Last night a young man scratched Sherman's belly and asked if he was "Sherman, like the general." In an effort to clarify the motivation and influences behind Sherman's name, I have put together this handy visual examination of Sherman's being named 'Sherman.'
To start, let's first answer that nice (if naive) young man from last night. No, Sherman is not named after William Tecumseh Sherman. (Although one has to at least respect General Sherman's tenacity and, as well, I greatly admire the artistic ingenuity of Ross McElwee's 1986 documentary "Sherman's March").
General Sherman did not inspire Sherman's name and neither did two other figures: the writer Sherman Alexie and Mister Peabody's pet boy, Sherman, from "Rocky and Bullwinkle." Full disclosure: we were not conscious of Mr. Alexie and pet-boy Sherman when we were thinking of names, although I sometimes wish that we were because they would have made honorable and clever influences, respectively.
The main influences for 'Sherman' actually came from two of our favorite movies: Elliot Sherman, CPA, the title character of Michael Showalter's "The Baxter"; and "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia," the important address in "Finding Nemo."
Ultimately, even though there were certain impetuses for it, the name Sherman sounded right for a chubby fluff ball from northern MN.