I love NPR. A few weeks ago while driving home I caught their weekly, “Another Thing” contest. This one was to come up with the best name for prehistoric toothpaste. I thought the responses were cute, so I am cutting and pasting excerpts from Lenore Skenazy, and Audie Cornish that I found on, although I heard it on WETA here in DC:

CORNISH: So, last week’s contest was inspired by the fact that a 6,500-year-old jawbone had been found with what could be a trace of beeswax in a tooth. So Lenore, remind us what we asked our listeners to do.

SKENAZY: Well, I thought that the assumption is that that might be some very early dentistry – somebody filling a cavity. So I asked our listeners to come up with a corollary, the name of the very first prehistoric toothpaste, and I have to say, I got an education because so many people sent in the name Smilodon. Do you know what Smilodon actually is?

CORNISH: No, I’ve never heard of this.

SKENAZY: It’s the official name for a sabre-tooth tiger.


SKENAZY: It actually sounded like a toothpaste. But it’s the sabre tooth tiger. And then there were actual sabre-tooth tiger entries. Like save a tooth, Tiger.

CORNISH: And I can imagine a ton of dentists must have written in, right?

SKENAZY: We actually got a lot – periodontists, everybody with their fingers in your mouth. And a lot of them sent in ideas based on Crest, for some reason it was overwhelming. The overwhelming answer was Crust.

CORNISH: Which I’m sure the Crest people will love.

SKENAZY: The Crest people love. They would like these too. There was Astrolopithacrest, Crestacious, Crest For Fire, and then there was Plestogleem and Sensodyno, Chronamel, Troglibrite.

CORNISH: That’s a good one.

SKENAZY: Yeah. And then one cartoon answer which was Yabba-Dabba-Toothpaste.

CORNISH: OK. And the winner this week, Lenore?

SKENAZY: Drumroll. Here’s the runners up. (Makes drum roll sound). One of the runners up was Bill Evans of Amherst, Massachusetts, ’cause he sent in the toothpaste, Ready. Why is Ready so clever?

CORNISH: Hmm. I’m feeling a little slow now. I’m not getting it.

SKENAZY: I’ll fill you in. It’s because it’s the precursor to Aim.


SKENAZY: Aww. Yeah, yeah, yeah. After a lot of Crest jokes, I mean really, really genius. Arlene Oyagi of San Diego sent in The Missing Stink.

CORNISH: Oh, that’s good.

SKENAZY: Yeah, yeah. Bill Phillips of Sacramento sent Tooth-in-Common.


SKENAZY: Tooth-in-Common, OK. And here’s the winner…


SKENAZY: It is Kathy Palmer of Smartsville, California, which I couldn’t believe – Smartsville, really? Anyway, she sent in, Dentifrice Rex.”

I got a chuckle out of it and I hope you did too.

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