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BS: British vs. American names

CamiSu 07 Jul 02 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 07 Jul 02 - 11:16 PM
CamiSu 07 Jul 02 - 11:26 PM
Penny S. 08 Jul 02 - 06:00 PM
robomatic 08 Jul 02 - 09:37 PM
Celtic Soul 08 Jul 02 - 10:51 PM
CamiSu 09 Jul 02 - 12:02 AM
Lonesome EJ 09 Jul 02 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,Foe 09 Jul 02 - 08:35 AM
Snuffy 09 Jul 02 - 10:35 AM
Catherine Jayne 09 Jul 02 - 10:47 AM
robomatic 09 Jul 02 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 09 Jul 02 - 08:47 PM
DougR 10 Jul 02 - 01:59 PM
The Walrus at work 10 Jul 02 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Jul 02 - 12:12 PM
Chanteyranger 12 Jul 02 - 03:47 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: CamiSu
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 10:52 PM

I got my Scottish name (Cameron) from my Danish grandfather, & my mother said she wouldn't have given it to a boy, so that habit is not exactly new... And I, too, chose name that were, in my experience, fairly unusual. But the years they were born Joshua and Jessica were the first place names in the US.

For our youngest, we wanted a name that did NOT start with a J and ended up with Benjamin. I was a bit surprised to find LOTS of them in my husband's family tree.

Friends of ours were trying to find a name for their new son that would fit both in their Russian background as well as their new home in the US. They were trying to decide between Daniel and Valentine. Another friend wsa telling this later and said loftily that she'd told them that NOBODY was named Valentine. I stepped up behind her and said "My father's name was Valentine, and so is my son's middle name".

'Course my husband's father and grandfather were Eston Louden Buster. Fine old American name. There are very regional names in New England. I'd hardly head the name Alden as a first name and now I have a few acquaintances and a nephew with it. Logan is another like that.

I look forward to the wonderful mixed ethnic salad to come. I'd really like to see a bit more of it in rural New England!


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 11:16 PM

Out of curiosity, is Randy still in common use in the USA - either as is, or as the abbreviation for Randolph? Always cracked me up, bearing in mind the english meaning of the word as an adjective.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: CamiSu
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 11:26 PM

Not so much, but it was fairly common when I was a kid. Check out A Word A Day on June 10 of this year. It has a link to one man's story about changing his name from Randy to Dave. http://www.inkdrop.net/name/


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Penny S.
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 06:00 PM

As a teacher, I run into a lot of variations in names, some of which can entrap the unwary. Currently primary school boys in my class are John, Max, Jordan, Jaymin, Lakhpreet, Ryan, Kieran, Daniel, Danny, Luke, Aaron (a trap, pronounced Arran), George, Jacob, Rajpal, James, Jamie, Lewis, Alexander: girls are Monica, Amritpreet, Alice, Danielle, Charlotte, Tanya, Chantelle, Yasmin, Bethany, Georgia, Annabelle. The four obviously Indian names belong to Sikhs. One Indian child has a Western name. Everyone else is from long standing local families. This is a fairly standard variety, though we also have some West African names. There has been a fashion for a long time of non-traditional names, some of which come from America, and of using abbreviated names as the full name, especially with boys. We have Jacks and Toms, Tims and Bens. Girls' names tend to be fancier, but the boys, after a spell of Seans (every possible spelling), Darrells and Waynes, are now more traditional. even to George (we've more than one or two).

If you look up through the classes, there is a curious group of names used for men in the British upper class, but women in the middle classes, and not at all by the rest. Jocelyn, Evelyn, and Hilary, can lead to confusion.

I think you'll find more difference between the upper and middle class British and Americans, than between other British and Americans.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 09:37 PM

Donald Trump had a kid a couple years ago and I forget the actual name he and the mother christened the boy with, but it was something like Percy or Chauncey. The show Saturday Night Live reported this on their faux news broadcast appended with: "Let the playground beatings commence!"

As for true if not traditional American names:

Ima Hogg and her sister Ura Hogg <=from a well-off politically connected American family of the last century.

Positive Wasserman Jones (!)


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 10:51 PM

As to Caitlin=Katelyn. I have also known a Siobhan...only they spelled her name Shevaughn. I think it is the trouble that most American English speakers (myself included) have with Irish and Gaelic spellings. We are just so far and away from the Isles, and there is so little call for learning those languages that it is simply too foreign. In the States, we're all hustling to learn Spanish, as that is the up and coming second language here.

And if anyone names their baby boy "Percy" here in the States, they had best also send him to Karate lessons. For sure, he's going to get his butt kicked at least some.

