Re: In the cold and grey Wasilla mornin', five hungry childs are born: in the ghetto

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There's a girl here who checks off all the right class markers—child of a professor, wealthy and in the wealthiest clubs—named Chanel. It's very improper for someone lower in status than her to snicker or make a joke about it, and it's assumed that it's not after the brand.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:11 AM
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in the wealthiest clubs

Speaking as someone who went to a perfectly U school himself, y'all are weird. Can't you give them doofy Greek letters like normal schools instead of this weird faux-Victorian eating club stuff?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:14 AM
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My kid's school has a lot of this -- the y for i substitute has become very common, and also y for e. This combined with new agey and faux-celtic stuff makes for some novel choices.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:15 AM
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Do Keegan and Cassidy count as twee names? (Asking seriously; you won't hurt my feelings.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:18 AM
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I'm sure that they are wonderful, wonderful kids.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:19 AM
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Bristol vs Chelsea is a pretty funny idea though. There should be a charity match or something.

Do Keegan and Cassidy count as twee names?

I think of these as surnames. Kevin Keegan. David Cassidy. Etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:20 AM
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Keegan does, to me.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:20 AM
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Can't you give them doofy Greek letters like normal schools instead of this weird faux-Victorian eating club stuff?

YES! Even the originals at Oxbridge have the decency to no longer call themselves "eating clubs". They prefer the more honest moniker "drinking societies".

They do still mostly suck though, that tradition's held strong through the ages.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:20 AM
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One interesting thing that seems to be happening is that a trend that's always been common amongst Irish-Americans (and maybe other hyphenated Americans?) is spreading out to the white population at large. It used to be amusing to (super-parochial) Irish people that Americans would name their kids Colleen (a transliteration of the word for "Girl"), Shannon (the name of Ireland's longest river), and so on. But now we have Bristol and Chelsea, too. And, indeed, Dakota.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:23 AM
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They're moderately twee, apo. But it's ok, 'cause those kids are hella cute.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:24 AM
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YES! Even the originals at Oxbridge have the decency to no longer call themselves "eating clubs". They prefer the more honest moniker "drinking societies".

Actually, at least in one Ivy League School, "eating club" is a perfectly honest moniker. They're were you get your meals.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:24 AM
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They're were you get your meals.

Ah, Princeton-educated I see.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:25 AM
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I didn't know that having five kids was a marker of being lower-class

I don't know where Coates is coming from with this one. Isn't having tons of kids considered lower class pretty much everywhere?


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:25 AM
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12:
You too?


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:26 AM
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Actual eating does, in fact, occur in the clubs. Which is not to say the traditionalism isn't annoying—there's even a proprietary word for rushing.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:27 AM
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I haven't pushed too hard to get Siobhán always to write the accent in her name, but correct is correct.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:27 AM
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A bit. My standard for "twee" is "Would have been perceived as very unusual -- that is, not just low frequency but really peculiar -- in 1965," and I think those both qualify. A defense to tweeness by my internal definition is a claim that "In my reference milieu, those are ordinary, traditional names." This opens up all the Irish names if you really are Irish, in the I-don't-mean-third-generation-Irish-American sense, and if you've actually hit on a person's name, rather than a common noun or a place name; weird last-name-as-first-name things if you're a WASP; conventional African-American names if you're black, and so on, and renders those untwee even if I find them surprising.

But names that are twee by my personal definition are so common these days in every social circle I know that I don't have strong feelings about them, just a twinge of snobbishness which a better person than I would get over.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:28 AM
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Cassidy is a bit twee, but I'm mostly curious if he's got a shorter name to go by. Pretty much everyone seems to end up with a one- or two-syllable name that people call them by, whether its an abbreviation of their first name, a middle name, or something like that. I just can't think of a shorter version of Cassidy that would work well for a guy.

But I can't really talk, I barely missed being named "Wesley". While I like the name, it's pretty damn public-school and twee.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:29 AM
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14: Ph.D, so it doesn't count. Though while I was there I had dinner at Cottage, Ivy and a few of the non-bicker ones.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:29 AM
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I'm just glad my parents decided against naming me Cola-Bro.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:29 AM
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"Keegan" is tweeer than "Cassidy", but as the woman says, they're hella cute. And neither name is really twee. I know a Kade and a Ceridwyn.

Names are such a class-related thing, but every class has its dumb names. Before it was Nevaeh and Madyson it was Tiffany, Amber, etc.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:31 AM
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18: Cass is a perfectly available boy nickname, but I thought Cassidy was Apo's daughter. Aren't the boys Keegan and Noah?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:32 AM
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Do Keegan and Cassidy count as twee names?

"Keegan" is a great name, and not twee at all.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:32 AM
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They're where you get your meals.

Whoa, you guys didn't have cafeterias? Rough.

Then again, I hear from my Stanford grad friend how his fraternity had a chef and a housekeeper, and it really seems like a lot of the top American universities are a whole 'nother world.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:33 AM
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In defense of plausibly twee names, at least it helps move us beyond the era of the stupid WASP nickname.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:34 AM
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I'm not sure Willow is especially blue collar, & the only Piper I've ever met was totally old-money-WASP (but I think it was a nickname). Trig, Track, & Bristol are another story. (I wouldn't have thought of Chelsea as low class either.)

I'd say Keegan and Cassidy are trendy names, especially Keegan (1. hadn't heard of it before; 2. surnames as first names 3. vaguely Celtic sounding), & are in the large group of names that I have no serious aesthetic objection to for other people's kids but wouldn't consider for my own.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:34 AM
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My naive Bayes names classifier would have put "Cassidy" down as a girl's name.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:34 AM
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I went to high school with boys named Meis (sounds like meese: the thinking man's plural of moose!), and Sarvis (last name Berry. Good grief) and girls named Piper and Athena.

Montana has always been ahead of its time.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:35 AM
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How come nobody ever names their kid "Bronx"? That'd be tough as hell.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:35 AM
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I thought Cassidy was Apo's daughter.

Ah, in that case, not twee at all. I'd forgotten about Noah being the other brother.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:36 AM
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I was wondering about the usage of "twee."

