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BS: British vs. American names

Chanteyranger 12 Jul 02 - 03:47 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 11 Jul 02 - 12:12 PM
The Walrus at work 10 Jul 02 - 02:36 PM
DougR 10 Jul 02 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 09 Jul 02 - 08:47 PM
robomatic 09 Jul 02 - 08:33 PM
Catherine Jayne 09 Jul 02 - 10:47 AM
Snuffy 09 Jul 02 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Foe 09 Jul 02 - 08:35 AM
Lonesome EJ 09 Jul 02 - 12:41 AM
CamiSu 09 Jul 02 - 12:02 AM
Celtic Soul 08 Jul 02 - 10:51 PM
robomatic 08 Jul 02 - 09:37 PM
Penny S. 08 Jul 02 - 06:00 PM
CamiSu 07 Jul 02 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 07 Jul 02 - 11:16 PM
CamiSu 07 Jul 02 - 10:52 PM
GUEST 07 Jul 02 - 08:28 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Jul 02 - 08:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jul 02 - 08:06 PM
Noreen 07 Jul 02 - 07:26 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Jul 02 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 07 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Jul 02 - 05:15 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Jul 02 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Melani (in New York!) 07 Jul 02 - 11:39 AM
Snuffy 07 Jul 02 - 11:11 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jul 02 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 07 Jul 02 - 12:14 AM
Jim Krause 06 Jul 02 - 09:20 PM
artbrooks 06 Jul 02 - 08:25 PM
Snuffy 06 Jul 02 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 06 Jul 02 - 06:39 PM
Catherine Jayne 06 Jul 02 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 06 Jul 02 - 06:00 PM
Murray MacLeod 06 Jul 02 - 05:55 PM
katlaughing 06 Jul 02 - 05:27 PM
artbrooks 06 Jul 02 - 04:46 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Jul 02 - 04:40 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Jul 02 - 04:11 PM
gnu 06 Jul 02 - 02:28 PM
gnu 06 Jul 02 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Rory O'Moore 06 Jul 02 - 02:10 PM
Les from Hull 06 Jul 02 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 06 Jul 02 - 01:15 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Jul 02 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 06 Jul 02 - 01:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 06 Jul 02 - 01:04 PM
Lonesome EJ 06 Jul 02 - 12:16 PM
Giac 06 Jul 02 - 11:27 AM
C-flat 06 Jul 02 - 08:01 AM
Murray MacLeod 06 Jul 02 - 07:26 AM
Catherine Jayne 06 Jul 02 - 06:47 AM
catspaw49 05 Jul 02 - 11:33 PM
Little Hawk 05 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM
Celtic Soul 05 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM
The Pooka 05 Jul 02 - 11:12 PM
katlaughing 05 Jul 02 - 11:03 PM
The Pooka 05 Jul 02 - 11:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Jul 02 - 10:48 PM
catspaw49 05 Jul 02 - 10:45 PM
firínne 05 Jul 02 - 10:39 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Jul 02 - 10:38 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Jul 02 - 10:22 PM
firínne 05 Jul 02 - 10:07 PM
Celtic Soul 05 Jul 02 - 10:06 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Jul 02 - 09:52 PM

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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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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: 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 "Ælfred" (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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 08:28 PM

England 1. The largest division of the United Kingdom, occupying, with Scotland and Wales, the island of Great Britain.

Have the English ever considered themselves Scots or heaven forbid let their prince be Kymric? They are isolated.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 08:10 PM

Well Kevin, last time I looked at a map Great Britain was an island, but England wasn't, so I think Noreen was right first time ....

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 08:06 PM

"England is an isolated island" - no, not in any way erronbeous. Tautologous isnthe word. Isolated means like an island.


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

Gargoyle, if ...a man will be judged on the quality of his internet postings... what then are we to make of your erroneous statement that ...England is an isolated island... ?


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 06:36 PM

Pronunciation of Colin Thread

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM

Noticed that Colin Powell has been mentioned in this thread as an example of the name "Colin" in America, But I for one was astonished when he first appeared on the international scene and the name was pronounced "cole-on" like the lower intestinal tract. Is that pronunciation common in the US, rather than the conventional "coll-in"?