My honey is a brown belt (one test away from black) mostly for the reason that his last name is "Grossman", and he is not large in stature. (I.E.: butt kicking was a way of life growing up).


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: CamiSu
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 12:02 AM

Robomatic--

Ima Hogg did not have a sister. Ima was short for Imogene. She did have three brothers, William, Michael, and Thomas.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 12:41 AM

Why is Percy a sissy name? Is there something about its sound that is inherently wimpy? Or were there a succession of Percys (Percies?) who minced their way through history, casting a stigma on the name? Percy Bysshe Shelly looked a lot like Bernadette Peters, but he apparently was a hit with the ladies. Maybe he was a poet, sure, but so is Bob Dylan, or so reports say. I don't get it.

Ernie ( a name usually only used these days by cabdrivers and short-order cooks)


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,Foe
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 08:35 AM

My folks grew up in Maine and as kids,(early 1900s) I was told, everyone had a nickname that was not just shortening the given name. Mostly for boys. Three that come to mind were "Bulldog, Dung, and Peanut." My grandfather was "Bricktop" (red hair) and one son, my Uncle, was "Uncle Red" - same reason. Another uncle, Floyd, was "Ting" his whole life because he mispronouced "finger" as "tinger" when young. My father, Forrest, was "Fod" (another Forrest in his town was Fod) and one of his brothers was my "Uncle Fat." I'm a Junior but was called "Foe" my whole life although I went by "Junior" during one job when I was a teen and in college I was stuck with "Sage" for a few years. In my college fraternity (U of Maine) we gave everyone nicknames that stuck and are still used - "Mousety, C.J., Snot, Beatle, Rotten John." Anything comparable in the U.K.?


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 10:35 AM

We all got nicknames at Grammar School -
  • John Brown was Hovis
  • someone else was Budge because he bred budgerigars
  • John Davenport was Donk because the Latin master kept calling him Doncaster instead of Davenport
  • Ric Barough was Kit because he used to break up when he laughed (like he was having kittens)
  • I was Tul after Servius Tullius, King of Rome, becuase if you latinise my surname it rhymes with Tullius.
  • Philip Harvey was Milly but I don't know why

And of course, the Aussies call all red-headed men Blue!

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 10:47 AM

We got nick names at schools which kinda stuck:

Chris White was "Chalky"

I went from "Kitty" to "Cat" when I went to college.

My brother is "Petty" because our surname is Pettigrew.

One friend was called "Shakey" because her surname was Tremble

And a lad in our form was called "Stinky" well, because he smelled. As we all grew up the names stuck and we have all sat down over a pint and laugh about it. We went through a phase at orchestra by calling every one by their surnames!

cat


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 08:33 PM

CamiSu I appreciate the info. Problem is I know I read it somewhere, I'm not that imaginative. You're sure there was no Uriah? ;-) The Hoggs were great philanthropists as I understand it.

And now for something I might actually know something about. I worked with Bob Brolly and his son Bob Brolly. We called them 'Bob One' and 'Bob Two'. When Bob Senior retired we called the one that was left: 'Two'.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 08:47 PM

Interesting point from Snuffy's post - The Aussies call anyone red-headed "blue". So they do... but a fight is also a "blue". I wonder if there's a connection, given the connection between red-heads and short tempers.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: DougR
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 01:59 PM

The name of one of my grandfathers was William Harvey Clarence Duval Jones. The most interesting name I have heard was a lady's name: Seawillow Pinchback.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 02:36 PM

My father was Ernest Charles (and known to one and all as Ernie), my mother Emma Jane Amelia (Emmy)(her mother was Emma Jane) and I am Alfred Thomas (Tom).
I'm not sure where you would place those names or their abrieviations on the list of "national" names. The only one I can vouch for, for certain is Alfred (a name I dislike [1]- and never use), which dates back to, at least, the Saxon period as "Ćlfred" (and Elf counceller).

Have fun

Tom (Walrus)

[1] When I was at Junior school, the "Batman" series was on TV with their butler "Alfred" - 'nuff said?


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Jul 02 - 12:12 PM

Nick names I have heard in America: Chub (Maine after a fish not fat) Rube - Peezer - Rufus - Bananas - Buck - Animal - Babe - Rocky - a dozen Kats - and Corny.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 12 Jul 02 - 03:47 AM

Doug, I thought it was "See Willow pinch back."

I haven't come across American-born Nigels or Cyrils, but Colin is fairly popular here, and a Maurice crops up now and then. Reginald, shortened to Reggie, also appears in the U.S.

Madge. The only Madge I've seen here is from a TV commercial from the 1960s, where a manicurist named Madge tells her client to "keep your hands in the Palmolive."


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Mudcat time: 3 April 4:58 PM EDT

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