Speaking as a recent veteran of the struggle to find a decent male name (hint: there are none), I saw four general categories: Regular American Names, which are the ones we all grew up with, popular in the postwar years (to some extent earlier as well); these have lost their dominance, but are still super-popular; Consciously Old-Fashioned Names, which are recognizable and familiar, but would have seemed impossibly stuffy in our childhoods (Jack, Teddy, Harry); Cheesy, the new-style names like Tyler/Tylar/Tieler that were waspy but are now soundly declasse; and Other, which is probably congruous with Twee.

The Other category is tricky because a lot of them are classic/traditional ethnic names (like Keegan), but are now used by people outside those ethnicities (all the little Isabellas), and a lot of them are simply marginal examples of the other categories - is Grover really inherently more ridiculous than Isaiah?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:37 AM
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Trig, Track, & Bristol are another story

"Trig" sounds enough like "Trip" that I think "Main Line." "Bristol" falls into the same broad group for me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:37 AM
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Interestingly enough, Rory had to do the pre-writing exercise last night for an anticipated 5-paragraph essay about her name -- how she got it, whether she likes it, her nicknames. It's certainly not twee. Totally boring, in fact, such that the poor kid will be stuck writing, "My mom and dad chose my name because it didn't sound like crap."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:37 AM
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Aww, Di, Chasity isnt such a bad name.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:38 AM
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Whoa, you guys didn't have cafeterias? Rough.

We did our first 2 years. Last 2 years you either joined an eating club or cooked for yourself.

I feel so white right now.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:38 AM
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24.1: There are for underclassmen.

As for 24.2, well, at least one club hires employees to serve beer at the parties, so it's hard to disagree.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:39 AM
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I apparently was close to being named Zephaniah. I don't know if that would have been twee, but it sure would have been bizarre.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:39 AM
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oooops, sorry to accidentally disclose Rory's actual name!

Can someone redact that?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:39 AM
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Funny will. Like I'd name my kid a misspelled virtue.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:40 AM
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I went to school with a guy named Rh/ett Sav/age, which is one of the greatest names of all time. Also! I just found out that God Shammgod plays for the minor-league basketball team here, though they use his alternate name, Shammgod Wells.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:41 AM
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Willow is blue-collar because it is a product of naming after television show characters. The name has really only taken off in the post-Buffy era.

Agreed that Amber is a terrible, terrible name.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:41 AM
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There's an awful lot of Ordinary-Or-Selfconciously-Oldfashioned-Nicknames-As-Official-Given-Names. If you want to call your son Jack, suck it up and name him John. If you want a Ted, what goes on the birth certificate is Theodore or Edward. And so on. Those, for some reason, I get very snobby about. Nicknames are supposed to be informal -- stop being freakily overcontrolling about them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:42 AM
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Consciously Old-Fashioned Names,

Man, is this trend huge.

Grover is more ridiculous than Isaiah. There may be a nearby possible world where Grover is a prophet and Isaiah is a furry muppet, so it may not be inherently more ridiculous. But still.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:42 AM
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39: Vise is such a better name anyway. That's a kid who'd even beat the shit outta Bronx.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:42 AM
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If you want a Ted, what goes on the birth certificate is Theodore or Edward. And so on.

If Edward is on the birth certificate and you call the kid Ted, I'm going to think you are weird. Edward = Ed!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:43 AM
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44: Gluttany always had trouble making friends in her middle school, however.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:45 AM
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If you want to call your son Jack, suck it up and name him John.

shiv disagrees with you, but I agree. We should only have girl children because we are never going to agree on boys' names, except that his choices in girls' names tend to be really frilly. Maybe we'll just get a puppy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:45 AM
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Or Ned. What's up with that?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:45 AM
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Jack is obviously short for "Jackson" or "Jackalope".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:46 AM
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Cassidy is a bit twee, but I'm mostly curious if he's got a shorter name to go by.

Mostly I call her Pork Chop.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:46 AM
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When I was taking appointment calls for the spa a few summers ago, one woman I was talking to held the phone for a second to call out (musically, of course), "Margot! Charles! Mommy's making her spa appointment! Do be quiet, darlings!" I was so pleased that the videophone has not gone mainstream yet, as I was choking back guffaws.

I would have been a Nathan if I had been a boy. This would have been appropriate, since chiding and obnoxious moral superiority come naturally to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:46 AM
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If Edward is on the birth certificate and you call the kid Ted, I'm going to think you are weird. Edward = Ed!

Or Ned. What's up with that?

BOOOOOOOO


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:46 AM
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I would have been a Nathan if I had been a boy.

I would have been Amanda if I was a girl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:47 AM
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There may be a nearby possible world where Grover is a prophet and Isaiah is a furry muppet, so it may not be inherently more ridiculous.

Yeah, it's not a perfect match.

It's funnier to me with girls' names, because the line is so fine: Millie and Ruby, OK; Irma and Bernice, not a chance.

Those, for some reason, I get very snobby about. Nicknames are supposed to be informal -- stop being freakily overcontrolling about them.

AB's pet peeve is congruous with this, but almost inverted: she dislikes choosing a name when you only intend to use the nickname. But she's not a big nickname fan, so....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:47 AM
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45: That's another trend -- the dying out of traditional nicknames that are anything other than a straightforward shortening of the official name. Does anyone know a Margaret called Peggy under fifty?

Ted or Ned for Edward used to be conventional, but both are now weird. There's a conventional nickname for Sally's real name that's exactly phonetically parallel to Ned for Edward, and I love it, but no one would go along with me in calling her that.

I don't know what happened there, but it's a real change in the last couple of generations.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:48 AM
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46: Your name is Averice? What the hell kind of a name is that?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:48 AM
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I know a Katharine called Kitty. She's 23.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:48 AM
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56: dude! Sleth, c'mon, put down the Xbox controller for like one minute.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:49 AM
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Funny comment at Coates':

I was a freshman at large southern public university and my friends and I visited NC A&T for a football game. When we got out of the car, one of my friends, knowing that even though I am black I grew up in an almost all white neighborhood took me aside and said "Hey man, where at a black school, so don't do or say anything stupid."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:49 AM
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I don't really remember any major class-markers in names growing up. Double-barreled forenames were more common at the lower end of the class spectrum: Leigh-Anne, Kelly Anne, that sort of thing.

