Column 8: The universal search for names and meanings


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Col8-ers are always interested in names. We continue the latest discussion with Sheila Meixner of Yass, who reports that, “Reading the latest on names brought back memory of a family in Brisbane when I was living there in my youth. Their seven girls were called: Joy, June, Joan, Jean, Jill, Jeannette and Judith. The boys? Phillip and Michael.”

Cecily Chittick of Wyong feels the pain of her fellow townswoman Randi Svenson (Col8 Tuesday), because her name presents challenges at coffee places where she is asked for her first name. “Instead of saying Cecily I quickly say Sue which is easy to spell and pronounce.”

Duncan McRobert of Hawks Nest feels that parents should spend time pondering every conceivable permutations their child’s future schoolmates could make of the chosen name. “In my case, the clever little devils added a ‘Y’ in the middle of mine. The result was me being called by the name of the receptacle housed in our freestanding, backyard convenience.”

On the same track, another friend of Col8 reports being called Harri-et-a-worm throughout schooldays, and her sister Ishbel was called “Fish-smell”. Children, right? Who’d have them?

Elizabeth de Rooy (professionally Dr Elizabeth Magassy – now retired) from Mangerton, that hotbed of Col8-ing, says, “As an obstetric registrar in the early 70s and later as a GP obstetrician, a vital part of my daily ward round was the spell check. Many mothers were unsure of the traditional spelling of a name, or had not considered possible nicknames combined with the surname.”

Regarding Mangerton, and stepping back for a moment to the vexed philosophical question of whether George Manojlovic exists, Stephen Kirk of Blackbutt reports, “Fortunately, I can be called upon to identify the real George Manojlovic as both our wives sing with Out Of The Blue Singers, Wollongong.” Okay, but that does rather take the fun out of things, doesn’t it? Or we can go with Friedrich Nietzsche of Röcken in Germany, who claims that, “The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.”

Mickey Pragnell of Kiama wonders, regarding Col8 on Tuesday, about croquet and a “high performance” manager what the game would look like at high performance? Col8 imagines it would be rather like Quidditch. (Of course Quidditch exists, it’s in the Herald spellcheck. QED.)

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