Re: I would play ghetto games, name my kids ghetto names.

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This is not a comment on the choice.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 5:56 PM
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1: Just like having a baby!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:01 PM
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Video in #1 led me to watch this "I'm a Pepper" Dr. Pepper commercial from the late '70s. And not like I was staring or anything, but something weird is going on in David Naughton's pants.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:05 PM
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Heebie, your obvious joy in the event is really wonderful!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:05 PM
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One sister-in-law and my next door neighbor are both named Lorraine. Also my great-grandmother, though that's a was named.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:06 PM
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You mean Matt Saracen?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:08 PM
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6: Sure, why not? As long as you're need for affirmation is satisfied, Stanley. What's a little pedantic stress at this stage?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:16 PM
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4: I am super, super excited. It's really funny how rosy-colored my vision has become - I was totally a wailing, fearful, "PARENTHOOD WILL BE SO MUCH WORK" nail-biter when we started this whole thing. And now I intellectually know that to be true, but I'm cheerfully detached from the emotional truth of it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:17 PM
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7: nosflow put me up to it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:19 PM
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6: Him too!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:19 PM
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It *is* a lot of work, but it's like riding a roller coaster. Once you're strapped in, there's nothing to do about it except to throw your hands in the air and scream at the top of your lungs.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:22 PM
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Following from 10, see, Heebie is immune to your petty squabbling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:24 PM
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11: Apo is Gil Buckman's grandma!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:28 PM
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It *is* a lot of work

But less as they get older. My thirteen year old grilled the chicken we had for dinner. My fifteen year old cooked the rice (not that putting rice and water in the rice cooker is much work) and is doing the dishes. My nine year old is getting ready to put the ingredients in the bread machine so the kids can have bread when htey wake up tomorrow morning. Me, I'm surfing the web.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:28 PM
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If you print out baby shower invitations on the back of the linked image, you, too, could be awesome in my book.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:32 PM
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Oh, and hawaiian punch as a pseud is not that great. You'll inevitably refer to the young lady as HP, and we'll think that you've given birth to a beautiful printer. Given that the father is widely agreed upon to be your cat, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:37 PM
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Hokey Pokey is a way better name than Hawaiian Punch. Punchy would be a good name, though - that's the name of the Hawaiian Punch mascot that burst through walls like the Spanish Inquisition.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:43 PM
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No way dude, that's the Kool-Aid man.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:44 PM
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I may have mentioned that when we named one of our daughters Siobhán, more than one person who should have known better assumed that it was an African-American name (presumably spelled something like 'Chavonne'). Which would have been a peculiar choice, given that we are not African-American.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:46 PM
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17: See video linked in 1 for the original Punchy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:48 PM
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16: HP is also a sauce, or a wizard.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:49 PM
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"Henry Groskinski"? Weird.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:50 PM
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Wait, are you having a Hawaiian baby?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:51 PM
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23: What did you expect? heebie got lei'd.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:53 PM
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Hawaiian P. Geebie or Hawaiian P. whatever Jammie's surname is?


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 6:58 PM
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24: It was lava first sight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:02 PM
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14 is making me weep in anticipation.

It must be said that Iris did a very nice job this morning of cutting and forming the hamentaschen (not symbolic, just tasty).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:04 PM
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Somebody's going to hellget the shit beaten out of him in interrogation.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:06 PM
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24: And Jammies' real name is Kamanawanalea?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:06 PM
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OK, and while I'm perusing Breaking News: there's going to be a fucking casino called the "Valley Forge Convention Center." Geo. Washington may have been a slave-owning, tax-avoiding, right-wing bastard, but he still deserves better than that. Christ.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:07 PM
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6: I had no idea who Matt Sarison might be, so I googled it, and lo and behold, the first two results were for Friday Night Lights. So heebie's in good company with J-lyn at myspace, Friday night lights is the best tv show in the world and every guy should be like matt sarison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Becky at ew.com, Well, lets hope that they do a good ending of the two characters & that theres lots more about Matt Sarison,coach&family,Tyra&whats his name... I love all the characters :( But I AM SO HAPPY they are renewing a 3rd season--no matter the wait!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:09 PM
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30: Presumably the casino will have at least thirty goddamn slots.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:10 PM
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19: I may have mentioned that when we named one of our daughters Siobhán, more than one person who should have known better assumed that it was an African-American name (presumably spelled something like 'Chavonne').

Oh, ouch. I have a particular sore spot with this one, having grown up in military surroundings, and my best friend for a while was indeed Siobhan (her brother being plain old Sean, who was a boy). My friend was known as "Shona" for some reason.

On the other hand, there are presumably lots of people named "Chavonne" out there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:19 PM
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32: What's the canonical ASCII representation of a rimshot?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:21 PM
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19: I'm wondering how you judged "who should have known better"?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:23 PM
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It *is* a lot of work, but it's like riding a roller coaster. Once you're strapped in, there's nothing to do about it except to throw your hands in the air and scream at the top of your lungs.

That was certainly the view of my kids, anyway.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:26 PM
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the canonical ASCII representation of a rimshot?rimjob?

:P#


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:42 PM
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35: Aware and educated enough to have encountered the name numerous times, and familiar enough with me to know that that would be a truly bizarre choice of names.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:55 PM
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38 comments written in deliberate abstention from the degree of assholery required to point out that the word is "stationery."

Thank god I came along.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 7:57 PM
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For God's sake, man, the woman is pregnant. And a math specialist.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:02 PM
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8: Falling in love is like that.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:02 PM
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For God's sake, man, the woman is pregnant.

She should be thinking about what her gratuitous and reckless misspellings are doing to her future child's spelling ability.

And hey -- HEY -- is she DRINKING WINE while blogging? Because that is totally my business too.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:04 PM
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42: You know, the fact that your pseud ends in "son" does not require that you be a crank or a little bitch.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:14 PM
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38: okay, if you say so. FWIW, I've never encountered that name before. (But it's very pretty.)

It seems fairly implausible that anyone who'd encountered the name numerous times, and was familiar enough with you to know that something like "Chavonne" would be bizarre, would nevertheless think that. Maybe it's just because I'm personally unfamiliar with the name, but simple unfamiliarity strikes me as far more likely.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:15 PM
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8: I think that at some point late in the pregnancy, a hormone kicks in that makes you feel that way. And then immediately after you have the baby, another hormone will kick in for you and Jammies that will cause you to think your ever single random prejudice is Holy Parenting Writ, and that all of the other parents are poor benighted fools who are raising future axe murderers. (This I think is an evolved survival mechanism that helps you deal with the hundreds of hours of unsolicited parenting advice you will soon receive. The down side is that it means that all parenting discussion boards conduct flame wars with the kind of intensity that makes Israel/Palestine discussions seem like polite small talk.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:19 PM
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all parenting discussion boards conduct flame wars with the kind of intensity that makes Israel/Palestine discussions seem like polite small talk

Good lord. It seems so contrary to the spirit of the enterprise.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:26 PM
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44: Apparently, a person can reach middle age without encountering or at least remembering the name, so I suppose I'd chalk it up to unfamiliarity, except in the one case where I'd more likely chalk it up to marijuana.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:32 PM
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I was in my 30s before I met a person named Siobhan. She's very, very Irish indeed, and I still have to remind myself who she is.

I was trying to think of an equivalent situation, and the only one I've come up with so far is where you have known someone by print name (as a writer or online) for a long time and then finally meet them in person and find out that the person behind a very standard-male-gender name is a woman, or vice versa.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:41 PM
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I've never met a Siobhan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:44 PM
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I have never heard the name aloud, and had no idea it was pronounced "Chavonne" until the last time Jesus complained about it here.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:44 PM
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50: Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:46 PM
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I was trying to think of an equivalent situation, and the only one I've come up with so far is where you have known someone by print name (as a writer or online) for a long time and then finally meet them in person and find out that the person behind a very standard-male-gender name is a woman, or vice versa.

I believe that Evelyn Waugh, with her trademark insight, has written about this.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:47 PM
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Hey, can someone point me to AWB's wiki? I've posted there, but apparently was too stupid to bookmark it.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:48 PM
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53: Instead of point you to her wiki, can we just point at you and laugh at what a stupidy stupidhead you were not to bookmark it? Please??


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:50 PM
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"Chavonne" doesn't strike me as that unusual name either, except that it sounds like it's made by Chrysler to go with the Chevrolet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:51 PM
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I believe that Evelyn Waugh, with her trademark insight, has written about this.

Johnny Cash also sings about this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:52 PM
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55: But Jammies is a weird name, right?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:53 PM
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48: I was trying to think of an equivalent situation, and the only one I've come up with so far is where you have known someone by print name (as a writer or online) for a long time and then finally meet them in person and find out that the person behind a very standard-male-gender name is a woman, or vice versa.

I don't understand. What is the equivalent situation to be understood? (Not being challenging or contrary here, I just don't get it.) Siobhan is just a name, an Irish name, with a pronunciation that's unfamiliar to many American speakers, but there are a lot of names like that.

I don't understand how this is similar to the alternative situation you sketch. I may be being dense.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:54 PM
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Siobhan McKenna was perhaps the most famous of Irish actresses. Siobhan Fahey was in the band Bananarama. Google suggests that women named Siobhan are unusually inclined to the performing arts.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:54 PM
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57: He comes from a long line of pajamas.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:55 PM
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Um, are people saying that "Siobhan" seems a male name?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:56 PM
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What is the equivalent situation to be understood? (Not being challenging or contrary here, I just don't get it.) Siobhan is just a name, an Irish name, with a pronunciation that's unfamiliar to many American speakers, but there are a lot of names like that.

The situation is a name that you THINK you know how to pronounce (or that you understand the meaning of), but don't. And how hard it can be to scrub that from your brain once the association is made.

Intellectually, I know that Lionel Shriver is a woman. Emotionally, every time I see her name somewhere, I think of her as a man.

Intellectually, I know that Siobhan is an Irish name and that people with it are extremely likely to be Irish, Irish-American, or European-American. Emotionally, every time I hear that name, I picture a black American.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:59 PM
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I knew a kid named Sirpatrick. That's a tough name. Adults used to think he was being a smart-ass when he introduced himself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 8:59 PM
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I've known several black males named Roshan, and one asian female. I definitely did a double-take when she introduced herself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:01 PM
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And there was an Indian girl in high school named Rakhi, pronounced like Sylvester Stallone, which I always found kind of awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:02 PM
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Um, are people saying that "Siobhan" seems a male name?

No.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:02 PM
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53: YBWWWE.PBWIKI.COM, I think.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:04 PM
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ybwwwe.pbwiki.com is the wiki! Do you need a password?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:04 PM
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I really do think it's a paradigm issue. I don't have any problem remembering that Jessie and Jesse are female and male names that sound identical, but that's because I learned them more or less simultaneously, and have known multiple real-life examples of each.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:05 PM
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Also I've had many people say, about my real name, things to the effect that I don't look like a (real name, which is next door to Crystal-Gayle.) For example, the other day a cow-orker said, "I love your name! It reminds me of a little blond freckled girl playing in a field of daisies!" (...right...not a Jewish looking dark-haired girl? You sure about that?)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:07 PM
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And different people get different paradigms established in their minds. I once refereed an argument between a person who thought that Aaron was unequivocally and indisputably a Jewish name, and a sports fan who rolled his eyes and started listing all of the famous black athletes with that name.*

(*Yes, yes, black and Jewish are not mutually exclusive categories.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:09 PM
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Anyway, to clarify, I don't think it's weird that people haven't heard the name, or that, having heard it, they don't make the connection with it as spelled, or conversely, that, having seen it in print, they don't make the connection with it as pronounced. What struck me as weird was that people would unblinkingly assume that I'd chosen an African-American name for my child, but perhaps I'm underestimating how odd my acquaintances think I am.

That said, I really love the mix of names in my daughters' classes. Siobhan, Yaza, RaeLauni, Meh. Meh! So great.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:10 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:11 PM
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62: Intellectually, I know that Siobhan is an Irish name and that people with it are extremely likely to be Irish, Irish-American, or European-American. Emotionally, every time I hear that name, I picture a black American.

Okay, thanks. I don't, as will have been clear, I expect, so thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:11 PM
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72: It just wouldn't be that odd. People use names from outside their ethnic group all the time.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:15 PM
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I basically agree with 75, at least as it applies to Chavonne. Jamaal does field a lot of questions, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:16 PM
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People use names from outside their ethnic group all the time.

I beg to differ. I bet somebody could get a whole book out of the ways people do and don't feel comfortable borrowing from cultures and languages that are not their own.

It happens all the time, sure, but not randomly. Given the power dynamics in our society I'd be very surprised if it regularly happens in the direction that JM would have been doing it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:18 PM
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I just don't think Chavonne is that clearly designated as an ethnically black sounding name. I think it sounds a little black but not a lot black.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:19 PM
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Chavonne/Shavonne is moderately African-American sounding to me, but definitely American, not Irish, sounding. And when I hear "Siobhan," I certainly have to do a little conscious work to recognize it as an instance of "Siobhan" and not of "Shavonne".


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:26 PM
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Blogger Yves Smith is apparently a woman. I don't know if it's a pseudonym or just a weird name.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:26 PM
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77: I guess it bothers me that it bothers Jesus that people think he gave his daughter an African-American name. While it would be statistically unusual (for the reasons you mention) there wouldn't be anything wrong with it. But who knows, maybe it would bother me too -- I gave my own daughter a super-WASPy name.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:28 PM
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Poor Ashleigh.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:32 PM
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Not surprisingly, Witt gets it right. That kind of borrowing is pretty unusual, and it would definitely be unusual for me; it was hard enough to assent to names that didn't have a family history, because that's how my family rolls. When we were arguing over discussing names, my wife suggested some obviously French ones, and I said something to the effect of, why don't we just call them Kishawna and Mei-Yi? Which would have been great, because I love those names, but I didn't want myself or my daughters to have to go through a lifetime of explaining their names. As it is, just having to spell them all the time is enough.

On preview, it doesn't bother me at all. It's just totally incongruous.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:32 PM
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I guess it bothers me that it bothers Jesus that people think he gave his daughter an African-American name.

Not to presume to speak for him, but I read him as saying he was startled that people who know him would think that. Frankly, I'd be in the same position, mostly because I'd be really uncomfortable if I thought my friends were thinking I was naming my child something "cool" and "ethnic," from a culture that I have no legitimate connection to.

E.g., I know someone whose name is K/iva. Her family has no Native heritage of any kind. The name makes me a little uncomfortable on grounds of cultural appropriation and power dynamics, and I wouldn't want a friend of mine -- who supposedly knows me -- to think I would do something similar.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:33 PM
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80:A woman, who has appeared on TV under that name I don't consider weird.

But, for extreme literary scholars, is Dennis Perrin putting me on with his post on the modernist 20s poetess Minta Cantos, writer of epic obscurants about wheat people in a meat world? Google gives me nothing. That she may have been a lover of both James Joyce and Red Grange makes me think he might be pulling my leg.

I would link, but I got too much open.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:34 PM
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Also, to 78: Oregon is not Texas. I think that's part of what's at work here.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:36 PM
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I just don't think Chavonne is that clearly designated as an ethnically black sounding name. I think it sounds a little black but not a lot black.

What about Shavaughn?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:36 PM
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Thanks to this thread I am unlikely to forget the pronunciation of "Siobhan", which is good.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:37 PM
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In fact, Chevonne is a (non-African-American) form of Siobhan. I neglected to mention that we live in an ethnically mixed neighborhood in the People's Republic of Northeast Portland, and at least one person thought that that was a factor in the name choice.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:41 PM
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Over the last couple years I've warmed to the name "Siobhan". The non-Celtic couple I know whose toddler daughter is named "Máiréad" (pronounced exactly the same as "Mary"), though...there's no need for that.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:41 PM
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is Dennis Perrin putting me on with his post on the modernist 20s poetess Minta Cantos

Well, she's not in LitFinder. Other than that, I got nuthin' for ya. Sorry.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:43 PM
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Pound named his long poem after her, you know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:47 PM
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Naming your kid a not-of-your-ethnicity ethnic name: unbearably swipple.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:47 PM
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I say that with the full intention of naming my first son, "Mariano de la Luz," and my first daughter, "Theodora."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 9:58 PM
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I love the name Theodora.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:00 PM
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Just don't use "Theodoric" unless you want questions about your Ostrogothic heritage.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:01 PM
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Further to 72, probably half of the 50 or so kids in their two classes have names as unusual as the ones I mentioned, and most of the rest are fairly uncommon, like Nigel and Gracie and Isabelle. And then there's a handful of kids with common names. "I'm sorry, Will, I guess your mommy and daddy just didn't think you were very special."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:01 PM
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When I was a kid my old lady piano teacher was named Theodora. She went by Theo. She had a glass menagerie.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:02 PM
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Well, you better reproduce right quick or its going to get taken.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:02 PM
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I've suggested to eekbeat that we name a future hypothetical daughter Paciencia and then call her Paz for short. I'm sure this is unbearably precious, but I like it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:03 PM
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I know someone named Theodora.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:03 PM
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102

Will you pronounce her name with a lisp? Pathienthia?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:03 PM
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99 to 95.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:03 PM
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101: Does she have pink hair and collect jokes from Readers' Digest?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:04 PM
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102: People from Spain talk funny, so no.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:04 PM
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Paz is a great name.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:04 PM
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I intend to give my children biblical names, such as Nimrod and Ham.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:04 PM
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104: no.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:05 PM
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I've always been fairly happy about having a fairly uncommon name, but when I was little I used to get very upset with people who spelled it wrong.

