Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's in a name?

Aren't there some funny words in the English language? And some of the funniest are names. You wouldn't read about some of the very weird names around - well, maybe only here!

Years ago, I worked with a woman whose married name was Case. When she fell pregnant with her first child, she told me quite proudly that if it was a boy, she and her husband had decided to name him Justin. It wasn't until she finally cracked up that I realised that she was having a lend of me.

I swear I once knew a boy called Robert Hood. Why his parents didn't
just call him Robin and get it over and done with has always intrigued me. Then there was Richard Head, who, quite understandably, punched anyone who called him Dick. I also knew a Dick Brown, whose wife never failed to get cranky whenever anyone said "Isn't that Dick Brown standing next to you?" There were always stories about a woman named Theresa Green too, but I rather think that one may be an urban myth. Sort of like the Hispanic woman who gave birth to twin sons - they were called Jose and Hose B (you might have to say it out loud!).

Then there are the names that you can make up: Miles Long, for example, everybody's favourite porn star. The brother and sister contortionists, Ben Dover and Eileen Dover. The rich stutterer, Nanette Worth; the fitness fanatic, Jim Traynor; and the tough American Indian lady, Helen Highwater. I always hoped that one day I would know a Mr & Mrs Waters with the first names of Ebenezer and Florence, so that I could say "...and I'd like you to to meet the Waters, Eb & Flo!"

Parents need to be cautious about selecting first names, otherwise disasters could occur: think of Mr & Mrs Katz, who should never name their daughter Alison, because inevitably she would become Ali Katz. Similarly, Mr & Mrs McCracken would be advised not to name their son Phil. And if the Heatons had a son named Peter, he shouldn't walk around with his hands in his pockets.

Nicknames are often witty too. I played football with an Irishman called Stuart who was only ever known around the club as Irish Stew. Kids called Nicholas are usually known as Tinbum or Coppercoit. Back in the sixties I knew a bloke who was known as Hanoi, because he was always bombed.

Do you have any favourites?


1 comment:

VioletSky said...

I went out with a guy called Harry Dyck.
It didn't last long.
He eventually took on his mother's maiden name