Tag Archives: names

2239. What’s in a name?

When Mr and Mrs Flowers had their first baby they thought it would be cute to name their daughter after flowers. They called her Rose Violet Flowers. The second child was also a girl, so they named her Iris Holly Flowers. Three further daughters followed. To be consistent they stuck to the flora. There was Myrtle Cherry Flowers, Poppy Jasmine Flowers, and Lily Daisy Flowers.

When Mrs Flowers was expecting her sixth – “This is definitely going to be the last” – she hoped for a boy. And a boy it was! They named him Rock because it was a good strong masculine name and offset a little the perceived femininity of the surname. He had no middle name; just good solid Rock.

Needless to say, the plot didn’t work. He was known at school as Pansy Flowers and he hated it. Others taunted him with Rock-a-bye-baby Flowers. On the day he turned eighteen he officially changed his name to Jack Gunn. After that he didn’t know who the heck he was and went around bullying everyone. He twice got sacked from work and was going to do himself in. That’s when he met Annie.

In the end Annie got her Gunn. They named their three boys Top, Hand, and Six.

2179. New identity

Alfie and Connie had been together for just over a month. Both had been married before. Connie was a local person, but Alfie hailed from another part of the country altogether. One day they were walking along the street when a stranger approached Alfie and said, “Gus! I haven’t seen you for ages! How are things going?” Alfie looked flustered and uncomfortable. “I’m not Gus,” he stuttered.

Connie noted that this had happened several times before during their month together.  Once someone even called out “Gus!” from across the road, and Alfie had turned suddenly as one does when responding to having ones name called out.

Then a letter arrived in the mail address to Mr. Augustine Cladworthy. Usually Alfie was all too keen to check the mail box, but on this day he was feeling a little poorly so Connie did the checking.

“Who exactly is Mr. Augustine Cladworthy?” asked Connie. “This getting called Gus has happened far too often for it to be a coincidence. It’s time you came clean.”

Alfie realized he was trapped. There was no way out. He had tried to dream up an escape story he could use should his real identity be discovered. He’d been unsuccessful at imagining something cogent, and now he was against the wall.

“Well,” he admitted, “I was the whistle blower that spilt the beans on the McPherson case just over a year ago. The government gave me a new identity. I was Gus, and now I’m Alfie.”

“We suspected so,” said Connie, “but just wanted to make sure.” She pulled out her pistol and wreaked her revenge.

2110. Mind your Qs

When Queenie and Quentin decided to start a family they thought it would marvellous to call any child that came along with a name starting with a Q. They would be the Q family; Mum, Dad, and the kids.

As it turned out they had but the one child – a boy. Queenie wanted to call him Quin or Quay, and Quentin wanted to call him Quade or Quincy. That’s why today he’s known as Jack.

2084. Name change

Pomphrey Jones hated his name. I don’t blame him. Who would want to be called that? “Where on earth did your parents get a name like that?” was a not infrequent question he was asked.

Honestly! If he had to give his name for some reason or other he would whisper it as if he had laryngitis, and then he’d cough to cover it up. That’s how embarrassed he was about it.

For his twenty-third birthday his newly-wedded wife paid for him to have a name change. Oh the relief! He’s on top of the world! “I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier,” he said.

These days Pomphrey Smith is as happy as a sandboy.

2065. The saga of Twaddle the Duck

It happened just the other day. Sefton had finished writing his daily blog and had used the word “Twaddle”.

“What a brilliant name for a domestic duck,” thought Sefton. “If only I had a duck.” 

He knew a couple of people who had domestic ducks. Garth called his duck Jemima.

“How very unimaginative,” thought Sefton. “The next time I see Garth I’ll suggest he call his duck Twaddle.”

Chayce also had a domestic duck, and he called it Rembrandt. “What a stupid name for a duck,” thought Sefton. “The next time I see Chayce I’ll suggest the name Twaddle.”

Both Garth and Chayce thought the name of Twaddle was horrible. “I think the name of Twaddle is horrible for a domestic duck,” said Garth. Chayce said the same thing: “I think the name of Twaddle is horrible for a domestic duck.”

Sefton invited Garth and Chayce to dinner. Ï know, Gentle Reader, what you are thinking; you are thinking they had domestic duck for dinner. Can’t you read? I said at the outset that Sefton didn’t have a duck.

