Happy Birthday Theo! (AKA Dr. Seuss)


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Of course I’ve found some interesting facts about his name for you:

  • His name is Theodor Seuss Geisel. Theodor is his father’s name too.
  • He was known as “Ted” to his family and friends.
  • Seuss is his mother’s maiden name.
  • Seuss, as we all say it, “Seuss” is the anglicized pronunciation of the German surname that he has noted rhymes with ‘voice.’ Zoyce.
  • He, himself, switched to the anglicized pronunciation, because most people said it this way and because it rhymes with goose as in “Mother Goose.”
  • He has also written under the pen name “Theo LeSieg,” which is his last name, Geisel, spelled backwards.
  • He started using “Seuss” as a pen name in college after he was caught drinking gin in his dorm room and the Dean forced him to abandon all of his extra-curricular activities, including the college magazine that he wrote for. To get around this, he started to use “Seuss.”
  • He added the “Dr.” before he actually became one (a Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature).
  • Ted was asked why he added the title “Dr.” to his pseudonym. He replied that his father had always wanted a doctor in the family.
  • He said that he adopted the name “Dr. Seuss” because he was saving his real name for the Great American Novel that he would one day write.
  • As a cartoonist for Jack-O-Lantern, the college’s humour magazine, he began to sign his work under the mock-scholarly title of “Dr. Theophrastus Seuss.”
  • He had no children of his own although he did have an imaginary daughter that he named Chrysanthemum-Pearl. As the story goes, he made her up with a mind to silence his friends who would endlessly brag about their children. He used to include her when he signed his Christmas cards and he even dedicated his second children’s book to her “The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins (1938) “To Chrysanthemum-Pearl (aged 89 months, going on 90).
  • Ted and wife Helen made up a “code” that was a phony law firm named Grimalkin, Drouberhannus, Knalbner and Fepp, and used it for secret messages.
  • One of NASA’s deep space explorers, the Data Relay Solar Electric Utility Spacecraft (DRSEUS) is called the “Dr. Seuss.”


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!


Happy Birthday Theo!


Originally published at Yummy Mummy Club