Discussion:
Do people change embarrassing names when they move?
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Dingbat
2017-04-01 04:37:40 UTC
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Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.

I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that. Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-04-01 09:35:18 UTC
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On Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:37:40 -0700 (PDT), Dingbat
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that. Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
"Fanny" was very often a pet form (diminutive) of the name "Frances".
Frances was the person's actual given name.

This is similar to "Bob" for the given name "Robert", "Tony" for
"Ant(h)ony". etc.

Sometimes what seems like a pet form is the person's actual given name.
"Jack" is often used for a man whose given name is "John". However,
"Jack" is sometimes a given name.

Back to Fanny:
https://www.behindthename.com/name/fanny

Given Name FANNY
GENDER: Feminine
USAGE: English, French, Spanish
PRONOUNCED: FAN-ee (English)
Meaning & History
Diminutive of FRANCES. In the English-speaking world this has been a
vulgar slang word since the late 19th century, and the name has
subsequently dropped out of common use.

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_(name)>

Fanny is a given name. It is also a pet form of Frances, and a form
of Myfanwy.

(Myfanwy is Welsh and is pronounced approximately as Mu-van-wee, with
the "u" indistinct.)

That Wikiparticle lists various people named "Fanny" as a given name or
pet name.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-04-01 11:51:41 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:37:40 -0700 (PDT), Dingbat
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to
belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found
by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
It would be worse for Fanny Ardant, the actress, if she moved to
Australia (or to the UK for that matter). In her case Fanny is her
actual given name.
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Dingbat
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that.
Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
"Fanny" was very often a pet form (diminutive) of the name "Frances".
Frances was the person's actual given name.
This is similar to "Bob" for the given name "Robert", "Tony" for
"Ant(h)ony". etc.
Sometimes what seems like a pet form is the person's actual given name.
"Jack" is often used for a man whose given name is "John". However,
"Jack" is sometimes a given name.
https://www.behindthename.com/name/fanny
Given Name FANNY
GENDER: Feminine
USAGE: English, French, Spanish
PRONOUNCED: FAN-ee (English)
Meaning & History
Diminutive of FRANCES. In the English-speaking world this has been a
vulgar slang word since the late 19th century, and the name has
subsequently dropped out of common use.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_(name)>
Fanny is a given name. It is also a pet form of Frances, and a form
of Myfanwy.
(Myfanwy is Welsh and is pronounced approximately as Mu-van-wee, with
the "u" indistinct.)
That Wikiparticle lists various people named "Fanny" as a given name or
pet name.
--
athel
CDB
2017-04-01 16:16:34 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used
to belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was
found by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
Do you have a link to the text? It seems to rhyme, and could be made
metrical. Found dead of the plague, I'm afraid, by her maid, who was
fondly addressed as Young Fanny.

I've always thought that line with all the "f"s in "Sailing to
Byzantium" was suspect. F-ish, F-lesh, or F-owl com-end all summer long
....
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
It would be worse for Fanny Ardant, the actress, if she moved to
Australia (or to the UK for that matter). In her case Fanny is her
actual given name.
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Dingbat
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like
that. Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
"Fanny" was very often a pet form (diminutive) of the name "Frances".
Frances was the person's actual given name.
My great-aunt Fanny* was a Françoise on formal or francophone occasions.
I don't have Dickens text, but my detailed memory of _Scrooge_
(Alistair Sim, every Christmas for decades) says that his dying sister's
name was "Fan".

*fl. c. 1900
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
This is similar to "Bob" for the given name "Robert", "Tony" for
"Ant(h)ony". etc.
Sometimes what seems like a pet form is the person's actual given name.
"Jack" is often used for a man whose given name is "John". However,
"Jack" is sometimes a given name.
https://www.behindthename.com/name/fanny
Given Name FANNY
GENDER: Feminine
USAGE: English, French, Spanish
PRONOUNCED: FAN-ee (English)
Meaning & History
Diminutive of FRANCES. In the English-speaking world this has been a
vulgar slang word since the late 19th century, and the name has
subsequently dropped out of common use.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_(name)>
Fanny is a given name. It is also a pet form of Frances, and a form
of Myfanwy.
(Myfanwy is Welsh and is pronounced approximately as Mu-van-wee, with
the "u" indistinct.)
That Wikiparticle lists various people named "Fanny" as a given name or
pet name.
Lewis
2017-04-01 20:57:34 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:37:40 -0700 (PDT), Dingbat
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to
belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found
by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
It would be worse for Fanny Ardant, the actress, if she moved to
Australia (or to the UK for that matter). In her case Fanny is her
actual given name.
And yet plenty of people go by names like Dick or Fanny and encounter
people who don't behave like 12yos. I knew a girl when in elementary
school whose given name was Fanny.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Diminutive of FRANCES. In the English-speaking world this has been a
vulgar slang word since the late 19th century, and the name has
subsequently dropped out of common use.
There is zero evidence for that statement. Names drop out of favor all
the time. Ethel, Myrtle, Agnes, Doris, Dorothy are all far less popular
than they used to be, and some are basically entirely unknown in the last
30 years.

