Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Funny things, names

It's quite wrong, I know, but I find that if I have met somebody with a particular name, I expect any others with that name to be physically like the first.  For example, I once knew (very slightly) a girl named Dawn.  She was slim, not very tall and attractive - almost pretty - with shoulder-length dark brown (or maybe black) hair.  I have, since then, met two more Dawns.  Both are (or were) large, and one of them was decidedly plain.

(Skip, I have never met PHG so I am not talking about her!)

But I still persist in expecting any Jenny (or even Jennifer) to be blonde.  Such is the power of a name.

Talking of names, I have two given names, or what used to be called Christian names.  The second is Anthony.  Now, there's nothing wrong with Anthony as a name, and most of the Anthonys I have met have been likeable enough guys.  But I just don't see me as an Anthony - or Tony, which is what all but one of the Anthonys I have known have been called.  So I rarely, if ever, use that bit of my name.  Mind you, very few English (British?) men use their middle names.  Does anybody even know the middle names of David Cameron, George Osborne or Boris Johnson?  Does anybody even know if they have middle names?

During my working life I had, for a number of years, close contact with the Methodist Church.  Or at least, numerous members of it, especially ministers.  One thing that struck me was how many Methodist ministers used their names in a completely different way from most men.  They used their middle names in preference to their first Christian names.  So whereas most Englishmen would give their name as, say, G A Brown or simply George Brown, many Methodist ministers would use the Rev G Andrew Brown as their name.

I have implied that Englishmen, except for Methodist ministers, tend to forget their middle names, except for using the initial in a fairly formal setting (Mr G A Brown or G A Brown Esq), but their seems to be a tendency among our erstwhile colonial cousins to use the first Christian name in full followed by the second initial - George A Brown.  Examples: Donald J Trump, George W Bush, and many more.

Like I say: funny things, names.


(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I have noticed that someone, at some point, here in the colonies decided that if someone doesn't have a middle name, it has to be pointed out.
When I joined the Navy it reacquired filling out numerous forms.
Where the middle initial was required, they wrote (NMN) for no middle name.
Somewhere along the line after that, I acquired an M for a middle initial.
Go figure.

Sarah said...

Odd isn't it? Also odd is that two of my three sisters are known by their middle names and always have been (so why weren't they FIRST names ...). SD is ALSO known by his middle name although that's because he was named after his father and was to avoid confusion.