CHEYENNE — Hundreds of Star Trek fans from several states entered a contest to name an old ball of fake fur at the University of Wyoming.
“Furry Ackerman” is the new name for the vintage TV prop called a tribble.
The winning name was suggested by two people: Edwin Bode, of Middle Village, N.Y., and Tom Lenahan, of Kansas City, Mo., university officials said Monday.
Tribbles originated with a 1967 Star Trek episode called “The Trouble with Tribbles.” In the episode, thousands of the furry little creatures with no legs, heads or even eyes reproduced rapidly and overpopulated the Starship Enterprise.
These days, authentic tribbles are collector’s items. One tribble lives at the University of Wyoming among the many documents, movie posters and other memorabilia donated by the late science fiction editor Forrest J. Ackerman.
The university’s American Heritage Center hosted the tribble-naming contest to promote American Archives Month in October. Five judges reviewed the more than 450 entries.
For research, the judges watched “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Each judge picked five favorite names to come up with a list of 25 semifinalists.
“I think they had just about as much fun as the entrants,” Rachael Dreyer, an assistant archivist at the American Heritage Center, said Monday.
The winning name, she said, “best articulated where the tribble is located within our collection.”
Other finalist entries included “Serena” (from Bernadette Benz, of Rockville, Md.), “Alotta” (Patricia Lenhart, Hayward, Calif.), “Wyomble” (Caroline McCracken-Flesher, on behalf of the UW English Department) and “Roddenhairy” (Yvonne Toole, Lexington, S.C.).