The only people I've ever known named Agnes, Ethel, Myrtle, or Doris are
all dead of old age.
--
Vader means father in German.
Oh, you know German. Now I know why you don't like fun things.
Reinhold {Rey} Aman
2017-04-01 17:01:09 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
https://www.behindthename.com/name/fanny
Given Name FANNY
GENDER: Feminine
USAGE: English, French, Spanish
Add: German
--
~~~ Reinhold {Rey} Aman ~~~
Ross
2017-04-01 10:22:18 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that. Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
"Dick" has been used to mean "penis" for a century or so. Has it caused
a wave of name changes by people named "Dick"? Apparently not:

http://www.biography.com/people/groups/famous-named-dick

http://www.famousfix.com/list/celebrities-with-first-name-dick

Lots of well-known and successful people with that name, including
a President and a Vice-President of the United States. (Of course
many people would say those two were actually dicks, but that's just
an amusing coincidence.)

https://www.quora.com/How-do-people-named-Dick-deal-with-the-other-meaning-of-your-name-Why-not-go-with-Rich-or-Richard

To quote Thomas L.Johnson:

"Only a very trivial mind would worry about such a thing."

"Fanny" for "vagina" (UK)has an even longer history (attested from 1835).
Sudden decline observed in "Fanny" as familiar form for "Frances"?
Not that one notices:

Fanny Davenport (1850–1898), Anglo-American stage actress
Fanny Davies (1861–1934), British pianist
Fanny Furner (1864–1938), Australian activist for the rights of women and children
Fanny Holland (1847–1931), English singer and comic actress
(These four were actually given that name, so apparently neither
church nor state had any objection to it.)

Fanny Brough (1852–1914), British stage actress
Fanny Durack (1889–1956), Australian swimmer
Fanny Fitzwilliam (1801–1854), English stage actress and theatre manager
Fanny Imlay (1794–1816), illegitimate daughter of the British writer and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
Fanny Kemble (1809–1893), English actress, writer and anti-slavery figure
Fanny Cornforth (1835-c. 1906), model and mistress of painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, real name thought to be Sarah Cox
Fanny Cradock (1909–1994), English restaurant critic born Phyllis Nan Sortain

The name does decline in the 20th century, like many names which rise
and fall for unclear reasons; but I don't see any evidence that the
body-part usage was a cause.
Peter Young
2017-04-01 10:52:23 UTC
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Post by Ross
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to
belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found
by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that.
Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
"Dick" has been used to mean "penis" for a century or so. Has it caused
http://www.biography.com/people/groups/famous-named-dick
http://www.famousfix.com/list/celebrities-with-first-name-dick
Lots of well-known and successful people with that name, including
a President and a Vice-President of the United States. (Of course
many people would say those two were actually dicks, but that's just
an amusing coincidence.)
https://www.quora.com/How-do-people-named-Dick-deal-with-the-other-mea
ning-of-your-name-Why-not-go-with-Rich-or-Richard
"Only a very trivial mind would worry about such a thing."
"Fanny" for "vagina" (UK)has an even longer history (attested from 1835).
Sudden decline observed in "Fanny" as familiar form for "Frances"?
Fanny Davenport (1850–1898), Anglo-American stage actress
Fanny Davies (1861–1934), British pianist
Fanny Furner (1864–1938), Australian activist for the rights of women and children
Fanny Holland (1847–1931), English singer and comic actress
(These four were actually given that name, so apparently neither
church nor state had any objection to it.)
Fanny Brough (1852–1914), British stage actress
Fanny Durack (1889–1956), Australian swimmer
Fanny Fitzwilliam (1801–1854), English stage actress and theatre manager
Fanny Imlay (1794–1816), illegitimate daughter of the British writer
and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
Fanny Kemble (1809–1893), English actress, writer and anti-slavery figure
Fanny Cornforth (1835-c. 1906), model and mistress of painter Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, real name thought to be Sarah Cox
Fanny Cradock (1909–1994), English restaurant critic born Phyllis Nan Sortain
Fanny Hensel, sister of Felix Mendelssohn.

Peter.
--
Peter Young, (BrE, RP), Consultant Anaesthetist, 1975-2004.
(US equivalent: Certified Anesthesiologist) (AUE Ir)
Cheltenham and Gloucester, UK. Now happily retired.
http://pnyoung.orpheusweb.co.uk
Ross
2017-04-01 20:17:56 UTC
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Post by Peter Young
Post by Ross
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to
belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found
by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that.
Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
"Dick" has been used to mean "penis" for a century or so. Has it caused