Pretty much everyone I went to primary school with had very ordinary names.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:49 AM
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I also went to high school with a Mary called Molly and a Sarah called Sally.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:50 AM
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Ted or Ned for Edward used to be conventional, but both are now weird

Really? I know several Neds and Teds, but only one Ed. All youngish (which is to say, slightly older than me).

There used to be an organization all Bettys of Oklahoma. You had to be a Betty, and so all the members were over 70.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:50 AM
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54: I have friend who inherited from her parents a total anathema to names that have any plausible nickname form. So she named her child after a famous wizard and a famous muppet, and neither name is one suited to shortening.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:51 AM
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Or Ned. What's up with that?


BOOOOOOOO

And you people wonder why Cryptic Ned never comments here anymore.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:52 AM
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63: Dumbledore Gonzo?


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:54 AM
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I don't know what happened there, but it's a real change in the last couple of generations.

I would chalk it up to the dying out of large families. Peg and the like were nicknames that you needed when one family would have a half dozen Johns and Marys across just a couple generations.

That said, I do know a Millie for Amelia and a Teddy for Edward.

AB was worried Telemachus would be called Telly, which was a legitimate concern.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:55 AM
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I think Rfts was standing up for Edward-as-Ted. She has a Great-Uncle Ted, and I think several more Teds floating around in her family, where they all have solid blue-collar British names that make them sound like tertiary characters from East Enders.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:55 AM
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We wanted a virtue name, but they're kind of thin on the ground for boys. At least the non-lame ones. Girls have all the nice ones.

Plus, my folks saddled me with one of the most common names ever--so much so that people have, upon learning my name, accused me of using a 'John Smith' type alias.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:55 AM
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65: Gandalf Waldorf?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:56 AM
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There are still at least some Bobs and Bills out there, presumably, though I think Rob & Will are becoming much more common.

I haven't deliberately been avoiding nicknames, but I now realize that almost none of our finalists are readily nickname-able.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:56 AM
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Oh, and my HS GF Moll/e was M/ry Br/gitte, but that was a family name; she never ever used it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:56 AM
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63: Daviddukemisspiggy? That's fucked up.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:56 AM
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68: and then they throw underwear?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:57 AM
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73: less than you'd think.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:57 AM
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63: Damn it, you stole my Nathanbedfordforrest Snuffleuffagus joke.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:58 AM
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75 to 72.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 11:58 AM
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The greatest generation respected tradition:Robert John Matthew Michael Richard Barbara Susan Mary Elizabeth Katherine.

I can't think of anyone I grew up with a name not in that category.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:00 PM
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71: No wonder with all them slashes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:01 PM
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73: I don't think it's just the common nature of the first name and surname in "Thomas Jefferson" that make it suspect.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:01 PM
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I don't think it's just the common nature of the first name and surname in "Thomas Jefferson" that make it suspect.

As my esteemed colleague in Virginia can attest, that's "Mr. Jefferson" to you.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:07 PM
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A whole lot of 3rd generation Poles, French, Italians, with languages & cultures retained, in my blue-collar whitebread town but no Kazimirs or Brigittes or Giuseppes in my generation. None. Don't know why.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:07 PM
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79: please, that kind of formality is so old-fashioned. It's "Tom Jeff".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:08 PM
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Growing up, my friends all had nice normal names like Sung(4 of 'em) and Jin(2) and Hoon and Hoa and Nam.

The ones to watch out for are the Pinoys, who'll make up names at the drop of a hat. My ex used to threaten me that our kids would be Tedford and Jangela.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:10 PM
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The ones to watch out for are the PinoysDFHs, who'll make up names at the drop of a hat.

That way you end up with rainbow, river, sunshine, moonbeam, tree, peace, blue ....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:15 PM
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4 - yes. Though Cassidy is nice in that it's suitable for either gender, though slightly twee-er for a boy.

Picking a name for your kid ought to be relatively simple: Look at your family tree and people you admire. Discard obviously crap names and select from the remaining list.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:19 PM
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4 - yes. Though Cassidy is nice in that it's suitable for either gender, though slightly twee-er for a boy.

Picking a name for your kid ought to be relatively simple: Look at your family tree and people you admire. Discard obviously crap names and select from the remaining list.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:20 PM
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Malaysians are apparently notorious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:20 PM
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Stupid internets.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:21 PM
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1. One of our best friends is named Rainbow.

2. I was lobbying for only gender neutral names for our kids, but none flew, and we were a little wary of gender neutral names for a boy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:22 PM
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I was going to be called Belinda, but my parents changed their minds. I kind of like it, although my sister always says "Eww! You would have been nicknamed Belly."

80-some comments and nobody mentions that "Dick" as a nickname for Richard has died out almost completely? I'm disappointed in you all.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:22 PM
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re: 83

Tedford is pretty cool.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:23 PM
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and we were a little wary of gender neutral names for a boy.

Why?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:23 PM
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My family tree has a Hepzibah in it, and I think a Mehitabel, and an Alpheus. And an Elroy, my dad.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:23 PM
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92: Teasing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:26 PM
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Funny will. Like I'd name my kid a misspelled virtue.

I was google-proofing it for her privacy, but since you want to go all Palin on me, fine! Her name is Chastity.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:27 PM
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87: Samoans, too. Names are often 'random common noun', and not necessarily in Samoan -- there's nothing unusual about meeting someone with a random English word for a name. And they change frequently; I had a student who was in the school records as Situa, and I only knew her by that name, and then I visited her at home and found out that she was Miriama at home, but didn't use it at school to avoid confusion with/disrespect for the principal's wife, who was also Miriama.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:27 PM
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93 - Awesome.

