Friday, 24 February 2012

Janet & John

This morning on his early morning blog Monsieur Cro introduced us all to his daughter who possesses the spunky and rather original name of Tenpin.
This got me to thinking just why we name the things dear to us, the way we do.
The naming of a child is a significant and huge responsibility.
Get it wrong and that kid may harbour psychological issues all of it's life ( One of my old patients from my psychiatric nursing days comes to mind here ....for his traumatic childhood was thought to be a direct result of severe bullying in school.......an unfortunate product of being christened "Adolph" in 1933 North Yorkshire!)
Most names can date the person who owns it .This is certainly the case of my name as for most of my life I have been referred to as just one part of a double act.
As twins born in 1962, my sister and I were named after the icons of  those 1950's Children's reading books everyone over a certain age will remember with some affection.... for we  were called Janet AND John.
Janet and John aged 26 and 1/2

Sexy Hal (centre)
As a kid, I disliked the reference. I thought it was just that little bit boring and a tad babyish, given the fact that Janet and John didn't do anything of interest apart from chasing big red balls in a suburban garden like a couple of dated middle class bores. I longed to have the ability to change my name and always had the secret desire to possess the more "exotic" Christian name of Roger!.....
Now this was only because I used to be a avid reader of the
Willard Price adventure novels where fourteen year old Roger Hunt and his older brother Hal captured animals from the four corners of the globe ( like you do!)
I also think I had a secret crush on Hal....you can't blame me given his clean cut 1960s looks can you?

Do kids of today have paperback book heroes anymore?....Perhaps the Jake's, the Ben's and the little Jaimie's of today prefer their x box heroes just that little bit more? 
Bloody hell now I do sound like a sad old John don't I?

43 comments:

  1. We grew up with a lovely little childrens reader called Dick and Jane...can't remember one kid named after them in school.

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  2. Delores.. I could have been called Dick then?
    wont be the first time!

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  3. My kids books were Dick and Dora . I still have them., My daughter fell in love with Harry Potter and Hermione fron the books before she saw the films. x

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  4. Of course if you lived in America John would have a different meaning - even worse I guess as far as kids making fun of you.
    Two instances from my childhood spring to mind:

    My mother's neighbour - Mrs. Green - had a daughter called Pam, which made her P Green, which I always thought was a bit sad.

    Another family in the village, their name Dickinson, had six boys and were desperate for a girl. They finally got one and christened her Lucy Ann so that her initials were LAD.

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  5. I had a friend in school called Wanda Kiss....but I don't recall any one making a big deal of her name or her getting kidded about it.

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  6. Now you've managed to extract my secret John. My name isn't Briony but a horrible dated name from the 40's. My Brother was given the lovely name of Bernard but I know I wasn't a wanted child (post war)my Mum must have plucked my name out of a hat. lol
    Briony
    x

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  7. and then there's Theanne...who years ago would have given anything to be just plain "Anne"!

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  8. Tenpin is not her ACTUAL name; just a soubriquet. I knew a Claude and Claudia. My sister and I were named after characters in a children's book; had my mother had more children we might have had siblings called Titty and John. Not too sure about the Titty.

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  9. No one ever says my name right (Chania). It is pronounced Chaun-ya like Tanya, but in Canada and the US they say Chanya Like Charlie Chan. Of course once Shania Twain became famous all I get now is chania like Shania. I used to long for a simple name. My last name was Smith, my brothers Paul and Mark. I guess they had some kind of inspiration when they were in Nairobi.

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  10. Harry Potter just doesn't cut the same jib as the butch Roger and Hal does he.

    Count your blessings John.

    My real name is Marmaduke - Chris is just for short.

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  11. Birony
    so what IS your name!!!!! tell the group!

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  12. A friend has a family law practice in a rough part of some city or other and tells of a client who called her daughter Chlamidya, because it sounded nice.
    When it was pointed out what the name means she didn't seem too bothered and thought it was less common than Chardonnay.

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  13. My parent must have liked Mary Poppins.. I am half of Jane and Michael.
    Jane x
    PS I love the name Briony...stick with it B!!

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  14. Yep Dick & Jane here in Canada growing up right ahead of you, as I was born in 1959. "Jane, see Dick run?" LOL Lovely photo of you and your sister, John.

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  15. Gertrude. Now that's a boy name that you just don't hear these days.

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  16. Dick and Jane over here in the U.S. -- and no man here wants to be named "Dick".

    Rod, Lance, and Peter, yes. Dick? No.

    :-)

    Pearl

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  17. My late, elder sister was called Cheryl Lynne. She hated Cheryl so as a pre-teen just went by Lynne. I was named by her. Jacqueline was a character in a child's book my mother read to Lynne. Victoria was named for our paternal grandfather Victor (who I just found out was Nelson Victor!), and my brother David...I have no idea why he was called David.
    Names are funny things...it's taken me a long time to get used to mine in all it's variations. I'm called Jackie, Jaxx, Jack and sometimes even my name Jacqueline.

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  18. I too grew up with Dick and Dora (literary, not literally) so Janet at least should consider herself lucky.

    I have vivid memories of embarrassment when we had to tell the class our parents' names when I was about five. My dad's name is Jeremiah, after his granddad, which was unusual enough to prompt hoots of derision from my classmates.

    As a result, I've never been comfortable with my own middle name, Jeremy, which is as close as my mum would allow dad to name me after him.

