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Names: My newspaper column: now featuring Ukraine and more Ukraine


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12 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

@Ormond,

I meant to post this here a few weeks ago. Even if you don't care about pro sports, I think you'll have a blast with it. Click the link for a 43 minute podcast when you have some time.
 

 

Obviously the huge number of Jalens that were born after Jalen Rose became famous are mostly attributable to him. However, Jalen is the sort of name that many parents could have independently invented. The first year that there were 5 or more Jalens born in the USA was 1976, when Jalen Rose was only three years old, so I doubt if 100% of them were named after him. :)  (Haven't listened to the Podcast yet.)

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54 minutes ago, Ormond said:

Obviously the huge number of Jalens that were born after Jalen Rose became famous are mostly attributable to him. However, Jalen is the sort of name that many parents could have independently invented. The first year that there were 5 or more Jalens born in the USA was 1976, when Jalen Rose was only three years old, so I doubt if 100% of them were named after him. :)  (Haven't listened to the Podcast yet.)

Well if you had listened first you may have enjoyed the ending more. :P

(It's legit fun all the way through though)

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Here is the link to today's column:

https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-brian-boomed-in-the-early-70s/article_f594a5ec-cf8a-11eb-ac0a-63b97224579f.html

As often happens there wasn't enough space for everything I wanted to say. I wish I'd been able to point out that Brian has a much older image in the UK right now because of its pattern of usage there. It began increasing in use in England at the start of the 20th century and peaked in use there about 1935. So the average British Brian is about 86 now while the average American Brian is about 49. 

Also, I did have a couple of sentences in the column as I wrote it that got edited out about how Brian was popular with Hispanic immigrant parents in the early 2000s, and was often respelled by them as "Brayan", since in Spanish "ay" is pronounced like English "eye". 

 

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Here is the link to today's column. I found Simon a very interesting name to research. It was fascinating to find out that before 1950 it was actually more common in the USA than in Britain. I didn't have time to mention it, but back in 1910 Simon was also more common about African-Americans than the general population by about 50%, so it was an "immigrant and minority" name in late 19th and early 20th century USA. 

https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-history-of-name-simon-not-as-simple-as-it-seems/article_801ef0a4-d9c8-11eb-a65b-1f3ba9302fcb.html

Hollywood does seem to be promoting the name somewhat, with films like "Love, Simon" and TV characters like Simon Basset on "Bridgerton" and Simon Asher of the first season of "Quantico". 

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Here's the link to today's column:

https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-with-t-or-without-margo-royally-underappreciated/article_f6ca880e-e49e-11eb-bc6e-2f67c3fe1727.html

The Mexican-born actress Margo had major problems with being blacklisted during the 1950s when it was falsely claimed she was a Communist. She married the actor Eddie Albert, who was later the star of the silly situation comedy "Green Acres."  They evidently had one of the more successful Hollywood marriages. I was rather surprised to see how much Margot has boomed as a baby name in the USA recently along with the career of Margot Robbie. That was one I hadn't noticed rising until now. 

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Here is the link to today's column:

https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-the-name-herman-is-steeped-in-literary-athletic-and-magical-history/article_06d18ae2-efab-11eb-805b-4f08c3a1aefb.html

I learn the most interesting things researching this column. I had never heard of Black Herman until a few days ago, but he is an amazing historical figure. He is often considered something of an early civil rights leader because he proudly used "Black" as part of his stage name, was a great success in a field (stage magic) where intelligence and self-confidence were demonstrated, and managed his career without being beholden to White people. 

Another tidbit I learned: On The Munsters Herman Munster was said to have been born in Germany, like the Frankenstein's monster he was a comic version of. Though he never spoke in a German accent, in two episodes of the show he's seen reading a German language newspaper. :)

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Here's the link to today's column.

https://omaha.com/lifestyles/evans-the-romantic-and-rebellious-history-of-guy/article_4a64bdbe-fab0-11eb-89da-f3236f5eeb8b.html

P.S. Really sorry I didn't have room to mention Guy Gavriel Kay, one of my favorite authors, in this column!

