Yesterday I couldn’t resist posting an article from The Daily Telegraph about the decline of some unusual surnames; there was a rather nice editorial comment about it which I share below:
Many are Daft, few Silly
When it comes to strange surnames there is one golden rule: only other people’s are funny
Only other people’s names are funny, that is the iron rule. As we report today, it may soon be goodbye to Mr Chips, as the proud old surname dwindles. Not that being called Chips is anything to laugh at. You have to be made of sterner stuff to weather the response of the childish world if you are Drunk or Silly, and there are few enough left. There are too few Twits for safety, either, but flocks of Tits. Plenty of people are Daft, a dozen or so Madde, more are Bad and scores are Dangers to everyone. The charming name Strongitharm is almost on the endangered list, though Sidebottoms are breeding healthily. There are hundreds of brave Smellies, and many a Balls blushes unseen. Perhaps the Bastards, a noted family not only in the West Country, deserve an award for resisting fickle fashion. They teach the rest of us manners.
I actually did know someone called Stronitharm when I lived in Oldham, I also had a school friend called Lynda Sidebottom, and one of our neighbours is Mrs Twite – not quite Twit, but near enough! Thinking about the way people now link names when they get married, as I did, I was just imagining some of the people above marrying each other…