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Naming a band isn’t easy, but luckily you can find inspiration in all sorts of unlikely places. Here at Quirk, we’ve come up with ten possible bands with grammatically inspired names and imagined some of their hit songs.

Active Voice: This rising hip hop super group would fill the vacant spot once occupied by The Roots. Their shows are high energy and the crowd never stops dancing.

Possible Song Title: “We Sang the Song!”

Actual Meaning: A sentence where the subject performs the action of the verb.

Passive Voice: This indie pop group is known for their gentle guitar strumming and final chords that get away from them. It’s sometimes hard to tell who is actually in the band, since there are quite a few triangle players who wander on and off the stage.

Possible Song Title: “The Song was Sung By Us” is always popular, causing the crowd to sway slightly more vigorously. 

Actual Meaning: A sentence where the subject is acted upon by the verb.

Crash Blossoms: This would be the perfect name for a nineties alt-rock revival band. Long greasy hair and a penchant for ripped flannel would round out the overall look, and of course the stage would be littered with the remains of broken guitars and amplifiers.

Possible Song Title: “Rotting on the Table, I Saw the Pie”

Actual Meaning: An ambiguous headline that could have more than one possible meaning.

Schwa: The crowd roars as Schwa steps on the stage, and the moshing starts before this Scandinavian metal band rips into the opening riff. The lyrics are a little hard to understand, but there is usual some confusing phrase for the fans to chant.

Possible song Title: “Pencil Supply”

Actual Meaning: A linguistics term that refers to an unstressed mid-central vowel sound, such as in “pencil supply.”

Disjunct: This group of adjunct lecturers is a mainstay of the student center scene. Their amplifiers are propped on piles of student essays, and sometimes in moments of frustration, the members will toss their IDs from various colleges onto the floor where students will stare at them awkwardly.

Possible Song Title: “Clearly, I Deserve Tenure” and “Shockingly, You Passed the Course”

Actual Meaning: Refers to an unessential adverb clause in a sentence that reveals the speaker’s feelings or opinions.

Zero Article: The members of this popular Canadian math rock band are always wearing matching white jumpsuits. They are more interested in playing with time signatures, than actually making music.

Possible Song Title: “Time is Illusion”

Actual Meaning: When a noun is not preceded by an article (a, an, or the).

Fog Index: This one man band’s voice is mumbly and obscured by a loudly strummed guitar. He decided that giving himself a band’s name will allow him to be taken more seriously and rise up from the open mic scene, and he has indeed gained a strong following of fans dedicated to deciphering his vocals.

Possible Song Title: “Do You Understand Me?” 

Actual Meaning: A scale that judges the readability and difficulty level of a text.

Zero Conditional: This boyfriend/girlfriend twee team alternate their vocals in a call and response style. 

Possible Song Title: “If You Love Me, Then You’ll Hug Me”

Actual Meaning: A structure for talking about general truths if the conditions are satisfied. (If this, then that.)

Anti-Language: A punk band whose politics are often obscured by their confusing lyrics. They look super cool though.

Possible Song Title: “God Save the Baked Bean”

Actual Meaning: Communication within a language that excludes outsiders by using words in usual ways. Cockney Rhyming Slang is the most prominent example.

Slip of the Ear: This parody band has a huge YouTube following, and are particularly popular amongst the grammar school set.

Possible Song Title: “A Cute Triangle” 

Actual Meaning: A misperception in listening, where a similar word or phrase is heard instead of the one the speaker intended.

Want to rock a "Slip of the Ear" t-shirt? Or wish there was some "Crash Blossoms" mug? We've got you covered. Visit our Zazzle store to pick up your favorite band's merch! 


Jennifer Morell's picture

Jennifer Morell

Jennifer Ray Morell is a teacher and writer from Queens, New York. Her work has appeared in Slate, Tin House, Trop, Newtown Literary, and Underwater New York. Follow her on twitter at @heyjenray or at jenraymorell.com.