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 05:15 PM

Here is some interesting information from the US Census Bureau. First the 30 most common male names. The first number is the actual percent of males in the US who have that name. Second number is the cumulative percentage adding from the top of the list. (Thus you can see that the top 12 names account for 25 percent of the male population.) Finally, the ranking.
  JAMES          3.318  3.318      1
JOHN 3.271 6.589 2
ROBERT 3.143 9.732 3
MICHAEL 2.629 12.361 4
WILLIAM 2.451 14.812 5
DAVID 2.363 17.176 6
RICHARD 1.703 18.878 7
CHARLES 1.523 20.401 8
JOSEPH 1.404 21.805 9
THOMAS 1.380 23.185 10
CHRISTOPHER 1.035 24.220 11
DANIEL 0.974 25.194 12
PAUL 0.948 26.142 13
MARK 0.938 27.081 14
DONALD 0.931 28.012 15
GEORGE 0.927 28.939 16
KENNETH 0.826 29.766 17
STEVEN 0.780 30.546 18
EDWARD 0.779 31.325 19
BRIAN 0.736 32.061 20
RONALD 0.725 32.787 21
ANTHONY 0.721 33.508 22
KEVIN 0.671 34.179 23
JASON 0.660 34.839 24
MATTHEW 0.657 35.496 25
GARY 0.650 36.147 26
TIMOTHY 0.640 36.786 27
JOSE 0.613 37.399 28
LARRY 0.598 37.997 29
JEFFREY 0.591 38.588 30
It looks as if Jose, #28, is the only name that doesn't originate in the British Isles. (I'm not sure about Jason and Anthony.)

Now here's the corresponding list of women's names:

  MARY           2.629  2.629      1
PATRICIA 1.073 3.702 2
LINDA 1.035 4.736 3
BARBARA 0.980 5.716 4
ELIZABETH 0.937 6.653 5
JENNIFER 0.932 7.586 6
MARIA 0.828 8.414 7
SUSAN 0.794 9.209 8
MARGARET 0.768 9.976 9
DOROTHY 0.727 10.703 10
LISA 0.704 11.407 11
NANCY 0.669 12.075 12
KAREN 0.667 12.742 13
BETTY 0.666 13.408 14
HELEN 0.663 14.071 15
SANDRA 0.629 14.700 16
DONNA 0.583 15.282 17
CAROL 0.565 15.848 18
RUTH 0.562 16.410 19
SHARON 0.522 16.932 20
MICHELLE 0.519 17.451 21
LAURA 0.510 17.961 22
SARAH 0.508 18.469 23
KIMBERLY 0.504 18.973 24
DEBORAH 0.494 19.467 25
JESSICA 0.490 19.958 26
SHIRLEY 0.482 20.439 27
CYNTHIA 0.469 20.908 28
ANGELA 0.468 21.376 29
MELISSA 0.462 21.839 30
You can see the (sort of) complete lists (1000+ male names, 4000+ female names, 88,000+ surnames) at http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/

I'm not sure what the criteria were for inclusion, but it looks as if they wanted to cover 90% of the population.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 03:04 PM

Gargoyle writes "Your grandchildren, and mine, are thankfully growing up in a world where race and class will be passé".

Laudable sentiments indeed, which may one day be realized in the USA but never in the UK.

Here, names betoken your class just like your accent.

You will never find a Jason, a Wayne or a Kevin taking their seat in the House of Lords (leastways not as hereditary peers), and you are unlikely ever to find many Tristans, Ranulphs or Candidas playing on the streets of Britain's inner-city council estates.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,Melani (in New York!)
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 11:39 AM

When my husband (Joel) and I were naming kids, we wanted names sort of like our own--regular, normal names that you didn't run into on every street corner. However, we seem to have tapped into the great collective unconscious by selecting Sarah Elizabeth and Daniel. Sarah was named for two aunts on her father's side and my grandmother and great-grandmother. It turns out that Sarah was the fourth most popular name for girls the year she was born, and she was in a playgroup with Sarah Elizabeth, Sarah Rachel, and Rachel Elizabeth. Daniel (also fourth most popular) was named for a friend named Don (Jewish custom-select name with same first letter). We also wanted to name him after my father, but his name was Ralph and we didn't like it, and couldn't agree on another "R" name. So Daniel has only the middle initial "R" instead of a whole middle name. This is also sort of a family custom, since no one in my father's family has a middle name, and neither do I.