My family tree has an Everardus Bogardus in it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:28 PM
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96: heh, I had a Cambodian girlfriend in high school who used one name at school and one at home, and neither was her given name. Then, after we broke up, she started using yet another name which, incidentally, was the same as mine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:30 PM
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Elroy! Rad. That's going on our list. JRoth's right, there aren't enough good boy names.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:34 PM
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91 - It's all yours.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:36 PM
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A lot of my friends in high school were Chinese or Korean, and while nearly all the girls went by an American-type name (and for reasons unknown, about half used some variation of Jennifer), most of the guys just went by a more traditional name. Further, the girls whose parents I knew went by their second, American name at home instead of the traditional name most of them also had. I'm hoping this disappears after another generation or two, more diversity in first names is always helpful.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:39 PM
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The BF's family has some awesome old school Filipino names: Illustrio, Beneficio, Fidencio, etc. Those are his grandfather's generation -- after that, the names are of the invented variety.

His immediate family has a lovely and hilarious story about how their names were chosen, but I'm not allowed to share it anymore, having embarrassed him on too many occasions.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:40 PM
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JRoth's right, there aren't enough good boy names.

Apostropher is a good, manly name and he'll probably be the only one in his class.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:40 PM
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104

In Tokyo I met this woman Sachiko, who was smoking hot and who, unbeknownst to me at the time, went by the name Sally among her gaijin friends. So when I got messages from my housemates that Sally had called, I ignored them, because who the hell was Sally? Argh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:42 PM
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JRoth's right

With heebie on reduced activity, I've stepped up.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:42 PM
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Family friends when I was young fostered a Vietnamese kid about my age named Sang (pronounced Shang). We were all terribly amused that his full name was Sang The Dang.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:43 PM
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104 is quite possibly the saddest story I've ever heard.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:43 PM
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Abishag is another name that has sadly fallen by the wayside.

IIRC The Book of Heroic Failures lists "Brained" and "Bugless" as two others that have fallen out of favor.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:43 PM
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Yeah, a lot of my Chinese students offer me a Chinese name and an American name (usually something like Fred, Frank, Sally, or Melissa) to use. I always go with the Chinese name, if the option is there. Do their other professors really say, "Whoa! I don't know about Xiang! Does that have clicking sounds in it, 'cause I can't make those! Let's go with Richard."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:46 PM
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107: yeah, but why didn't he return the call anyhow? "Hey man, some girl named Sally called you." "A girl you say? Doesn't sound familiar. I'd better not call her back."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:46 PM
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Chinese have an elaborate system of situational names which are used to address or refer to a person within specific contexts. Often they vary with the individual's relationship to the person named, and relative status. It's unsystematic and hard to learn, but it's not haphazard at all. It's really somewhat like our system, but much more elaborated: nicknaming friends and kin, honoring elders, addressing superiors by title.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:46 PM
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And as Jennifer 8 Lee has shown us, Chinese parents have almost unlimited freedom in choosing their kids' formal names.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:47 PM
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108: Middle name "TheShunnamite" is required for full awesomeness. One of my favorite people in the Bible, BTW. Human hot water bottle!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:48 PM
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109 I solve this problem by not remembering any of their names, at all. `Hey you' is gender-and-culture-neutral, mostly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:48 PM
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110: Oh sure, rub it in.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:49 PM
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My parents had their kids after they immigrated, and they picked out names that would work in both English and Korean. They fudged a bit -- Koreans have certain generational naming conventions that they ignored, plus my brother's name is usually a girl's name in Korean. But occasionally a (non-Korean) person will accuse me of doing what PMP talks about in 101, and insist on telling them my "real" name.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:49 PM
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111: call everybody older "uncle" or "auntie", call women "Jenny", call the fat guy "piggy", and call the bad guy "YOU!"

No problem. You can pick it all up from kung fu movies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:49 PM
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I always go with the Chinese name, if the option is there.

I'm a terrible mimic, and so Chinese names freak me out; there's no guarantee I'd be able to get the basic consonant/vowel combination, and when you add in accent/tone, I just feel rude/stupid (like using the American pronunciation for a German Frank).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:49 PM
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My sister almost ended up with some unwieldy Russian name my grandmother was pushing, but escaped the fate.

My father has the best middle name ever.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:50 PM
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My parents gave me a weird spelling of a relatively common name. My previous bf admitted to me, after we'd been dating almost a year: I just thought you were one of those girls who changed the vowels in their name to make it "look cute".

We broke up due to his lack of observational skills (among other things).

If I had been a boy, I would have been named Scott.


Posted by: Karyn | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:50 PM
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115: Jesus will be sending a carefully-selected bottle of skunked wine to the Tea Party in Sifu's honor.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:52 PM
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"Kim Lee" is the most gender and race neutral name of all.

"Dumbleton" is also a family name. And "Calista", which was fairly common before 1850.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:53 PM
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108: That brings back painful memories of a Robert Frost poem, "Provide, provide!" -- failing to write a paper about this poem led me to change my major.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:53 PM
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107 is horribly depressing.

111: Yeah, there's also the family-only, repeated-adjective nicknames, which I've been told about on occasion but only seem to be used by aunt, uncles, and cousins. They do stick around forever though, as my very thin ex was still called "Round-Round" (translated from Mandarin, of course) by all her relatives back in China.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:53 PM
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My father has the best middle name ever.

Abbaben?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:54 PM
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Oops, 107 s/b 104.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:54 PM
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121: 90% wine, 10%...?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:55 PM
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My family tree has an Everardus Bogardus in it.

A second cousin of mine--more of an uncle, really--was named Aloysius. You know, the great thing about being named "Bristol" is that you could tell people you were named after Harvey's Bristol Cream. That would never get old.

I think I've remarked before that I went to school with this guy. One of my favorite monikers ever.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:56 PM
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In Taiwan my nickname with one family was "big-belly" (da duzi). A friend's nickname with that family was the Classical Chinese equivalent of "fair maiden".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:57 PM
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118: It was one of the reasons I was eager to learn to at least sound out Pinyin. It's not totally intuitive, but also really easy to learn, and worth it where I teach. About 10% of every class is made up of recent immigrants from China.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:57 PM
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42: My real given name is actually a nick name, but I have two first names, a little bit like MaryBeth.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:57 PM
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"Hey man, some girl named Sally called you." "A girl you say? Doesn't sound familiar. I'd better not call her back."