At one point, I had been talking too much out of turn (big surprise) in a class with a substitute, and said substitute wrote my name on the board. Smarting about getting in trouble, I spat back, it's with an ε not an η! I got sent to the principal's office for that one, but I felt good about it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:05 PM
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Also, the Spanish word for lisp—ceceo—is twice as cruel to the be-lisped as "lisp".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:06 PM
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It seemed incongruous that Bartley and Marcia Hubbard would name their daughter Flavia, but perhaps in the 19th century it wasn't, or maybe Howells was going for some kind of symbolism.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:08 PM
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I want to have more children just so I can revive old family names. I must have a son and call him Celestino.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:09 PM
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62: Intellectually, I know that Siobhan is an Irish name

Ah-hem! Gaelic thank you very much.

Also, I'm not sure how many actually Gaelic-speaking people are called Siobhan; it's the kind of name that makes me think slightly embarrassing celtic revivalism myself. Real Irish names are ones like Patrick and Mary. (Real Scottish names are ones like John and Elizabeth.)

See also Ian Rankin and his character Siobhan.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:09 PM
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111: Marcia's father's name was Flavius, or something something.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:10 PM
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That's Padraig.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:11 PM
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it's the kind of name that makes me think slightly embarrassing celtic revivalism myself.

Stuff pale people like?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:12 PM
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Hey ben, would you mind changing the letters in my 109? I'm regretting the pseudonym-slip. (Why, I don't really know). If you can't, eh, it's ok.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:14 PM
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I can, but I already stalked you.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:15 PM
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114: I just searched the text and saw that they actually explain it like that - his name was Flavius Josephus and I guess they weren't going to call her Josepha. It appears to be the one time in the book he's not referred to as "Squire."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:15 PM
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I'm fond of the name Azzipsrevoltaem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:16 PM
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Oh, you can stalk me, ben. It's the others I worry about.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:16 PM
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Stuff pale people like?

Yep. Celtic loser romanticism.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:16 PM
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Ah-hem! Gaelic thank you very much.

Keir, you're Irish, right? Is there a distinction in Ireland between 'Irish-speaking' and 'Gaelic-speaking'?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:19 PM
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People see the hyphen in my middle name and sometimes assume it's Korean. In Germany people would sometimes see my last name and say it's a German name in a way that suggested surprise that I don't really look German and yet I have that name. I'd tell them it's Swiss.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:19 PM
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117 is frustrating me, because I don't know if 109's been changed yet, and I really want to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:20 PM
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Maybe Keir is more cosmopolitan than to consider only what is done in Ireland.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:20 PM
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My first name and a name that is spelled differently are pronounced the same where I grew up. Here, they are pronounced differently, but the difference is difficult for me to hear. This has resulted in a lot of really annoying conversations in which people apologize to me for having gotten my name so terribly wrong, and so forth, though I can barely hear the difference and respond to either. (It is a difference between [ɛ] and [a] here, both pronounced as [æ] at home.)

However, my last name is uncommon and pronounced in a way that seems obvious to me. Few people here seem to understand, after repeated corrections, that the name they say as mine is not my name. (This is a difference between [æ] and [ɑ], which seems obvious to me.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:21 PM
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(Ok, that's harsh, but generally, people who really love Celticism and aren't actually resident in a godforsaken bog/mountain range make me a bit suspicious (cough Ossian). This includes residents of lowland Scotland when I'm feeling pissy.)

When I'm in a good mood I realise I'm just being irrational.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:21 PM
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What happens in Ireland stays in Ireland, assuming it doesn't involve snakes or people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:21 PM
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I think it's already been established that Parenthetical was schooled in Greece, Sifu.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:21 PM
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Has anyone else ever been in the situation where someone tells you what they're going to name their child and sort of solicits your opinion about it (but not really, since they assume you're going to love it), and you think the name is just awful?

It's a bit awkward.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:22 PM
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126: But I was curious specifically about Ireland. For the moment, everywhere else can just fuck right off.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:22 PM
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I knew a couple who didn't tell people what they were going to name their daughter precisely to avoid putting people on the spot in that fashion. In the end, though, the name was an excellent one (Sophie).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:23 PM
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131: no. However! I have been in the situation where a close friend refuses to tell you or any of her friends what she intends to name her child, resisting for many months until a third friend is able to guess it, at which point we all mocked her mercilessly, causing her to change it to something way worse.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:24 PM
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Keir, you're Irish, right? Is there a distinction in Ireland between 'Irish-speaking' and 'Gaelic-speaking'?

Scottish, so I'm not sure about Irishness, but as I understand it:

There's Irish, which is a type of Gaelic, and basically blends into Scots Gaelic, which is a different type of Gaelic.

Irish and Gaelic are different things, but if you speak Irish you speak Gaelic, as do speakers of Scots Gaelic.

But if you speak Scots you don't speak Gaelic; you speak a type of English.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:25 PM
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131: Shush, Mary Catherine, Lorraine is a lovely name.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:25 PM
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131: Yes, oh god yes. My friends, who went on their honeymoon to Jamaica, then used a Jamaican name for their first child. I thought it was awful in so many ways, and yet! It was one of those situations where I almost bit through my tongue attempting to not say what I so wanted to say. (Because they were SO excited about the name and clearly set on it no matter what I would have said).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:26 PM
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Poor Tonks, who sometimes comments here, told me what she was going to name her baby and it was a name that makes me think immediately of a very annoying, funny YouTube video, which I showed her, not meaning anything cruel by it at all! Alas, I broke her name. (Luckily, they had a boy so the name was off the table anyway.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:27 PM
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112: Celestino is a beautiful name. MJ has a whole lot of lovely names in his family. Marcelino was on the short list of candidates for his own name, and this is also one of my favorites.

Actually, the story behind MJ's real name is so very charming and hilarious. I wish I could share it with you, you all would laugh and laugh!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:29 PM
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135: Ah, for some reason I thought you were Irish. Things make sense now.

||
Baseball!
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:31 PM
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very annoying, funny YouTube video

Names to avoid: tubgirl, goatse, anything involving the numbers 1 and 2.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:33 PM
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There is also Manx Gaelic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:34 PM
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This video.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:36 PM
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Yeah, but their sentences tend to tail off.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:38 PM
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Wow, that was fantastically unamusing, AWB. Isn't that the sweater person?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:44 PM
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It is the gem sweater person. I've heard that whole album. A lot of it is fun to listen to, but her videos make it pretty clear that being genuinely amusing is not among her goals as an artist. (But I can't hear the name "Willow" without singing the chorus of that song.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:48 PM
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Who could name a child Willow after watching that? There will be no more Willows.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:55 PM
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How about Dogwood as a name? Dogwoods are beautiful, and the odds of having a signature sandwich are relatively high.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:56 PM
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Willowcide!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:56 PM
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signature sandwich

Dagwood?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 10:57 PM
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AWB gets a nickel.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:02 PM
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I want a nickel!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:18 PM
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Tough.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:21 PM
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signature sandwich

Dagwood?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:23 PM
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Nickel-grubbers.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:24 PM
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Nice try.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:24 PM
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THAT WAS MY DAD, NICE TRY 155

DAS MACHT KEINEN SPASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSs


Posted by: OPINIONATED HITLER | Link to this comment | 04- 8-09 11:25 PM
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re: 135

But if you speak Scots you don't speak Gaelic; you speak a type of English.

Well, not necessarily a type of English (although the language/dialect distinction is always vague anyway).

Linguists don't always classify it as a dialect of English but sometimes as a different, but closely related Germanic language. Both derived from early 'Middle English' but from different dialects of it, with 500 or so years of divergent evolution, and then, more recently, increasing convergence. The grammar is different, for a start.

re: 128

But yeah, I share your skepticism of Lowland Scots adopting faux-Highland or faux-Celtic stuff. It's embarrassing, for a start. Plus, people haven't spoken Gaelic in most of the Lowlands for 600-700 (or more) years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:44 AM
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I bow to your actual knowledge on that one; that's actually quite interesting.

(What is McLeod's line? Lowland Scots thought of the Highlanders as bare-arsed cattlethieving Muj?)

(I visited Dunedin this weekend, by the way, and holy fuck those students drink a lot. BUT! Dunedin is laughably pseudo-Scots. There's a Knox Church --- with stained glass windows and statues. And there's a Princes St., and so on, and I just couldn't take it seriously, and there's a statue of Burns in the Octagon, and hahaha. And it's so funny in such a sad way. Although I did run into a man who'd visited Northern Ireland in July, and had a bunch of slightly scary anecdotes.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:05 AM
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re: 159

I'm not sure I'd trumpet my expertise too loudly! It's been a while, although I did study English language/linguistics/philology/Scots at University.

Of course what most 'Scots' speakers speak is a hybrid of standard English and Scots, so I wouldn't especially get worked up about the dialect/language distinction. But certainly there have been times in the past when, due to a distinctive grammar and vocabulary (and even different spelling conventions), it would be fair to describe Scots as a different language from English. It's certainly no more mutually intelligible with English than several Scandinavian languages are with each other.

Have you seen the Scots wikipedia?

http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_leid

The history of Scots, in Scots [with some anachronisms no doubt].

http://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Spangled_Banner

The Scots translation of the Star-Spangled Banner is quite amusing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:10 AM
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The poem wis set tae the tuin o a weel-kent Breetish drinkin sang

This astonishes me. The Star Spangled Banner is hard enough to sing stone sober, with that massive jump up the scale on "An the rocket's reid glare, the bombs burstin in air,/Gied proof throu the nicht that wir banner wis still there." Singing it drunk would be a recipe for disaster.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:29 AM
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That's amazing. Queen o Ingland, indeed! Untit Kinrick...


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:46 AM
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Singing it drunk means you wouldn't have to worry if you didn't hit the top note, though.

Lowland Scots thought of the Highlanders as bare-arsed cattlethieving Muj

We now think of them as the closest Britain gets to rednecks. They all drink too much whisky, distil moonshine, avoid the smaller and more obstructive laws, are heavily armed, are more religious than average, and have pickups (actually Land Rovers) rusting quietly away beside their houses. Also, they are weirdly fond of country and western music. No ceilidh complete without a bit of C&W among the traditional tunes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:48 AM
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Also, they are weirdly fond of country and western music.

In my limited experience this is also true of the Irish, even those who haven't spoken a word of the language since they left school. Must be a Goidelic thing.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 3:08 AM
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In a departure from the US redneck mould, though, they are all Liberal Democrats...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 4:24 AM
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Revealing that they didn't get taken over by the Labour Party the way the Welsh miners did.

(Incidentally, in NZ, Polynesian migrant communities are some of the most reliable Labour voting blocs*, at the same time as being very religious in a Dissenting sort of way.)

* I'm surprised no-one has applied the Indian vote bank concept to the NZ Labour Party; it seems particularly on-point.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 4:45 AM
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If you tried to represent the electoral constituency of the British Liberal Democrats graphically against any two plausible axes, you'd always end up with something that looked like an outline map of Sulawesi. The most unlikely major-ish party in history.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 4:53 AM
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163, 165: How do they feel about maple syrup?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 5:14 AM
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No ceilidh complete without a bit of C&W among the traditional tunes.

And Glasgow used to (still does?) have the 'Opry', on the south side.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:32 AM
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163: And yet they lack a Randy Newman to immortalize their many accomplishments. Tragic, really.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:33 AM
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You used Hokey-pokey and Hawaiian punch as names for your boobs at one point, too, which adds an odd dimension to the choice of baby pseudonyms.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:34 AM
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Ah yes, it does:

http://www.glasgowsgrandoleopry.co.uk/history.htm

Looking classy, too:

http://www.glasgowsgrandoleopry.co.uk/front.jpg


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:34 AM
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re: 170

They don't really have any. [Being catty ...]

Highlanders have had a great marketing job done on them, though.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:36 AM
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I like nice unfancy hyperordinary names. They're the new fancy, unusual names.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:40 AM
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Meanwhile, I've been thinking of heebie-geebie's baby as heebie-giblet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:09 AM
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Has anyone else ever been in the situation where someone tells you what they're going to name their child and sort of solicits your opinion about it (but not really, since they assume you're going to love it), and you think the name is just awful?

Particularly where you think they *must* be kidding, so you laugh out loud?

Yeah, that's happened to me once. Awkward indeed.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:19 AM
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Catching up this morning, I spent a minute or so trying to parse 109. Then I finally got to 117.

Also, 175 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:25 AM
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174 - I know a toddler called Colin though, and that seems to be taking things a bit far.

Excellent family name that I didn't get to use: Atticus.

I think using names from outside your ethnic background should be banned though. I have met WAY too many Liams and Callums and Connors. Hmm, actually, I'll narrow that to using Irish names if you're not Irish. (Otherwise I don't get to keep Elijah and Tallulah.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:27 AM
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I think using names from outside your ethnic background should be banned though.

So, if you're not a Red Sea Pedestrian, you can't use Samuel, David, Mark, Matthew, Jacob, Rachel, Sarah, Mary, Susan, or Paul, and Alexander is off limits to anyone but the Greeks (or the Macedonians - fight! fight!)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:34 AM
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With the caveat that lots of 'Irish' names are pretty common in Scotland, naturally. I went to school with several Callums, back in the 70s when these names weren't voguish.

I did also know one girl called 'Lolita' which did seem in somewhat bad taste.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:35 AM
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The Macedonians are NOT Greeks. Their rustic, isolated Bulgarians and everyone knows it.

Or maybe semi-literate Serbs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:36 AM
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What's wrong with Colin, ffs?

So, if you're not a Red Sea Pedestrian, you can't use Samuel, David, Mark, Matthew, Jacob, Rachel, Sarah, Mary, Susan, or Paul

Nah, if you're from a culturally bible reading ethnos, it's all good. And I'm on side with 174 - if you want to give your sprog a unique name, fine, but at least combine it with a Mary or John, so the poor bugger gets to choose.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:42 AM
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In my parents' generation the family had a lot of old-fashioned countryish Anglo-Saxon names like Oscar and Elroy and Leola and Mabel, but we're not keeping them alive. Maybe not even the Emerson name.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:44 AM
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179 - read the whole comment before you start your fight!

180 - oh, you Scots are special, of course.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:45 AM
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Nigel and Clive seem to be dwindling. Colin and Ian and Robin seem to be reviving. Those were always my favorite English names that didn't make it to America.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:46 AM
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182 - Oh, I don't know, it just always strikes me as odd on him. Though I have no reason for why it should be any odder than the trendy Henrys, Arthurs and Georges, I must admit.

183 - loads of Oscars here.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:49 AM
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Having strong opinions about what other people name their children (I mean, aside from "that's pretty" or "don't care for that one") is another one of those things that mystifies me, much like having a strong opinion on what other people wear to the opera.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:49 AM
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like Oscar (Gaelic) and Elroy(Norman) and Leola (Latin) and Mabel (Norman)

Any Alfreds or Edwards or Ediths or Winifreds, or like, Anglo-Saxon?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:50 AM
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What's sad to me is all the folx of my generation whose families moved out of Nordeast in the 1960s and 1970s and have become completely deracinated. They should be naming their kids "Branko" and "Svyatoslav" and "Lyudmilla", but instead it's all "Olivia" and "Connor" and "Samantha" like anywhere else.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:51 AM
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My dad's a Clive, and no, there aren't too many of them. I like the Welsh variants of Ian, like Ieuan. (Probably from too many Saturday afternoons spent cursing Ieuan Evans.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:51 AM
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174 - I know a toddler called Colin though, and that seems to be taking things a bit far.

