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Friday, 26 November 2010

S'funny about names.

Fridge Soup has a follower named Bob Scotney. I wonder if he's associated with Scotney Castle?
The Old Castle, glimpsed beyond a carpet of colourful flowers, from the Bastion in Kent.

I would have thought, as apparently would others as well, that a Scotney would be a Scot. If that were the case, I was all set to ask, rhetorically, what a Cockney would be.  But Scotney's French in origin.
It is in fact of French origin and derives from a place called 'Etocquigny', a village in the department of Seine-Inferieure, Northern France. It is probable that the original nameholders came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066

Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Scotney#ixzz16Qs2G7w0
Think of that.
Did you know that, Mr. Scotney?

Back in our family names we have Wakefield. Several years ago I mentioned that to a descendant of the noble Percy family who'd immigrated to these particular colonies. 
"I'm guessing that we must have come from Wakefield," I chirped happily.  
The center of her face seemed to freeze. The look of distaste grew outward.  The Percy breeding saved her from a full gasp of horror. A friend from England was visiting her and they exchanged a quick look. When she was able once again to move her jaw, she advised me in a confidential tone, "Don't tell people that." She wrinkled her nose and lifted her upper lip just slightly. "It isn't a nice place."
Apparently having one's roots in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is a tad shameful.  Who knew?
Later I read something about Wakefield and a Viking, "Hereward the Wake," and I chose thereafter to think of my family as latter-day carriers of Viking genes.  Hereward, incidentally, didn't like the Normans very much.

S'funny about names.
When I watch the rolling of the credits for BBC productions, the preponderance of purely British names strikes me. I suppose that's changing, or has changed now, but it seems to me that (although it's hugely politically incorrect to admit these days) it would be sort of a comfort to be surrounded by people whose genetic history is more or less the same as one's own.  
I know, I know: People are people, no matter the label they carry, and I don't mean I don't like people whose native cultures are other. Merely an observation.

I don't know what the current view of Americans is. I guess everybody used to hate us for being arrogant. That perception would, of course, be based on the behavior of tourists who had the money to travel all over Europe complaining about everything from toilet paper to God knows what. We poor slobs who've never been able to afford world travel are happy and as eagerly friendly as seven-week-old puppies. Even when some noblewoman tells us we're mutts.