http://www.biography.com/people/groups/famous-named-dick
http://www.famousfix.com/list/celebrities-with-first-name-dick
Lots of well-known and successful people with that name, including
a President and a Vice-President of the United States. (Of course
many people would say those two were actually dicks, but that's just
an amusing coincidence.)
https://www.quora.com/How-do-people-named-Dick-deal-with-the-other-mea
ning-of-your-name-Why-not-go-with-Rich-or-Richard
"Only a very trivial mind would worry about such a thing."
"Fanny" for "vagina" (UK)has an even longer history (attested from 1835).
Sudden decline observed in "Fanny" as familiar form for "Frances"?
Fanny Davenport (1850–1898), Anglo-American stage actress
Fanny Davies (1861–1934), British pianist
Fanny Furner (1864–1938), Australian activist for the rights of women and children
Fanny Holland (1847–1931), English singer and comic actress
(These four were actually given that name, so apparently neither
church nor state had any objection to it.)
Fanny Brough (1852–1914), British stage actress
Fanny Durack (1889–1956), Australian swimmer
Fanny Fitzwilliam (1801–1854), English stage actress and theatre manager
Fanny Imlay (1794–1816), illegitimate daughter of the British writer
and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
Fanny Kemble (1809–1893), English actress, writer and anti-slavery figure
Fanny Cornforth (1835-c. 1906), model and mistress of painter Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, real name thought to be Sarah Cox
Fanny Cradock (1909–1994), English restaurant critic born Phyllis Nan Sortain
Fanny Hensel, sister of Felix Mendelssohn.
Peter.
--
Peter Young, (BrE, RP), Consultant Anaesthetist, 1975-2004.
(US equivalent: Certified Anesthesiologist) (AUE Ir)
Cheltenham and Gloucester, UK. Now happily retired.
http://pnyoung.orpheusweb.co.uk
Yes, there are plenty of others on the list I was looking at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_(name)

But I restricted my examples to English and Australian women,
where supposedly the embarrassment should have occurred.

There's actually one man on the list, Frederick Ingram "Fanny" Walden,
an early 20th century footballer and cricketer.

"Being only 5 ft 2 in tall he was often described as a ‘diminutive winger’
and known for his ‘darting jinking runs down the right flank’.His small
stature also accounted for his nickname ‘Fanny’ which was in common use
during his time to describe those of ‘dainty physique'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Walden
Jack Campin
2017-04-01 11:41:35 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
I believe the Romanian playwright Ionesco changed his name from
Ionescu when he moved to France because the original version
was a liability, but I don't know why. (Sean Connery was quite
happy to be labelled as a cunt on French movie posters, as far
as I know).

People with Jewish or Italian names often changed them when going
into the US entertainment industry. Wouldn't help your career now,
when anybody can look you up on Wikipedia.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
e m a i l : j a c k @ c a m p i n . m e . u k
Jack Campin, 11 Third Street, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4PU, Scotland
mobile 07895 860 060 <http://www.campin.me.uk> Twitter: JackCampin
Cheryl
2017-04-01 12:02:54 UTC
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Post by Jack Campin
Post by Dingbat
Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
I believe the Romanian playwright Ionesco changed his name from
Ionescu when he moved to France because the original version
was a liability, but I don't know why. (Sean Connery was quite
happy to be labelled as a cunt on French movie posters, as far
as I know).
People with Jewish or Italian names often changed them when going
into the US entertainment industry. Wouldn't help your career now,
when anybody can look you up on Wikipedia.
I think that the tendency of film folks to keep their own names rather
than picking something that seemed more salable (ie, more mainstream)
had dropped off considerably well before Wikipedia, so I'd put it the
change down the fashion and possibly the decline of the studio system.

Of course, some performers still adapt stage names for various reasons.

As for non-performers, I suspect it depends on the name, the social
situation in the place the person moves to (how accepting they're likely
to be of strange names, whether children are likely to be teased) and
family pride.

You don't even have to move to have people be disrespectful towards your
name. A Canadian was recently unable to renew a vanity licence plate
with his surname on it because it is now considered offensive. The name
is Grabher, it was in use for some 25 years, but now someone's
complained about it. The owner of the plate says he's proud of his name
and the heritage it represents, and wants to continue using it.
--
Cheryl
Reinhold {Rey} Aman
2017-04-01 17:08:16 UTC
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Post by Jack Campin
I believe the Romanian playwright Ionesco changed his name from
Ionescu when he moved to France because the original version
^^
Post by Jack Campin
was a liability, but I don't know why.