It does? In the hyperordinary direction? I have a couple of (English) cousins named Colin, but don't think of it as an outrageously ordinary name. That honor goes to names like John and Mary.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:52 AM
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188: I just met my first "Edith" ever, a few months ago. She's in her late 20s. Her parents did give her a plain middle name though, as you suggest.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:52 AM
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I like my own unusual name, but unusual names seem much more usual now than they were when I was a girl.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:53 AM
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I know two Colins well, an Anglo-Canadian in his mid 50s and an Irishman in his late 20s. Neither of them seem to find it a burden.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:55 AM
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Good Dog Nigel

Arf, arf, he goes, a merry sight,
Our little hairy friend,
Arf, arf, upon the lampost bright
Arfing round the bend.
Nice dog! Goo boy,
Waggie tail and beg,
Clever Nigel, jump for joy
Because we're putting you to sleep at three of the clock, Nigel.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:55 AM
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187 - I think maybe the more time you spend with children who aren't yours or belonging to people you like, the more you start cringing at their names. Kamron ffs? It's irrational though, yes.

A friend of mine is about to give birth any day now, to a boy, and I am stupidly curious about what they're going to call him.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:55 AM
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We're Only Making Plans For Nigel
We Only Want What's Best For Him
We're Only Making Plans For Nigel
Nigel Just Needs This Helping Hand


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:58 AM
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193: I have a pretty unusual name myself, but then I grew up in ex-hippie liberal SW Minneapolis, so I grew up knowing people named "Sonnrisa" and "Che" and "Torsten". I should really comply a list of all of the hippie/self-consciously ethnic names of people I knew. "Willow", "Galena", "Genevieve" (the famous one), "Ottar", "Tova", "Tovah", "Dmitri", the list goes on and on.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:58 AM
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Naming your kid a not-of-your-ethnicity ethnic name: unbearably swipple.

Hey, Jamaal Wilkes was Jammies' biological father's favorite basketball player ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:01 AM
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Well, my Colin, who grew up in Canada and the States, was not the only Colin in his age group in Canada, but absolutely was once he moved to the States (he's now 41). These days, however, if you were to yell "Colin!" in a (yuppie-ish) elementary school, quite a few heads would turn. Still not superduper common here, though.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:02 AM
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The Book of Heroic Failures* lists "Bugless" and "Brained" as names used in 19th Century Britain that have sadly fallen out of use.

There are a couple of cool names in my family such as Eri. The best by far is Everardus Bogardus.

*The first review on the Amazon page has nothing whatsoever to do with the book, further proof that the Internets are stupid. It's a good book if you like vaguely amusing rubbish, which I can tell that you do because you are here.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:02 AM
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Apparently General Powell adopted his odd pronunciation because he couldn't persuade anybody at his elementary school to say it right.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:05 AM
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re: 198

A friend of mine went to a Steiner school and had classmates with names like Leofric and Cloudberry.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:23 AM
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182
if you want to give your sprog a unique name, fine, but at least combine it with a Mary or John, so the poor bugger gets to choose.

If you feel like it, OK, but don't count on it making a difference unless you're prepared to move to a new state on the poor bugger's whim. Because it is practically impossible to get everyone - friends, teachers, extended family, etc. - to start calling a kid they've known for years a different name by request.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:25 AM
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109 was much more fun before I read 117.

127 makes me wish I had a better grasp of IPA.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:26 AM
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Looking classy, too:

It's the gable tacked up in the center that does it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:29 AM
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re: 205

There are IPA samples online -- of the cardinal vowels.


Posted by: nattarGcM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:29 AM
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"Ham" would be racially insensitive and would also violate kosher, but "Gomer" goes well with Nimrod.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:34 AM
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A frienddaughter of mine went to a Steiner school and had classmates with names like Mat/sse, Obad/ah*, and - this one is really odd - Cala.

It's actually not that odd a group - this is sensible Pittsburgh, after all - but let's just say that I don't think there's a single name that I encountered in my grade school days. Wait, there's an Ian. But that may be it.

* who has a sister Orlym/ah, whose weird name is the main reason I'm google-proofing here


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:34 AM
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204 is correct. I went by my middle name (to avoid confusion, because my first name is the same as my father's, though in retrospect I fail to see how it would have been that confusing), and it wasn't until we moved to a new state that I was able to switch. Both names are still in use among family members, which is likely more confusing to my siblings' offspring than using my first name in the first place ever would have been.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:36 AM
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re: 204/210

I have a cousin who used to have a name that, while it used to be used for men and women, is now mostly used for women.*

When he was about 15 he insisted it be changed to his middle name, which is traditionally masculine. He's stuck with it, as he's now quite a successful photographer under his 'new' name.

* he's English, but his father's family are Scottish and the name is 'in' the family.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:40 AM
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I intend to give my children biblical names, such as Nimrod and Ham.

"Dorcas" should be good for instilling playground self-defense skills.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:41 AM
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207: fun! And interesting. I think my accent has shifted from one with lots of [æ]'s to one with more [a]'s, which were largely absent where I grew up, which might explain why my parents hear them all as [ɑ]'s and think I talk super-weird now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:42 AM
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I should also consider the parsimonious explanation that I talk really weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:44 AM
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Has anyone else ever been in the situation where someone tells you what they're going to name their child and sort of solicits your opinion about it (but not really, since they assume you're going to love it), and you think the name is just awful?

Yes. The sad part is, she was pregnant with my child at the time.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:46 AM
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Obad/ah

I've known a couple of Obadiahs, but they both went by Obie (which seems inferior to Obadiah in nearly every respect).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:48 AM
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My empirical research.

There are phonetic trends in given names, specifically their initial letters. Whether it's progressive or cyclic I don't know.

What I found was that some letters have been doing very well indeed, while others have been doing badly. Specifically the group a, e, i, o, h, f, w has plummeted, whereas the group d, p, s, t, k has soared. In 1900 31.2% of all baby names began with letters in the first group, but by 1960 only 9.4% did (fewer than a third as many). As for the second group, in 1900 only 9.3% of the baby names belonged to this group, but by 1960 30.7% did (more than three times as many).

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:48 AM
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"Obadiah" was obviously named after the song on the Sinead O'Connor reggae album.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:49 AM
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217: K names seem especially thick on the ground around here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:49 AM
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215: "Mulva" is a perfectly lovely name. I blame Seinfeld.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:50 AM
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On the other end of the ideological spectrum, my sisters went to school with a Hmong brother and sister named "Nixon" and "Julie". Most of the Hmong kids I knew growing up had really boring conventional names like Toua and Mee.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:50 AM
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Because it is practically impossible to get everyone - friends, teachers, extended family, etc. - to start calling a kid they've known for years a different name by request.

This is what college is for. AB was known in HS by the ultra-common diminutive of her familiar-but-not-common name, but made the switch when she went off to college to using her full name. She's down to one friend who calls her by her diminutive, and it cracks me up.

I went to college with a girl named Jul/e-Hera, and she did the same thing - was Julie in HS, but J-H in college (yes, she was Greek-descended).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:52 AM
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Because it is practically impossible to get everyone - friends, teachers, extended family, etc. - to start calling a kid they've known for years a different name by request.

I know someone who, at some point in his mid-30s, abruptly decided he was a "James" rather than a "Jim". A few years later, people mostly seem to have switched, but now he has to put up with being "Jimbo" on occasion.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:56 AM
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I'm a little bit worried about Lorraine being shortened to Lori, which is a perfectly good name but not one I would have picked. I'm aware that I get zero say in whether or not this happens.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:58 AM
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I was always Matthew until I was about 17. My sister switched to Matt, fairly quickly, but I have a couple of very old friends who still call me 'Matthew', they are the only people that do, and I quite like the fact that their using the longer form of the name reminds me how long we've known each other.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:59 AM
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sister named "Nixon"

I knew a girl named "Reagan". She was named after some beloved great-aunt or something before Ronald Reagan achieved political prominence. Her parents, ironically, were liberal Democrats. They were always at pains to point out that the daughter was not named for the former President.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:59 AM
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I was always Matthew until I was about 17. My sister switched to Matt, fairly quickly,

Your parents have weird name choices.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:01 AM
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226: Did her head spin around 360 degrees?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:01 AM
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I never even switched, but when I was a teenager all my friends switched for me, more or less without my consent. They decided that saying my two-syllable full name was too much work, and that its common one-syllable nickname was better. The transition was surprisingly quick and decisive, especially since I'm fairly sure there was no overt coordination. It's possible I could have prevented the switch if I'd put up a fuss, but I just started answering to either.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:03 AM
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I'm aware that I get zero say in whether or not this happens.

FWIW, I hear this all the time, but IME it's not true. I mean, there's definitely chance involved - some kids will be true to their parents' wishes, and others will be written out of the will - but I know quite a few people whose names are the way they are due to parental influence. Pretty much every "Jonathan" you know had the choice made by his parent(s). Or was unbearably twee in school.

Or both!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:03 AM
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This is what college is for.

Indeed. When somebody calls me Rusty, it means they knew me prior to 1986.

I'm a little bit worried about Lorraine being shortened to Lori

Much more likely to be shortened to Rain.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:05 AM
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228: that was "Regan".


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:05 AM
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re: 229

Yeah, that was at the root of my 'switch' too. A new(ish) circle of friends went with 'matt' and it stuck.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:06 AM
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Greeks are so pretentious with their Aristotles and Platos and so on.

This site allows you to track the geographical distribution of given names 1960-2005. (It only does names in the top hundred in one or more of the states.) "Jesse" and "Jeremy" have very dramatic histories. All of the rare "J" names have a rise and fall. The more common "J" names have a steady decline.

This page of the site tracks a longer period nationwide only.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:06 AM
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229: Yeah, the "man" in "Brockman" just seems superfluous.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:06 AM
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Much more likely to be shortened to Rain.

That doesn't bother me too much. I've always liked that CCR song:

I wanna knoooooow...
Have you ever seen Lorraine?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:07 AM
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229: Yeah, the "man" in "Brockman" just seems superfluous.

No, he had been Barack before people felt the need to run it together.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:08 AM
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abruptly decided he was a "James" rather than a "Jim"

Speaking of which, there are people who insist on using 'Jim' in place of 'James', which irritates the hell out of me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:11 AM
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188: I just met my first "Edith" ever, a few months ago. She's in her late 20s. Her parents did give her a plain middle name though, as you suggest.

"Edith" is already a plain name. Don't be ridiculous.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:12 AM
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Geographical distribution


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:12 AM
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I am one of those people who would absolutely mine the ethnic heritages of extremely distant ancestors for "cool" names for my kids. I would steal half-made-up Scottish names for them in a heartbeat. I would be pretty merciless. The county can't even manage to spell the names of our cats.

One influence in this direction, however, is that I grew up in a rural, isolated community where names that I later learned were uncommon were fairly common, especially among my parents' peers. Just now, reading the thread, I was a little confused when minneapolitan listed "Edith" as an unusual name. I literally can't remember all the Ediths in my hometown. My grandparents all had unusual names, and their parents had names that are extremely obscure Old Testament names that sound made-up to modern ears.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:15 AM
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There's a certain vein of women in their fifties who cannot muster any fake-enthusiasm when they hear that we're going with Lorraine. They look pained and say "...You don't hear that one much..." Whereas the college students are completely able to convincingly squeal no matter what I say. "We're naming her Phlegm-ball." "EEEEEEeeeeEEE! I love it!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:20 AM
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My grandparents all had unusual names

I guess your parents decided to put an end to that shit when you were born, eh?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:20 AM
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No mining of ethnic names in Texas. From the story:

"Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese -- I understand it's a rather difficult language -- do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?" [Texas state rep Betty] Brown said.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:23 AM
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I guess your parents decided to put an end to that shit when you were born, eh?

Did they ever. I used to hate it, but now I am grateful for being so hard to find on Facebook.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:25 AM
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The recent geography of the name "Lorraine".

Long term "Lorraine". Due for a comeback.

Alsace / Alsatia have never been in the running. Never.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:29 AM
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Somewhere when we looked up Lorraine, it gave the origins simply to be "Of Lothar". I like to shout that a lot: "OUR BABY IS OF LOTHAR!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:35 AM
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I wanna knoooooow...
Have you ever seen Lorraine?

"I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone..."


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:41 AM
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||

What do you do with a student who evaluates the function f(x)=x^2+3x at x=3, and writes down 17.99999 as their answer? Where's my "are you fucking kidding me?" stamp?

I can't even fathom how she got that out of her calculator. I let them use these 99 cent solar-powered dinky things.
|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:42 AM
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OUR BABY IS OF LOTHAR!

RELEASE THE KRAKEN!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:42 AM
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248: Awww, that's sad.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:42 AM
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Against my window...I can't stand Lorraine.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:43 AM
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A friend's sister is named Robin; his own middle name is a family name, his sister's name with a double b and an s on the end. At some point in his early 20s he decided to ditch his first name (Jeffrey) as too ordinary and go by his middle name instead, even though it sounds like the plural of his sister's name. He absolutely will not answer to his first name any more.

His brother also goes by his middle name (another family name that's a homophone of "feral"), like their dad did. The brother had a kid, named him a nice but ordinary name, and a year or so later switched the kid's name to Max.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:44 AM
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I only want to see you dancing when you purr, Lorraine. Purr, Lorraine. Purr, Lorraine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:44 AM
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we looked up Lorraine, it gave the origins simply to be "Of Lothar".

That's correct, but a little imprecise. It's the francophone rendering of the name of the lands inherited by Lothair II, a great-grandson of Charlemagne.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:46 AM
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254: here you go.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:46 AM
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Okay, 254 made me laugh really hard.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:47 AM
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Sorry. Don't go into labor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:48 AM
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249 is effectively cancelling out the laughter, don't worry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:51 AM
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Some of the songs work better with murrain.

"I can see clearly now murrain is gone..."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:53 AM
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What do you mean? Go into labor now! Liveblog it!

How far apart are the postscontractions?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:54 AM
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249 is effectively cancelling out the laughter, don't worry.

Tell her she can get the points for it if she can demonstrate how she got that answer. At least then you would know how it happened.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:54 AM
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249: this is Calc II??

Anyway, do you not make them show some work? I thought that was standard math-teacher protocol, exactly so that you'd have some basis to evaluate an answer like that.

Do you require that their calculators be purely solar-powered (no battery backup)? Or do you just cap the retail price at $.99, and let them choose whatever they want beneath that threshold?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:54 AM
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||
Sympathy, please. I'm sitting within earshot of two undergraduates earnestly discussing Rand, Spinoza, Nietschze, capitalism, Marx, Stalin, Lenin, the family unit, On the Jewish Question, and their personal life philosophies. (But Eric Foner just came up! All is not lost!)

I know some of you have to listen to undergraduates all the time, but I don't get paid (extremely poorly) to do that.
|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:56 AM
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this is Calc II??

Yeah. (Sigh.)

Anyway, do you not make them show some work?

They definitely have to show work, but this is inside a much bigger Riemann Sums problem, where demanding that level of detail would be excessive. Especially since they ought to be able to evaluate 3^2 + 3x3 in their heads.

Do you require that their calculators be purely solar-powered (no battery backup)? Or do you just cap the retail price at $.99, and let them choose whatever they want beneath that threshold?

I provide the calculators. They come in a rainbow array of fruity colors!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:58 AM
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I think you have to fail her.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:59 AM
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244: I find that Chinese students of mine are all too eager to adopt American names. I used to think it was shame or frustration with American pronunciations, but then I learned that when Westerners live in China, it's customary to adopt Chinese names. I still prefer to call my Chinese students by their real names, and find it odd that some of them say their names are too difficult for Americans to pronounce (some of them are just one syllable, a consonant and a vowel sound), but their eagerness to take an American name makes more sense now.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:59 AM
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||

Whoa. I just got to one of the final exams, and slipped inside it was a card, signed by all the Calc II students, wishing me good luck with the baby.

"A"s for everyone!

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:02 AM
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I think you have to fail her.