I agree with Sifu. This is not the Messiah we can believe in.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:58 PM
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The weird German and Norwegian names around here (Emil, Ole, Bruno) died out two generations before me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 12:59 PM
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My Chinese roommate has the cutest naming story ever: the river that connected the two towns his parents grew up in.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:00 PM
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call the fat guy "piggy"

Reminds me of this great lede from The New Yorker.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:00 PM
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131: Yeah, people always ask what my first name is short for. My dad, who goes by his middle name since his parents did a "boy named Sue" trick on him, has a nickname for a name that's not short for anything. My middle name has two capital letters, so it looks a little trashy, but I think it's kind of cool.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:01 PM
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I go by my last name with all my friends. Once when I was living with several guys over the summer one of my roommates answered the phone and after a couple seconds said "no, no one living here by that name" then turns to me and says "Who the fuck is [my firstname]?" This was after living there for two months and knowing the guy for over a year.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:02 PM
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63: Cocksucker Rolf?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:02 PM
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It used to be that some Cubans born around Guantanamo would name their kids "Usnavy," which they pronounced OOHS nah-VEE.

I wonder if there are now some ex-RAIs, but I doubt it. . .


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:02 PM
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90: That was my granddad's nickname. I don't know what his father, also a Richard, went by.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:03 PM
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It was one of the reasons I was eager to learn to at least sound out Pinyin. It's not totally intuitive, but also really easy to learn, and worth it where I teach.

Yeah, that I could probably manage - or at least get close enough that any corrections would be useful, not mutually frustrating.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:04 PM
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cf 17, I tend to think in terms of orthodox names in America are those from the bible, founding fathers, past presidents, or figures of similar stature. So I'm not startled when names such as Zachary and Noah are recycled into vogue.

Palin's manner of speaking is pretty normal, but her voice is a little high pitched for an authority figure.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:04 PM
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My presumptive in-laws are only half-convinced that my fiancee and I were joking when we told them that we are going to name our child Hateface, pronounced "Hottuh-Fatcha".

It's kind of an old joke, Asswipe, but it's nice to have them on their toes.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:05 PM
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My Grandma had my dad while Grampa was at sea (he was a tuna fisherman at the time). They'd agreed to name him after my Grampa (with "Junior" appended), but Grandma named him John instead. My Dad was five years old before his father found out his real name.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:05 PM
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137: Oh, primarily using last names is interesting. I've always associated addressing friends by their last name as a predominantly lower-class behavior, but then there seem to be some last names so powerful-sounding they garner much more use.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:07 PM
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137 is a great story.

We hang out on our front porch all summer, and so we know our neighbors by sight, but it's taken years to learn even most of their names. Sadly, both AB and I are bad with names, so one of us getting an intro is usually not enough to lock it into the family knowledge bank.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:07 PM
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140:That was my granddad's nickname. I don't know what his father, also a Richard, went by.

Penis, maybe? It's more formal than Dick.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:08 PM
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Associated can be substituted with any number of verbs that will make sense, if you like.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:09 PM
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Would naming my daughter Twee be irredemably twee or acceptably ironic?


Posted by: Margarita | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:14 PM
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If you want a Ted, what goes on the birth certificate is Theodore or Edward. And so on.

Absolutely. Putting "Ted" on the birth certificate has always struck me as slightly trashy. I admit I'm a snob about it, but I'm still right.

My friend Lisa (given name Elizabeth) vehemently disagrees.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:18 PM
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Would naming my daughter Twee be irredemably twee

You solved your problem. Name her Irredeemably Twee, but use only her middle name in conversation.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:19 PM
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I guess if I were a boy I would have been Mark, and I guess if my sisters were boys they would have been Luke, John, and Paul or possibly John the Revelator.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:20 PM
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149 is Gwyneth Paltrow's intern.

The ghetto-trashy fixed point is where the stripper/porn/rap name is the same as the real name.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:21 PM
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149: Only if you have her after your children Wum and Tawoo.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:21 PM
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149: I really hope my generation doesn't get into ironic names. "Awesome's on the phone, dear..."


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:26 PM
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I really hope my generation doesn't get into ironic names.

Ooh. How about Irony? Ironically, it's not.


Posted by: Margarita | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:30 PM
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but I have two first names, a little bit like MaryBeth.

Me too! Except more like ChrystalGayle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:35 PM
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My family tree has a Hepzibah in it, and I think a Mehitabel, and an Alpheus.

Is it any wonder one of your ancestors was hanged for a witch?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:35 PM
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Bristol is an awful name. Do Alaskans not understand rhyming slang? Bristol City = titty. As in 'nice bristols!'. So in my mind she called her daughter Tit. Which kind of goes with Trig and Track I guess. What are the other two called?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:37 PM
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There's an Atticus Mylastname in our family tree - I would have totally used that if C had agreed.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:39 PM
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159: Ronald-Ann and Glans, with the latter of whom she's always been a little clinical in her manner.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:40 PM
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I hope 161 is a Bloom County reference. (Outland, technically? It's OK.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:41 PM
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156: Meta, Ashton Kutcher, Meth, Lady... I suppose at some point this blends into Malaysian tradition.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:43 PM
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No, no, no, she was hanged for lewdness. And her sister had a statue built to her, for killing Indians.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:43 PM
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What are the other two called?

Bershire and John Thomas.


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:46 PM
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What are the other two called?

Berkshire, and John Thomas.


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:46 PM
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Do Alaskans not understand rhyming slang?

Yeah, I have a question about rhyming slang: who gets to decide? I mean, why bristol and ginger and not, say, sioux* and pilsner? How do you know that neither bristol nor ginger refer to something that rhymes with 'cream'? Is there like a Pope of rhyming slang whose job it is to make sure that everyone's on the same page?

