"The TARDIS is in the shop, so I thought I'd swing by." October 11, 2015 12:46 PM   Subscribe

I can't do it in the thread, so I'd like to thank MeFi's Own (Apparent) Time Traveler Jane the Brown for her fascinating examples of bygone behavior in this AskMe.
posted by Johnny Wallflower to MetaFilter-Related at 12:46 PM (16 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Seconded! Jane the Brown's comments on history are really exceptionally interesting.
posted by zeptoweasel at 1:40 PM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that is some neat stuff. Fun thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:41 PM on October 11, 2015


Dead accurate on preview. My fathers christian name was Julian and his twin, Julia. Her first daughter was named Julia. My father changed his first name, thank Jupiter as Julian doesn't suit me...

Check out Jane the Browns, tags. Good stuff.
posted by clavdivs at 4:17 PM on October 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Agreed! Fascinating!
posted by amro at 4:37 PM on October 11, 2015


Crushin' it
posted by XMLicious at 9:07 PM on October 11, 2015


Thanks for calling my attention to it. Cool stuff. And I've seen my dad's name abbreviated "Thos.", so that abbreviation was still somewhat in use in the late 20th century.
posted by Bugbread at 12:56 AM on October 12, 2015


Great call out, thank you.
posted by smoke at 3:12 AM on October 12, 2015


Agreed,
yr. obdt. svt,
y2...
et cetera et cetera...
posted by y2karl at 5:56 AM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Huh. So my family is not so unusual in recycling girl's names. I am the fifth eldest daughter with the same first name. (Even numbers got nicknames, so my mother went by a shortening of her middle name.) The expectation was that first daughters would get one name from each grandmother, first and middle. We kind of ruined it with me, because my paternal grandmother forbade them to give me her Christian name, so I have one of her others. Also I'm not having kids so there will be no sixth carrying my name. Maybe I'll try to inflict it on one of my grandneices, should I have any. My brother kept the "one name from each grandmother" but used my mom's middle name to avoid "stealing" the chance to name a daughter from me. (Which I tried to explain was never going to happen but, ugh, brothers, they don't listen.)
posted by Karmakaze at 7:08 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


That was a great read!
posted by postcommunism at 8:07 AM on October 12, 2015


The name recycling thing is definitely still going on. My husband's male ancestors are "John [middle name]" for five generations; my husband goes by his middle name, which is a lot of fun on official documents and the phone (if they ask for John, it's almost always a telemarketer). If we'd had kids, I would have probably named any boys John (or Ian or Sean, because I like those better). One of our nephews is John, though, and he goes by Jake.

My middle name is the feminine version of my mother's stepfather's name, but she claims it's a coincidence. My first name is often a diminutive of her first--Ginger vs Virginia--which she also claims is a coincidence. I've often wondered whether it was a subconscious influence but I'm usually busy being grateful that she didn't go with her other alternative (which, as it happens, would have given me a middle name that also belonged to my father's brother).
posted by immlass at 8:11 AM on October 12, 2015


Karmakaze: "Huh. So my family is not so unusual in recycling girl's names."

My grandmother, a first generation Italian-American, had two sisters, one older and one younger. They were all named Maria <Something>. When she was a young child (4-5 I think), her younger sister died in a tragic accident and her parents changed her older sister's name to the dead younger sister's name.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:17 AM on October 12, 2015


My grandmother, a first generation Italian-American, had two sisters, one older and one younger. They were all named Maria *Something*.
posted by Rock Steady


Through the 1960s and even later, nearly all French Canadian boys are Joseph *something* and nearly all French Canadian girls are Marie *something*. Most people use one of their middle names for daily use; my husband is properly Joseph François but he goes by François (which, in itself, is moderately amusing here in the hills of East Tennessee.)
posted by workerant at 10:06 AM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a friend my age -- born in the 70's -- who is one of five sons, all named John, with middle names that all start with T. The brothers all go by their middle names, but are legally all "John T. {Lastname}."
posted by KathrynT at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2015


Through the 1960s and even later, nearly all French Canadian boys are Joseph *something* and nearly all French Canadian girls are Marie *something*. Most people use one of their middle names for daily use; my husband is properly Joseph François but he goes by François (which, in itself, is moderately amusing here in the hills of East Tennessee.)

My husband, his father, and his father's father (at least) were all named Joseph *something* (Polish Catholics). My very beloved Grandfather was also named Joseph, so we named our son Joseph *something* *familyname* *lastname* and use the first of his two middle names in day to day live.

Its amazing how many people still immediately make the assumption that we are a devoutly practicing Catholic family based on my son's naming pattern.
posted by anastasiav at 12:18 PM on October 12, 2015


I was reading this thread and my father called so I asked him about naming conventions in our family. My father said the family has been calling the kids "dumbass" for generations. Serves me right for asking.
posted by AugustWest at 12:37 PM on October 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


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