1939. To die alphabetically

Jerome Holke Barbarich-Askelund’s doctor had given him bad news. He had not been feeling well and was not at all surprised when the doctor announced (in a kindly and tender manner) that what Jerome Holke Barbarich-Askelund had was terminal.

“Oh well,” shrugged Jerome, “we all eventually get our marching orders I suppose.”

He went home and within a week had become obsessed with the death notices in the morning paper. Here was a list of those who had died – usually the day before. Jerome began to work out each morning where his name would go alphabetically if he had indeed passed away on the preceding day.

Amor
Austin
Baird
Burgin
Cain

If he had died his name would appear between Baird and Burgin.

Ackerley
Alexander
Batwell
Blayney
Blight

If he had died his name would appear between Alexander and Batwell.

And there, on the third day, BARBARICH-ASKELUND! There it was in print! In black and white! What a mystery!

Anderson
Atherfold
Aycock
BARBARICH-ASKELUND
Butt

“As far as I know,” said Mrs. Barbarich-Askelund, “we are the only ones in the country with this family name. It’s a complete bafflement. I’m in a state of stupefaction.”

After two weeks, Mrs. Barbarich-Askelund’s friend, Gloria Wiggins said, “Look Myrtle-Bianca, you have to admit that he’s been dead for two weeks now. You can’t go on pretending it didn’t happen. “

“Oh Gloria!” sobbed Myrtle-Bianca Barbarich-Askelund, “to die is one thing. To appear in print between Aycock and Butt is shocking. Jerome will never forgive me.”

1913. Lovey

Bradley’s father had always shortened Bradley’s name to Brad, but some of his friends called him Wolfie. No one seemed to remember how the name of Wolfie originated. Bradley’s wife called him Hector, and no one knew why for that either.

Wolfie’s wife’s name was Cassandra, although her parents had always called her Cassie. Her nickname was Sugarlips, and Hector called her Sandy which was short for Sandwich because once at work Brad had forgotten to bring his wallet and his lunch and Sugarlips had shared a sandwich. That was how Cassie and Wolfie met.

Anyone not familiar with this family would think that there were six or seven people, but there were only two – Brad and Cassie. Wolfie and Sandy had wanted to start a family but with little success.

“It appears there’s no hope,” said Sugarlips to Hector. So Bradley and Cassandra took themselves off to the clinic. Before you knew it, Sandy was “in the family way”, and as often happens it was a multiple birth: triplets. Cassie and Wolfie had spent hours talking about what names to give them. They didn’t want multiplicity of nomenclature such as they had because it was sometimes confusing, so Bradley and Cassandra named them simply Jack, Bill, and Pete.

It was not a good plan because they were all girls. “We wanted it to be a surprise,” explained Wolfie. “And it was a surprise. We were utterly convinced we were having all boys.”

It was resolved simply enough. Jack was known as Trina, Bill was known as Judith, and Pete was known as Danielle. Although friends called them Trev One, Trev Two, and Trev Three (in that order) and no one knew why.

Their paternal grandmother called all three Lovey. In fact she called everyone in the world Lovey. It was a lot easier that way.

1895. Cruel names

Merry was called Merry because she was born on Christmas Day. Clearly her parents didn’t realize that the proper spelling of Mary had also some connection with Christmas. Merry spent her entire life, as a punishment for her parents’ lack of knowledge, saying, “No! That’s not how you spell it!”

Just over two years later, when her little brother was born, it was New Year’s Day, so he was named “Happy”. It was a providential name because when he grew up and began a career in looting he shot a couple of policemen and was known within close circles as “Trigger Happy”.

There was a third child in the family. He was called Roger; short for Roger Mortis. The parents thought it a huge joke because he was born on the very day that Grandma died. Spelling was not the parents’ greatest strength so “Rigor” was registered as “Roger”. Otherwise if he had been born on an ordinary day of the year they had in mind to call the baby Plain Jane if a girl, and Joe Blogs if a boy. And then Grandma stepped up to the plate. Roger had escaped from having a life lumbered with silliness.

Honestly, a number of people were relieved that the parents didn’t create further children. “I’m sure any uncreated children would be more than grateful that they never came into this world,” declared a neighbour, Ms. Stacey Meldrum. Stacey herself has a host of kids. I can only remember the names of three of them; Tabernacle, Vernacular, and Genuflection. After these three Stacey developed an interest in organic chemistry.

