the first scientific name stood. So Lechmere Guppy lost his connection with the fish. But what’s in a name? Everything! You see Guppy was the perfect name for the fish and hobbyists would not stop using it. You bunch of anarchists!

So unofficially the fish was renamed after him, and of course it still stands today……..


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