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Folklore: On having two first names

Jim Dixon 30 Mar 11 - 12:03 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Mar 11 - 12:09 PM
VirginiaTam 30 Mar 11 - 12:28 PM
VirginiaTam 30 Mar 11 - 12:29 PM
PoppaGator 30 Mar 11 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Mar 11 - 12:40 PM
VirginiaTam 30 Mar 11 - 12:53 PM
Dave MacKenzie 30 Mar 11 - 01:23 PM
Ernest 30 Mar 11 - 01:44 PM
gnomad 30 Mar 11 - 02:05 PM
Raggytash 30 Mar 11 - 02:11 PM
Will Fly 30 Mar 11 - 02:15 PM
sheila 30 Mar 11 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Mar 11 - 03:17 PM
gnomad 30 Mar 11 - 03:37 PM
Commander Crabbe 30 Mar 11 - 08:16 PM
maple_leaf_boy 30 Mar 11 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,DWR 30 Mar 11 - 09:27 PM
artbrooks 30 Mar 11 - 09:33 PM
Darowyn 31 Mar 11 - 03:21 AM
Will Fly 31 Mar 11 - 04:09 AM
Dave MacKenzie 31 Mar 11 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,SteveT 31 Mar 11 - 05:00 AM
Dave MacKenzie 31 Mar 11 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Patsy 31 Mar 11 - 06:28 AM
harmonic miner 31 Mar 11 - 06:44 AM
Louie Roy 31 Mar 11 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Mar 11 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Mar 11 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 31 Mar 11 - 11:59 AM
GUEST, Sminky 31 Mar 11 - 12:31 PM
ElunedAgain 31 Mar 11 - 04:41 PM
jonm 01 Apr 11 - 02:50 AM
Doug Chadwick 01 Apr 11 - 02:56 AM
Wilfried Schaum 01 Apr 11 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Apr 11 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Apr 11 - 11:37 AM
frogprince 01 Apr 11 - 11:42 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Apr 11 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Tony 01 Apr 11 - 01:07 PM
romanyman 01 Apr 11 - 01:58 PM
Tootler 01 Apr 11 - 06:38 PM
LadyJean 01 Apr 11 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,one of the yorkshiremen 01 Apr 11 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 11 - 01:21 AM
Doug Chadwick 02 Apr 11 - 05:51 AM
Tootler 02 Apr 11 - 06:02 AM
Wilfried Schaum 02 Apr 11 - 10:11 PM
Rob Naylor 03 Apr 11 - 03:15 AM
Rob Naylor 03 Apr 11 - 03:21 AM
VirginiaTam 03 Apr 11 - 04:08 AM
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Subject: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:03 PM

In another thread, Splott Man observed that the name John Willie occurs several times in songs by Gracie Fields (who was from Lancashire) and by the Owdham Tinkers (ditto). He wondered about the significance of "John Willie."

I don't know the answer, but it may be that John Willie is just a typical example of a broader custom of calling people by two names. I'd be interested in finding out more about this custom. Where is it common? When was it common? Was it a fad that came and went?

My mother came from Arkansas, the Ozarks region, to be a bit more exact (but that's still a broad region, spreading into Missouri and Oklahoma). On my mother's side, I had an aunt named Emma Nell, and cousins named Shirley Sue, Wanda Lee, and Larry Henry. Those weren't just their formal names; I mean, every time a family member referred to them, they called them Emma Nell, Shirley Sue, etc. At least that was true when they were young. As times changed, or perhaps more importantly, as they moved out of the Ozarks to areas where the custom wasn't so well known, they tended to drop one of the names. Thus Emma Nell is now known as Emma, Shirley Sue is now Sue, and so on. But my mother, a creature of habit, continued to call them Emma Nell, Shirley Sue, etc. until she died. (My mother had no middle name at all.)

By the way, my sister-in-law thinks this is hilarious. She has asked me, "Tell me again, what were the names of those relatives of yours?" I have only to name them to set her giggling. I guess she thinks of stereotypical bucktoothed hillbillies.

A few famous people have held on to the custom. Billy Bob Thornton comes to mind. He was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, also in the Ozarks, no coincidence, I suppose.

