Some baby names celebrities missed…

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If you have a bub on the way, here are some ideas for names Gert found in an interesting article in the LRB:

An American dialectologist noted that in the southern Appalachians in the early 20th century,
‘One girl was named Vest for no other reason than that her father wrapped her in his vest when she was only a week old and carried her proudly across the hollow to display his first-born before admiring neighbours … Three brothers in the little settlement of Shawnee bear the names Meek, Bent and Wild. Lem and Lum are the names of twins. One young man carried the substantial name of Anvil, and another that of Whetstone. A small mountain boy has Speed as his Christian name.’….
Some countries, notably Germany, Sweden and Denmark, maintain approved lists, cared for in the last case by academic specialists at the University of Copenhagen, and parents must go through a special and sometimes expensive appeals procedure if they wish to name their child something off-piste.
However, licence is spreading rapidly. The number of appeals against the name-lists has increased rapidly in recent years and threatens to overwhelm the system, causing even Hans, Jens and Jørgen to wonder if this might not be a waste of government time and taxpayers’ money. Recently, the Danes have allowed Christophpher and Swedish courts have allowed Google, Metallica and Q, though not Albin spelled Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssql-bb11116

James Davidson Flat-Nose, Stocky and Beautugly
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n18/james-davidson/flat-nose-stocky-and-beautugly

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10101046@N06/3432985154

12 thoughts on “Some baby names celebrities missed…

  1. Fascinating. In the US, we have George Freeman who had five sons and five daughters (and five wives). He named all of his sons George Edward Foreman, giving various reasons for doing so (“a bonding experience,” “easier to remember,” etc.). They all got nicknames, however, and all five daughters had very different names.

    The article also makes it clear why genealogy is so very troublesome. My Mother’s grandfather named his first daughter Ellen (after his mother); she died soon thereafter, and then that wife died One of the first children by wife #3 was named Ellen; she soon died. A couple of daughters later, he named my grandmother Ellen; she too was sickly, but somehow survived. In addition to all of the Ellens, our family has dozens of Jameses, Johns, Roberts, Marys, and Franks, Ethels — and on both sides of the family, mother and father.

    Thanks, Gert!

    1. He was absolutely determined to get an Ellen, wasn’t he? What a pity you have all those sturdy male names instead of a Lem and a Lum here and there. The US is the king of strange names, as it is the king of so many other strange things.

      1. We did have a Nehemiah (he was one of the sketchier ancestors, but mostly n’er-do-well, not dramatic).Yes, the US has a plethora of individualistic names. My sister used to collect them among her clients.

      2. By the way, I just noticed that this was a book review (exceedingly articulate, somewhat witty, and very British) of Vol V (?!) of this series, selling for a mere 125 pounds sterling.

  2. That last name (Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssql-bb11116) is quite a mouthful. I asked my grandmother why she chose the names she did for her children. She said she didn’t have the faintest idea. My mother was named after her mother so that made sense. The thing about names is you can always change them as did my aunt Hawley. My grandmother named her Sarah.
    Leslie

    1. But you pronounce it Albin. just imagine the poor kid when people asked him, “How do you spell that?”

      I knew someone who was named Denise and changed it to Rebecca when she was 18. She was the most Rebecca-ish person you ever saw.

  3. Hah! My mother’s forenames were Dorothy Olga Leslie which, together with her surname, spelled DOLL — quite deliberately, apparently. I was then named Christopher Allan Leslie Michael, giving me quite an attribute to live up to! Our firstborn was then named Florence Anne, which fortuitously means sweet F A.

    1. It could have been CLAM, which wouldn’t be so great for your blog. I saw yesterday that some celebrity has had to change her baby’s second name after realising that the 2 names he had sounded like “genital” when put together.

      1. And our beloved PM has given the latest addition to his football team, er, unknown number of offspring the unfortunate moniker of Willy (for Wilfred) Johnson, meaning his son is now effectively called, in everyday cant, Penis Penis.

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