* I don't know enough UK geography to offer another Named City.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:52 PM
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162: It is a Bloom County reference (she first appeared there, towards the very end).


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 1:53 PM
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JRoth,

Is there like a Pope of rhyming slang whose job it is to make sure that everyone's on the same page?

I'm not sure about this but my impression was that the first person to make the particular rhyming slang got dibs. Kinda like owning land and other stuff in England. That whole ancestry thing.

But it was weird too because apparently a footpath through your land could never be gated or blocked and roving bands of people could come and caravan on your property and you couldn't get them off?

As I say it all seemed very strange but I think it comes down to the worship of tradition or something like that.



Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:01 PM
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My family tree has an Everardus Bogardus in it.

Nobody else ever gets a toke with that guy around.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:02 PM
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Yeah, I have a question about rhyming slang: who gets to decide?

The Pearly King and Queen, of course. Every year, creative Cockneys can suggest new rhymes, and just a few will be approved.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:03 PM
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Pearly King

Huh. I'd never heard of them before. Something new every day. Now all I need to know is exactly what a jellied eel is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:06 PM
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It's an eel (usually chopped up), in some sort of gelatinous covering. So I understand. Actually, I think the eels jellify themselves with their slime when you cook them. I have walked past places serving eels, and my parents will occasionally remininisce, but that's as close as I've got.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:12 PM
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IN honor of the reference to costermongers in the link in 172, in honor of Iris' first day at Waldorf School, and in honor of my good friend who wrote this poem, y'all should go read the poem at the bottom of this post.

Excerpt:

1-800-VOCABULary

USE MORE WORDS!
For a low monthly charge, you can increase your vocabulary
by 600 words. Yes, 600 words! To wit: "Costermonger":
a hawker of fruits, vegetables, fish, etc.; "Pulchritudinous":
physically beautiful, comely; "Anthroposophy":
a spiritual and mystical philosophy based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner.

It is not so crucial to actually know anything about Rudolph Steiner
himself so much as it is to KNOW MORE WORDS
like - wait, where'd I put it - "anthroposophy."
Yes, you can actually feel your vocabulary
expanding as those brain cells increase to allow more space for "pulchritudinous," uhm, "costermonger."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:12 PM
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The first male ancestor on my father's side of the family in the US was named Hyacinth. Hyacinth Boiseau.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:15 PM
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170 - I'd never made that connection before.

He was an interesting fellow - Dutch Reformed Church minister in New Amsterdam, got recalled to the Old Country on heresy charges, but his ship sank and he drowned.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:16 PM
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The Boogards are a big Dutch family around here, with predictable nicknames.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:17 PM
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176: Sorry for being so obvious. No offense intended.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:23 PM
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Did it not occur to the parents of Shiloh Pitt that his classmates would switch his initials?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:25 PM
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I'd never heard of them before.

LB. I would stake my daughter's life that you have seen "Mary Poppins". The animated background singers in "supercalifragilisticexpealidocious" are pearlies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3zAbQ0aMK8


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:26 PM
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179 - isn't she a girl as well?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:30 PM
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I would stake my daughter's life that you have seen "Mary Poppins".

I'm so sorry. Please try to make it painless.

(My parents had a big Disney hate on, and I never really got into getting movies for the kids. I've seen a minute here and there, but not the whole movie. Loved the books, though -- very creepy strange.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:32 PM
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181: Oh, right.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:33 PM
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Thems the breaks. I'll give you Sophie's choice- do we off Annabel or Mary Amelia (actual names)?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:34 PM
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Also- serves me right for forgetting you were a red diaper baby.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:38 PM
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178 - no, really it had honestly never quite clicked. Surprising, considering I've been quite the head, and truth be told would be one again if I could find damn connection in this godforsaken shithole.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:39 PM
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I'll give you Sophie's choice- do we off Annabel or Mary Amelia (actual names)?

She'll make you a deal: bring her the hearts of 2 Britneys (any spelling) and you can keep your tastefully-named brood.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:40 PM
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My parents had a big Disney hate

Yeah, my mother HATED the idea of movies (and Disney at that) of Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, adn Alice. She took me to see Fantasia and the early Disney cartoons, but the 1960s stuff was right out.

Funny, I think I can count on two hands (and nearly one) the number of movies I saw in the theater before I turned 12. I suspect children have a different experience now.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:41 PM
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My inlaws never took C to the cinema. Or out to eat, or let him watch ITV (the then third TV channel, that wasn't BBC1 or BBC2). Weirdos.

I like taking mine to the cinema, but it costs so fucking much these days. They do have a cheap film showing each Saturday and Sunday that they often go to, but they're usually some kids' crap that I don't want to see, so I send them by themselves.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:50 PM
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There's a great little theater in Oxford that you can barely find which shows cheaper movies. You get there and the attendant shows up just before the screening. He rolls down a ladder to open the theater.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:53 PM
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I suspect children have a different experience now.

Yeah, now it's too expensive to go. So they have a box of disney DVD's instead.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:53 PM
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186: Hey, that's great, togolosh. I'm sincerely glad that I didn't give offense. Also, I now feel comfortable adding that your ancestor's name sounds like it's right out of Harry Potter--in the vein of Rowling's other Latinate magics. Instead of chanting "Lumos!" when in need of a light, the more selfish young witches and wizards--damn Slytherins!--just summon someone else's joint entirely: "Everardus Bogardus!"


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 2:56 PM
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that "Willow" was a "blue-collar white" name

IIRC, "Willow" is the first name on the SWPL baby-naming flowchart


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 3:02 PM
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Also, I now feel comfortable adding that your ancestor's name sounds like it's right out of Harry Potter-

You know, I heard Sarah Palin tried to get Harry Potter books banned for being satanic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 3:06 PM
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190 - D'you mean the Phoenix or the UPP or somewhere else?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 3:26 PM
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I have an acquaintance whom commenter tom knows with a last name something like Gortenstein. He jokes he's going to name his child Gort Gort.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:04 PM
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I tried to persuade my friends whose son's name is Dashiell to name their daughter Dorothy, so they could be Dash and Dot. No luck.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:07 PM
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The Capitol Steps do a great routine re Shiloh Pitt: a guy spoons in speakerisms nonstop, forcing your brain to automatically translate everything, and then he ends by just saying her name.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:08 PM
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I fully intend to name my hypothetical daughter Julius, after my Polish great grandfather.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:08 PM
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That or Kobe.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:09 PM
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The Capitol Steps do a great routine

This seems highly improbable, but I'll take your word for it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:13 PM
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Banning Harry Potter books, keeping bars open until 5 a.m., hunting moose..... Hm. I'm wavering.

