The Eccentric Letter Q

It is qui, quae, quod; if you forget your quis, your quaes, and your quods, you must be preeches.

The Merry Wives of Windsor W. Shakespeare

In the Semitic languages, the letter Q is called qoph (monkey). This mischievous animal seems to aptly personify this unusual letter, for while words that begin with a Q are rare enough, names beginning with a Q are even more unusual and occur in less than 1 in 2,000 people.

But it's not just the scarcity of these names that makes Q people so unusual; it's their indelible association with all things quixotic, queer, questionable, quaint, quirky and quizzical. The Q is also the initial letter of the mysterious quantum theory, which forms the basis for all known matter where particles of matter appear and disappear at random.

After the American Cereal Company introduced its extraordinarily successful Quaker Oats breakfast food and the world’s first cereal mascot, the Quaker Man, it returned in 1965 to the idea of featuring the Q sound in its breakfast food line with Quisp and Quake cereals. The early Quisp boxes featured a space-alien holding a ray gun, which were eventually removed under pressure from the peace movement in the 1960s.

Individuals whose names begin with this underutilized letter are typically unconventional in their approach to life, work, and relationships. Practically immune to criticism, they’ll follow the beat of their own drum no matter where it takes them.

While Q people aren’t featured on the top of any lists for success in sports, politics, arts, or medicine, they aren’t on the bottom of any of them either.