The results are in, and the city of Sydney has a new name for its ferry. Government body Transport for New South Wales announced on Monday the results of an internet poll to name the final vessel in its new fleet. In the final tally, voters skipped out on naming the ship after an Australian hero and instead chose an internet meme.
“Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon, and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike,” minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance told ABC News.
The name is a reference to a poll last March, where Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council held an online poll to name one of its research vessels, with Boaty McBoatface topping the results by a wide margin. Unfortunately, science minister Jo Johnson decided the vessel should have “a name that lasts longer than a social media news cycle,” and opted for the more sensible but far less fun RSS David Attenborough. An unmanned submersible aboard the ship was given the community-chosen name instead.
Since then, internet users have turned out in droves to give anything and everything a similarly silly name. In San Diego, Major League Soccer fans voted overwhelmingly in March to name their new team “Footy McFooty Face.” In Sweden, a July competition to name a train going between Stockholm and Gothenburg resulted in an overwhelming victory for “Trainy McTrainface.” A NASA poll to rename a space rock is expected to have similar results.
Here is how Ferry McFerryface will appear on the boat:
Ferry McFerryface will hit the water alongside boats named after Australian heart surgeon Victor Chang, ophthalmologist Fred Hollows, and obstetrician Catherine Hamlin.
The “Name Your Ferry” competition had a large amount of public input, with over 15,000 names suggested. The actual winner of the poll, Boaty McBoatface, was rejected by the competition holders.
“Given Boaty was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders,” Constance said.
Not everyone was taken by the city’s decision to name the new boat after a meme from nearly two years ago, though.
“I feel like the ship has sailed on this joke,” Facebook user Leonardo Hronsky said on the governing body’s official page.