A question about politicians' names

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  • #51
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You cannot and should not always judge everyone based on external appearance. It is at the very least impolite and rude.
I don't see that he "judged" anyone. All he did was comment on external appearances, and he said as much.
 
  • #52
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Oh yeah, something I will never forget was watching the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama. I distinctly remember when Bill Clinton and George Bush accompanied him, on the television they announced the names ''William Jefferson Clinton'', ''George Walker Bush'', ''Barack H. Obama''.
Wow, really? Could they have been more obvious? Why not use all middle initials instead of having an odd man out and looking suspicious?
 
  • #53
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On the other hand, Prince Henry Charles Albert David, formally Prince Henry of Wales, is always called Prince Harry, or Captain Harry Wales when he served in the armed forces.
I think 'Harry' was made de rigueur for royals by Shakespeare's, 'Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' speech:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/269700.html

And Prince William is usually referred to as "Wills", which is a fairly typical UK public school (= USA private school!) style of nickname.
I don't think it's all that usual, at least not in the UK, outside the gutter press. His Wikipedia page says 'Wills' was invented by the press. His Wikipedia page has 137 references and only one use of 'Wills', and that by a Scottish newspaper :)

In any case, since that marriage, Prince William became His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Miss Catherine Middleton became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. So the BBC, and serious press, now use the titles Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.

http://www.royal.gov.uk/LatestNewsandDiary/Pressreleases/2011/Announcementoftitles29April2011.aspx
 
  • #54
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He might not be called that in the circles you frequent, your majesty, but he has been called this rather informally a time or two in my recollection by Britons and in the British press.
Well you can expect anything from the gutter press, and the hoi polloi.
 
  • #55
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I'm curious about the origin of the insult "He's a right Charlie" in the UK. Is this perhaps a reference to the execution of King Charles I during the English Civil War?
Don't know. Maybe it comes from Bonnie Prince Charlie, the defeated Scottish pretender? Or all those French kings called Charles? Maybe it's the collective badness of Kings called Charles?
 
  • #56
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Isn't the usual nickname in North America for Solomon is Sol?
.
It is in the Uk - as with Sol Campbell the famous football [US:soccer] player.
 
  • #57
SteamKing
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It's still not clear where this animus against the name 'Charlie' originates. For all I know, based on the evidence presented so far, it might be because people don't like Charlie Watts, the one Rolling Stone who is not controversial or tinged with some scandal.

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

or Lord Charles Beresford, who was a famous rival and antagonist of Adm. Jacky Fisher in the early 20th century:

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

It certainly didn't prevent the Queen from naming her heir Charles.

It's true the Americans referred to the Viet Cong as 'Charlie' during the war, but that seems to have been a side-effect of using the NATO phonetic alphabet.

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

A hitherto secret society of Charles-haters surely must have been uncovered here :biggrin:
 
  • #58
davenn
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When a family have two sons, can parents give Tony to one and Anthony to another and same question for
Michael and Mickey. Is Rickey same kind of situation of Michael to Mickey?
I guess there's no reason why not

Ricky (Rickey) is a common nickname/shortening for Richard

had a school mate, long ago, Richard he was always known as Ricky

I'm David, but the only ones who refer to me by that are professionals (say doctors etc) or my mother :wink:
And when she was really angry with me, it was David Andrew N.... GET IN HERE! haha

everyone else knows me as Dave

cheers
Dave :wink:
 
  • #59
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And when she was really angry with me, it was David Andrew N.... GET IN HERE! haha
Nope. You do not want to get the full-name treatment from your parents.
 
  • #60
Evo
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My mother never used our full names, she just raised her voice, if she raised her voice, you KNEW you were in trouble.
 
  • #61
AlephZero
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It's still not clear where this animus against the name 'Charlie' originates.
I suspect you are too recent. I guess Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, better known as the Young Pretender. He certainly made a right Charlie of himself at the batltle of Cullodden. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Edward_Stuart

Of course the Scots might not agree with English point of view here.

