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THINGS ABOUT AMERICANS THATMAKE ENGLISH PEOPLE LAUGH:NUMBER ONE – THEIR NAMES — 40 Comments

  1. Oh, please! Of course I can’t really think of any right now other than Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales. Does he even have a last name? I’m sure he has a nick name, but I’m not privy to that!

  2. I agree that our toffs tend to have a lot of Christian names but they are all perfectly normal names. As far as I know Prince Charles is not known as Charles “Big Boy” Windsor or something equally inappropriate for an English gentleman.

    However, Susan is a perfectly okay name, so obviously not all new parents in the States suffer from good taste deficiency when it comes to choosing their child’s name. But, a lot of them seem to.

  3. Bad naming has gotten worse over the years. I am 65, and my mother was prone to naming all of her children real names. My name is actually Ida Susan. I was always called Susan, except by my Aunt Ida Blanche, who always called me Susie or Susie Q depending on how she was feeling on a given day!

    Oh, Tracie, if your name was Spotswood, wouldn’t you rather be called “Chip”? And if he had been named Blair Spotswood, I’m sure there would have been more than one other kid who would have called him BS!

  4. Oh, MadPriest, most of the kids who get named those horrible names would never sue their parents for that. Intelligence, or lack of it, seems to run in families, you know.

  5. My late first wife was a music teacher, and in one of her classes many years ago was a female student named Twinkletoes Starr. There isn’t a jury in the land who would have convicted the girl for anything she might have done…..

  6. Dammit, Strangelove!

    I had decided to go with “Twinkletoes Starr” as my stage name for panto this year. But I simply can’t have the same name as someone else. Those hussies in the chorus line would never let me hear the last of it.

  7. “Butch” is a long-standing, very competent and well-liked priest in Diocese Los Angeles. He’s known only by “Butch.” If he were identified by his real given names without the nickname, no one would have a clue whom you were talking about. I suspect 95% or more of people who know him haven’t a clue what his real given names are.

  8. When it comes to strange names, I think the English hymn writer Augustus Montague Toplady takes the biscuit.

    Although I have it on good authority that somewhere in a city on the Canadian prairies there lives a woman named Griselda Snirch.

  9. When it comes to strange names, I think the English hymn writer Augustus Montague Toplady takes the biscuit.

    Although I have it on good authority that somewhere in a city on the Canadian prairies there lives a woman named Griselda Snirch.

  10. My mother-in-law (well, not technically in law, as the great state of Jawjuh won’t let us get married – but that’s another story) was a teacher for 30 years in the DeKalb Co. School System. She once faced a conundrum when she got her list of students for the year when she saw the name “Shithead.”

    No — stop laughing — I’m serious! The name is pronounced “Shih-theed”, but the parents had spelled the name as in the previous paragraph, and my poor MIL had to run to the principal to figure out just how to pronounce this poor child’s name.

    I went to college with a guy we called “Mel”, but whose legal name was “Mellow Moonshine.” A child of the 60’s for sure.

    (Word verification is “palind” – which is perfect, given the strange names Sarah Palin comes up with for her kids. “Hey kid! You’ve been Palin’d!”)

  11. In the strange names category, don’t forget the author of “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” – Lesbia Scott. I shudder to think what her life would be like in a contemporary American middle school.

  12. My late uncle’s first name was Richard, but because he was a tough child the family always called him “Buster”. I was at least six or seven before I knew he had another name. And one of my husband’s direct ancestors had the interesting name of Agnes Toothaker. I feel for that woman.

  13. Oh, my goodness!

    Fr. Butch is one of the finest priests I have ever had the privilege of knowing. When we were both in Boston, I was organist for a while for the mission parish he served. He was wonderfully supportive of my vocation and really helped me through a rough patch when I decided to leave the convent and continue as a religious solitary.

    How very interesting to see his name turn up here!

  14. Well, as Dr. Primrose mentioned, everyone knows of him as just “Butch” or “Fr. Butch”!

    (But, yes, I get it MP. You were just making a funny!)

    I’m quite certain you two would like each other very much. Butch never did suffer fools gladly and (at least when I knew him) was/is something of a maverick. I think the world of him.

  15. Actually, Butch wears a long, dangling earing. But as Ellie says, you wouldn’t want to mess with him.

    And one of the entries above reminded me of a poor guy I knew in college with an unfortunate last name who then got cursed with a common nickname so as to make an amusing (so it was thought) double entendre — Buster Hyman.

  16. Faddah Butch is my friend and fellow Faddah-Priest. He is Panamenio from Bocas del Toro. He was even assistant at St. Christopher’s many years ago.

    He is also hilarious and you’d like him, Mad Priest.

  17. Oh, Padre Mickey! Another friend of Fr. Butch! You’re right; he IS hilarious. Have you seen him more recently than I have? Does he still have that half-Afro, half Native American pigtail way of wearing his hair?

    Well, trust me on this one, MadPriest. You won’t be calling him “Floyd” either!

  18. The Lovely Mona and I stayed with Faddah Butch at the end of our Sabbatical last year. He wears his hair short now.

    Everybuddy calls him Butch; I’ve never heard anyone call him Floyd.

  19. Fr. Butch was rector at St. Mary’s, Manhattanville, in the early 1980’s. Contrary to the impression given by he the cited article, Naters Gamarra is an Hispanic double surname, so his name is usually cited as Floyd (Butch) Naters Gamarra, or simply Butch Naters Gamarra or even Butch Naters.

    FWIW, the only thing I find unusual about his name is that “Butch” is usually a nickname for a quite young boy and most most men who were called “Butch” as a child ran away from the name as fast as they could in their late teens. “Now I am a man, I have put away childish things.”

    Father Butch is one of a kind – a very special guy. BTW, he’s the second St. Mary’s alumnus(a) you’ve poked fun at — the other was Winnie Varghese. Again, FWIW, both have been on Executive Council, and both are on our side of the aisle.

  20. My guess is that his schoolmates called him “Pretty Boy” when he was a kid and he gave himself the moniker “Butch” to try and stop them doing so.

    But anyway, shouldn’t he be called “Marimacho?”

  21. Mi esposo was nicknamed Butch. When I met and married him no one was using that name except one aunt. Fortunately, there is now no one left to call him Butch. It came about because both he and his dad have the same name – he’s a Walter Newlin Keen, Jr. He goes by Newlin. In elementary school the teacher asked him to write his name on the board. He began N-e- and she shouted “Wrong!” because of course he didn’t know his first name was Walter! He was either Newlin or Butch.
    How many of you have ever known someone named “Newlin”? The librarian at seminary was named Newland and for three years some of my schoolmates thought I was married to him and not my Newlin. They were stunned at awards night when I presented Newlin with his seminary cross.

    Enough on the name Newlin. Supposed to be a Pennsylvania surname for a miller.