Plowy McPlowface: Naming contest generates ‘overwhelming’ response in Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Edmonton names snow-plows, residents want them on the streets'
Edmonton names snow-plows, residents want them on the streets
As the City of Edmonton announced hilarious winning names in its first name a snow-plow contest, residents looking out their front windows are hoping they'll come down their neighbourhood roads soon — shiny new name plates and all. Sarah Ryan reports – Jan 18, 2023

If you’re driving the snowy streets of Edmonton, you may encounter Amarsleet Snowhi, Darth Blade or even Plowy McPlowface.

Those are just a few of the winning monikers that came out of the City of Edmonton’s snow plow-naming contest.

Mark Beare, the city’s director of infrastructure operations, said the city received an “overwhelming” response of about 2,100 entries, prompting the city to give new names to 15 plows as opposed to five, which was the original plan.

“We appreciate the incredible enthusiasm and the creative entries we received,” Beare said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, he said “Plowy McPlowface” was one of the first names suggested and it received many votes.

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The name is a nod to a similar contest held in 2016 in the U.K., where Britain’s National Environmental Research Council launched a contest asking for inspirational names of historical figures, landmarks and movements to christen a £200-million ship ($375-million CAD).

The internet responded, with Boaty McBoatface topping the poll to name the polar research vessel, beating entries that honoured scientists and explorers.

In the end, the ship was named after prominent naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. All was not lost for Boaty McBoatface enthusiasts though: that moniker was given to a miniature yellow submarine aboard the vessel.

The National Environment Research Council in Britain hosted an online poll to name this boat. The winner: Boaty McBoatface. NERCScience / Twitter

Edmonton’s plow names ranged from pop culture-inspired names  like “The Big Leplowski” and a nod to The Simpsons with “Mr. Plow,” to Edmonton-inspired monikers like “Amarsleet Snowhi” after the city’s mayor — which Beare said Sohi personally approved — and “Connor McBlade-It.”

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The hockey player laughed and was amused to hear of the honour.

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“Pretty funny,” Connor McDavid said on Wednesday.

“That’s Edmonton, you know? They’re hockey crazy. That’s what makes it fun to play here.”

McDavid mused left winger Zach Hyman might also enjoy one of the vehicles being named after him: “He’s kinda like a snow-plow out there.”

One of the names is Qanniq, which means “Snowfall” in Inuktitut dialect.

“It should be noted that this was endorsed through the City of Edmonton Indigenous Relations Office and with their circle of Elders network,” Beare said.

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Lest Edmontonians think they’re overly original, it should be noted similar contests have been held in other cities across Canada, with several of the same names winning — including Plowy McPlowface, Blizzard Wizard, Blizzard of Oz, Darth Blader, Fast & Flurrious, The Big Leplowski, Mr. Plow and Ctrl+Salt+Delete.

“We had a lot of people that submitted multiple names like The Big Leplowski, Plowy McPlowface, Ctrl+Salt+Delete,” Beare said.

These are the winning names:

  •  Amarsleet Snowhi
  •  Blizzard of Oz
  •  Blizzard Wizard
  •  Buzz Iceclear
  •  Connor McBlade-It
  •  Ctrl+Salt+Delete
  •  Darth Blader
  •  Fast & Flurrious
  •  Mr. Plow
  •  Peter Parka
  •  Plowasaurus Rex
  •  Plowy McPlowface
  •  Qanniq (“Snowfall” in Inuktitut dialect)
  •  Snow-Be-Gone Kenobi
  •  The Big Leplowski

You can view the plows with their new names below:

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