The English monarchs Charles I and II more or less of canceled each other out in terms of animus. After an experiment with Republicanism, we decided we didn't like it much.
 
  • #62
lisab
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It's still not clear where this animus against the name 'Charlie' originates. For all I know, based on the evidence presented so far, it might be because people don't like Charlie Watts, the one Rolling Stone who is not controversial or tinged with some scandal.

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

or Lord Charles Beresford, who was a famous rival and antagonist of Adm. Jacky Fisher in the early 20th century:

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

It certainly didn't prevent the Queen from naming her heir Charles.

It's true the Americans referred to the Viet Cong as 'Charlie' during the war, but that seems to have been a side-effect of using the NATO phonetic alphabet.

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

A hitherto secret society of Charles-haters surely must have been uncovered here :biggrin:
I've never heard of a Charles animus! My dad is a Charles, but he always used Chuck. My brother is a Charles too, but the family uses his middle name. When he grew up he chose to go by Charlie. He's an independent contractor and I think Charlie sounds like a dependable guy :smile:.
 
  • #63
AlephZero
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A hitherto secret society of Charles-haters surely must have been uncovered here :biggrin:
In WWII I think it was more a term of pity than abuse. Tail-end Charlie was air force slang for the rear-gunner in a plane, who was first in line to catch any enemy fire from the rear, and last in the queue to get out when abandoning the plane.
 
  • #64
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"He's a right Charlie" means "He's an idiot".
Possible origin:

Charly (stylized as CHAЯLY) is a 1968 American film directed by Ralph Nelson. The drama stars Cliff Robertson (in an Academy Award-winning performance), Claire Bloom, Lilia Skala, Leon Janney and Dick Van Patten and tells the story of a intellectually disabled bakery worker who is the subject of an experiment to increase human intelligence. Stirling Silliphant adapted the movie from the novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charly
This movie was pretty big in the US when it came out. I have no idea how it did in the UK, but if 'Charlie = idiot' over there, it might have started as a reference to the main character in this film.
 
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  • #65
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Charlie is uncommon because it's quite an insulting name for humans - the phrase, "He's a right Charlie" means "He's an idiot".
I've never heard of a Charles animus! My dad is a Charles, but he always used Chuck. My brother is a Charles too, but the family uses his middle name. When he grew up he chose to go by Charlie. He's an independent contractor and I think Charlie sounds like a dependable guy :smile:.
Well, mal4mac seems to have clammed up about 'Charlie' being an insulting name for humans. I guess the leaders of the anti-Charlie cabal got to him. :biggrin:

Charlie Brown was OK, if a bit of a blockhead at times.

Charlie Wilson knew what was good for General Motors and good for America, so he couldn't have been too insulted to be saddled with the nickname 'Engine Charlie'.

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

More recently, the late Rep. Charlie Wilson was instrumental in helping the Afghans to defeat the Soviets in the 1980's:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Wilson_(Texas_politician)

Both these guys also seemed to have survived their insulting names:

Charles Darwin and Charles De Gaulle

Probably the most famous dog named 'Charley' was the poodle which John Steinbeck traveled with and wrote about in 'Travels with Charley':

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

Charley reportedly had no comment about the supposedly insulting nature of his name.
 
  • #66
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I've never heard of a Charles animus! My dad is a Charles, but he always used Chuck. My brother is a Charles too, but the family uses his middle name. When he grew up he chose to go by Charlie. He's an independent contractor and I think Charlie sounds like a dependable guy :smile:.
Interesting thread:

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/81/P0/

The derivation of “Charlie” from cockney rhyming slang and another insult ("Berk") seems the most likely suggestion:

Charlie = Berk (derivation: Charlie Smirke, a leading English jockey from the 1930’s-50’s = Berk. Berk, from Berkeley Hunt.

The Shorter Slang Dictionary By Rosalind Fergusson backs this derivation.