 

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Maybe this is a more of local question, as it deals with what I think is a regional diminutive.  On the other hand, could give @Ormond a chance to flex his knowledge.  My father was named Richard, but everyone, literally everyone, called him Rit.  I know another half dozen or so Rit's (though AFAIK, they're all Richards legally).  All of them grew up within about 10 miles from where I was born.  Really only know one guy from home town who is a Richard that goes by Dick.  There's a Rick or two, and plenty of guys called Rich as well.

This is central CT as far as the region goes.  

Is this merely a local thing?  FWIW, the Rits I'm thinking of are all pretty much either French Canadian or Polish, but my home town is heavily Catholic. I can't recall a Rit out of Hartford County.  I'm sure there's got to be others somewhere (only so many 3 letter combos), but I just wonder how far that spreads.

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14 hours ago, mcbigski said:

Maybe this is a more of local question, as it deals with what I think is a regional diminutive.  On the other hand, could give @Ormond a chance to flex his knowledge.  My father was named Richard, but everyone, literally everyone, called him Rit.  I know another half dozen or so Rit's (though AFAIK, they're all Richards legally).  All of them grew up within about 10 miles from where I was born.  Really only know one guy from home town who is a Richard that goes by Dick.  There's a Rick or two, and plenty of guys called Rich as well.

This is central CT as far as the region goes.  

Is this merely a local thing?  FWIW, the Rits I'm thinking of are all pretty much either French Canadian or Polish, but my home town is heavily Catholic. I can't recall a Rit out of Hartford County.  I'm sure there's got to be others somewhere (only so many 3 letter combos), but I just wonder how far that spreads.

I have never heard of "Rit" being used as a pet form of Richard before. I can see how it might arise as a childhood nickname if there was a small child who had a problem pronouncing either Rick or Rich properly and so ended up saying "Rit". 

I have posted a question about this on the discussion boards at behindthename.com to see if anyone outside of the Hartford area has ever heard of it. 

Thanks for the information!

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10 hours ago, Ormond said:

I have never heard of "Rit" being used as a pet form of Richard before. I can see how it might arise as a childhood nickname if there was a small child who had a problem pronouncing either Rick or Rich properly and so ended up saying "Rit". 

I have posted a question about this on the discussion boards at behindthename.com to see if anyone outside of the Hartford area has ever heard of it. 

Thanks for the information!

Let me know what you hear.  And if anyone else knows Rit's, tell us about it.  Might be the kind of thing that slips under the radar if it's never the actual given name.

But based on the 5 or so Rit's I know, it's not just a pronunciation issue, if there aren't folks in other locations.   

Assuming Henri (the tropical storm) doesn't cancel family brunch tomorrow, I'll try to remember to ask my father about the Rit/Richard contractrion.

Guessing it's not a thing in England?

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3 hours ago, mcbigski said:

Let me know what you hear.  And if anyone else knows Rit's, tell us about it.  Might be the kind of thing that slips under the radar if it's never the actual given name.

But based on the 5 or so Rit's I know, it's not just a pronunciation issue, if there aren't folks in other locations.   

Assuming Henri (the tropical storm) doesn't cancel family brunch tomorrow, I'll try to remember to ask my father about the Rit/Richard contractrion.

Guessing it's not a thing in England?

No, not that I’ve ever heard.

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On 8/20/2021 at 11:22 PM, mcbigski said:

Maybe this is a more of local question, as it deals with what I think is a regional diminutive.  On the other hand, could give @Ormond a chance to flex his knowledge.  My father was named Richard, but everyone, literally everyone, called him Rit.  I know another half dozen or so Rit's (though AFAIK, they're all Richards legally).  All of them grew up within about 10 miles from where I was born.  Really only know one guy from home town who is a Richard that goes by Dick.  There's a Rick or two, and plenty of guys called Rich as well.

This is central CT as far as the region goes.  

Is this merely a local thing?  FWIW, the Rits I'm thinking of are all pretty much either French Canadian or Polish, but my home town is heavily Catholic. I can't recall a Rit out of Hartford County.  I'm sure there's got to be others somewhere (only so many 3 letter combos), but I just wonder how far that spreads.

As a Canadian Richard (I prefer Rick) I have never come across it either. 

