Monday, September 17, 2007

Another gem of a communication from my historian friend Dr Ralley....

I'm going through the records of the poll taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381 (don't ask). Now, I guess I was half expecting names like Richard Bastard, and even John Shitte (and his wife, and son—John Shitte jr—I mean, like it wasn't enough to have that as a surname, without forcing him to have the 'junior' bit afterwards). But I've just come across my absolute favourite so far: William Bolloc (he has a relation called Geoffrey Bollok in the same village). They just don't do names like that any more. Wonder why?

5 comments:

Katie said...

I had an ancestor called Frances Poo (see: http://katiesfamilytree.blogspot.com/). Not as impressive as the Messrs Bolloc, though.

Reid Farmer said...

One of my favorite awful names is that of the Texas philanthropist and patron of the arts Ima Hogg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ima_Hogg

Steve Bodio said...

And her sister Ura. This is NOT a joke-- cruel humor of their father.

Reid Farmer said...

Steve, I think Ura is an urban legend. I put the wiki cite in my comment because half the people I tell about Ima don't believe it

A rare but not unheard of surname in the South is Booger. I always figured it was some corruption of Booker. There is an archaeological site in Georgia named the Booger Bottom Mound.

Anyway there was (is?) a Booger family in Jonesboro when I was growing up. Another Southernism is using the mother's maiden name for your given name - my family did that as my mother's surname was Reid. This also happened to an unfortune son of the Booger clan who was named Snoddy Booger.

Anonymous said...

One of the more unfortunate author bylines I have seen is Astrid B. Sucksdorff. You can look her books up. A coworker and I used to collect odd names of other employees at a large company we worked for. A surprising number sounded like porn names. A manager there was talking about a couple she knew that planned to marry. The groom wanted to hyphenate their names to Sweat-Ball. The bride declined. I said it could have been worse. They could have named their kid Harry. That brought a pause and a laugh from the 10 in the room.

WH