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  20. I like the name John very much ... but it wasn't easy having it as my maiden name! My father was the worst one for coming up with jokes about it -- like when he came home from being drafted into the army and told his mother that his was the only platoon with its own private john! Until I was around eleven I'd never heard it used that way -- I found out when I went to summer camp -- the humiliation killed me!!!

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  21. Obviously I'm Susan, five of us in my primary class. Back then I was much concerned that it wasn't Suzanne or Suzy, so much more exotic I thought. Now I don't even care.

    Also I am essex through and through and I too have friends who are identical twins who are called Sharon and Tracey. Boy did they hate it back in the day. Now we love our essexness.

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  22. Tom Corbett, Space Cadet was one of my favorites. Have to add Lucky Starr, too. And of course The Hardy Boys. Trixie Belden not so much.
    Heinlein, Asimov and F.W.Dixon had my interest growing up.

    For school, yes, we had Dick and Jane; but I would not and did not name any of my kids after either of them, or characters of any other book I read.

    Interesting that you enjoyed reading about world animal hunters and now you have quite the collection of animals of your own!

    Good post, John. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  23. jean
    in a similar vein in FOR YOU EYES ONLY the bond heroine was called Maleena...
    which as all nurses know is blood in your poo!

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  24. Oh dear, confession time. I don't use my birth name either, John, and had it legally changed by deed poll.

    And no, I'm not telling...some secrets are best kept, believe me. x

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  25. My first name is Wanda. Nicknames are Galey and Galestorm, hence Galestorm. I’ve never been overly fond of Wanda. Actually, my aunt gave me that name. She and my mother were pregnant along the same time and she delivered a boy. If she had a girl, she was going to name it Wanda. I guess she convinced my mother to name me that when I born. Wanda was popular at the time. There were three in my class when I graduated from high school. Now for John, that is one of my favorite names for a man. No offense to the Tom, Dick, and Harry’s out there!

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  26. Why I was called Nicholas I have no idea. Something I should ask my 89 year old mum before her time is up. I've always liked the name and never had any wish for a different one.

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  28. My husband and I are trying to choose a name, without knowing if it will be a boy or girl. I have the same fears John that you have mentioned, of scarring our child for life. So far I have had to vito Lorenzo and Bianca.

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  29. One of the worst names EVER: my neighbor's sister was named BOOBY. That was, honest-to-God, her given name.

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  30. In Canada it was Tom and Betty. Tom is a good name, don't you think for a guy? That just opened things up here I bet.....hold on!

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  31. I named my son after Lewis Collins TV tough guy (Lewis that is, not Colin):-)

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  32. Can't see you as a Roger. I like the name John much better,

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  33. Noticed Janet and John reprinted while I was in England. The books were still on the school shelves when I started school, but in progressive sixties NZ we were getting our own material written for young readers. The NZ School Journal was and still is a fabulous proving ground for writers, artists and poets (hmm I feel a blog post coming on). But mostly what was available for avid readers was British. I remember working through all the Sue Barton/Nurse books, Five Dolls in a Dolls House, and yes, all those Willard Price Adventures. I think I had a crush on Hal too!

    Jeneane - well my mother had to be different once she'd chosen a fashionable name (Janine) Now I'm resigned to mis-spellings - lots - and only just, to being called Jeanette.

    Good choice of name Briony. My daughter seems to be happy with it :-)

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  34. Another Dick and Jane reader here.
    Kids can make any name a tease. I went to school with Martha Blank. The boys used to tell new kids that her real name was Martha F*ck, so they had to call her Martha Blank. Geez.

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  35. Siblings Julian, Dick, Anne with their friend George(Georgina) and George's large mongrel Timothy!

    The Famous Five!

    Read all 21 of Blyton's stories of "The Five" and also her The Famous Five survival guide.

    As for friends with 'odd' names, I had a German mate, post-WWII, who was named Horst and got nicknamed "Horsie".

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  36. I was named for a tragic 8th century Polish princess who met a grisly end. They were a bundle of laughs, my parents....

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  37. I cant beat that wanda

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  38. At least John is not ripe for mickey taking in this country, unlike Roger.

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  39. Isn't it sad the way that name associations stay with us forever. There was a Roger up the road from us, and like Ralph he wet the bed and his pants for a lot longer than the rest of us. And now? I cannot look at Rogers or Ralphs without those unfortunate images.
    John is fine. John was the coolest boy at my school.

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  40. I had a neighbour called Jezebel, she was as far from a scarlet woman as you can imagine. Also knew a woman called Mrs Gash, so things could definitely be worse for most people. I always wanted to change my name to one of the famous five when I was a boy - not Anne though. My best friend was called Roger and I always thought that it was pretty cool for the same reasons as you.
    Thank you for my lovely spoon John, it just arrived in the post and before long will have a spot on my kitchen wall!
    Dan

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  41. 'Mummy, how do us Native Americans get our names?'

    'Easy, darling, the child is named after the first thing the father sees after the birth, that is why your brother is called Soaring Eagle and your sister Little Rain Cloud. Why do you ask, Two Dogs Shagging?'

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  42. catapulted back to my formative years!

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  43. I've never quite forgiven my mother for giving me the middle-name of Keith. Don't know why, I just loath it. So very pleased I managed to get it removed from my passport!

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