I know a lot of country singers use two first names. Lee Ann Rimes and Jimmie Dale Gilmore come to mind. I'm sure there are others. But being professional entertainers, they might have deliberately chosen those names to project a certain image, or to distinguish themselves from other performers with similar names. I don't know what their families call them, and I don't know how to find out. So I don't know if they are following an authentic family or regional tradition.

Do you, or does anyone in your family, habitually use two first names? Or did they in the past? When? Where were they from?

And of course, if you want to list famous people you know of, or songs that mention people with two first names, that would be welcome, too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:09 PM

By the way, there was a character in The Waltons (TV series, 1972-1981) called Jim-Bob. Some of my friends call me Jim-Bob, although neither Bob nor Robert is part of my real name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:28 PM

I grew up in southeast Virginia (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana roots) being called Tammy Linn short for Tamara Linn (on my birth certificate). I was the only kid out of 5 to be called by 2 names.   When I hit 30, I killed Tammy Linn and insisted on being called Tamara. When I moved to England I shortened it to Tam, because they don't pronounce it the way I am accustomed to hear it.

I have female cousins Bobbie Dale and Billie Jean. We still call them that.

My mom is Betty Lou, still called that by living siblings unless they are teasing her with "Elizabeth Louise." Her siblings got proper full names James Clyde, Robert Donald, Georgina Ann and Dorothy Lee, though they were called, Jim, Bob, Jo and Dot. Mom was always called Betty Lou as it was recorded on her birth certificate. She hates that she was given a shortened name and yet she still calls me Tammy Linn.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:29 PM

Waltons had Mary Ellen too.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:34 PM

Interesting question; I've wondered about it myself.

I've always thought/felt that when you use your full name, including middle name, it's formal, and therefore normal to use the full, formal form of your first and middle names. The custom that has always struck me as peculiar to "hillbilly" culture is the use of diminutive/informal versions of the two names, like "Jim Bob" rather than James Robert, Billy Bob for William Robert, etc.

Perhaps use of the two names is more common in communities where relatively few surnames exist. If a dozen households have the same last name, even where there is "no relation" (not within recent generations, anyway), use of the "extra" first name maybe hellp to differentiate between individuals. If there are too many Smiths, in other words, there are very likely to be multiple William/Bill Smiths, James/Jim Smiths, etc. But maybe only one Billy Bob Smith, one Billy Joe Smith, etc.

(insert joke about inbreeding here.)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:40 PM

Hi, Jim. First let me say, that your sister-in-law sounds like a real pain. I believe it's time to figure out one of those devastating, passive-agressive comebacks which Midwesterners are so good at. You know, the kind of thing that will have her lying awake at 3 am saying, "I should have said ------------."

As for double names, I have heard them lots of places. Names combined with Mary are legion.

Mary Beth (Minnesota)
Mary Jo (Chicago)
Mary Ellen (New York)

As for Emma Nell and Shirley Sue, it's possible that they had forebears named Emma and Shirley. Some families use the same names over and over, some don't.

I had an aunt named Margaret whose daughter was named Margaret Ann. (It was a mistake. She was supposed to be Mary Ann, but the old doctor heard wrong and registered her wrong. In time, Margaret Ann had a Mary Ann of her own.)

When Margaret Ann had a son named William John, some of her neighbors referred to him as Billy John.   She put the kibosh on that immediately. She is rumored to have said "I hate that!" This was in Indiana in the 1940's.

At one time, my husband's family had four people named John. Sister John, John, John R and John Michael. He is always called the full John Michael.

As for double nicknames, such as Billy Bob and Jim Bob, I kind of think they have a little basis in fact, but that mostly it's a media thing. I have lived in Missouri 35 years, and I've never encountered anyone with a name like that.

I do think that the average man will shorten his boss's name, or a bully's name, to a double nickname (behind his back.) It's an expression of contempt.

Have you ever read Joan Hess's novels about Maggody, Arkansas. It's pretty clear that Jim Bob, the mayor, is called that to express contempt. Even Brother Verber, who can't lay off the sacramental wine, gets better treatment than Jim Bob, namewise.