At one local hospital, they have a "Name Board" in the maternity wing, with the names of every kid born there since the 1950's.You can see the fashions changing over the years--lots of Susies and Marys and Tommys and Billys in the 50's, fading into Brians and Jamies and Kathleens in the 60's, then a spate of stuff like Willow and Moonflower in the 70's, closely followed by Jamal, Kwame and Malcolm, then Kelly and Caitlin (yes, American pronunciation Kate Lynn)and Sean, then back to Rose and Sarah and Edward.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 11:11 AM

I'm a Vaughan, not a Vaughn. (English)

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 09:46 AM

Hi Jim, I agree with you that those names are rare in the United States, Colin Powell is a first generation American and he pronounces it well.... differently.

It seems as though some names just become less popular, The Zekes an the Jakes.

James, John, Paul, David, seem to be popular everywhere. The only two Vaughn's I've ever met were a Newfoundlander and an Australian.

The Todds and Chads seen to be confined to North America. I think a lot of America's children get named for movie stars and characters in soaps.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 07 Jul 02 - 12:14 AM

Little Hawk, along your lines,

Father calls me William
Sister calls me Will
Mother calls me Willie
But the fellers call me Bill!

First lines from a poem by J. Edgar Guest, Just Before Christmas

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jim Krause
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 09:20 PM

The bit about names running in families sure rings true for mine. On my father's side I found names like Peter (a cousin, my grandfather, and my great grandfather) Jacob, was the name of the old partriarch who came over on the boat in 1874. That Jacob had sons named Jacob, Cornelius, John, Henry, Gerhart, Isaac, Franz, Abraham, as well as the above mentioned Peter. Daughters were Maria, Catherine, Helen, Anna, Elisabeth, and Margaret. In another branch of the family there was a daughter Susanna. I have counsins named Margaret and Susanne. And just to confuse later generations of geneologists, my wife and I were going to name a daughter Anna and a son Jacob.
Jim


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 08:25 PM

True, Snuffy...my grandfather was Maurice, pronounced Mawris, and my uncle is Maurice, pronounced Moreece. There has been at least one Elizabeth in my family, usually as a middle name, for as far back as I can trace them...my mother, my sister and my daughter. I am the third Arthur.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 06:52 PM

I've known quite a few Maurices in the UK, but over here we pronounce it Morris. The few times I've heard of an American Maurice it's been pronounced Moreece.

Names do run in families - over the last 250 years most of the men in my father's family have been William, Richard, Robert or Francis (Frank), but there have also been no fewer than 13 Moses! My dad's cousin was the fifth consecutive generation of Moses. And Elizabeth, Mary and Jane account for a good proportion of the women.

WassaiL!


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 06:39 PM

Translations of given names from British to American:

Nigel - "Nige"

Charles - Chuck

Michael - Mike

William - Billy, Willy, Bill, Will

Francis - Fran

Vincent - Vinnie

James - Jim, Jimmie

Donald - Don

Ronald - Ron

Mac-anything - Mac

Peter - Pete

George - Forget it. No one is ever named George at all any more in the USA unless he's a dog, a monkey, or a cartoon character...

With the exception of the George thing, it appears that the main concern of Americans is shortening names and making them as informal as possible. I think that Hollywood gangster movies have done a lot to promote this.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 06:03 PM

I once worked for a scottish guy called Franz Wolfgang Lubeck.......go figure???? We just called him Frank. His name reminds me of someone German or Austrian.

cat


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 06:00 PM

Nothing the matter with Kermit - good Germanic name - it was my father's. Lester, an uncle also and of course Uncle Rudolph (note the spelling)...and Romeo and Jasper and a dozen others.

Ya know, Mr. Dixon, anywhere that YOU would go....YOU would probably find names which appear "strange" to YOU....