In use it's a *lot* tamer than the original "worst swear word".

Now totally defeating my case is this:

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a25008171/top-baby-boy-names-2013

Charlie is the third most popular name! (Much less popular in 2000 though!) Maybe the word, now, has become totally drained of its insulting power. Many ironic comedians, writers, and pop stars adopted it quite happily (Charlie Watts, Charlie Brooker, Charlie and the Chocolate factory...) So maybe these attractive characters have turned it around, turning it from an insult into an affectionate rebuke to a loveable rogue. (Boy snatches a kiss, girl calls him a "Right Charlie"...)

Interesting that Charles isn't in the top 100 in 2013 - this probably reflects the growing unpopularity of Prince Charles (William is at 11, Harry at 4...)
 
  • #67
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Well, mal4mac seems to have clammed up about 'Charlie' being an insulting name for humans. I guess the leaders of the anti-Charlie cabal got to him. :biggrin:
Charlie Brown was probably a main factor in rehabilitating the name; he's well loved this side of the pond. With his shy, diffident nature he seems quite British :approve:.

Also, British people love Charlie Watts! What's not to like? So he's more likely on the side of rehabilitating the name than the cause of using it as an insult.

Note, I'm only suggesting that 'Charlie' has (had?) insulting connotations in the UK, so pointing to Charlie Wilson of General Motors and Rep. Charlie Wilson is only making my case. Where are their British equivalents?

Charles Darwin: (i) He was never called Charlie (ii) The "Right Charlie" insult didn't come into play before 1930 (if the Cockney rhyming slang idea is correct...)

Charles De Gaulle is fine 'cause he's French.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles is fun, it appears Charles' in Britain could have no luck:

"The original Anglo-Saxon was Ċearl or Ċeorl, as the name of king Cearl of Mercia, that disappeared after the Norman conquest of England."

"The name's etymology is a Common Germanic noun *karlaz meaning "free man", which survives in English as churl [A rough, surly, ill-bred person; a boor; A selfish miser; an illiberal person; a niggard.]"

"Charles, Prince of Wales, would become Charles III ... but he has reportedly considered choosing George VII as his regnal name" [Not such a Charlie then! :tongue:]

Oh well, Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin have done a lot to save the name from total disgrace in the UK!
 
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  • #68
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Charlie Brown was probably a main factor in rehabilitating the name; he's well loved this side of the pond. With his shy, diffident nature he seems quite British :approve:.

Also, British people love Charlie Watts! What's not to like? So he's more likely on the side of rehabilitating the name than the cause of using it as an insult.

Note, I'm only suggesting that 'Charlie' has (had?) insulting connotations in the UK, so pointing to Charlie Wilson of General Motors and Rep. Charlie Wilson is only making my case. Where are their British equivalents?

Charles Darwin: (i) He was never called Charlie (ii) The "Right Charlie" insult didn't come into play before 1930 (if the Cockney rhyming slang idea is correct...)

Charles De Gaulle is fine 'cause he's French.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles is fun, it appears Charles' in Britain could have no luck:

"The original Anglo-Saxon was Ċearl or Ċeorl, as the name of king Cearl of Mercia, that disappeared after the Norman conquest of England."

"The name's etymology is a Common Germanic noun *karlaz meaning "free man", which survives in English as churl [A rough, surly, ill-bred person; a boor; A selfish miser; an illiberal person; a niggard.]"

"Charles, Prince of Wales, would become Charles III ... but he has reportedly considered choosing George VII as his regnal name" [Not such a Charlie then! :tongue:]

Oh well, Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin have done a lot to save the name from total disgrace in the UK!
I think you have conflated 'Charlie' with the term 'churl', which does have less than stellar connotations:

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

It's still not clear that 'Charlie' was ever a term of insult to man nor beast, in the UK or out, or in need of any rehabilitation, Cockney rhyming slang notwithstanding.