One final thought. I read in a language book that the American Middlewest is the world hotbed for new first names. Some of them are just two words, is all.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:53 PM

I found a book among my ex's grandmother's library that had the name Winnie Jewell inscribed in it.

Lovely name isn't it?

There is also in UK Young Simon John which is a wonderful song, written by Tommy Daniel.

Perhaps PoppaGator is not far off the mark re necessity of adding names to distinguish between same named people.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 01:23 PM

My father, John Willie, came from Wester Ross, and among his brothers were Kenny John and Hector Willie. I believe the custom had something to do with the strict naming conventions for new babies, starting, I think, with paternal grandparents, then maternal grandparents, and down through all the aunts and uncles. Using two names helped to avoid confusion.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Ernest
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 01:44 PM

We have been to poor to afford tw first names...;0)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: gnomad
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 02:05 PM

I've a feeling that Tommy Daniel may not be a suitable case, in that Daniel was a surname. I have known a few by that surname, though Daniels is more common. This is in northern England, I didn't know Tommy, but that has been my understanding as long as I knew of him.

I did know a Karl Francis (first names) when much younger, his younger brothers also had two names apiece, but only he was regularly addressed by both names. The family were of mixed origin (aren't we all) a Swiss/Jewish-refugee X gentile-Edinburgh cross. Not sure how this affects the theory, but all data is relevant??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 02:11 PM

Myself and my siblings were all blessed with two "christian" names and in the case of my late sister three!

We were all refered to in day to day use by the latter of these, my brother Charles Michael being called Mike, my sister Margaret Patrica Ann was known as Ann and myself was only known as JAMES NICHOLAS on Sundays OR when I was in serious trouble.

this in order to clarify location was in Lancashire (England) in the late 50's/60's


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 02:15 PM

John Willie is a name that was celebrated by music hall artist George Formby Senior (1875-1921) and appears in several recordings from the early years of the 20th century. It appears quite a bit in Lancashire - and probably elsewhere. Mary Ellen is also a common combination and perhaps the female equivalent of John Willie. ("I'm shy, Mary Ellen, I'm shy" - another music hall song).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: sheila
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 02:23 PM

My NorthWest Scotland family includes Willie John, John Francis, Donald Angus, Alick George, Donald Charlie, Charlie Peter, Willie Angus, etc. There's a limited selection of surnames in the area, and the 'extra' names help.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:17 PM

Do people call them by both names? Do they say "Alick George, it's time to get up!"

Do you sing, "Happy birthday, Donald Charlie?"

If so, it's a nice way to do it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: gnomad
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:37 PM

Leenia: Yes, they do. It seemed odd to me when first encountered, but much less so once I grew up. The charms difference seem more evident to me as I get older.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 08:16 PM

My Father was from the Midlothians and my mother from Essex.

My eldest brother was called David, Thomas, Wilfred, Nicholas.
My Sister was Patricia, Mary, Ann
And I was Christopher, James, Thomas

My brother was named (In order) after my Father David, My Grandfather Thomas and My Uncles Wilf and Nick.

My sister doesn't appear to be named after any family members at all and my first two names are not family originated although my third was after my grandfather.

David was called Dave, Patricia was Pat and I for some unknown reason was called Jimmy by my parents unless I was in trouble and then it was "Christopher James". However now that they have both passed on I am generally called Chris with the exception of a few naval friends who still call me "Sam" which was my Naval nickname.

I am also sometimes called by "names unrepeatable" however I am now quite used to such!!

CC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 08:59 PM

Perhaps use of the two names is more common in communities where relatively few surnames exist. - Poppa Gator
Here, we have a situation like that. Some of us use two names, but
a lot of people also have a nickname. If there are several John MacDonalds (just picking a common name) we might use a second name (usually their given middle name) and add a nickname as an alternate surname. If one is a carpenter, we might call him John Allan Hammer to distinguish him from the other John MacDonalds.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 09:27 PM

I was named after two older cousins, one on each side of the family. My two older sisters (15 and 17 years older) almost always called me by both names.   This practice has lasted long past adulthood.

My Grandmother also used both, but that was usually when she was aggravated at me for something. That happened more frequently than necessary, I suppose.