Your grandchildren, and mine, are thankfully growing up in a world where race and class will be passe' and a man will be judged on the quality of his internet postings rather than the model of his car.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 05:55 PM

Gargoyle wrote "How about? Vagina (black)"

Speaking personally, not for me , thank you very much.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: katlaughing
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 05:27 PM

Has anyone ever run across "Delton?" My brother was named after our mom's "Uncle Delton" and, though we've no known Spanish connections, the middle name of "Lorenzo" has been passed down since my greatgrandfather. I have no idea what the etymology of Delton is.

I purposely chose more English/Irish/Scottish names for my kids, Colin, Kyrsten (pronounced kear sten, as in "ear"), and Jerusha (Rue) as we'd all had some unusual ones for out times and I liked that. Sometimes people are not very careful when they see the latter and they think I named a daughter "Joshua!"


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 04:46 PM

Huuummm...my grandfather is Maurice, as is an uncle. My sister, named after him, is Maurine (not Maureen). I've always thought that name was French, not English, since his family name was Dugard.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 04:40 PM

I have a friend named Bill Pitts. Not William. The poor guy has spent his whole life getting irritated because people send stuff to William Pitts. Speaking of names... a sideways wobble here, remembering this makes me Wanda Gagg(the name of a very successful children's author.) That's almost as bad as a boy named Sue.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 04:11 PM

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?


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: gnu
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 02:28 PM

By the way, what's the "origin" of Kermit ? My father was named William Kermit but the story goes that Father Angus, at the Christening, said, " I Christen thee William... Kermit ? What the hell kind of name is that ? I Christen thee William... Kenneth". And so it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: gnu
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 02:23 PM

Perhaps, as it is just a bastardization of Caitlin by those who don't know any better.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,Rory O'Moore
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 02:10 PM

On a recent visit to the US I heard the name Caitlin pronounced Kate Lynn. Here in Ireland we pronounce it Kathleen........ Perhaps Katelynn is an All American name ?.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Les from Hull
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 01:37 PM

Well Jim, my name's up there with the non-American ones. I suppose that's something to be grateful for! Of course, you lot probably pronounce it 'less' (short for Lester?) rather than the 'lez' it really is. Incidentally, that's another Scottish surname in origon.

The very first American bloke I met (a long time ago) insisted that his name was Chuck. Well that made us laugh quite a bit! (In Real English that means throw or vomit).

Any road, vive la differance, as they say somewhere or other.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 01:15 PM

Because America is a "melting pot" or "salid bowl" of the world's nations one can not easily classify its names, but, we can trace linguistic roots, like Hansel (Germanic)

On the other hand, because England is an isolated island and inbred for generations on generations (thank heavens for the invasions or who knows what sort of weak, slack-jawed homosapian samples of genetic disfunction we would find)and steeped in rituals, it has names which can be termed strictly "British" in origin.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 01:13 PM

I went to grade school 60 years ago, in Minnesota, with an Aloysius (AL-oh-ISH-us).

My father in law's name(born Indiana, 1880s) was Courtney Oronto Moore.

I've been bemused by the tendency in modern-day US to give girls traditional men's names (Courtney in this case) or family-type names (Kelly, Madison, etc.)

I remember (in the 40s) going to high school with a girl named Jack. Not Jackie, not Jacqueline--JACK. When she moved to town, on her first day in our school of course she had to make out registration papers. The papers were returned to her with the admonition: "No nicknames! Write your full first name!" "Jack." "I said 'No nicknames!'" "Jack." "Young lady, go home and get your mother or father, because we can't have nicknames in the records. We need your full name!"

When mama came in she assured them that it was, indeed, "Jack".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 01:07 PM

Jim your circle of human contact appears limited, or perhaps ethnically shallow.

I have personally known the following from your list:

Cecil – white (an uncle – mom's side)
Percy – Mexican (not a shortened Percevil)
Colin – white, Hispanic, black (three separate people)
Derek – black
Leslie – white (four)
Maurice – black (best friend of a Leslie)
Nigel – Nigerian
Monty – Nigerian
Trevor – white
Zoe – white (one male, one female)
Madge – white
Mavis – black

How about? Sir Galahad (Filipino) and his brother King Arthur, their sister Gwendolyn
How about? Hansel (Mexican) – nope no sister.
How about? Vagina (black)

The world is becoming a United Nations of ethnic diversity.