Harry Potter readers are morons and crack babies, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:23 PM
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194: If someone [ahem] were to fake an e-mail from Palin to the town librarian, what other books might be on the list?

Heather has Two Mommies?
The Koran?
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter?

How might one get such an e-mail into general circulation?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:25 PM
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re: 190

Yeah, they tend to show a mix whatever he fancies, too. New stuff, old stuff, classics, horror things, whatever.

He's a nice guy. We turned up once and found we didn't have enough cash [I think we expected we could pay by card and at the time you couldn't].

"Yeah, yeah, just go in, I trust you to get the cash later"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:27 PM
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http://kamshots.co.uk/photos/ultimate%20picture%20palace.jpg

That place.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 4:32 PM
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"Do Keegan and Cassidy count as twee names?"

Not if they're Irish boys. There's a whole Scottish/Irish thing of having surnames as forenames there.


Posted by: dave heasman | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 5:33 PM
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I'm like md, in that I saw very few movies as a kid, or as a teenager for that matter, in theaters. Less than a dozen tops, I'm sure. And I've never seen many Disney movies considered universal, although I don't think Disney per se was deprecated.

On the other hand I watched a lot of old movies, really old, on tv mostly in the afternoons. I'm not suggesting a pattern based on age, but movie-going was just not something I did or had much opportunity to do as a kid.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 5:46 PM
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I narrowly missed out on being named Borghild, after a great-aunt. There are no nicknames for that. [Or for Inge-borg, another family name.] My grandmother was Maren, which I would have liked. My first name was popular in the 1800s, in olde newe Englande. Not so much these days.

My son's Korean name was Jae, which fit in with the other names we wanted for him, which was nice, because we wanted to keep his heritage.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 6:50 PM
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What's wrong with "Borgi"?

The nickname for Gunhilda is Gun, a fairly common Swedish woman's name. According to the OED, the English word "gun" derives from this nickname.

Whereas "pistol" and "howitzer" derive from the Czech. Jan Zizka and Jan Hus had a greater influence on our civilization than they get credit for.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:01 PM
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I am so not going to read this thread.

But for the record: Keegan is not twee--it's either ethnic or else it's educated. Cassidy might be slightly twee now that you mention it, but it doesn't shout TWEE the way Chelsea does. Chastity is a fabulous name that no one would ever use these days, for good reasons, so I once had a rat named Chastity because I really like the name. (Ditto Mercy, actually.)

I suspect that Labs might be using "twee" incorrectly, however. The trend among educated anglos these days is old-fashioned but somewhat unusual names: Chloe, Sophie, Oscar, Simon. None of those are twee. Twee is precious/pretentious: Chelsea, Paris, Juliette. Chloe is pretty twee, though, to be honest.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:09 PM
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That's "Chloë".

I don't really see what's so offensive about "Chelsea", to be honest.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:14 PM
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Chelseä, on the other hand, is way twee.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:16 PM
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211: Chloe is not twee by any non-crazy standard. It's a perfectly lovely name. Actually none of the examples you give is twee (OK, maybe Paris). Tweehood requires not a fairly aggressive shot at being both retro and unique: Keegan and Cassidy, sadly, are both quite good examples. Winston would be uber-twee.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:19 PM
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Winston would be uber-twee.

All living Winstons are middle-aged Chinese guys from Hawaii.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:21 PM
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OK, now that I've given it a bit more thought I want to back off a little on 214. I propose the following criterion for Twee-ness: If a name could plausibly be used for a contemporary perfume or cologne, it's twee.

Also, the fact that I have given any thought at all to this topic fills me with shame and self-loathing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:22 PM
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Hey I know a Winston, but it was his mother's maiden name, so not exactly twee. Funny thing, both he and my son go by "Winn". (For my son it is from his middle name of Winfield. His first name is currently in use by both his grandfather and father).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:23 PM
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I'm afraid to single out any name for censure, ridicule, or even mild disapprobation. What if one of you actually bears that name in real life?

I make an exception for Emerson's criminally lewd and lascivious Puritan ancestors, of course.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:24 PM
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Cassidy might be slightly twee now that you mention it

To be honest, I've grown less fond of it over the past year and kinda wish we'd gone with her middle name, Harper. But I'm not sure that's actually any less twee, just in a slightly different direction.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:27 PM
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B may not be an expert on what's not twee, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:28 PM
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Harper, Carson, Eudora, all good.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:28 PM
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I liked Flannery, but the missus vetoed it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:33 PM
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I knew I missed one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:34 PM
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Tennessee, Truman, Erskine, Calder. How did Faulkner and Styron get their boring first name from, or Thomas Wolfe?

And then there's O., the short story writer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:38 PM
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And then there's O., the short story writer

Story of "O" is one of my favorites, too, JE.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 7:43 PM
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All living Winstons are middle-aged Chinese guys from Hawaii.

Ha, I was going to mention my ancestor, Ed/i son Ba/s il (last name). Both "Ed/i son" and "Ba/s il" are names commonly found on Chinese guys now, for some reason.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09- 4-08 8:55 PM
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205 - ah, I wondered - haven't been there since it was the Penultimate PP.

Chloe has been top of the UK baby name charts for years.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 2:01 AM
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re: 226

I assume that's where BG is talking about.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 2:14 AM
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In Taiwan in 1983 a friend of mine had to convince a Chinese guy that Gaylord wasn't a very good American name any more.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 3:31 AM
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Not if they're Irish boys. There's a whole Scottish/Irish thing of having surnames as foreames there.