Yes. By exactly 0.00001 points.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:03 AM
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find it odd that some of them say their names are too difficult for Americans to pronounce (some of them are just one syllable, a consonant and a vowel sound)

I don't find this odd--it's probably not an a priori judgment, but something that's resulted from dealing with a long string of awkwardly bad mispronunciations. Americans are stupid about foreign names, mostly.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:04 AM
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264: I'll be sympathetic to you when you're sympathetic to me for having to listen to 3 undergrads on the bus a couple of years ago who had Just. That. Very. Minute. Discovered how uproariously funny the "Dead Parrot" sketch can be. A little Ayn Rand would have been a godsend at that moment.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:06 AM
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This Ayn Rand you sold me is dead.

No, she isn't. She's just gone Galt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:09 AM
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having to listen to 3 undergrads on the bus a couple of years ago who had Just. That. Very. Minute. Discovered how uproariously funny the "Dead Parrot" sketch can be. A little Ayn Rand would have been a godsend at that moment.

Sorry, but these are all part of the Garden of Earthly Delights compared to sitting at dinner with a bunch of rich white guys getting outraged over the "death tax", and you can't say a word in contradiction because you're trying to sell them something.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:10 AM
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272 wins any number of threads.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:11 AM
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267: a friend of mine worked teaching English in Darkest China, and when his students asked him to suggest Western names, let his position of power as the only English speaker in the district go rather to his head.

I mention this because it is possible that one of you may end up in central Asia and find yourself wondering why all the men of a certain age in one particular medium-sized town have Western first names that are either members of the Seven Dwarfs or callsigns from "Top Gun".

That is why.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:12 AM
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273: I occasionally have to listen to "death tax" rants from a co-worker who doesn't have *anywhere near* the amount of money it would take for him to be affected, nor any realistic hope of achieving it without winning the lottery. He usually transitions into the fascist unfairness of CAFE standards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:13 AM
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The link in 244 assures us that this is "not racial" and it's just the Democrats who are trying to make it so. Ahem:

you and your citizens

Because people with Asian names, y'know, couldn't be citizens of the United States?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:14 AM
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Is that also why two of the Thai exchange students at my high school went by the names "Champ" and "Jumbo"?


Posted by: Thomas Jefferson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:15 AM
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Thom, you have a very low threshhold of what makes a comment presidentially embarrassing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:16 AM
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275 made me laugh out loud.

Of course, it's possible that the Mongol name that the locals bestowed upon your friend means "he who has chronic diarhea" or something like that.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:17 AM
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I myself was going by the name "Flaming Sword of Bukkake" at the time.


Posted by: Thomas Jefferson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:18 AM
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279: Maybe that's just Trucknuts Jubilee fortuitously hitting on a well-worn TJ combination.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:19 AM
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I like to shout that a lot: "OUR BABY IS OF LOTHAR!"

I think we've found Lorraine's pseud.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:22 AM
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There's also the problem of the US government in its infinite wisdom bestowing nonsensical names on people. There are a number of cultures where people commonly go by just one name, but of course our system can't accommodate that. So instead of ending up with "Smith Smith" or even "Smi Th" as compromises, you get "Fnu Smith" or "Smith Lnu."

You think Duong or Jin-Mei is a difficult name for English speakers to pronunce, wait until you confront them with Fnu.

(First Name Unknown; Last Name Unknown for those of you unversed in bureaucratic phraseology.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:23 AM
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One of my students from China has a real name that is the Chinese equivalent of, say, Thomas Jefferson. I keep wanting to say, oh hey man, you're named after that super-famous nation-making warrior dude, but maybe it's just like a really common name in China and not as cheesy as it would be if your parents named you Thomas Jefferson.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:25 AM
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I'm not sure I understand why Lorraine is getting a pseud, when everyone knows her name. I had assumed we weren't supposed to mention it, since you hadn't put it in the post directly but only through the suggestive link.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:27 AM
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285: His name is Confucious Say?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:27 AM
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286: Hey, we still don't know her last name.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:29 AM
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286: I did want to keep her name off the front page.

I think one post can more or less get lost in the annals of internets, but for a repeat character it's good to use a pseudonym? My own has a million holes; the velociraptors would have broken through within a day. Yet they offer mild protection.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:30 AM
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I think we've found Lorraine's pseud.

INTRODUCING OF LOTHAR!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:31 AM
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My dear computer geek friends (speaking of which, where on earth has soup been?): Now that Conficker has risen, should I stop using my bit torrent client until it goes away, allegedly in a couple of weeks? I know Conficker's using P2P networks, but I don't know if my podink TV show stealing thumbing my nose at IPR The Man puts me at risk.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:31 AM
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267: Even monolingual Chinese have more than one name for different occasions, and the official legal names are rarely used except by authority figure. It's like a formal system of nicknames. Having an American name is just another new nickname and nothing odd.

The system is probably changing, but that's the traditional system.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:31 AM
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I think one post can more or less get lost in the annals of internets

That exactly what my boyfriend told me about the topless pictures...


Posted by: High School Girl | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:32 AM
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284: A friend told me of someone he served with in the Navy who had been dubbed Ronly Bonly Smith by the same sort of reasoning.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:33 AM
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Send it to us, HSG, and we'll make sure it gets lost in the internets.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:34 AM
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295: That should do for a search warrant.


Posted by: Pennsylvania State Police | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:36 AM
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The other thing about Chinese names is that American colleges are not careful about figuring out which is the surname and which is the given name, and so the roster for the class might present the name in Surname, Given order or Given, Surname order, and that's got to be annoying for students to be correcting constantly. Better to go by Tommy Huang so it's clear.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:36 AM
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A woman I knew in Taiwan was named Meijin, which means "Beautiful Gold" but also "American Money". "Mei" (= "Gold") in combinations can mean "America", from "Meiguo".

She was a perfectly decent lady, but also a very ambitious businesswoman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:38 AM
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Better to go by Tommy Huang so it's clear.

Or, if you're Vietnamese, better to go with "Doug" than "Dung" or "Dong". The substitutes for the common female given name "Bich" are less obvious, but equally necessary.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:40 AM
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I successfully changed names from "Eddie" to "Ed" my freshman year of high school. The only people who are allowed to call me "Eddie" either knew me before then or are my high school friend Jennnnnn. She was Jen with one N and was thinking of switching to two, and I asked her why she'd stop at two. She never did make the switch, but started signing all her notes to me after that with six N's. And she didn't meet me until after my own name switch anyway. She just liked calling me Eddie.

I found my name transition pretty painless, actually. It went much more quickly than when my childhood friend wanted me to stop calling him Wolfie. Eventually he got his whole family calling me Edith, a nickname that stuck around long after I finally got out of the Wolfie habit. They eventually moved to another state, but I suspect if I ran into his mom somewhere she'd greet me as Edith.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:42 AM
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The "Eddie" to "Ed", "Robbie" to "Rob", "Satany" to "Satan" transition is pretty easy, in a "coming of age" kind of way. But try changing from Ed to Eddie at age 15 and people will probably ignore it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:44 AM
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From fourth to seventh grade, I went by my first and middle initials. I thought it sounded cool (I was not cool) and there were three other girls with my name in the class and I was happy to abdicate it. But fourth to seventh grade were the most miserable years of my life, and now, if I run into someone I knew then and they greet me with my initials, I get chills.

OTOH, I sort of like that I somehow kept my real first name free from the taint of bullying. No one ever called Realname a fat four-eyed lesbian.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:47 AM
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What do you do with a student who evaluates the function f(x)=x^2+3x at x=3, and writes down 17.99999 as their answer?

S/he just didn't want to have to write the infinity of 9s necessary to make the answer equivalent to 18, and thought you'd understand.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:48 AM
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Further to 302: People still call me fat or four-eyed or lesbian, but individually, none of them seem bad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:49 AM
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As I've said, a Lao friend of my son named Sith had to change his name to Seth because referees started calling fouls on players who shouted his name.

His real name was Sith/apou Som/boumkan, and the kids could all pronoiunce it and the teachers all couldn't, because the spelling isn't exactly phonetic. Sit/apou Soob/akan was it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:50 AM
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I thought it sounded cool

It is cool. Girls who go by their first two initials automatically get a pass into the lowest circle of cool, minimum.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:53 AM
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Going from David to Dave was a big deal for me, particularly because at about age 11 I had an impossibly hot and masculine swim instructor named Dave and I felt I could never measure up to the name.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:54 AM
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People still call me ... four-eyed

You know adults who do this? Really? I thought that went by the wayside after age 10.

A German colleague recently asked me if I could serve as a "four-eyes" for something she was working on (a calque of the German "Vier-Augen", or independent reviewer), and I had to inform her that what she said could be interpreted as a playground insult.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:57 AM
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306: Does that hold true for Bonnie Jean Proctor?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:58 AM
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306: I think maybe this works once you're old enough that androgyny is a way of saying you're above the whole gender-game thing, but ages 8-11 are when all the other girls are defining themselves by their girliness.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:58 AM
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308: I wear contacts most of the time now, so it's only been boyfriendly teasing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:01 AM
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Some friends of mine (with a very Italian last name) were going to name their son Enzo, but they caught so much flack for their daughter's name from both their families that they caved. He's nicknamed Enzo, but that's not his name (he's actually a III, my friend being a Junior).


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:01 AM
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Does that hold true for Bonnie Jean Proctor?

For every example like that, there's a Korean girl named "Sukwon" who would be better off going by her initials.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:05 AM
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Especially the co-author here.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:17 AM
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Now that Conficker has risen, should I stop using my bit torrent client until it goes away, allegedly in a couple of weeks?

The concern in this situation isn't necessarily Conficker per se; P2P networks are rife with malevolent files of all stripes. If you use filesharing applications you should make sure you're updated on all patches, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc., regardless of The Threat of the Week. If you are current on all those things, Conficker cannot bother you. If you are not current on all those things, a large set of potential problems are either waiting to happen or happening already, Conficker among them. If you aren't running Windows you are not subject to concerns about Conficker and overall you're at much less risk but nothing is bulletproof and everything needs to be kept as current as possible.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:34 AM
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make sure you're updated on all patches, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc.

Is there a low-cost way to do this? I never renew the antivirus software that comes free for 1 year or so with new computers. Should I, or is the a better/cheaper way to protect myself? I always wear condoms on my hands when I work at my computer, but I wonder if I should be doing more.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:39 AM
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not as cheesy as it would be if your parents named you Thomas Jefferson.

I'm trying to figure out the moment when this changed. Certainly, in the 19th century, it was still very acceptable to name your kid after ruling great, or even Henry Clay. Perhaps with all the irony of the 20th century?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:48 AM
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Is there a low-cost way to do this?

Yes! Free AV programs include: AVG Free, Avira and ClamWin. (I use the for-pay AVG on Windows and ClamAV on Linux and OS X, myself.) Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware Free are both excellent anti-spyware scanners and Spyware Blaster is a free, multi-browser prophylactic.

I always wear condoms on my hands when I work at my computer, but I wonder if I should be doing more.

Wear a dental dam when you talk to strangers online.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:48 AM
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Of course, Windows Updates/System Update (in OS X) and Linux updates are all free.

Additionally, if you go to this Symantec page and you're able to see it, you're not infected.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:52 AM
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On the subject of bureaucracy not being able to handle foreign names, a colleague of mine has had troubles with the IRS because they won't accept that Hang-Sun is the same first name as Hang Sun. The name on her passport and on her visa documents is the latter, her given name. But certain other bureaucracies, like that of our employer, won't allow a two word first name.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:53 AM
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320. How do they deal with Mary Ann?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:18 PM
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To continue the theme about the bureaucracy and foreign names, I will forever hold a grudge against the INS for what they did to my organic chemistry TA's southeast Asian family (and subsequently, what he then did to us). When his father entered the country, they shortened his fifteen-letter family name; the family eventually changed it back but the loss of control over the name produced a great deal of justified anger.

As a result, my TA routinely quizzed us about the spelling of his last name. I appreciated the family story, and the political lesson that I think he was trying to teach his students, but also found it annoying, as facing the prospect of losing points for a misspelling in a class where nearly everyone was on the brink of failure was pretty tough.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:23 PM
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322: His name was spelled "Stationary", right? I sympathize.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:25 PM
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Further to 322, I should note that once you memorized the spelling it was also an easy way to gain points, so perhaps I'm overlooking the fact that he meant it as a sort of de facto extra credit. (Though it definitely didn't seem that way at the time).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:25 PM
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I'm trying to figure out the moment when this changed.

It hasn't. At least not in all subgroups. There are still plenty of Roosevelts walking around, not to mention the surge of Baracks and Michelles.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:35 PM
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325: Right, but you don't still see middle class whites naming their kids Henry Clay Smith, which was pretty common. I'm curious about that change. Also, it is the giving of the full name - not just the first or last - that I find particularly interesting, and I think that happens less across all subgroups today, though I could be wrong.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:42 PM
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326: But there's a lot of Parises and Britneys! Just redefine your heroes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:51 PM
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Further to 327, the popularity of the names Krystle and Alexis soared in the 80s.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:54 PM
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Parises and Britneys! Just redefine your heroes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 12:57 PM
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But are there Paris Hilton Smiths? This is really what I'm curious about. I still see the trend of naming a kid Jefferson or something because TJ is your hero. It's the full name thing!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:10 PM
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Oops, that was I.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:11 PM
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Also, curious at what point such a thing became "cheesy"* as per AWB's comment. I think naming your kid Britney or Barack is still kind of cheesy, even if you don't do the full name thing.

*Which I'm guessing is class-based.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:25 PM
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I don't think having a kid named Learned Hand W-lfs-n would be cheesy. On the contrary.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:28 PM
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my TA routinely quizzed us about the spelling of his last name

My third grade teacher put her name on the weekly spelling test until the week when every student got it right. I still remember, Mrs. Knechtli!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:29 PM
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333: I'm waiting for you to have a child, ben, and name it Wolfson's Wolfson.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:30 PM
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On politician's names: Well, isn't it weird that the big naming trend for boys in the 1990s was dead presidents' last names? I've never met a Lewis Cass Thompson or Clement Vallandigham Anderson, but an older sister of a classmate was named Emily Dickinson Lastname, and I worked with a guy a few years younger than me who was named after the famous Welsh poet whose first name has become very popular, after a certain other Minnesotan adopted it as his stage name. And of course Liddy's first names are George Gordon.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:42 PM
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No way, Liddy was named after Byron? Ha.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 1:44 PM
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Read Will, neB, and all will be explained.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:00 PM
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Hieronymous is a name that has sadly fallen out of fashion. If I have a son it'll be his first name. Hieronymous Foreskin Togolosh.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:11 PM
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I worked with a guy a few years younger than me who was named after the famous Welsh poet whose first name has become very popular, after a certain other Minnesotan adopted it as his stage name.

That's my dog's name. Though of course he's named after the 90210 character.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:13 PM
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I can't believe you'd pass up a perfectly good opportunity to use "Bosch" as a middle name.

Imagine him in the boardroom. Some lickspittle toady makes a proposal. The chairman, no fool, recognizes its merits and says "Bosh!". Your son thinks himself addressed and responds! In this unlikely fashion he gains the attention and eventually respect of the chairman.

Moreover, "H. Bosch Togolosh" is great.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:15 PM
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OT: Brock, I have solved your book protection problem! My daughter bought a portable DVD player yesterday, and it came in this fantastic airpocket bag thing that immediately made me think of you. There are some photos of it here. You simply need to buy an LG DP 371B. (Or I'll post it to you!)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:16 PM
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340: See, the fellow I worked with, his real last name was "Thomas". Brutal parenting, just brutal.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:18 PM
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I'm a little bit worried about Lorraine being shortened to Lori

Probably won't happen, IME. "Rain" is much more likely.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:18 PM
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Or "Quiche".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:19 PM
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That would be the heeblet's sports team nickname or street name (depending...)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:21 PM
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340 - oooh, yes, I see what you mean. Could definitely be worse though.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:23 PM
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344, meet 231.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:26 PM
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How about a revival of Puritan slogan names, like Search-the-Scriptures?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:26 PM
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There was a Minnesota Congressman named Adam Bede. His father had been talked out of naming him "Venerable". It was explained that The Venerable (now "Saint") Bede was celibate, and not an ancestor. Of course, neither was the fictional Adam Bede. They probably figured that "Adam Bede" was as good as they were going to get.

Adam Bede was a tremendous wiseass and Congressmen would schedule so that they could could hear his speeches. His political career began when he did a comedy monologue at a major convention.