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Here is an interesting possibility for Rit from a poster on behindthename.com:

Quote

if central Connecticut happens to have a significant concentration of Dutch Americans, then this phenomenon might possibly be due to a distant Dutch ancestor of theirs. His given name might have been Ritsaert (an old-fashioned Dutch form of Richard), but he had people call him Rit because Ritsaert is too difficult to pronounce and spell for native English speakers. This was subsequently passed down to his descendants in his honour, even though they were eventually named Richard rather than Ritsaert.Ritsaert is pronounced as RIT-sa:rt in Dutch. A more modern spelling of the name is Ritsaart, which has the exact same pronunciation. 

 

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13 hours ago, Ormond said:

Here is an interesting possibility for Rit from a poster on behindthename.com:

 

That's interesting, but as far as I know there is almost no Dutch influence in central Connnecticut, after Adriaen Block sailed up the Connecticut River in 1614.  They rebranded a portion of the riverfront in Hartford as Adriaen's Landing a couple decades ago, but it was Thomas Hooker who led the first Europeans to settle the Hartford area about 20 years later.  

But Rit does sort of look Dutch.  Maybe a parallel evolution.  Incidently my buddy Rit from high school went on to become on of the better baseball players in Edinburgh, if the internet is to be believed.  (And the one time I flew out of Amsterdam, I was surprised to see at least 8 baseball diamonds, which is part of why I made that connection.)

ETA:  And I just recalled another Rit's last name, but it's Italian in origin.  Which is still par for the Bristol CT course.  (If I had to estimate the demographics when I grew up, it was about 1/4 various Protestant, 1/8 each French, Italian, Polish, Irish Catholic, and Black, and then Puerto Ricans were the next biggest, with a smattering of just about everyone else.)  But I think the Protestants were all Rich's with an occasional Rich, as far as I can tell.  So maybe all just a Papist plot....

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10 hours ago, mcbigski said:

That's interesting, but as far as I know there is almost no Dutch influence in central Connnecticut, after Adriaen Block sailed up the Connecticut River in 1614.  They rebranded a portion of the riverfront in Hartford as Adriaen's Landing a couple decades ago, but it was Thomas Hooker who led the first Europeans to settle the Hartford area about 20 years later.  

But Rit does sort of look Dutch.  Maybe a parallel evolution.  Incidently my buddy Rit from high school went on to become on of the better baseball players in Edinburgh, if the internet is to be believed.  (And the one time I flew out of Amsterdam, I was surprised to see at least 8 baseball diamonds, which is part of why I made that connection.)

ETA:  And I just recalled another Rit's last name, but it's Italian in origin.  Which is still par for the Bristol CT course.  (If I had to estimate the demographics when I grew up, it was about 1/4 various Protestant, 1/8 each French, Italian, Polish, Irish Catholic, and Black, and then Puerto Ricans were the next biggest, with a smattering of just about everyone else.)  But I think the Protestants were all Rich's with an occasional Rich, as far as I can tell.  So maybe all just a Papist plot....

Now I am going to ask my Dad, who grew up in Waterbury, if he knew anyone named “Rit”.  

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Here is the link to today's column:

https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-cedric-is-likely-a-modern-misspelling-of-a-medieval-name/article_d9140a86-1173-11ec-a9e9-f7290b450bbd.html

It was only while writing this column that it finally dawned on me why male names like Cedric, Reginald, Percy, and Nigel which had "effete British upperclass" images for Americans were so much more popular with Black than White parents in the USA during the 20th century. I now think it's the same motive as that for the fashion for newly created names like DeJuan and Lakeisha that came along a few decades later -- the desire among Black parents to give their children names that proclaimed "you are a unique worthy individual and just as good as anyone else." 

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I know an adult named Jennifer because of the Fionavar tapestry, specifically! I know someone named Catherine after Wuthering Heights. I know people named after royalty of all sorts( who are not). I know some Annes spelled with an” e” . I know a mystery bunch that use a family name of the month they were found by an orphanage. Some cultures pay a great deal of attention to homonyms.
If I were black( can’t really imagine), I might not want slave/ slaver names?

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