Other famous Britons:

Charles Babbage

Charles Wheatstone (of the famous bridge)

Sir Charles Lyell (famous geologist)

Charles Laughton (the actor)

Charles Cornwallis (founder of America, since he surrendered at Yorktown)

Charles Barry (architect who designed the houses of Parliament)

Charles George Gordon (fell at Khartoum)

Charlie Chaplin (it's hard to imagine Chaplin taking a name which would be insulting to anyone)
 
  • #69
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It's still not clear that 'Charlie' was ever a term of insult to man nor beast, in the UK or out, or in need of any rehabilitation, Cockney rhyming slang notwithstanding.
Well it's clear to me, having been born & bred in the UK, and lived there all my life, over fifty years! I don't remember anyone in my schooldays called Charlie, I vaguely remember a Charles.

Charlie Chaplin was around before the name became an insult. But even so, given British irony, he might still have taken the name. It wouldn't be insulting to anyone but himself, and the guy was a professional clown so "Charlie" is very apt.

Actually calling someone a clown, or a comedian, has about the same level of insult as calling someone a "right Charlie". So Charlie Chaplin translates to "Charlie the clown". Not really an insult, more a very apt name! (Hence comedians & clownish pop stars using it *after* it became an insult - Charlie Drake, Charlie Brooker,...)
 
  • #70
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Well, I don't remember anyone in my schooldays who was named 'Ian' or 'Trevor', both perfectly good names, but not particularly popular on this side of the pond, but it's a large leap to conclude that a particular name lacks popularity because it is some sort of insult, especially when the nature of the insult is so elusive. I mean, if the name was particularly vile, it would be printed 'C-----e' in the respectable press. Yet, after so many years, this terrible insult is apparently forgotten and swept under the rug, and it's OK to call your offspring by this allegedly once-horrible name.
 
  • #71
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Well, I don't remember anyone in my schooldays who was named 'Ian' or 'Trevor', both perfectly good names, but not particularly popular on this side of the pond, but it's a large leap to conclude that a particular name lacks popularity because it is some sort of insult, especially when the nature of the insult is so elusive.
Would you call your son Wally? (Not Walter - just Wally.) No? Why not? Would it be a large leap to conclude the name lacks popularity because it's an insult?
 
  • #72
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Would you call your son Wally? (Not Walter - just Wally.) No? Why not? Would it be a large leap to conclude the name lacks popularity because it's an insult?
Yes, I'm afraid it would. It violates Occam's razor in this instance.

The popularity of names waxes and wanes over time. There were once a lot of boys named Percival, but not so many nowadays. Is it because Percival morphed into a derogatory term of some sort? Unlikely. It could be because parents wanted to name their son Steve or Jim or Joshua, etc., and they felt Percival was old-fashioned or stuffy-sounding.

The Social Security Administration apparently has a lot of time on their hands, so they've compiled lists of the most popular given names over the last 100 years.

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/top5names.html

'Charles' was a top five boy's name throughout the 1920s, and then dropped off the list. 'Michael' debuted in the top spot in 1954 out of nowhere and stayed there until the late 1990's when it was knocked off by 'Jacob'. 'Michael' stayed a solid No. 2 or No. 3 for a few years afterward, but has since dropped out of the top 5. The most popular boy's name for 2013 was 'Noah' of all things. Apparently, the only reason for this was there was a movie of the same name being produced starring Russell Crowe; it certainly wasn't because arks had suddenly become popular again.

The name Wally is no insult. He's even got his own Facebook page, and I'm sure FB would not allow him to use his name if it were an insult or derogatory in any way:

https://www.facebook.com/whereswally

You're talking past me on whether 'Wally' is a desirable name for my offspring. I occasionally watch reruns of 'Leave it to Beaver', where the title character, Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver, has an older brother named 'Wally', whose given name was Wallace, instead of Walter.

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

Now, if you want to give someone an insulting name, you call him 'Hitler' or something, but if the insulting nature of the name is so hidden or obscure that not one out of a hundred is aware of it, what's the point?
 

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