Congressmen used to be human beings, and often interesting ones too.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:27 PM
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Given my mother's fondness for those names, I probably had a pretty narrow escape from being Praisegod Barebones Minneapolitan.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:27 PM
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Or Increase or Prosper.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:27 PM
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Crime fic author Michael Cunningham's Detective Bosch is Harry, short for Hieronymous.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:28 PM
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||
Idiotic "terrorism" charges have been dropped against the most recent Minnesota Eight (the RNC 8). They've still got two conspiracy counts each hanging over their heads though.

As I said last August though, our scene has a lot of experience fighting this kind of fight, with a great deal of success.

Shut 'em down! Shut 'em down! Shut 'em, shut 'em down!
||>


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:31 PM
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I know a brother and sister named Fumani and Prosper. Fumani is Setswana for "prosper" and Prosper is English for "fumani."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:34 PM
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354: Minny, here is the BCSIA Studies in International Security (Monterey Institute of International Studies)
report on the Wobegon Sarin Terrorists:

p."Living in an isolated economic backwater probably contributed to their chronic frustration. Given this lifestyle, coupled with the influence of living in a state with a strong history of grassroots political activism that sometimes included violence, it should come as no surprise that they began to seek people and institutions to blame for their problems. "

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:37 PM
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224: I'm a little bit worried about Lorraine being shortened to Lori.

Or Liz.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:53 PM
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355 - Now, see. This is why I don't understand how your family lost its farm in the Dust Bowl. (Different branches of your family, I guess.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:54 PM
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318: Also "Avast!" Corny name, works nicely.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 2:59 PM
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Well, isn't it weird that the big naming trend for boys in the 1990s was dead presidents' last names?

Which presidents?

"Madison" and "Mackenzie" both turned into girls' names, inexplicably. "Mackenzie" short for "Mackenzie King".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 3:27 PM
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This is what college is for. AB was known in HS by the ultra-common diminutive of her familiar-but-not-common name, but made the switch when she went off to college to using her full name. She's down to one friend who calls her by her diminutive, and it cracks me up.

I knew someone named Elisabeth who had gone by her last name all through high school. I think that she wanted to switch to Elisabeth when she got to college, but there were maybe 10 Elizabeths on our 3 floors, plus there were about 20 people from her high school in our class, one of whom was my roommate. I think she may have managed to do it once she entered the workforce.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 3:38 PM
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I was thinking along the lines of nosflow's 345 that she'd be pre-equipped her own new dance dance jam.


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 3:41 PM
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"new" s/b "new wave", cause it's a while now


Posted by: JPool | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 3:41 PM
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358: Dust Bowl was a long time ago, back when the fashion was to wear an onion on your belt. During the Dust Bowl all the onion farms dried up and only the wealthiest could afford an onion, but FDR was all like "Eat the Rich" so the upper crust types threw theirs away so the welfare queens wouldn't have unearned vegetables with their tall pig.

Also, my branch of the family made the move to Africa in the mid sixties.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 3:44 PM
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I'm coming in late on this but I'm slightly Becks-style and can't resist adding my 2 cents.

Sorry to contradict Keir but if anything Irish people might get annoyed if you refer to the Irish language as Gaelic. There are weird historical reasons behind this. Yes, in Irish the language is referred to as Gaeilge but if you're speaking English calling it Irish is preferred. Also Gaelic refers to the three sister languages of Irish, (Scottish) Gaelic and Manx. "Gaelic" by itself generally refers to the Scottish variety. Which is very much not the same as Scots, a Germanic language related to English.

Also no way should "Mairéad" be pronounced like Mary. It should sound like "Mur-aydh" more or less.

P.S. there is an alternative dialect pronunciation of Siobhán which sounds like "Shoo-on". My cousin stopped using it.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 5:36 PM
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Irish and Gaelic are different things, but if you speak Irish you speak Gaelic, as do speakers of Scots Gaelic.

Isn't that basically correct? (In the sense that Irish is a type of Gaelic, in the same sense as English is Germanic. I wouldn't say I speak Germanic, but I do speak a Germanic language.)

Like I say, I don't know the details of Irish cultural politics, so...


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 5:45 PM
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A family name of mine that probably will not be revived on this side of the Atlantic is Corstiaan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:03 PM
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If there's one thing I've learned from my Irish friends, it's that as an outsider, I'd do best to feign utter ignorance about all things Irish---and probably also Scots, for that matter.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:16 PM
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As to 367, I had a male ancestor named "Philander". As a child, I thought it was a beautiful name and didn't understand why my mother did not share my enthusiasm for it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:18 PM
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And of course Liddy's first names are George Gordon.

GG Allin, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:21 PM
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In a thread like this, I hate to name names (in case someone here has actually named a child like that, which, admittedly, is highly unlikely), but the names that truly irk me (even though, yes, it's silly to be bothered) are the ones that are meant to denote wealth and "class" and privilege. Wannabe-WASP names, I guess. True WASP names are fine, they're mostly just solid, old-fashioned names. But it's the ones that are trying to sound WASP but don't quite cut it that I find unfortunate.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:30 PM
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Not GG Allin. He was born Jesus Christ Allin. GG was a nickname from his brother's childhood inability to pronounce "Jesus".

After his crazy and abusive father went COMPLETELY crazy, when he was five, his mom changed his name to Kevin.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:31 PM
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Oh come on MC.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:32 PM
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I love name discussions. I hope that MC will name the names.

We just had a great big dinner of Nosflow-inspired hominy chili, and it was excellent. We didn't name it before we ate it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:34 PM
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Oudemia, I need you! What's the plural of "kinesis"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:34 PM
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i have a question: are there more names than there used to be, or less?

obv there are more than since adam and eve -- that's not what i mean

here's the conundrum:
i: on one hand, there seem to be lots of names not used any more ((athelstan)
ii: plus there's all these people anglicising their names (while an equal and opposite de-anglicisation is deprecated as pretentious or just weird)
iii: on the other, there are just more people anyway in the world, and some of them seem prepared to be inventive (beyonce's parents! good for them)

so are names dying out faster than they're being invented?



Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:35 PM
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"kineseis"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:37 PM
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the plural of kinesis is kineses


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:37 PM
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the plural of kinesis is kineses


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:37 PM
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374: hooray!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:37 PM
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For some reason "kineseis" sounds much more pretentious than "energeiai".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:38 PM
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378/79: emoigi dokei, tierce.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:40 PM
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We didn't name it before we ate it.

That's good; it's terribly bad manners to eat something you've been introduced to.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:40 PM
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382: are you concurring with him or what? I can't understand your crazy lingo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:41 PM
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a name that has died out: spencer horsey de horsey


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:42 PM
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"kineseis" is all over JM Cooper's Reason and Emotion. I want a full accounting of what's going on here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:43 PM
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384: Yes. That is a generic agreement phrase in Plato: So it seems to me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:44 PM
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My Italian grandfather's middle name was Prosper -- so I am assuming it was really Prospero? That definitely makes it wackier for me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:45 PM
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372: Hee. I made that up to see if anyone would bit. But the real story -- is it a realy story? -- is even crazier!!!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:46 PM
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In private oudemia has recanted.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:47 PM
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have you guys seen this? I like it. Look at all those layers of names!


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:49 PM
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biographical notes on spencer horsey de horsey's daughter adeline (has adeline also died out?): "As a widow in old age Adeline scandalised society by wearing thick make-up and organizing steeplechases through the local graveyard... Keeping her coffin in the house, she would often lie in it, asking for opinions on her appearance." (i got this from wikipedia but i think wikipedia got it from cecil woodham-smith's "the reason why", which is where i first encountered father and daughter) (the latter married lord cardigan, is why)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:50 PM
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link in 391 says Adeline is making a comeback! Rank in 2007: 388!


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:53 PM
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Ada is super trendy, so I bet there are a few Adelines dripping back into the pool.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:54 PM
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I was hoping to draw on the family names "Ansgar" and "Gottlieb," for a boy, but my plans were foiled when we had a girl.

Those are German names that were being given to my great-grandfather and his brother around 1900, fourth generation German immigrants in the midwest. They had baptism certificates printed up in German, even though the family had at that point been in the US for 60 years. It's interesting how strong the German-American identity was up through the 19th Century, and then how quickly and completely it faded away after WWI.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:57 PM
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try "glinda" in 391! invented and vanished in c.20 years


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:57 PM
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Pwned by babywizardry. I can play with that thing for hours.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:57 PM
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does the fact that the babywizard graph seems to fall away as it comes to the present prove that names are getting fewer in number?

(i realise it doesn't cover all names worldwide)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:58 PM
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"Gottlob Frege Halford" has a certain ring to it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:58 PM
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What's more interesting is the extent to which people's (young people's) behavior may or may not inevitably conform to whatever societal expectations may accompany their names. A Savannah or a Madison may behave very differently from an Edith or Matilda, in this day and age.*

Truly, people should adopt secondary names as they grow. Maybe little Cloudberry would prefer to be "Joe"!

* I tend to believe this, as I know one of each of the former, and boy are they exactly a Savannah and a Madison.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:59 PM
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Pink and Orange used to be fairly popular boys' names, now entirely obsolete, it seems. A pity -- and an opportunity.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 6:59 PM
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396- Wizard of Oz! Hollywood baby naming is historically valid, see?

398 I think it's just USA.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:01 PM
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I have one cousin with a Savannah and one with an Amberlynn -- how much porn do these people watch?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:03 PM
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Halford!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:03 PM
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reverse hollywood effect: the frog killed off "kermit" (which vanishes in the late 70s or early 80s) (and peaked in the 30s)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:08 PM
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401: And Red. But where are the Greens and Blues and Purples? Why this favoring of one part of the spectrum? It's like the months. I've known people named April, May, June and August, but December? January? Not a one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:08 PM
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I went to school with a January.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:10 PM
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403: The family I know has a third daughter with a like name, though for the life of me I can never remember what it is. Luckily, she's only 7 or so, and is more likely to play spelunker or pirate than she is to prance about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:10 PM
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and my current school has a Wednesday working in the graduate admissions office. Which I love. I really would like to name a daughter Wednesday.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:11 PM
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407: Yay!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:11 PM
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I've suggested Janus as a name, with little success.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:12 PM
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And as for "December", it's specifically a calendrical term, isn't it? You do get (or did get) people named Septimus, but not September.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:13 PM
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cecily's chart says green was common-ish but died out in the 20s

i've met a grey (a woman)

nevaeh was 43rd most common girl's name in 2006


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:13 PM
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I know a Tuesday. Such a cool name. Would it make a person feel special once a week? I'll have to ask her.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:15 PM
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how is april not specifically a calendrical term?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:15 PM
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413: I know a "Grey," but she made it up, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:16 PM
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Týr would be a good name.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:16 PM
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409: I was called Wednesday at my first post-college job. It was the early 90s and I wore a lot of black baby doll dresses with black tights and black boots.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:17 PM
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jms!!

I knew a girl named "Winter Cassandra," which indicates a depressive mindset on the part of her parents.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:18 PM
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Since most of the Roman months were named in honor of divinities, and as April was sacred to Venus, the Festum Veneris et Fortunae Virilis being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her Greek name Aphrodite (Aphros), or from the Etruscan name Apru. Jacob Grimm suggests the name of a hypothetical god or hero, Aper or Aprus.[1], says Wikipedia.

Whereas "november" is just "ninth month". (OED sez the suffix "ber" is "of uncertain origin, occurring in the names of months".)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:19 PM
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It was the early 90s and I wore a lot of black baby doll dresses with black tights and black boots.

Hot.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:19 PM
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I am saddened to learn that Tuesday was not Ms. Weld's original given name. Tuesday? Weld? Beyond awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:19 PM
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I went to school with sisters named Happy and Sunshine. One was a year or two older than the other, but their parents kept her back, so that the two girls could be in the same classroom together. This indicates something something mindset on the part of their parents.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:20 PM
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my two neighbor kids that I babysit a lot are girls named Gryphon and Fletcher. Which the lady who owns the Jamaican food place has interpreted to mean "their parents really wanted boys".


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:21 PM
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I've known two Happys. Neither was, especially.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:22 PM
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391: AB & I really couldn't come up with boys' names that we liked. We spent literally hours on that site (also on the SS site).

382 sounds suspiciously like "okey dokey."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:23 PM
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a: wikipedia is clearly just guessing wildly ("or from the Etruscan name Apru")

b: april just means the fourth month (rather more securely than november means the ninth month) -- the fact that the name might be derived from some god/dess (or a name in a language no one now understands any of) doesn't make it less "calendrical" than another name that derives from the number nine


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:23 PM
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A family friend, upon remarriage to a younger woman and the subsequent birth of a son, gave his son a first name meaning "Nation" in Korean. Their last name is such that when you read the full name in the Korean way, surname first, it means something like "So excited!"

I thought it was kinda cool, sorta, I guess? My mom, a close friend of his first wife, was unamused.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:25 PM
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I've suggested Janus as a name, with little success.

Don't be a jasshole, neb.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:26 PM
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Further to 428, it should be said that the first name is not a reasonable first name in Korean. It would really be the equivalent of naming your kid "Nation" in English.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:26 PM
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425: Didn't the actor who played the German waiter at Rick's in Casablanca go by "Happy"?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:26 PM
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My dog is named Happy. She was given the name at the kennel, and it seemed cruel to change it ("You're no longer Happy.").

At first, I thought the name was insufferably lame, but I've come to value the mantra-like effect of using the word over and over ("Hello there, Happy! Off the couch, Happy! Sit, Happy!").


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:27 PM
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OT: So Rory got cast in a play in which her character is supposed to have a New York accent. Now, I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure what she's doing now does not qualify -- anyone have suggestions for family friendly media in which she/we might hear and learn a NY accent?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:27 PM
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425: The Happy who attended my high school had the last name H/ussey. And I'm not even kidding.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:28 PM
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I don't see how 427.b follows in any way from 427.a.

August: calendrical or not?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:28 PM
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My grandfather's nickname was Happy. It's always seemed to me just to be the sort of nickname people gave in those days. (I have no idea why he was dubbed thus.) My dad's nickname was "Red."

Actually, do people give nicknames like this any more? "Stretch," for example?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:30 PM
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433: Bad Lieutenant


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:30 PM
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Isn't august an adjective as well? So, I would argue not just calendrical.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:30 PM
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anyone have suggestions for family friendly media in which she/we might hear and learn a NY accent?

Man on the street interviews from local TV news - search on Youtube.

Or maybe LB will give you her number.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:30 PM
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A French friend swore that he had met a guy from the French islands---where the custom is to give the a child the name on the traditional calendar---named "Fête Nationale", or national holiday, and was known familiarly as "Fête Nat". I really like the name, but I bet he got a lot of shit for it.

If I ever have a boy, I want to name him Immanuel. A girl: Joy.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:30 PM
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Welcome Back Kotter?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:31 PM
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huh. For whatever reason, I had always thought that "Evelyn" and "Jocelyn" were predominately male names until pretty recently. But babywizard says no.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:31 PM
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August: calendrical or not?

Clearly not!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:32 PM
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437: and if you get the edited-for-TV version, it's only about half an hour.

Wasn't Friends set in NYC? I'm sure it's full of authentic NY accents.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:32 PM
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I know a few people who go by nicknames, from the background that you might expect. One "Happy," one "Trace" (given because he's Something Something the Third, get it?), and a "Smitty."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:33 PM
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443: your position was already obvious, neb. I was laying in wait for tierce.

Janus.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:33 PM
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What about My Cousin Vinnie? Or were they supposed to be from Jersey?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:34 PM
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what i was mainly puzzled by was neb saying people can't be called november because it's just calendrical, as if people were called april for non-calendrical reasons: because of a not-very convincing link to aphrodite, or their etruscan heritage

people can be and probably are called august because of caesar augustus i guess (that's after all why august is called august):

i don't see how 427.b follows from 427.a either: a is a comment on wikipedia; b is a claim about calendricality


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:34 PM
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I know a couple of Docs. Neither of whom are doctors.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:34 PM
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I don't want to name names. Well, okay, Madison is one of them. Also Chelsea.

I've offended somebody, haven't I?

What's more interesting is the extent to which people's (young people's) behavior may or may not inevitably conform to whatever societal expectations may accompany their names.

Yes. It would surprise me if this weren't the case, though I have no idea how you would document or measure the effects.

Also interesting is the difference between contemporary naming practices (emphasis on uniqueness, going outside the family for new names, and etc) and the naming practices that I'll just call "traditional" for lack of a better term (children named after parents and grandparents, same few names used over and over again in the same family, and so on). It's not just about names and naming, I can't help but think. It has something to do with our sense of place within a temporal framework, and also with our emphasis on individuality against the claims (the ties that bind, or the ties that choke and bind) of family.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:36 PM
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Uh, what kind of New York accent? Aren't there several kinds?