It is full of wonder!!!

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 01:04 PM

Howzabout Elmer? My Dad's name and my middle name. My Dad's middle name was Henry... another good Amurican name.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 12:16 PM

In tracing my family geneology, the same names were used over and over, which, by the way, makes it pretty difficult to distinguish between family members. My great grandfather was Jacob, his Dad was Steven, Steven's Dad was John, John's was Jacob, Jacob's was David etc. Add to this the fact that each son's siblings were named Jacob, Steven, John, with the occasional Elbert or Charles thrown in. This practice, which probably went back to 1600s Scotland, stopped in the twentieth century. It's apparent though that the tradition had been to name children in commemoration of their ancestors, and as a way of showing continuity in the family lineage. It's a bit of a shame that this tradition has been abandoned in favor of giving boys trendy names like Travis, Dylan or Cameron.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Giac
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 11:27 AM

When I started my stint with a daily newspaper (back in the dark ages) on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, I wrote obituaties. I loved all the different names, especially those "real American" names from Oklahoma such as Mankiller, Mantooth, Bushy Head, Cut Nose, etc. But one of my most favorites was from a tiny, remote town in southwestern Arkansas. Pibitha Leftwich. Kinda rolls off the tongue doesn't it?

~;o) Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: C-flat
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 08:01 AM

The Scots seem fond of using surnames as first names i.e. Cameron Mackintosh or Finlay McDougal.
C-flat....whose real name is Merrick Hamilton(no denying MY Scottish ancestry!


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 07:26 AM

Most of the Americans I have encountered were called José, Jorgé or Juan.

The women were mostly called Maria, Carmen or Juanita.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 06 Jul 02 - 06:47 AM

My grandfather's name was Walter and my grandmother's name is Marjorie. On the other side there was an Anne and a John. We all have really boring names Im Catherinejayne and my brother is Paul James most of the family has bog standard easy names I must admit that mine is rather long for one word but my poor cousin is called Arthur Edward Ramsay Ames poor kid!!!!

cat


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 11:33 PM

Yeah, the Duke picked a winner alright.......Woulda' been real hard to be the Duke with his given name of Marion Morrison.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM

American names?

How about Kyle? There are so many Kyles now that you can spit out the window and probably hit one. (It was originally Scottish though, wasn't it?)

Josh is popular lately. Bubba is as American as you can get. Zeke is American hillbilly (short for Ezekial, I presume...) Same with Zeb and Rufus (the latter was usually given to black men). Then there's Lincoln and Washington and Jefferson and Jackson (as first names). These are salutes to American history.

Calvin used to be popular, but not anymore.

And Texas and Tennessee and various other names of states...

And Davy as in Davy Crockett.

And Merle (for a man), and Bert, and Mike, and Bob, and Dave, and Jim, and Ed, and Fred, and Bill, and John, and Cal, and Clint, and anything else like that that has just ONE syllable.

REAL Ay-merican men don't need a first name that's got more'n one syllable, pilgrim! Just ask the Duke. Matter of fact, John Wayne is the most all-out Ay-merican name that's ever been if ya ask me...

Now lock and load, shut yer traps, and MOVE OUT! We got a job ta do here and we're not goin' home till it's done!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 11:18 PM

Most popular Amurrican names, 2001:

Rank Boys Girls 1 Michael Emily 2 Matthew Samantha 3 Nicholas Ashley 4 Joseph Julia 5 Christopher Nicole 6 Anthony Sarah 7 Ryan Jessica 8 John Kayla 9 Daniel Olivia 10 Andrew Madison 11 Justin Brianna 12 Joshua Victoria 13 Kevin Amanda 14 James Lauren 15 Alexander Hannah 16 Brandon Alyssa 17 David Isabella 18 Jacob Alexis 19 Thomas Emma 20 William Elizabeth 21 Zachary Abigail 22 Christian Grace 23 Tyler Rachel 24 Jonathan Alexandra 25 Kyle Jennifer

And in the African-American community here in the states, amongst other more common names, you will also find many that are set from an internally defined set of rules. I have known a Keisha, JaQuan, Latisha, Jawanda, Nakisha, Shaniqua, LaTroy, Duwan, T'Keya, LeVonte, Sterlicia, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: The Pooka
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 11:12 PM

My father-in-law's given name was Gifford. To me, sounds English. (He was as American as it gets. Midwesterner, U.S. Marine.) His wife was Gertrude: sounds American to me. / Why?? / We need some scholarly Mudcat uhhh errr, name-ologists, here. (What *is* that word annyway?)