1862. Large family

Hi. My name is Nona. My mother named me that. My father apparently didn’t like the name much because it means “ninth” and I happened to be only the third.

“But I want a Nona,” said my mother.

“Who the hell is going to pay for all those babies if we have nine?” asked my father. So my mother, not to be stymied by silly particulars, named me Nona even though I was only number three.

These days Nona is not a very common name, mainly I suspect because people don’t have large families anymore and to get up to nine children could be scorned upon by the disparaging masses. I like having a not-so-common name. I have a younger brother called Octavius and an even younger sister called Decima.

Once my father abandoned the family, not long after I was born, my mother met my stepfather. By the time my mother and stepfather had reached number nine they couldn’t use Nona so they named number nine after the number three because three hadn’t been used. That is why I have a younger sister called Triana. Strictly speaking I should have been named Triana and my sister named Nona.

People these days stare if we all go out together. Just the other day my mother took all ten of us to the zoo and we went by bus. No sooner had we all sat down than an old lady asked my mother in a very loud voice, “Are they all yours, Sweetie?”

My mother said, Yes” and the old lady said “Goodness, that’s a lot. Aren’t you embarrassed?” I was so mortified.

When we got home from the zoo I heard my mother ask my stepfather what the Latin name was for Eleven.

1850. How I (usually) write a story

When this blog hits a roundish story number (in this case Number 1850) I try to blather on in a way more meaningless and useless than usual. Every second posting on the Net seems to offer advice on how to do this or that; how to increase readers to the blog, how to write a blog, and so on.

I don’t purport to be an expert (in anything). So today, rather than tell you how to go about writing a story I thought I would tell you how I go about writing a story. Perhaps the odd snippet might be of help. Possibly not.

This is me cooking, but I could just as easily be cooking up a story.

When I start writing a story I have absolutely no idea how it will end.

First of all, when I rise in the morning I check the news online, and look at the obituaries to see who has expired that I went to school with. From the obituary column I take one or two female and male names and jot them down. I don’t jot down any surnames, just the first names. I jot names down because by the time of a second cup of coffee I will have forgotten everything.

Armed with a name, the first sentence gets written. It can be anything. Sometimes it’s suggested by the name. Who cares? I type out whatever comes in my head. Today the selected names are Sheree, Ferris, Beverley, and Rex. Pick a name; if more enter the story the other three names are waiting!

Let’s start:

Beverley was forever sticking her nose in where it didn’t belong.

Isn’t it exciting? Who knows what she will do next! Who knows where it will end up!

Beverley was forever sticking her nose in where it didn’t belong. It seems that she stuck it in where it didn’t belong just the once too often.

Handy hint: Throw in little details to give the illusion that things are happening in real life.

Beverley was forever sticking her nose in where it didn’t belong. It seems that last Saturday, mid-morning, she stuck it in where it didn’t belong just the once too often. She had been baking for the first half of the morning and now was taking a small basket of oatmeal cookies to Ferris, who worked on the corner mending and sewing horse saddles for the rich and indolent. Beverley had heard that his marriage had disintegrated several months earlier and she, well, kind of fancied him.

“Hi,” said Beverley. “I was just passing on a visit to my grandmother’s when I thought I’d pop in to see how you’re doing. No doubt, with your wife no longer being at home, you miss the odd bit of home cooking. So I bought you this basket of homemade oatmeal cookies.”

“That’s very kind of you,” said Ferris. “Yes, I certainly miss the home cooking since Sheree has gone.”

“I suppose,” said Beverley tentatively, “she is not coming back?”

“You supposed right,” said Ferris.

“So how are you coping on your own then?”

“Why the hell don’t you mind your own business?” said Ferris, chucking a large pair of pliers and a mallet onto a pile of leather next to him. “What’s it to you?”

“I was just trying to be sympathetic, that’s all.”

“Well you’re a bloody nosy-parker. I don’t want your dried up cookies. You can take them away and piss off.”

“I heard,” said Beverley rather rankled, “that Sheree hadn’t left you at all, but you did her in and hid the body underneath the floorboards of this workshop.”

Ferris saw red. The collapse of a marriage is a very gruelling experience. One never knows what will happen next. Beverley’s been missing for just on a week now. No one has thought to look under the floorboards of Ferris’ workshop. And, yeah, Ferris enjoyed the cookies.

(Well I’m as surprised as you are).