You got yer fast-talkin' Manhattenite, yer Queens, yer Brooklyn. They seem pretty distinct.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:36 PM
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my cousin vinnie has swears in it , though possibly not as many as bad lieutenant


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:37 PM
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433: What sort of NYC accent? Fran Drescher or Tony Soprano? (Yes, yes, NJ -- but seriously, people.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:37 PM
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I'm skeptical that Augusts are named after Octavian any more than Aprils are named after Apru.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:38 PM
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What about My Cousin Vinnie? Or were they supposed to be from Jersey?

I thought they were supposed to be from Brooklyn? I love that movie.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:38 PM
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450.1 I concur wholeheartedly on Madison....

451: No idea -- the script just says "New York accent."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:38 PM
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I guess I was thinking that "November" is obviously just a month name, and nothing more, but the real reason might be that it's an unattractive word.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:38 PM
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Or a depressing month. Actually, "November" wouldn't be a bad name for the right sort of person. M. Night Shyamalan might consider naming a son November.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:39 PM
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There's always Goodfellas.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:40 PM
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Or this slightly more youth-appropriate cartoon.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:42 PM
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Hmm, see I'd say November is the most attractive word of the twelve, except maybe for September.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:42 PM
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450 -- I'm sure porn will keep up with the current yuppie trend of ridiculously old fashioned baby names and "Isodora", "Olive" and "Mabel" will be the Amber Lynns, Savannahs, and Madisons of the future.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:43 PM
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456.2: Tell the script that it is stupid! I mean, are we looking for a flat, nasally intonation or what? I suppose it's a matter of what the character seems to call for. Someone playing LB would sound like an idiot speaking like Tony Soprano (I assume).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:44 PM
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I think "Olive" is a great name. One of the few acceptable drupe names going, in fact.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:45 PM
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"Drupe" itself is unfortunately not a very good given name.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:46 PM
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462: I honestly hadn't associated Madison et al. with porn. This is disturbing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:47 PM
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I really "Naomi," but I have no idea what this says about me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:50 PM
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Archie Bunker? The Honeymooners?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:50 PM
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Like "Naomi," that is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:50 PM
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my friends just named their (now 5-month-old) baby Olive. She has a heart-shaped birthmark on her cheek.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:51 PM
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Olive is a great name!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:52 PM
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(my grandmother went to college with a girl named Cherry Tree Lane)


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:52 PM
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I really "Naomi," but I have no idea what this says about me.

Your bid to win freedom from your culture and embrace the new, Western way of things will end with your life having been taken over, utterly transformed, and arguably destroyed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:53 PM
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My attractive, younger, next door neighbor is named Pepper. I've just learned of a porn actress also using that name, who bears at least a passing resemblance. Serendipity, or devilish temptation?


Posted by: Bill Clinton | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:53 PM
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I honestly hadn't associated Madison et al. with porn.

Yeah, me neither. Not at all. But I can't keep up with the latest developments in the fast-paced world of the pornocracy.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:54 PM
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my friends just named their (now 5-month-old) baby Olive

What did they call her before just now?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:54 PM
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Pit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:55 PM
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You'll be sad to hear it, but LB doesn't have much of a NY accent. You know who has an AWESOME regional accent? Bill Cunningham, the NYT "on the street" style photographer. They started putting narrated slideshows up on the NYT website, and they've become my favorite feature there. It's such a lovely archaic accent, too; nobody talks like that anymore.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:55 PM
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Probably they hadn't named her yet because her survival was still uncertain.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:55 PM
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augustus became fashionable (in britain) thanks to its popularity among european kings and emperors in the 18th-century

(but you're right, i'm not sure that august rides that much on augustus any more: it rides more on the word that augustus the name -- which was octavian's title -- comes from: august, heir to lordliness, befitting princes) (same root as augury)

(and maybe a little on the month also)

the point is that the root for the month's name is still a live word in its own right, which the root of april isn't -- so there's other things for the name august to derive from than just the month


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:56 PM
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"Stretch," for example?

My dad's nickname, until his buddies who gave them the nickname (Stew and Stiff; Stew's son is Tookie) both died in their fifties. His buddies sound like hillbillies, but they were bankers.

If I ever have a boy, I want to name him Immanuel.

He'd have his own hymn, but "Oh come, oh come, Imm-a-a-an-u-el" could be used for evil purposes.

Also interesting is the difference between contemporary naming practices (emphasis on uniqueness, going outside the family for new names, and etc) and the naming practices that I'll just call "traditional" for lack of a better term

My Puritan ancestors were traditional, with lots of Johns and Samuels and Benjamins and Joshuas, but they could still come up with Hepzibah and Mehitabel and Huldah and Azubah and Ebenezer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:57 PM
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A former girlfriend had a roommate named "Carraway". Her last name was "Seed". Her brother's name was "Huckleberry".


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 7:57 PM
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475 -- It's really just about class, not about porn, (and of course a lot of these naming discussions are, at some level, about class). It's not surprising that names that ring to you as slightly garish, faux-classy, or aspirational are taken over as noms de (plume?) by porn stars who are, in fact, trying to present themselves as garish and faux-classy.

And, over time, many of the names that we now find classy or attractive will either seem hopelessly old fashioned or, due to their increasing adoption and move down the class ladder, tacky and garish. That's just the way of the world, and why there are such widespread baby naming trends.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:00 PM
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474: There's a feminist sociologist AND SEXOLOGIST named Pepper (Schwartz), so you're cool, Bill. She's got her own Wiki.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:00 PM
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Apo's right, 'November' is a handsome word. I'd refrain from using it for a child's name partly because it reminds me of the Thomas Hood poem.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:01 PM
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Oh come, oh come, Imm-a-a-an-u-el

I love that hymn. And little hypothetical Immanuel Hafez Smith-Ahmadinejad will be very brave and proud against the schoolyard bullies.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:01 PM
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473: Shit. I knew it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:04 PM
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"No names starting with SALT were in the top 1,000 in any decade"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:04 PM
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You know what is a truly horrible girl's name? "Reagan Lee," given to someone I knew slightly (b. circa 1983).by a wingnut father.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:05 PM
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my cousin vinnie has swears in it

Rory's mother curses plenty -- I just figured it might ve a little early yet for the Godfather, Goodfellas, etc.

460 -- You've come through for me, neb! I'd forgotten all about the Goodfeathers!!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:05 PM
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||
My mother just sent me a text message saying, "Aeschylus just solved a mysterious death on CSI." What can this mean?
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:08 PM
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476: they refused to refer to her existence at all. For various reasons that I also am not at liberty to mention.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:09 PM
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491: That your mother is Becks-style?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:09 PM
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You know who has an AWESOME regional accent? Bill Cunningham

Seconded! I don't even remember why I clicked on the slideshow the first time, since I have no patience for audio generally and am not particularly interested in fashion. But so fun to hear it!

There are a couple of radio DJs around here who have the old-time Philadelphiaisms in their voices -- not the full classic accent, but a little bit of "ap-RISH-e-ate." I always startle when I notice it, because it reminds me of how flat the traditonal American media accent is these days.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:10 PM
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||
The Daily Show online is captioned now! Hooray!
|>


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:10 PM
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"Have you come yet, Immanuel?"

Hardy-har-har-har.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:11 PM
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I'm also relying on the destruction of the Judeo-Christian traditional culture. How many of the heathens will have heard that 8th-c. hymn, eh? (Possible downside: any hypothetical offspring of my honey and me would be really skinny with gigantic hair and a great knobbly nose.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:15 PM
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I love that hymn.

One of the all-time great melodies, passed down intact since at least the 12th century.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:16 PM
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Huh, Tom Waits ripped that poem off.

Or it could be an independent discovery.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:18 PM
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Ha. I was going to say 8th, but before the 12th it's not so clear. Could be much earlier, even.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:19 PM
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That hymn goes on forever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:24 PM
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Oh crap. Given that everyone from Enya to Sufjan Stevens appears to have recorded the hymn, perhaps my prediction was overconfident.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:31 PM
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link?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:32 PM
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AND Belle and Sebastian. Ok, obviously I am more swipple than I knew.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:33 PM
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The Stevens version is good, but the Belle & Sebastian version is pretty awful.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:36 PM
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Washington D.C. had a mayor named Marion Berry. True story!

Seriously, MJ didn't know that this was an actual fruit, and recently we were in a pie shop featuring marionberry pie. He thought it was a joke, like a pie filled with cocaine.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:36 PM
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My Puritan ancestors were traditional, with lots of Johns and Samuels and Benjamins and Joshuas, but they could still come up with Hepzibah and Mehitabel and Huldah and Azubah and Ebenezer.

I dare/challenge someone to name their next son Ebenezer. Such a great name! and it makes me think of sleepy hollows in tidy New England villages, where nobody could have predicted the shocking crimes (witchcraft? lasciviousness?) that were about to take place.

My Irish ancestors (going back to the early 19th century or so, it's not possible to go back further) had about 10 names for boys and none of them interesting or unusual, nor even especially "Irish"-sounding by today's lights: Daniel, Denis, Dominic, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, and that's about it. Oh, also Eugene/Owen (from Eoghain) and Jeremiah (= Dermot or Diarmaid), which names might have sounded Irish except that they were never recorded that way. For girls, Honora (nickname might be Nora, or might be Ann or Annie) and Bridget (nicknames included Biddy and Jewel and Delia) took pride of place, but names like Mary and Margaret and Jane (never Sinéad) and Catherine were the standbys. At a certain point (1860s? 1870s?), Loreto and Carmel for girls achieved a certain vogue, and from the 1890s to the early 1930s, Emmett for boys was a noticeable trend.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:36 PM
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503, 504: Wow. Officially my two least favorite renditions of the hymn ever. Also, before I clicked, I assumed 504 was just an addition to the names that drive us crazy theme.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:38 PM
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If Heebie had the guts she'd name her daughter Ebenezer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:43 PM
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I'm surprised at how much I dislike the Sufjan Stevens version. It sounds like a parody of Sufjan Stevens. I'm also dismayed that plainchant is apparently so poorly represented on YouTube.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:46 PM
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Stevens's "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" is much better.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:49 PM
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For an NY accent, Mike Myers had an SNL sketch called Coffee Talk devoted to making fun of a NY Jewish accent. It's ridiculously broad, but the CAWfee TAWk vowels are recognizably the right thing to make fun of. Trying to hit an NY accent for a grade schooler, it might be about the right level of broadness to mimic.

I'd offer to call and talk to her, but Jackm's right, I haven't got much of an NY accent; I've got a vaguely not-from-around-here accent regardless of where here is. I used to get into these brutally annoying conversations as a teenager: [Someone would hear me talk] "Where're you from?"
"Here."
"No, I mean where were you born?"
"Here. Seventeenth street and second avenue."
"Huh. So you moved back here recently? Where'd you grow up?"
"Here."
"Oh. So, where'd your parents come from?"
"Queens."
[My interlocutor gives up, baffled.]

I think I sound less weird as an adult than I did as a teen -- I haven't had that conversation since I was twenty, and I used to have it every few months before that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:49 PM
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The Stevens version is still better than the Belle & Sebastian version, which is just unspeakably bad.

Hymns: best left to Welshmen.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:51 PM
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Is it Stevie singing second on the B&S version? I find that part grating. And Isobel's breathy baby voice isn't so appealing there either.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:54 PM
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Here's a YouTube traditional version. You want early music, search in Latin and look for Fribourg in the results. This arrangement is really lovely.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 8:57 PM
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Trying to hit an NY accent for a grade schooler

Yeah, I just need to help her move away from sounding like Paula Dean after a mild stroke.She does a decent English* accent, but that took months of incessant Harry Potter viewing to acquire.

* whichever one Hermione speaks with.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:03 PM
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Gaude, gaude.....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:03 PM
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518

Say what you will about Sufjan Stevens, but I love the cover art for his Greetings from Michigan album, and I especially appreciate the lyrics to his "Sleeping Bear, Sault Ste. Marie:"

O! Lamb of God...
O! Sturgeon Bay! ...
O! Sainte Marie! Give up,
the rocking boat's drowned.
The captain is done.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:04 PM
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518 was me, sorry!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:06 PM
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516: I'm trying to remember where I learned the NYC-bimbo accent I used in Anything Goes and How to Succeed in Business. Was I watching old movies? At any rate, it's an easy one to learn.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:20 PM
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Guys and Dolls? "A poison, could develop a cold..."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:28 PM
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521: Good idea! Di, here's a good scene.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:34 PM
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520: Lesley Anne Warren in Victor/Victoria. She is supposed to be from Chicago, but, no.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:38 PM
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I approve of what I consider a Scottish convention: converting surnames into forenames. You can have all the uniqueness you want -- without any of the 'you stole my culture baggage' -- just by taking a surname from several generations back, and use it as a middle name. Then call the kid by middle name.

It may not be Scottish; I just think of names like Keith, Douglas, Gordon, Scott, Stuart, Hamilton, and Bruce when I think of this. Millard Fillmore is another example of the pattern, but it hasn't caught on like the Scottish surnames have.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:46 PM
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I approve of what I consider a Scottish convention: converting surnames into forenames.

I have been told that HL Menken argues that this is a uniquely American convention in *The American Language*

This is an argument from authority at two removes, employing the passive voice. So, FWIF



Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:55 PM
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I just think of names like Keith, Douglas, Gordon, Scott, Stuart, Hamilton, and Bruce when I think of this.

Now that's thinking like a Canadian! (Until very recently indeed, Bruce, Douglas, and Gordon were probably in the top ten for boys' names in Soviet Canuckistan, aka the Second Home of the Scots).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 9:58 PM
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Did you see this, Rob?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:02 PM
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525: It's actually pretty standard in English namology. See The Hermenaut's discussion of the name "Courtney" in the Chocolates for Breakfast article. Or was that The Baffler. Whichever.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:12 PM
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525, 526 -- And the Canadians learned it from us?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:18 PM
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440: Fete Nat appears as a name in Coup De Torchon the French colonial movie version of Jim Thompson's novel Pop. 1280. Can you guess what day the character was born?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:20 PM
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529: vice-versa, probably


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:20 PM
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528 -- Sure, now. I heard Taylor Swift on the radio today. What's striking, though, is how dead common those Scottish names have become, while English names Courtney, Madison, etc are still 'unique.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:21 PM
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433: The Muppets Take Manhattan


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:21 PM
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531 -- If you're saying Mencken (as reported) is full of crap, I'm not arguing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:23 PM
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532: The point the article made, and I've read this elsewhere, is that there's a pretty standard name trajectory in England, to wit: Place name=>Surname=>Male First name=>Female first name.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:23 PM
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Yep, "Doug" and "Gordon" are the two names that make me think "Canadian". Bruce, not so much.


Posted by: Cryptyc ned | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:26 PM
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Heebie can name her daughter Hereford.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:26 PM
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There's still time to switch from Lorraine to Elizabeth, so that she could be Libby-Geebie.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:32 PM
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It's late, so I'll leave you all with two versions of Peggy Gordon.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:36 PM
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Dammit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 10:37 PM
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I know a couple of Docs. Neither of whom are doctors.

A friend of mine knew someone who'd lost an arm in a motorcycle accident. I found it impossible to refer to her as anything other than "Lefty".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:12 PM
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Further to 541: I should clarify that I don't actually know which arm she lost.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:14 PM
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I can hardly believe this is Madonna.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:16 PM
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Actually as it proceeds I can.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 9-09 11:19 PM
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How about a revival of Puritan slogan names, like Search-the-Scriptures?

Like I said upthread, only if you offer them an alternative. There's a reason why Hath Christ Not Died for Thee Thou Wouldst Be Damned Barbon is known to history as Nicholas.

Daniel, Denis, Dominic, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Thomas

See, I think of these as typically Irish names. Throw a stone in Grafton Street and you'll hit one of those ten times as often as a Declan, Conal, Diarmaid or Fergal.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 4:04 AM
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my mum's middle name was alexander -- so it had gone from forename to surname back to forename (of opposite gender)

(this was from the scots side of her family)

she was v.proud of it and got cross when it was "corrected" to alexandra, as it very often officiously was


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 4:39 AM
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If there's one thing I've learned from my Irish friends, it's that as an outsider, I'd do best to feign utter ignorance about all things Irish---and probably also Scots, for that matter.