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 11:03 PM

My son has been an American-born Colin for 32 years now.:-) I've also got a "Kyrstie"....LONG before Kirstie Ally showed up!


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: The Pooka
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 11:01 PM

*Lance*? Goodness gracious. / Mine's a real Amurrrican name: Joe. Regular Joe, y'know. (Yeah right.) So is the Threadstarter's (regardless of his Pondside), sez I: Jim. Now in British that would be James of course. / But then I'm citing nicknames: thread-drift already, already. / Hmm "nicknames": wot about Nicholas? What's that? / Wife & I gave son a real all-American name: Brendan. :) No, a Saint he Ain't.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:48 PM

Well, let's see.... I know folks with many of these names. There's Colin Healey who is a fine fiddle player over here, the tenor in my gospel quartet is named Derek, I also know folks named Maurice, Trevor, and Noel(Paul of Peter, Paul, and Mary is actually Noel Stookey as most folks know. And then, there's Mavis Staples, and I know a woman over here named Zoe.

Then, there are all the other names that certainly didn't originate here like Gunnar, Romer, Zolton, a;; of whom are people I've known.

What are "American" names? Got me there. Maybe Marilyn? or Lance?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:45 PM

Jim, I think you've been leading a sheltered life. I have known someone (not famous types, just people I have met) with all of the names you list with the exception of Ivor and Cyril. My grandfather was named Rexford and he had a brother named Lamphear. All were Americans, but I do get your point. I always think of Nigel, Cyril, and the like as Brit and of course Reg as Canadian...LOL.

Then again, I grew up in a town where there were folks named Angelina (Scaffidi), Giuseppe (Perillo), and Orelio (DeNatoli).

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: firínne
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:39 PM

As far as I know it's short for Marjorie.


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:38 PM

G'day Jim,

Of course, the original Monty Python routine was loosely based on one of their erstwhile Cambridge colleagues ... a 'Bruce' indeed ... but not Australian - rather from New Zealand, where the (very Scottish) name Bruce is more common.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:22 PM

I think you mean Marge Simpson, short for Marjorie. Is Madge short for something?


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: firínne
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:07 PM

Well.........there's Cybil Shepherd, the actress, although she spells it with a C, and there's Madge Simpson...........they're Americans!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 10:06 PM

Uuuuuuuuummm....no American "Colin"? How 'bout Colin Powell? I have a friend who's sons name is "Cullen" as well.

As for Reginald, oh, yes...we have them. We just call them "Reggie" (as in the ballplayer, Reggie Jackson).

I also know a Mavis, a Sybil (Sybil Shepherd beind a famous one), and a Zoe. I also know an Isolde.

You're right about most of it though. You won't hear most of those names often over here, if at all.

I think the names made it here, but as with the culture and accents, your side of the pond went one way, and we another.


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Subject: British vs. American names
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 09:52 PM

There was a Monty Python sketch portraying a bunch of Australians, and every one of them was named Bruce. Certain names do carry connotations of nationality.

For example, I never heard of an American man named Basil, Cecil, Clive, Colin, Cyril, Derek, Desmond, Ivor, Leslie, Maurice, Nigel, Noel, Percy, Reginald, or Trevor. Those names all sound British to me, but I suppose they could also be Australian or Canadian.

Likewise, I've never heard of an American woman named Daphne, Madge, Mavis, Sybil, or Zoe.

(As you can see, I've been collecting these for a while.)

Since the most common American given names are mostly British or Irish in origin, it seems odd that these names never made it over. I suppose they must have arisen in Britain after the bulk of emigration to America took place. Can anyone confirm this?

Has anyone else noticed any interesting patterns of naming? How do others view American names?


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Mudcat time: 6 April 5:28 AM EDT

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