Yesterday I was listening to a BBC radio programme about Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was one of the most versatile and adventurous engineers of the 19th century, responsible for the design of tunnels, bridges, railway lines and ships.  The name has a certain ring to it, but it was certainly not on my list when expecting a baby.

In the flow of comments on this weeks Food Monday recipe post, Tee O The Old Fossil informed us of his good lady wife’s name: Mary Alice Arlene Mildred Louise Roena Knickerbocker. I wonder if she was an only child, or the first of a new generation? If the latter, perhaps the names were to insure inclusion in the Wills of all four grandmothers. 😉

I do hope Tee O doesn’t mind, but it set me thinking of names….

There are many examples of multiple middle names. I do know an Aline Mary Veronica Anne and an Eileen Mary Philomena!

Royalty are rather fond of multiple names too,

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary does well despite the fact she does not use a surname. You don’t recognise the name? Why she is well known as Her Maj Elizabeth II Queen of England.  Good old Charlie is actually Charles Phillip Arthur George, Prince of wails Wales. His two sons are officially: William Arthur Philip Louis The Duke of Cambridge  and Henry Charles Albert David Prince Harry.  The Princess Royal was given the names Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise.

What about a musical sounding name like John Ronald Reuel Tolkien – Is it any wonder that he became an English writer, poet and university professor, perhaps best known as the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

British musician Brian Eno’s full name is Brian Peter George St. Jean le Baptiste de la Salle Eno.

Canadian actors Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas named their son Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland.

The name Rose entered the English language as a form of the Old German word ‘hros’, (horse). The attributes and beauty of the horse were much admired in ancient times. However since the 19th century when flower names became popular, Rose is usually taken to be from the flower.

I did meet a family of flowers, the mother was Violet and her daughters were Heather and Iris. I am glad my parents didn’t go down that road with me or I might have ended up being called Dandelion!

A middle name could be one’s mother’s maiden name, very common in Northern Ireland, or the last name of another recent ancestor (for instance a grandparent).

William Atticus MacGhilleseatheanaich, is rather a mouthful to pronounce and even to write.

Featherstonehaugh is believed to be the longest English surname, it originates from Featherstonehaugh, not far from Haltwistle, in the county of Northumberland.

Now can you imagine telling this guy that his dinner was boiled…

Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe¬schlegelstein¬hausenberger¬dorffvoraltern¬waren¬gewissenhaft¬schaferswessen¬schafewaren¬wohlgepflege¬und¬sorgfaltigkeit¬beschutzen¬von¬angreifen¬durch¬ihrraubgierigfeinde¬welche¬voraltern¬zwolftausend¬jahres¬vorandieerscheinen¬wander¬ersteer¬dem¬enschderraumschiff¬gebrauchlicht¬als¬sein¬ursprung¬von¬kraftgestart¬sein¬lange¬fahrt¬hinzwischen¬sternartigraum¬auf¬der¬suchenach¬diestern¬welche¬gehabt¬bewohnbar¬planeten¬kreise¬drehen¬sich¬und¬wohin¬der¬neurasse¬von¬verstandigmen¬schlichkeit¬konnte¬fortplanzen¬und¬sicher¬freuen¬anlebens¬langlich¬freude¬und¬ruhe¬mit¬nicht¬ein¬furcht¬vor¬angreifen¬von¬anderer¬intelligent¬geschopfs¬von¬hinzwischen¬sternartigraum, Senior.

The dinner certainly would be both boiled, burnt and cold by the time you were finished, and so would you in more ways than one!

And finally….

Maybe I would need to make a vegetable curry if I was inviting this guy to dinner:
Umayalpuram Krishnamurthy Venkatramana!

17 thoughts on “Names

  1. Mayo

    I got one for you:

    Ramana Rummy GreatOne Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks The Man Rajgopaul

    Now that is a great handle! I wonder what his mother called him when she got angry? Hey You!

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Tee O – I love the sound of names. One man I know called his son William Pius! The poor fellow would go through life known as Willie Pee!

    Mayo – That is one great handle. I bet his mother said “Come here son, time to eat”!

  3. Delirious

    Go to the wikipedia page for “Bangkok”, scroll down to “Name”, and you will see the official name of Bangkok in Thai. There is a place for you to listen to the name in Thai. The other day we had a Thai missionary over for dinner, and he said the official name of Bangkok for us. He said it is the longest place name. Pretty amazing!

  4. Nick

    I can’t believe Adolph was always called by his full name, even though it seems he insisted on it. Surely his nearest and dearest must have called him Charlie occasionally?

  5. The Old Fossil

    Grannymar, as I look at the names represented here on a regular basis on your blog, I find even more compelling fascination. Delirious – is that a play on a given name or a playful consideration of a state of mind? Mayo – salad dressing magnate or someone who just loves a good sandwich? Grannymar – someone’s proud grandmother? Wise web woman – probably exactly as advertised!

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Tee O – I am not as yet a grandmother, the name was bestowed upon me many years ago by a young gentleman, to this day, I am proud to call him friend.

    As for the others, I hope they will share their own explanations of how they came to use the names.

  7. The Old Fossil

    Mayo, my friends and I were sitting around when dirt was invented. We thought it was great – until they told us that now we would have to sweep floors, take baths …

    Here’s a toast to “Hot and Spicy!” Nice to meet you.

  8. Mayo

    Old Fossil. I will have to send you a “Red Top Argentina Malbec” for your next toast.
    Thank you very much, ditto in return!!

  9. Grannymar Post author

    WWW – I am glad I didn’t go down the road of place names. I think Delirious has the winner with Bangkok:-

    Please don’t ask me to pronounce it!

    Tilly – Some parents give names to babies forgetting that the handle is for life!


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