Sunday, August 05, 2007

What's in a Name

Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name Bzjxxllwcp is pronounced 'Jackson'. - Mark Twain

Ah! replied my gentle fair,
Beloved, what are names but air?
Choose thou, whatever suits the line:
Call me Sappho, call me Chloris,
Call me Lalage, or Doris,
Only, only, call me thine.

I read some time ago that Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof hates her name; her Christian names because they are mostly ridiculous and her surname because of all the unwanted attention it brings.

This got me thinking about peoples names. Unusual names, stupid names (in my opinion), names you could well do without, interesting names. I think I'm going to start noting them down when I come across them. Then, when I'm bored with doing it or feel I've got enough, I'll publish the list.

Top of the list has got to be mine own. Now this is something that not too many people know because it has always been greeted with smirks, giggles or disbelief but, hey, we're not actually face to face, are we? The people who matter already know this. So here goes:

My maiden name was Bogie, common apparently in Scotland but not in England where I grew up. I did not have a carefree childhood, what with being fat and having a name that was an embarrassment. Still, in the end I got married and the name is now a distant (but never forgotten) memory.

For up-to-the-minute name silliness we have, of course, Peter Andre's and Jordan's baby daughter named Princess Tiaamii - Princess because she's their little princess (aaahhh) and Tiaamii being a combination of the parents' mothers' names (Thea and Amy). I tried this out to see what I would have called Jo using this method and came up with Dorvy or Vydot. For PT, using the grandfathers' names, we would have had Hertho or, maybe, Tombert, neither of which are very attractive. It's a good party game though.

Just four here to get me going:
  • Charleszetta Waddles (American nun & writer, b.1912)
  • Eudora Welty (American author, b.1909)
  • Bacchylides (Greek lyric poet (fl. 5th century) sounds a bit like a nasty disease
  • Kinky Friedman (American singer, writer & politician) - yes, he sounds like a politician!


Clare said...

I like my names, but I don't like having to always spell both of them. I have gone through life being Claire Groom, Clair Grome, and on one celebrated occasion Claire Gnome. People always think I am being really odd when I specify how my name is spelt, especially in production programmes, but it does annoy me. And to finish me off entirely my parents added in the initials OF, Olivia Frances, making me Clare OF Groome. Endless amusement for all my school friends! Mind you, Phil is Philip Pile... that's a name you never get used to!

jmb said...

Well despite the fact that everyone hates his/her name, some are a bit over the top.
I'll be interested in what you find to post.

Liz said...

When I give my name as Hinds, people often ask, 'Like the beans?'

But it's not as bad as being named after a car like Austin Healey. then again, when we were naming our children we couldn't call them Ben or Belinda, else we'd have had B. Hinds.

jomoore said...

The bane of my life is being called Joanna, instead of Joanne. I know exactly what you're saying, Clare - people don't seem to understand why it bothers me. But it's NOT MY NAME!!

Thomas is emphatically not Tom or Tommy. His grandad is the only person who gets away with calling him Tom.

Tuscan Tony said...


Chris said...

I quite like my Christian name (shortened). It's really Christine but hardly anyone uses it.

Thanks for that link, Tony. Good job his first words on seeing the scan weren't 'f**k me'!