I can't recall anyone else doing it, at least not frequently enough to be remembered.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: artbrooks
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 09:33 PM

My wife's English grandmother called her Jennifer Ethel and she, in turn, called our daughters Karen Elizabeth and Ruthie Cait (Caitlin) quite often. That may have been a factor in the latters dropping her first name entirely when she was a mid-teenager.   On my side of the family, my mother didn't use our middle names unless we were really in trouble!

Another interesting one - I am the third generation of Arthurs (and yes, I have a number after it). Each of us dropped the full name on adulthood and use/used Art exclusively. My/our middle name, Chase, was my grandfather's mother's maiden name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Darowyn
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 03:21 AM

Might it be a mainland European influence?
Jean Luc Goddard, (and Pickard!)
Johan Sebastian and Johan Christian Bach
AnniFrid Faltskog from Abba.

All the Ozarkers must have come from somewhere. Perhaps they brought to habit with them.

Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:09 AM

I think there's a subtle difference between having two - or more - forenames and actually being called by those two names in everyday family conversation. Many people had two and more forenames - as in John William - but not everybody was called "John Willie" or "Mary Ellen". That seemed to be a convention of particular areas and, dare I say it, of particular classes of people.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:27 AM

Going back to my father, because of the way his name was stressed, there' s quite a few lowlanders thought his name was Willie rather than John Wille. There were also quite a few nicknames - some of them hereditary. The original Buckie was so called because as a small boy he used to hang around the visiting East Coast fishermen (Buckies).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 05:00 AM

I would have thought that the "double name" was a device to distinguish between individuals who shared at least one of those names with others in the family, as suggested by some others here. Where there were strong traditional family first names, choice was restricted and you might get several in the same family who shared at least one of those first names.

It reminds me of the expression "Our" which was used regularly around Cheshire/Lancashire to identify your own family member from others who had the same first name. So you would often hear someone say, for example, "Come on Our Fred".

It may have served a similar purpose to the Welsh practice of adding descriptive terms after their name to distinguish between people; for example "Jones the Post", Jones the Coal".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:24 AM

The use of "our" was found in the North East as well, though some people were genuinely surprised to find that the wife of one of my colleagues in Newcastle didn't have 'Wor Lass' on her birth cerificate.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:28 AM

Similarly in Bristol we name family members as 'Our' pronounced 'Arr' mum, or to be really Bristolian 'Arr ma' so family members knew that you weren't talking about a similar named person at the end of the street. Often we would name family members with a little bit added on in a nickname kind of way sometimes with something popular for example my father who's name is Fred would be called 'Right said Fred' after the Bernard Cribbins song. When I was small I was named Patsy-Lou by my aunts which became Lou-Lou-belle I have no idea why, My younger cousin Michael was nicknamed 'Michael Row the Boat Ashore' another popular song with family members.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: harmonic miner
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:44 AM

In parts of Ireland, the extra first name is used to distinguish between people who have the same firstname and surname.

So there are two John O'Sullivans. But one is the son of Tom, so he's called John Tom O'Sullivan. The other is the son of Andy so he's called John Andy O'Sullivan.

This extra first name is not the same as a middle name though. On John Tom's birth certificate he may be named John Michael O'Sullivan.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Louie Roy
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:53 AM

Try Lewis Roy everyone wan't tochange it to Roy Lewis


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 11:50 AM

Right, Louie. Try saying 'Lewis Roy' five times. It's hard, isn't it? Now imagine you're a little kid and Lewis Roy is your playmate. It seems pretty natural to want to change the name.

I read in the preface to a dictionary once that one of the major factors in language change is that most children learn to speak from slightly older children. A good point!

I think 'Louie Roy' trips better off the tongue. Congratulations on your choice.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 11:52 AM

Another thought about that s-r combo in 'Lewis Roy':

I was just giving our Chinese pianist a ride, and we were trying to find a new route to church. We both laughed because I stumbled over 'Quik-Trip Street.' She struggles with stuff like that all the time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 11:59 AM

Harmonic miner is about right about the use of a mix nicknames and patronymics in Ireland, it's the same in this area. In addition though, there are plenty of names like John Joe, Mary Ellen, Mary Kate etc and a widespread use of initials instead of the person's proper name: PJ, JC, PD, MJ or TJ are all common use.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 12:31 PM

The practice was taken to extremes in Lancashire in days gone by. Edwin Waugh, in his Lancashire Sketches (1855) writes:


The old custom of distinguishing persons by Christian names alone prevails generally in Smallbridge, as in all country parts of Lancashire, more or less. It sometimes happens, in small country villages like this, that there are people almost unknown, even among their own neighbours, by their surnames.

