Some names can leave a ship wide open for some amusing wisecracks in fiction and in the real world. I have to wonder how many times the HMS Battleaxe encountered somebody who signaled "I never knew that the Royal Navy named warships for mothers-in-law."
In the novel "The Cruel Sea" the CO of the corvette is musing over the ships being named after flowers, and says "By the time they get around to "HMS Pansy", "Stinkwort", and "Love In The Mist", no one will raise an eyebrow at the name of his ship"
When Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty, he proposed to name a battleship HMS Pitt, for the two Prime Ministers of that surname. King George V vetoed the name, knowing perfectly well, as a Navy man, what the sailors would make of it.
The naming of any ship...especially a warship...can be a highly political matter. Especially when people in high places want to curry a little favour with the votors or whatever hacks are running his party. Recently the Navy has taken to naming ships in honour of people who are still living, and Jimmy Carter for a submarine has raised as many eyebrows as naming carriers for other presidents that were disliked by at least half the electorate no matter what party they came from. (At least, one can point to the fact that Carter was a naval officer and a submariner.)
I'm not convinced that this is such a swift idea. Not with people still around in substantial numbers who recall the controversies surrounding the administrations of whatever president they love to hate. I think if nothing else, whenever a ship is named for any politician/statesman, somebody should check to make sure the statutue of limitations has expired on the bloke.
Some of the people behind these names are nuts. Who would name a ship the Emeu? The Nemesis was an ocean liner. That doesn't sound like good business to me. Marco Polo is a bad name for a ship. I forget what line operated it. Maasdam is a horrible name. Anything that has two swear words in it has got to be bad. The Dutch always have names that tie your tongue in a knot. Try this one: Pieter Cornelizoon Hooft. Gigantic sounds stupid. Urania: any name that has a hint of the word 'Urine' in it is a bad idea. Check this out. http://www.boatus.com/names/Bnames.asp. It's a site of private boat names. One name on the list is the 'Big Dick'. 'Basshole' is another. It's a hoot.
I found a ship named "Jesus" on Google. I thought that was sacreligious. Also, the Turkish navy had a ship a long time ago named "Tegettoff". Say it out loud and you'll see why it's a bad name. Maasdam's first name was "Maas" a river in the Netherlands. They went from bad to worse. "Gorredijk": Uhhh, it was gory too! . It gets worse. Holland America had a Maasdijk! Kamperdyk, Bilderdyk...the list goes on and on and on. The Dutch slay me.