Mudcat Café message #743426 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49257   Message #743426
Posted By: Jim Dixon
06-Jul-02 - 04:11 PM
Thread Name: BS: British vs. American names
Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
Yes, in America we are fond of nicknames. Even politicians use them: Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, for example. I think Jimmy Carter sued in some states to have his name listed on the ballot as Jimmy instead of James Earl. I can't recall whether Clinton was sworn in as Bill or as William Jefferson. My own state's governor, whose real name is James Janos, goes by Jesse Ventura, which is a registered trademark. He adopted that name when he was a professional wrestler.

Chuck, incidentally, is a nickname for Charles. Bubba, I understand, is a nickname based on a small child's mispronunciation of "brother," and therefore should be given only to a male who has a younger sibling.

By the way, I expected that some people would take delight in pointing out exceptions to my generalizations. But I also knew that there is nothing like a hasty generalization to generate interest. (I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't think of Colin Powell, however.) But can anyone deny that, say, "Nigel" is WAY more common in Britain than in the US? For example, entering Nigel into Google and checking the first 10 hits shows that 5 of them have URL's that end in .uk and one ends in .ca (Canada). Of those that end in .com, #1 (Nigel Dick) is described as a "British born film-maker"; #2 (Nigel Parry) has a degree from the University of Surrey; #3 (Nigel B.) is the name of a company based in California, named after Nigel Brent, but it doesn't say what his nationality is; and #4 (Nigel Dennis) is a photographer "based in South Africa." I don't know any way to prove my point without doing a lot of troublesome research, but surely that isn't necessary, is it?