I went to Maundy Thursday services at the local Anglo-Catholic monastery. The brother who preached was British, probably English, and he talked a bit about gangs and his first serious encounter with them when he was working at a summer camp for Protestant and Catholic children in Belfast. He said that there were certain streets where Catholics went and others that were okay for Protestants and that if you went on the wrong streets you were likely to be asked whether you were Catholic or Protestant.

There was one Indian guy who was stopped, and said, "I am Hindu," and the gang said, "But are you a Catholic Hindu or a Protestant Hindu?"

Ignorance, whether real or feigned, didn't seem to help that outsider.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 5:31 AM
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Korteweg Emerson? Knittel Emerson? I'll suggest them to my son.

Spink Emerson would be OK.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 6:30 AM
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547: The punchline to that joke is "Then I'm the luckiest in all of Ireland!"


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 7:03 AM
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re: 547

There are many variations on that joke, and it IS a joke/apocryphal story.

The Billy Connolly version has the guy as a Jew --- Aye, but are you a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew? --- and the punchline is that he walks a few streets further, and an Arab leaps out of an alleyway and stabs him.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 7:10 AM
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Huckleberry Seed can't float.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 7:20 AM
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Throw a stone in Grafton Street and you'll hit one of those ten times as often as a Declan, Conal, Diarmaid or Fergal.

I think of those names as Irish-American (in the 1/8th on my mother's side sense.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 7:47 AM
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when I was thinking of naming I researched lots of family names. "pain" for a girl was probably the worst (oh, those crazy puritans.) "sparhawk" as a boy's name was the coolest. re 405 about the death of kermit, I do know one kermit (roosevel/t).


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 7:48 AM
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In thinking about my family's distant past of interesting names, watered down through successive generations to my sisters' and my own remarkably bland names, I remembered that it really starts in my father's family. He has a brother whose first and last name are the same name, like being named John Johns or David Davids. I think by that point my grandmother was just sick of children.

My uncle goes by his middle name, but he lucked out in that regard: my father wasn't given a middle name and has to use an unpunctuated initial.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 7:56 AM
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554: I have no middle name, most likely because my Dad used up my allotment.

My Dad (John) was supposed to be Harold Jr. after his father. He was born when Gramps was at sea working on a Tuna boat, and Gramma deviated from the plan. She didn't tell Gramps when he got back. My Dad was five years old before his father found out his real name.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:05 AM
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553: Is that the one who currently teaches at UPenn?


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:08 AM
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My father went from Dickie to Hugh (middle name) at age 12;
His older brother went from Norman to Bob (invented) before my dad could remember;
His twin brother went from Bertie to Freddie (middle name) before leaving school [To be fair, they were born in 1912, so those names weren't as embarrassing as they would be now];
His sister went from Dora to Marion (middle name) except in the family, in early adulthood.

I strongly believe in middle names.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:10 AM
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She didn't tell Gramps when he got back. My Dad was five years old before his father found out his real name.

Stories like this fascinate me, because she must have felt tremendous emotions, either around the name she wanted to use or her reluctance to tell him when he got back, and I wonder what made her feel so strongly. I always want there to be a story lurking underneath, of why she hated the name she skipped using or loved the one she did, or the promise she'd made to name her first child a certain way, etc.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:11 AM
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535: Place name=>Surname=>Male First name=>Female first name

My maternal grandfather's name, Leslie, appears to have done exactly that. "Transferred use of the Scottish surname taken from Lesslyn, a place-name in Aberdeenshire", at the turn of last century it was predominantly a boy's name, switching about 1930* to become increasingly a girl's name (and today not even in the top 1000 in the US for boys). We did use it for my eldest son's middle name.

The rise in its use as a girl's name was abrupt enough that it made me wonder if it was related to a movie star or other famous person, but all I can think of is Leslie Howard; could the influence have gone cross-gender?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:13 AM
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My #6 sibling's middle name was chosen by a family conference. It ended up as "Craig", after the first and last names of two neighborhood kids and a World Series pitcher (Roger Craig, 1960 or so). .


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:13 AM
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558: ""I have named the boy Caleb," he announced to her finally in a soft voice. "In accordance with your wishes."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:14 AM
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559. Over here Leslie is a boy and Lesley is a girl. Is that not so everywhere?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:15 AM
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562: Nope. I guess the switch was a US-only phenomenon. Curious about Canada.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:17 AM
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my niece called the other day to tell me that she has an American name now, Susan
her host family asked her to be called that and she likes it
i had to lecture her on having pride to be called her own name


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:18 AM
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Isn't "Bob Hope" a Leslie?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:18 AM
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my grandad was called algernon, another name that appears to have vanished -- he dropped it when quite young, possibly because of its immense latterday silliness: "The boy's name Algernon is of Old French origin, and its meaning is 'wearing a mustache'. The Normans were usually clean-shaven, and this was a nickname for William de Percy, a companion of William the Conqueror. It was revived in the 15th century for his descendant Henry Percy, and adopted into other families connected to them. Oscar Wilde used it for a brainless fop in The Importance of Being Earnest."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:19 AM
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560: Roger Craig, a pretty good pitcher who had the misfortune of being the mainstay of the Mets their first two years, going 10-24 & 5-22 with an 18-game losing streak. A poster child for the Sabermetrics crowd and their deprecation of stats like won/loss and RBIs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:20 AM
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i had to lecture her on having pride to be called her own name

You did right.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:20 AM
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565: Yes, Leslie Townes Hope.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:21 AM
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Ernest / Ernst came and went too, I think. I tried to track the history, but it seems to be a name like Charity or Prudence, for hyper-serious Protestants.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:24 AM
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566.

Algy met a bear.
The bear met Algy.
The bear was bulgy.
The bulge was Algy.

It was of an age with Bertie and Freddie, wasn't it? Wodehouse in his prime. Probably too much associated with chinless wonders since WWII.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:25 AM
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Charlotte Bronte feminized Shirley (or at least I've assumed that was what happened) by naming a heroine Shirley, a man's name, to indicate how butch she was. And then people stopped naming boys Shirley at all.

I'm always astonished by the power of girl-cooties even over people who don't seem generally misogynist. Has a name ever gone from feminine to masculine, or even from unisex to boys-only?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:28 AM
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she has an American name now

My wife has used an American name in addition to her Korean one. This is complicated by the fact that it is an on and off again thing and she has changed it three times. I am not even sure which one she is using now.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:30 AM
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re: 572

Well, there was that boy named Sue . . . .


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:32 AM
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564: an American name now, Susan

A bit interesting in that Susan has apparently had a precipitous drop in popularity since its peak in the 50s when it was 4th* most popular in the US to 644th in 2007. (It was the name of one of my sister, so I had just looked it up.)

Evidence of a greater diversity in names is that the rate of use that got "Susan" 4th in the 50s (> 1 in 100) would make it far and away the most popular girls name today (Emily in 2007 with ~1 in 200, Madison was 3rd!). Also Joshua (minor Biblicals have been hot) went from 4th to 3rd for boys since the '80s while its rate has nearly halved.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:33 AM
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572. Good point. A boy named Shirley.

When did Evelyn start being given to girls? And why is Aubrey still a boys' name?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:33 AM
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algernon's likely avatars in 1905, when grandad was born and named, were the wilde character and swinburne

(is algie in "the importance of being earnest" a brainless fop?)

biggles has a chum called algy as well -- i can imagine my grandad really REALLY hating being called algy, he died when i was too young to give it a try (we didn't really get o)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:34 AM
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572: I don't think so. Once a name gets girl cooties, there's no going back, unless you're related to shiv, who counts among his friends and relatives : Kelly, Kim, Shannon, Karmon, Jamie, and Ashley. All male.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:36 AM
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577.last: we didn't really get o[n]

You didn't send him flowers, anymore?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:37 AM
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578

I don't think so. Once a name gets girl cooties, there's no going back, ...

"Terry" seems to have gone from boys only to mixed to boys only.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:39 AM
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I have a Korean friend who has adopted an Anglo first name because apparently Yong is too hard to pronounce.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:42 AM
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Did Theresa drop off the charts? I never thought of Terry as a name anyone was given, but as short for Terrence/Theresa depending on sex. But come to think of it, in a world where people name their kids Rick rather than Richard, people are going to name their kids Terry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:42 AM
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There's also an Ernest in "The Way of All Flesh", too. Apparently Ernest became a satire name about 1870 or so. Which is why Hemingway killed himself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:45 AM
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I strongly believe in middle names.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I'm a Robert Russell who goes by Russ, my dad was a Robert Stephen who went by Steve, my grandfather is a Joseph Robert who goes by Bob, my great-grandfather was an Andrew Joseph who went by Joe. Not sure whether that extends further back.

I did not continue this pattern with any of my children because it becomes something of a pain in the ass in a computerized, first-name-middle-initial world.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:46 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:47 AM
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582: Did Theresa drop off the charts?

In the US, pretty much yes. From 42nd at its peak (60s) to 769th in 2007 (the NameVoyager feature at that site is great). James is right, the Terrys both had peaks in the 50s (and not much in use before then) and fell off rapidly, but the girls fell off much more completely than the boys.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:48 AM
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Has a name ever gone from feminine to masculine, or even from unisex to boys-only?

The absence of the latter isn't in any way indicative of cooties, is it?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:48 AM
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I have a friend here whose legal name is Louie. He isn't aware that "Louis" can be pronounced "Louie". It's possible that the name has been handed down from an illiterate French ancestor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:48 AM
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in a world where people name their kids Rick rather than Richard

I am (utterly irrationally, I'll admit) annoyed by this trend.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:49 AM
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I did not continue this pattern with any of my children because it becomes something of a pain in the ass in a computerized, first-name-middle-initial world.

One more surrender to the Borg.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:50 AM
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I did not continue this pattern with any of my children because it becomes something of a pain in the ass in a computerized, first-name-middle-initial world.

Understood. And I am by no definition a libertarian, but it does burn me up when the fucking bureaucracy determines what you call your kids.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:51 AM
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587: I suppose not exactly. I was thinking that if unisex names had a tendency to become sex-specific in either direction randomly, that would indicate that it wasn't cooties; where unisex names are much more likely to become girls only, that indicates that people naming boys are wary of the cooties associated with even ambiguously feminine names.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:52 AM
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shortenings are often two-gendered -- kim, terry, jack, fred --so i don't know that they count as evidence for or against the unidirectionality of gender-shift

seems that the victorians were a lot less squeamish than you;d exoect about calling girls by boy's names (henry? robert?)

(i never read flowers for algernon: it sounds good)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:54 AM
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589: Yep. There was some prior thread where I bitched about it at length. It's a completely irrational thing to be irritated by, but I am.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:54 AM
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589: There used to be (and still is to some extent) a strong class/regional undercurrent around "shortened" names as given names. My parents were a bit taken aback that one girl I dated had Betty as her given name ("What? You think Veronica's too good for you?), rather than as a nickname from Elizabeth.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:55 AM
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i never read flowers for algernon: it sounds good

It is. So was the movie.

WTF is Kim short for? (I know Kimball O'Hara, but that isn't the answer)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:56 AM
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Moon unit
a very common name Moon light for example
if to translate literally my niece's name is Venus, but it does not have any additional allusionary meanings in my language, just a star
though the same planet has two different names in the morning and evening (uuriin tsolmon, udshiin gyalaan), just poetically so to speak
people of course know that it's the same object


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:58 AM
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Kim Lee is the non-racial unisex name. But Lee Kim is Korean.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:58 AM
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I am (utterly irrationally, I'll admit) annoyed by this trend.

I am too. When I tried to figure out why I was being so judgmental about it, I realized that it has to do with the diminutive.

The majority of the people I know who choose to continue using diminutives into adulthood are not people I get along well with. Somehow, in my brain, parents choosing a given name of Jimmy or Wendy was (is) correlated with those adults who hang on to the Jimmy/Wendy identity long after it's time to hang it up. It's indicative of unseriousness and Peter Pan syndrome. Even though, in the former case, it's not the child's fault at all.

Obviously this is utterly unreasonable on my part, not least because I can come up with a quick list of exceptions in both directions (people with babyish names who have no problem acting like grown-ups, and people who have staid names who act in a very immature way). Still, figuring out why I had a knee-jerk prejudice on this topic seemed useful.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 8:59 AM
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My spouse and I, after a protracted naming dispute, gave our first (and only planned, which explains the intensity of the fight) offspring four names, all familial in one way or another, with an explicit side agreement on how they would be treated for database purposes until offspring was old enough to choose for offspring's self, and a second side agreement that offspring would be allowed to choose any name (whether from the original four or not) freely once old enough to do so.

Disputes over undue parental influence on that free choice are scheduled to begin in four or five years. I just hope the grandparents stay out of it.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:00 AM
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I used to know a woman named At/las, which IIRC is Persian for "Petunia".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:00 AM
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a second side agreement that offspring would be allowed to choose any name (whether from the original four or not) freely once old enough to do so

Depending on what you mean by "once old enough to do so", I'm not sure your agreement or lack thereof has any bearing on offspring's ability to do this.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:03 AM
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596: For girls (in the US at least) Kim is short for Kimberly. Which come to think of it is a place-name, isn't it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:03 AM
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WTF is Kim short for?

Kimberley.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:03 AM
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kim (male) is short for kimball or kimble (fancy version cymbeline!)
kim (female) is short for kimberl(e)y

but probably both are these day often given just as themselves (ie short for nothing any more)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:04 AM
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596: I do recommend reading the short story first, like most SciFi it works best in shorter form. However, in this case, I think Keyes did pretty well in expanding it to a novel*, so worth reading that as well if you like the story.

*Contrast with Ender's Game which in my opinion was a landmark short piece, a so-so novel and a world historical piece of shit series.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:05 AM
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601. Does she use body language to express indifference a lot?

599. I'm inclined to be on the anti-abbreviation as given name side, but I'd make an exception for Wendy. Who needs to be called Gwendolyn?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:05 AM
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it's old english: it means a "regal hill"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:05 AM
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IT IS SO ANNOYING WHEN PEOPLE DROP THE W FROM GWLADYS


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:07 AM
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wendy is free-standing! j.m.barrie invented it for "peter pan"

wikipedia: "Although the name Wendy appears as a boy's name in the 1881 census of England, and was occasionally used as a nickname for the Welsh Gwendolyn, Barrie is usually credited with its invention as a girl's name."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:07 AM
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How can someone invent something that's already occasionally in use?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:08 AM
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602: Meaning, once offspring was old enough to express a preference, we agreed to use any preferred name. That's likely to be considerably younger than the point at which we wouldn't have any legal (or practical) say in it.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:09 AM
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Who needs to be called Gwendolyn?

If one must shorten it, at least use Gwen, or even Lynn. (Hm, another prejudice: Am I anti-names-ending-in-Y-sounds?)

j.m.barrie invented it

He has no reservoir of good faith with me! See above.

(Seriously, I've heard that story before and I kind of doubt it, Wikipedia or no.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:11 AM
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Kimberley

Another case where I'm comfortable with the abbreviation then. I'd rather name a kid any random syllable than after a diamond mine.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:11 AM
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608: that was re kimball/kimble/cymbeline

610: so the name that evolved from male to female which disproves the existence of cooties is wendy!

amusing anecdata courtesy the history of wendy: "in 1797 a boy named Wendy was apprenticed to some one in Glos."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:12 AM
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608: Originally, however, "Masculine use of the name can be traced back to the Boer War, when English soldiers were fighting in the South African town of Kimberley." (Kimberley is the diamond-mining center, and gave its name to kimberlite*. (partial OFE pwnage acknowledged)) So the name has had quite the journey before getting to the Pink Power Ranger.

*Of which I like this statement in the Wikipedia article, "Kimberlite has in many ways attracted more attention than its relative volume might suggest that it deserves. This is largely because it serves as a carrier of diamonds and garnet peridotite mantle xenoliths to the Earth's surface". Duh-uh.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:15 AM
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it's barrie's own story, and it certainly gave the name huge popularity in its own right -- but yes, he might well have just made the story up, rather than the name... i'm fairl sure wendy darling is at no point called "gwendolyn" in the book

the surge of celtic and medieval and fake-medieval names from 1880s-1920s was a product of the arts and crafts movement, which barrie was not entirely distant from


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:15 AM
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599 -- !!

595 -- Jughead P. Stormcrow! I knew it!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:16 AM
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Daniel, Denis, Dominic, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, Eugene/Owen, Jeremiah, Honora, Bridget, Mary, Margaret, Catherine

The key here is that these are all saints names. Many of them originally had an Irish version which was then Anglicised from Irish originals. By the 18th/19th century the standard christening method was to use the Anglicised version. For example "Felim" becomes Philip or occasionally Felix.