There was "Barfuut Sam," a carter, who never would wear any foot-gear; "Ab o' Slender's," "Broth," "Steeom," "Scutcher," "Peawch," and "Dick-in-a-Minnit." Most of these were as well known as the church clock. And then there was "Daunt o' Peggy's," "Brunner," "Shin 'em," "Ayli o' Joe's o' Bet's o' Owd Bullfuut's," and "Fiddler Bill."

In the Forest of Rossendale I have met with a few names of more curious structure than even any of the previous ones, such as "Eb o' Peg's o' Puddin' Jane's," "Bet o' Owd Harry's o' Nathan's at th' Change," "Enoch o' Jem's o' Rutchot's up at th' Nook," "Harry o' Mon John's," "Ormerod o' Jem's o' Bob's," and "Henry o' Ann's o' Harry's o' Milley's o' Rutchots o' John's o' Dick's, through th' ginnel, an' up th' steps, an' o'er Joseph's o' John's o' Steep's," which rather extraordinary cognomen was given to me by a gentleman, living near Newchurch, as authentic, and well known in a neighbouring dale.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: ElunedAgain
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:41 PM

Neat thread!
My family is the exception in a lot of things. My sister's names are Lea and Ann, and she has always been called LeaAnn, one word. No idea why. There is nobody in our family with a similar name, we are all from the north (Upstate New York, can't get much more north!), and nobody else in the family uses both names. My first names are Tracy and Jean, and _NObody_ calls me Tracy-jean!

On the other hand, there many multiple names tacked onto the family on my mother's side, because of the Catholic custom of honoring other family members that way, we just don't mention them in daily usage.

E


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: jonm
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 02:50 AM

I wonder if the business of initials, e.g. AJ, VJ etc. led to the first names such as Ajay and Vijay in India? A colonial hangover? Or was it the other way around?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 02:56 AM

I don't know the songs, so this might not be relevant, but I would hazard a guess that if it was Gracie Fields, then it was a way of getting the word "willie" into a song without upsetting the censors.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 08:24 AM

In my family, of rural descent, over some centuries the sons were named Johann [John] and had to have a second first name to distinguish them from oneanother.
This usage stopped in every branch when a son was forced to join the nearby university and try his chances as a minister.
Both my daughters I had baptized with four first names, so they could change their names in case their first first name should displease them, but they are content by them, since their parents made such good choices. Thy are now called always by the first name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 08:34 AM

I was just giving our Chinese pianist a ride


That too would get a good laugh (or a few raised eyebrows) in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 11:37 AM

That (a sneer or a leer) would be the typical reaction to being asked to think a new thought.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: frogprince
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 11:42 AM

Isn't it just about universally true that even if a kid is normally called by just his first name, he hears both first and middle name if his mother is really pissed off at him?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 12:17 PM

Frogprince: No, that never happened to me. And my mother and most of her siblings (she came from a large family) didn't even have middle names, so that custom could never have been established. And my wife and I didn't do it to our kid, either, although he has a middle name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 01:07 PM

A girl I dated 40 years ago, who was from a small town in the bootheel region of southeastern Missouri, told me that double names were used in her town to distinguish people with the same first name by attaching a close relative's first name. For example, there were several women named Mary, so people added their husbands' names. So there was a Mary Bob, a Mary Pat, and even Mary Doc.

In old Russian novels and plays, close friends and relatives always seem to address each other by two names, even when they're cumbersome. "But I am loving your wife, dearest Vladimir Nikolayevich!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: romanyman
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 01:58 PM

As a total aside , many romanies also have a "secret" name usually wispered to the baby soon after birth by the eldest member of the family


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:38 PM

In old Russian novels and plays, close friends and relatives always seem to address each other by two names, even when they're cumbersome. "But I am loving your wife, dearest Vladimir Nikolayevich!"