Because of French _cul_ = arse/ass.
--
~~~ Reinhold {Rey} Aman ~~~
Ross
2017-04-01 20:34:18 UTC
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Post by Reinhold {Rey} Aman
Post by Jack Campin
I believe the Romanian playwright Ionesco changed his name from
Ionescu when he moved to France because the original version
^^
Post by Jack Campin
was a liability, but I don't know why.
Because of French _cul_ = arse/ass.
--
~~~ Reinhold {Rey} Aman ~~~
Phonetically [ky], as in Duchamp's "L.H.O.O.Q.".
Don Phillipson
2017-04-01 12:19:38 UTC
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. . . who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that.
Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
The apprehension voiced here is imaginary (and feigned?)
A variety of personal names are also commonly applied to body
parts (e.g. Dick, John Thomas, and so on.) People with these
personal names seldom find them "embarassing" in Australia
or anywhere else. The OP probably knows this.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Janet
2017-04-01 14:35:56 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that. Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
I know people called Fanny, Dick and Roger and it would never even
cross their minds to either be embarrassed, or to change their name.
Afaik, that's an American trait.

Janet.
Tony Cooper
2017-04-01 16:08:10 UTC
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Post by Janet
Post by Dingbat
Lawrey wrote: I have the pen of my grand father's aunt, and it used to belong to his granny. She died of the plague I'm afraid and was found by her maid, who went by the name of Young Fanny.
I say: It would be awkward to move to Australia with a name like that. Do people with embarrassing names change them when they move?
I know people called Fanny, Dick and Roger and it would never even
cross their minds to either be embarrassed, or to change their name.
Afaik, that's an American trait.
Is it? I've not come across anyone who has changed their first name
because it's an embarrassment. I've known many people who don't like
their first name, and use their middle name or some other name, but
the reason for the change is not because of some association with an
embarrassing term.

Where did you come up with this?

I have known a "Peter" who refused to acknowledge anyone addressing
him as "Pete", and a "Richard" who didn't want to be called "Dick",
but they were just people who didn't like the other version.

One thing that is done fairly frequently in the US is a person -
usually male - that goes by the first two initials: JK, PJ, etc. They
sometimes spell it out: Ajay.

I don't know if this is done as much in other counties, but Ms Rowling
comes to mind. That was done, though, (as I understand it) because
she didn't want to be identified as a female author.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Stefan Ram
2017-04-01 16:25:33 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
One thing that is done fairly frequently in the US is a person -
usually male - that goes by the first two initials: JK, PJ, etc. They
sometimes spell it out: Ajay.
Don't always have to be initials:

»Please note that my legal first name really is "DJ".«.

www.delorie.com/users/dj/

D.J. Connor from "Roseanne", however, is »David Jacob«.
bill van
2017-04-01 20:08:09 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Tony Cooper
One thing that is done fairly frequently in the US is a person -
usually male - that goes by the first two initials: JK, PJ, etc. They
sometimes spell it out: Ajay.
»Please note that my legal first name really is "DJ".«.
www.delorie.com/users/dj/
D.J. Connor from "Roseanne", however, is »David Jacob«.
I know a Jeep. His parents called him by his initials, J.P., but his kid
brother couldn't pronounce that, and called him Jeep. He's in his 50s
now, and happily remains Jeep.
--
bill
Stefan Ram
2017-04-01 20:31:06 UTC
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Post by bill van
Post by Stefan Ram
D.J. Connor from "Roseanne", however, is »David Jacob«.
I know a Jeep. His parents called him by his initials, J.P., but his kid
brother couldn't pronounce that, and called him Jeep. He's in his 50s
now, and happily remains Jeep.
Yeah, this kind of story is also featured in Roseanne:

»In the episode "Labor Day," it is revealed that Jackie's
real name may have originally been Marjorie, as her mother
reveals that Roseanne couldn't pronounce it, and wound up
calling her "My Jackie", thus leading to Jackie's name.«

Wikipedia
RH Draney
2017-04-01 18:08:46 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
One thing that is done fairly frequently in the US is a person -
usually male - that goes by the first two initials: JK, PJ, etc. They
sometimes spell it out: Ajay.
I don't know if this is done as much in other counties, but Ms Rowling
comes to mind. That was done, though, (as I understand it) because
she didn't want to be identified as a female author.
A woman I began working with in the mid-1980s was originally called
Kathy, but at some point she switched to being called KC...that's the
way, uh-huh, uh-huh, she liked it....r
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