After the Gaelic revival the Irish versions became more popular again in certain circles. It's almost a cliché now of portraying swipple types in Ireland to show them giving Irish-language names to their children.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:19 AM
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to 556: yes, he teaches at penn. in an instance of thread convergence he is often known as kim rather than kermit. certain old-fashioned sounding names are very popular here in singapore: I know several adelines, a belle--also gladys, that sort of thing. I wonder if bertha will ever stage a comeback. I was totally stung on my younger daughter's name, which I researched to try and make sure it wasn't creeping up in the charts, and then ben affleck named his kid that the next year, and the incredibles came out. oh well.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:22 AM
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547: Bill Buford has a similar anecdote in Among The Thugs about being stopped and asked his religion and football affiliation. Luckily, he was able to guess the correct paired response, since the honest one -- "Arsenal Atheist" -- would not have been much of a help.

559: There's a novelization of a Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode where the entire plot [SPOILER} hangs on the assumption that the master criminal that Napoleon Solo is hunting is a man, because the codename that U.N.C.L.E. has learned is "Leslie". But she's not really a man at all! Oh, gender, how you continue to befuddle us!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:25 AM
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things i just discovered:

a: the father of the small girl, margaret, who (allegedly) called j.m.barrie her "fwendy-wendy", thus forever switching the gender of this key gloucestershire boy's name, was one w.e.henley, poet and critic, who robert louis stephenson based long john silver on
b: the great grammarian sir arthur quiller-couch had a son called bevil


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:27 AM
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620: I'm going to pause for a moment of fanboyish glee at being only two degrees of separation from the rosy-toed one, then.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:27 AM
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599: But Wendy's not a diminutive of anything else.

Also Joshua (minor Biblicals have been hot) went from 4th to 3rd for boys since the '80s while its rate has nearly halved.

I was aware of this phenomenon, but this is a really stark example. Wow.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:28 AM
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619: swipple types in Ireland
Hey! Since when are the Irish white?

620: I used to work with a Kermit (the third) who goes by "Kit". A jocular former supervisor of ours used to call him "Kiten". He didn't like that.
I also know a Kermit in the local rock scene. But he's from the East Side, so no one makes fun of his name.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:28 AM
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"Kitten" that is.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:29 AM
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the surge of celtic and medieval and fake-medieval names from 1880s-1920s

Which reminds me of what the fantasy writer Jo Walton calls the Tiffany Problem.
"The Tiffany problem is when you're right about something but the reader thinks you're wrong anyway. Tiffany is a genuine medieval name, it's a short form of Theophania, and it's attested in England and France back to the twelfth century -- but you can't call your medieval heroine Tiffany anyway, because the reader will know they know better than you... even though you're right."


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:30 AM
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620 -- I felt bad for people named Amanda when the Barry Manilow song came out. But not that bad: charley isn't as bad as sue, but there are plenty of things kids can do with it, from tuna to the Viet Cong.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:30 AM
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Sorry, 624.1 is stupid.

I'm actually not fond of giving children full names if your express intention is to call them by a nickname. So, in response to "We're naming her Gwendolyn, but we'll call her Wendy," I just want to say, "Why not name her Wendy?"

This concept does not extend to Chuck or Jimbo.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:32 AM
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(i believe 620 has an indiscretion re geography)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:34 AM
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I'm actually not fond of giving children full names if your express intention is to call them by a nickname.

Yep. It's a cruel parent who names a daughter "Babs". Or a son.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:35 AM
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I know a Gwendolyn who's always gone by "Wendy" for most purposes, but also had a hippie taken-name for radical politics, which is how I was first introduced to her. To complicate things, she's a fairly small woman, but there's another Wendy around the scene who's even smaller -- like, really, really tiny -- so of course the former is "Little Wendy" and the latter, the smaller of the two, is "Big Wendy". It can be kind of confusing to figure out who people are talking about when she's mentioned.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:41 AM
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kermit is a variant of dermot

in "murder must advertise" lord peter wimsey disguises himself as a fictional cousin using his own middle names, death bredon, declining to write death as d'eath or to pronounce it to rhyme with teeth


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:41 AM
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So, in response to "We're naming her Gwendolyn, but we'll call her Wendy," I just want to say, "Why not name her Wendy?"

Unlike Witt (599), I'm not bothered by people continuing to use diminutives into adulthood (in general, I mean, though obviously some nicknames really are too childish for grownups). But I think it's best to give the child the option of going by a more grownup or formal name (for job applications, marriage records, etc etc). In the case of Richard/Rick, for example, there's nothing wrong with Rick as a diminutive. But why not name the boy Richard and let him have both a formal and an informal version of his name?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:44 AM
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629: It's so that the child can decide that that she hates being called Wendy and wants to go by Gwendolyn without a huge amount of fuss. If you name her Wendy she'll either have to change her name entirely or go by Wen, which is horrid.

Although there will always be fuss; a friend of mine went from Bob to Robert and there was great consternation all around, for no very good reason.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:45 AM
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629: I like, in theory, the idea of people's names having both a formal and a familiar form that one doesn't use unless invited to. It's a useful way of expressing degrees of acquaintance and intimacy. So in that case you could certainly name a child Gwendolyn knowing that she would be Wendy to her family.

But in modern American culture many or most people use familiar forms of address indiscriminately, without invitation, and it is very rude to object. These people should of course get off my lawn, but other than that there's not much to do about the situation.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:45 AM
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634...curses.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:45 AM
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618: Jughead P. Stormcrow! I knew it!

Forsythe Pendleton Jones III to you. Actually, a pre-Internet version of my pseud was J. Pendleton Stormcrow.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:45 AM
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I think I was more or less pwned by both 634 and 635, although the element of priggishness in 636 was arguably original.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:48 AM
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Oh, on the cooties front:

I think LB is right that parents of boys are loathe to give them feminine-associated names; they're also far more conservative in naming in general, hence the historically much smaller pool of common boys' names (this has changed somewhat in recent years with cutesy spellings).

That said, what I've noticed is that names that make the migration seem to go from being occasional or moderately common boys' names (Leslie) to very common girls' names (Lesley) which is part of what kills it - it's no longer an ambiguous name, but an overwhelmingly girly name.

Leslie was #92 in the 00s, #122 in the 40s, and #198 in the 60s; Lesley was #621 in the 00s, #170 in the 40s, and #71 in the 60s. If you were born post-war, your Lesl[ee] peers would be overwhelmingly girls, and it would be hard to go back.

Doesn't change the fact that there's no strong cooties associated with appropriating a boys' name for a girl (altho not all of them - anyone know any she-Bobs or she-Scotts?).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:48 AM
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in "murder must advertise" lord peter wimsey disguises himself as a fictional cousin using his own middle names, death bredon, declining to write death as d'eath or to pronounce it to rhyme with teeth

How is this guy's name pronounced?

I thought it was derived from "De'Ath".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:49 AM
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voltairine is a great name


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:50 AM
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634: But why not name the boy Richard and let him have both a formal and an informal version of his name?
Because then everyone will mentally substitute "Dick" for his name, and if he has a funny last name too, he will be ashamed.

Worked with a woman, whose last name has since changed, but who used to have a fancy nameplate on her cubicle with the moniker: D/aw/n S/laugh/ter. Intense.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:52 AM
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To complicate things, she's a fairly small woman, but there's another Wendy around the scene who's even smaller -- like, really, really tiny -- so of course the former is "Little Wendy" and the latter, the smaller of the two, is "Big Wendy".

This makes me think of activist naming practices...Back before blogs, if one had a common name and a well-known fanzine, one might be known by the first name and the fanzine name, most famously Aaron Cometbus. Then of course we have a local surplus of Erics, so we have Indymedia Eric, Wobbly Eric, Eric Z, etc, etc. Plus of course a lot of taken names, ranging from the serious-pretentious (Free, Wind, etc) to the silly-stoner-radical (Badger, Toxic) to the common-therefore-anonymous-alias (LOT of Tumbleweeds, nationwide).


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:53 AM
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Actually, a name that I'm, uh, familiar with gives further evidence: Jason was staggeringly popular, but relatively briefly. It has since been used, in various spellings, as a girls' name. But the mass of he-Jasons has prevented she-Jaycens from making any dent in the popular consciousness. She-Jaydens are about a decade behind he-Jaydens, but its popularity as a boys' name continues to increase.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:53 AM
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Beaten to the punch, tierce!

I can't believe there are now two threads on names.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:54 AM
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But in modern American culture many or most people use familiar forms of address indiscriminately, without invitation, and it is very rude to object.

I don't think that's priggish. If you're obliged to call some salesman you wouldn't let in your house "Jimbo", what's left to call your friends?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:54 AM
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it is very rude to object

meet

This concept does not extend to Chuck


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:54 AM
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can be both apparently

but wimsey doesn't say "duh ath" or "deeth" (he also spends a key bit of the book pretending to be the great god pan)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:54 AM
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i came across a terrific one-of-a-kind name about 18 months, ago, an african american textile artist (i think): began with "h"

but i have entirely forgotten it, and can't think how to look it up


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:57 AM
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Many of them originally had an Irish version which was then Anglicised from Irish originals.

Yes. And sometimes the Irish was latinised for the parish records, and then it was the latinised Irish name that was anglicised. And I do consider Daniel, Denis, Dominic, etc. to be Irish names, since, at least until recently and for a couple of centuries at least, those names were widely used in Ireland. But on this side of the Atlantic, they mostly wouldn't be seen as Irish (except for Bridget and Patrick, of course).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 9:58 AM
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644: In the early 90s it was "Dan". PE Dan, Red-Haired Dan, Dan(g), etc.
Best name change from that scene: A certain prophet of chaos was named after a popular blue-skinned deity by his hippie mother, so in the punk scene he completely revamped his name, first and last, and now you can tell someone's length of association with him based on whether they call him by his holy name -- the only ones who do being truly antediluvian DC punx.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:00 AM
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This site looks to be another very good name resource. Does not have the fancy graphics as the other, but it extends to some other countries and its write-ups on name origins seem more complete.

And from it I learn that "Mohammed" was the #17 boys name in England and Wales in 2007 and up 5 spots from 2006! Can dhimmitude be far off?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:06 AM
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551: Holy cow, that's him all right! He looks just like his sister. Good to know he's done well for himself.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:06 AM
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It would probably clarify my 629 to reveal that I'm not especially fond of calling children by nicknames. AB is hardcore on this, which is part of why our boy-naming was so protracted and difficult - she pretty much rejected any name with high nicknaming potential, which is approximately 100% of all boys' names.

So the apparent hedonism of 629 is actually just priggishness in disguise.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:10 AM
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Can dhimmitude be far off?

Yes it can. But your solicitude is appreciated.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:10 AM
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in general, I mean, though obviously some nicknames really are too childish for grownups

THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH "POOKUMS" !


Posted by: OPINIONATED POOKUMS | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:11 AM
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Remember that really great thread we had one time, where everyone started pooling stories of how they knew rather upper-class grandmothers nicknamed "Cupcake" and "Bunny" and "Kitten-Pants", etc?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:20 AM
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in general, I mean, though obviously some nicknames really are too childish for grownups

Until they get into bed together, at which point, IME, all restrictions of taste and decency in the matter of nicknames fly out the window.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:23 AM
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658: We'll discuss that one in your new math thread, Heebs. Maybe we can make every thread on the front page into a naming thread!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:24 AM
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659: Allow me to introduce my ex-girlfriend, Stinky.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:27 AM
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Stinky where it counts!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 10:39 AM
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I once was involved in a sureptitious affair with someone I knew through work (the precise nature of the professional relationship is too complex to explain here, but suffice it to say that it was distant enough to be ethical, but close enough to be embarassing if it were known that we were getting it on).

In the midst of a meeting, I accidentally called her by the diminutive form of her name, which I was accustomed to using during our intimate encounters. As far as anyone else in the room knew, we weren't even on a first-name basis with one another, so my addressing her in the diminutive came across as incredibly rude and patronizing. She had the good sense to pretend to be affronted, thank God.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:17 AM
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Also, being rude and patronizing was not completely out of character for me, so...


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:24 AM
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called her by the diminutive form of her name

Stinky?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:28 AM
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Her full name was Odoriferous.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:32 AM
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But in modern American culture many or most people use familiar forms of address indiscriminately, without invitation, and it is very rude to object.

This happens with my name a whole lot. I introduce myself as Robust and get automatically called Rob. When it's a client I like or towards whom I am neutral, I let it slide. If I don't like them, I find some way to refer to myself in the third person ("but, sir, if you were to say, 'Robust, I want this and that,'" etc.) to see if they catch it. Yes, I am petty.

I'm even pettier for having done this very renaming to one of my fraternity brothers who's remained one of our closest friends for many years. At the first rush event he attended, I introduced myself as Robust and he said, "Oh, that's my name, too," to which I replied, "Well, for the first time in my life I'm the only 'Robust' in the place, so from now on you're 'Rob.'" He took it in stride and has been Rob ever since.

I've faced a very minor karmic payback for it, though. When I graduated and entered the professional world everyone called me Rob at work, automatically, and too many of them for me to correct in my petty way, so now my default work name is Rob but my name at home or with friends is Robust. It's useful for social sorting but it still grates for me to hear colleagues shorten my name.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:37 AM
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I introduce myself as Robust and get automatically called Rob.

Weird. In all the years I've known you, it has never once occurred to me to call you by the shortened version of your name. You don't seem like a ____ to me at all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:43 AM
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My middle name is a masculine one (Adrian) that occasionally gets used as a girl's name even though there's a feminine version of it, leading to both exclamations of "that's a girl's name! Ha-ha!" and numerous unwanted references to Rocky during my school years. Edward is actually my dad's middle name, which I got apparently in lieu of my being James Jr. (and I shudder to think about life growing up as a J.J.). I've never particularly felt like an Edward, FWIW.

My grandfather was Louie L., but in another line of the family there was also a Louis M., whose father and grandfather were both Louis _. Louis M. gave my grandfather a job at one point based merely on the assumption they were related.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:44 AM
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Now I'm picturing that Cosby show episode where the Huxtables visit Stevie Wonder in the recording studio, except now Vanessa is dreamily saying Robust...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 11:44 AM
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669.last reminds me that I was rooting for George to be Kai's name, particularly since it's my dad's middle (I think from his grandfather) and AB's grandfathers are George and Georg, but she found it just too stuffy and dull.

Oh well.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 1:15 PM
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One of my best friends from highschool is named Robert, and is of average height. My roommate freshman year in the dorms was also named Robert, is 6'3" or so, and also became a very good friend of both me and highschool Robert.

They each took to calling the other "Bob" because neither of them like that name, and would introduce the other as "Bob" to existing friends.

I just took to calling them "Little Bob" and "Big Bob" to be able to distinguish them when speaking about them. But to this day you can trace whether someone in our circle of friends knew Big Bob or Little Bob first because they'll refer to their original friend as "Robert" and to the other one as "Bob".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 1:36 PM
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644: I was thinking of that practice and that example specifically when I chose my nom de internet.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 1:49 PM
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In all the years I've known you, it has never once occurred to me to call you by the shortened version of your name.

I take this, seriously, as a compliment. I've never seen myself as fitting the shortened version.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 1:58 PM
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Which shouldn't be taken as a value judgement since I've liked basically everyone I've ever met who goes by the familiar version of my first name.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 2:02 PM
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never once occurred to me to call you by the shortened version

Well yeah, given the circumstances of the meetings.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 2:05 PM
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I've never seen myself as fitting the shortened version.

Well, you are a big guy.

shouldn't be taken as a value judgement

No, of course. Just as I've never thought of myself as a Russell.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 2:05 PM
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Well, you are a big guy.

As a man's man, I require two syllables.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 2:19 PM
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Well yeah, given the circumstances of the meetings.

For the first fifteen minutes or so, we knew one another only by the colors of our hankies.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 2:22 PM
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I'm multisyllabic where it counts.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 2:22 PM
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651: Oh yeah, I agree with you that those are Irish names in themselves. I should have distinguished that I meant Irish-language. And to cross over with the Bunny/Cupcake stuff; I may have mentioned previously that my Irish-speaking, thatched-cottage-dwelling grandparents, whose given names were Seamus and Nora, were known to all their family and friends as Sonny and Babe.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04-10-09 4:34 PM
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