The difficulties that arise from the use of Blognames will be explored to the full in today’s post.
I will mount a spirited defence of my real first name, without actually mentioning what it is. This will necessitate comparing other names unfavourably with it, thus running the risk of offending any of you who happen to go by any of the names I select.
To set the background, our office has a “Book Swap” area, an unused desk on which staff can leave books that they have read (or started, and didn’t like) for other members to borrow. The selection is varied, to say the least, and this week GoldenEyes and I were passing when we noticed that a book called “Cool Names for Babies” had been added to the pile. She opened it at random and found a page with three columns, headed “Uncool”, “Cool” and “Cooler”.
There, to her delight, sat my name in the Uncool list.
Now, I happen to like my name (though I’m secretly starting to like “Tinman” better), and would have regarded it as at least reasonably cool. After all, it’s not Cuthbert, or anything like that (apologies, Grandad or Saint, if that’s your name, though if it’s yours, Mwa, well that’s just funny). It’s not Ezekiel, or Jeremiah, or Jehosaphat either. But apparently it’s deemed uncool, listed in the same column as Arnold, Geoff and Ronald (and, interestingly, both “Bruce” and “Wayne” – Holy Loser, Batman).
The so-called “Cool” boys’ names include Morgan (a type of car), Jameson (a type of whiskey) and Crispin (a type of cookin’). It also includes “Mac” and “Jeb”, which are fine if you’re playing the banjo while watching four city boys head upriver in a canoe, but lead to lot of slagging in a typical Irish schoolyard. I have to say that I can’t imagine preferring any of these names to my own.
The “Cooler” list includes Jex, Kenyon and Xen. For feck’s sake, those aren’t names, they’re attempts to cheat at Scrabble.
Tinson1 is also on the Uncool list. None of the others make the book at all.
The girl lists are even worse. Names I love, such as Heather, Stephanie and (yes, I like it) Mary are uncooler than Mercy, Lulu and Jemima, which in turn lag behind Sidonie, Jameson (again) and, I kid you not, Story.
The fact that Jameson appears as both a boy and girl name leads me to suspect that the two female authors were really drunk by this chapter, and simply wrote down stuff they saw in the kitchen around them. This explains the proliferation of herbal names such as Sage, Rosemary and Saffron, as well as names like Polly (they had a parrot), Ash (they were smoking), and Moulinex Food-processor (I made that one up).
The names of said authors, by the way, are Linda and Patricia, though I’m sure they’d also answer to Pot and Kettle. After all, even the lovely Ms Evangelista can’t make the name Linda all that cool, while Patricia is just Paddy with no Y chromosome. If these two can write a book about cool names then all of us can write about subjects we know nothing about.
My new book, Boobs and Bells, a guide to breastfeeding for female Morris Dancers, will be out soon.