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Stop Being A "Miserable Git" And Call £200 Million Ship Boaty McBoatFace, Public Tell Minister

A travesty of democracy?

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Last month the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), perhaps now to its regret, gave the public the chance to pick a name for a new multimillion-pound polar research vessel.

The poll to name what will be the UK's largest and most advanced research ship closed on Sunday with "Boaty McBoatface" winning by a landslide.

But whether the government will honour the public's wishes and name the £200 million, 15,000-tonne vessel – which has 20 onboard science labs – "Boaty McBoatface" is doubtful, provoking outrage among the name's supporters.

Democracy at its best. People vote for #BoatyMcBoatface but won't use the name.

The name has been all but ruled out by science minister Jo Johnson MP, meaning the poll may not have been like real democracy after all. :(

Johnson, who gets to review all the entries with the NERC and help make the final decision, told BuzzFeed News: "We've had some great suggestions for the new polar research ship – from the amusing to the poignant – and we'll look at all of them very carefully."

He said he wanted something that "fits the mission and spirit of the scientific endeavour".

When the name was first suggested, by a man called James Hand, the internet went crazy, with #BoatyMcBoatface trending on Twitter – helping the name to rack up hundreds of thousands of votes.

#BoatyMcBoatface is the perfect illustration of British humor and its global dominance of being hilarious


The poll showed RRS Boaty McBoatface comfortably in first place with more than 124,000 votes, beating 7,000 other entries.

NERC / Via

Other contenders included "Guns N' Frozes", "Wet Wet Wet", "Kanye", "Shippy", and the simply put "Ship".

The NERC appears to have been hoping for more sensible name suggestions, such as this ship, the James Clark Ross, launched in 1990.

Other ship names, often taking their namesake from famous explorers, include RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS Discovery.

Other ship names, often taking their namesake from famous explorers, include RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS Discovery.

But pressure is piling on the minister to stop being a "miserable git" and call the vessel Boaty McBoatface as the public demands.

Some supporters are calling for "Justice for Boaty" and tweeting #RIPBoaty.

Stop being miserable gits and just call the damn boat Boaty McBoatface!!! It will make lots of people happy. #BoatyMcBoatface

Rejected??!! How about UpyourownarseyMcToryMinisterFace instead? #BoatyMcBoatface

BuzzFeed reached out to Hand, who suggested the name, but he didn't get back to us. He did tweet to say it had been a "crazy few weeks".

I'm away at the mo so again don't have anything further to say right now. Thanks for interest in #BoatyMcBoatface. Been a crazy few weeks!

Johnson said: "This public poll has been a great exercise in British creativity, and we'll ensure that in making a final decision we choose a name that lives up to its critical mission."

The decision on the name is expected in "due course", the NERC said.

Contact Sara Spary at

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