Not so much in Ireland in my experience, except as a yuppie thing. I know a teenager called Stee/n, which is his granny's maiden name. His sibs are called Bla/ir, Pat/rina and Dav/ida.

Billy Connolly has a routine about posh Scottish people having surnames as first names. "I say, Finlay, have you seen Campbell?". Don't know if that makes Ming whatsisname posh.

Our former Taoiseach was always called Bertie because his actual name was Bartholemew. His name sounded much cooler in Irish (Partholán Mac Eachtairn).


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 5:03 AM
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Billy Connolly has a routine about posh Scottish people having surnames as first names. "I say, Finlay, have you seen Campbell?". Don't know if that makes Ming whatsisname posh.

At school there were few kids with those kinds of first names. A Fraser, a Blair, a Fergus, and a couple of Campbells. A couple of them would probably be described as middle-class. The rest, not. None were posh.

The Connolly joke is still funny because those sorts of names are much commoner among the posh, but they aren't exclusive to them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 5:21 AM
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I'd always have thought of Fergus as primarily a first name. (A more Irish variant would be Fergal.) It ought to be a good one for US/Canadian parents, too, since it's hard to pronounce wrong.

I mean, there's no point in American parents calling their kids Aodh, Sadhbh or Eoghan unless they want to torment them. ("Ay" i.e. Hugh, "Sive" & "Owen") But you could be as authentic as you like with, say, Tiernan, Nuala, and Cormac, which are easier to get right than wrong.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 5:41 AM
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'Hugh' is always transformed into 'Shug' where I am from.

Yeah, I suppose Fergus is primarily a first name. I just associate it with that type of `teuchterised' poshness that Connolly is sending up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 5:53 AM
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Where you're from, everything is transformed into something. Edinburgh english is one thing, and the Glasgow variant quite another.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 6:06 AM
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re: 233

Edinburgh english is one thing, and the Glasgow variant quite another.

Well of course. What would you expect, they are 50 miles apart after all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 6:19 AM
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The equation of Aodh with Hugh is from the days when (a) in Irish, dh was pronounced as a guttural sound and (b) in English, gh was pronounced as a guttural sound. In much of rural Ireland people find Hugh or Hughie hard to say and are inclined to refer to "Q" and "Q-ie" instead.

To sort of revert to the post, when I first (as a whitey o'white person from a ridiculously white country) saw Ta-Nehisi Coates' name, I immediately thought "ooh, ancient Egyptian, cool" and later realised it also reminded me of Tar-Palantír and suchlike Númenorean names.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 6:33 AM
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Fergus would never be popular as a first name in Minnesota, bcause the state mental institution is in Fergus Falls, and there are lots of Fergus jokes (especially in the key eighth and ninth grades.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 6:39 AM
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re: 235

I'm amused you've got the accents on 'Númenorean'. In my day job I've been working on the project to digitize all his original papers. Art work and all. Writing the code to make sure the metadata kept all the little accents was a bugger.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 7:14 AM
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The Gbajabiamilas are doing will in pro football.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 7:42 AM
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236: I'm curious about Fergus Falls. I just sent you an email.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 7:55 AM
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238: what does BR think?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 7:58 AM
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And yet Fergus Gbajabiamila can't crack the lineup for Raith Rovers.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 7:58 AM
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The Gbaja-Biamilas should acknowledge their deep debt to Tshimanga Biakabutuka for paving their way.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:03 AM
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Stalin Colinet is out of the league, unfortunately. One of the very few graduates of NYC public schools ever to make the NFL, and one of the few Dominicans in the league. Talk about overcoming adversity!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:06 AM
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Ted or Ned for Edward used to be conventional, but both are now weird.

Are you sure? "Ted" = "Theodore" in my experience. Kaczynski, Sorensen, Nugent, Stevens, Roosevelt, Williams, Lilly, Washington, Bundy are all Theodores.

Ted for Edward is a mark of the upper crust, as in Kennedy and Heath.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:07 AM
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Stalin Colinet is out of the league, unfortunately.

Monsanto Pope, too.

OK, time to go do work.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:08 AM
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This isn't science or anything, but googling "Edward Ted" gets you an awful lot of hits that seem to largely be for Edwards called Ted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:09 AM
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I presume everyone's on board with the following nickname conventions: Paco for Francisco; Nacho for Ignacio; Pepe for José.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:16 AM
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Ted or Ned for Edward sounds right to me. I knew a Teddy (Edward) who was a friend of my parents. Not upper crust.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:17 AM
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207: My Dad went to the movies nearly every Saturday. It was super cheap, and they usually got to see a double feature.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:25 AM
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I'm amused you've got the accents on 'Númenorean'

I had to look it up, actually, though I knew there was one. My own surname has three of them so I like to get these things right.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:44 AM
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In fact I didn't look hard enough. There should be a cirumflex thingy over the o. Also "palantír" the magic video phone has an accent but "Tar-Palantir" the name doesn't. I shall have to fall back on the "well, in my dialect of Quenya" dodge.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 8:56 AM
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Are you sure? "Ted" = "Theodore" in my experience. Kaczynski, Sorensen, Nugent, Stevens, Roosevelt, Williams, Lilly, Washington, Bundy are all Theodores.

But in England, I think it's more likely to be "Edward" - Teddy Sheringham, for instance. And "Ted" is a nickname for Edward of long standing, perhaps simply because there were a lot of them in England (a top ten name for four hundred years) and you needed to be able to distinguish more finely.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 9:08 AM
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re: 252

Yeah. Edward.

Racists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_I_of_England#Scottish_Wars


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 9:15 AM
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Ted Kennedy is an Edward.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 9:16 AM
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How come nobody ever names their kid "Bronx"? That'd be tough as hell.

I knew a couple who conceived their kid in the lower east side and named her losaida.


Posted by: cw | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 2:02 PM
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I knew a couple who conceived their kid in the lower east side and named her losaida.

Our oldest, who was conceived in Bad Essen, can be thankful that her parents never got that idea.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 5-08 3:34 PM
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