Nikolayevich is a patronymic and the name basically means Vladimir son of Nikolai. This a way several cultures have of dealing with the problem indicated in several posts, namely several people in a location having the same first name. In some countries, surnames are either non existent or rarely used. A former colleague of mine who was of Pakistani origin told me that everyone in his home village had the surname Anwar so surnames were little use in distinguishing people. So while we knew him as Maksoud (usually shortened to Max) Anwar, in his home village in Pakistan he was known as Maksoud Mohammed, Mohammed being his father's name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: LadyJean
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:45 PM

My mother was named Mary for her father's mother Mary Ellen and Ann for her mother's mother Annabelle. It said Mary Ann on her birth cerificate, but she always spelled it Marianne. She didn't like being called Mary.

Grandma was named Bessie, rather than Elizabeth, because her family didin't want her called Lizzie. Grandma wouldn't thank me for telling you this. She called herself Betty. She said Bessie was a cow's name.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,one of the yorkshiremen
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:56 PM

Two names - Luxury!! We were too poor to have even one name - our dad just called us "ey you"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 01:21 AM

Thanks for the story about the bootheel of Missouri, Tony. I'd never heard of that custom before.

Yorkshireman, I believe every word you say, of course. No doubt your father could make it clear whom he was addressing within the confines of the home. Nonetheless, it must have been hell to run the school system in your home town.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 05:51 AM

Slight thread drift .........

Nonetheless, it must have been hell to run the school system in your home town.

One of my teachers, year upon year, refused to learn anybody's name and called everyone Horace. It was the pupils' responsibility to know who he was talking to.


DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Tootler
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 06:02 AM

Nonetheless, it must have been hell to run the school system in your home town.

The Headmaster of my daughters' school would call after misbehaving kids with either "You Boy!" or "You Girl!". My elder daughter reckoned headteachers had special training to say it with a particular intonation :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 10:11 PM

Reminds me of my service time when one was shouted at all over the parade: this man there!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 03:15 AM

Will Fly: John Willie is a name that was celebrated by music hall artist George Formby Senior (1875-1921) and appears in several recordings from the early years of the 20th century. It appears quite a bit in Lancashire - and probably elsewhere.

Yorkshire, too, Will. My maternal great uncle John Willie Priestley was never called anything else. He was born in about 1880. My maternal grandad was always "Albert Edward".

Oddly, those two are the only two in my large-ish family with doubled first names (my mum is one of 8 children who survived to adulthood and dad was one of 5, with the previous generation being equally numerous).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 03:21 AM

Dave M: The use of "our" was found in the North East as well, though some people were genuinely surprised to find that the wife of one of my colleagues in Newcastle didn't have 'Wor Lass' on her birth cerificate.

Again also very common in Yorkshire.

I've been "aaahr Robert" to family members all my life, and despite living in London and Kent for over 30 years I still refer to my brother as "aaahr Andrew" when talking about him with other relatives.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: On having two first names
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 04:08 AM

As a total aside , many romanies also have a "secret" name usually wispered to the baby soon after birth by the eldest member of the family


@ Romanyman that is a charming tradition. How lovely the oldest passing something special and secret to the youngest member of the family. Does the child ever get told the secret name when old enough to understand it? Or does it remain secret to all except the giver of the name?

@ Frogprince the employment of double names when we were in trouble was used by my Mother (and my aunts and so I suppose by my grandmother).

Scott = Maynard Scott
Kevin = Kevin Bruce
Cindy = Cynthia Diane
Timmy = Timothy Wayne

But I, though my given name was Tamara Linn, was always called Tammy Linn, no matter the reason for calling me.

When angry with my children, they heard the business end of their names.

As my mom got older (with her offspring's, nieces, nephews and next generations names to remember) she got tired of running through all the names until she landed on the correct one. It got to the point in her fumbling through the list, that one or the other of us would chime in with the name "Fred" the gag being there were no Freds in the family. So now by the time she gets to 3rd or 4th name, she gives up and says "Hey Fred!" We all know who she means.


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