"Tristan" now feminine given name

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 23 14:33:21 UTC 2006

FWIW, there are a couple of neo-blaxploitation movies out featuring a
woman called "Madea" [m^di@]. I could be wrong, but this strikes as
punning on the fact that one of the usual BE pronunciations of "mother
dear" very nearly falls together with the sE pronunciation of "Medea."

I'm not sure how much competition there is between "mama" and "mother
dear." E.g., my mother addresses and refers to her mother as "Mama."
However, my grandmother always referred to my  mother as "yo'/y'all's
mother dear" and my brothers and I always addressed our mother as
"Mother Dear" and referred to her the same way. Being "boojie," we've
always used the spelling pronunciation. The "standard" BE practice is
to address one's mother as "muh-DEE-uh," but to refer to her as
"muthuh de-uh." Cf. the blues line, "I liiked at my mother dear and I
didn't even crack a smile."


On 2/23/06, David Bowie <db.list at pmpkn.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "Tristan" now feminine given name
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From:    Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> > As you may remember from a few weeks back, trendsetters in this
> > department were the parents of film actress "Tristen [sic] Skyler"
> > (born in the ' 70s) and of sex columnist "Tristan Taormino" (probably
> > another ' 70s baby - just guessing).
> > I'm sure that "Tristan and Isolde" mean nothing to 99.9% of today's
> > Americans.
> > Nor does "Medea," so watch out !
> A female friend of mine, b. 1971, is named Tristyn.
> I actually know a couple who considered naming their daughter Medea
> (among other amazing ideas--they wanted something mythological), but didn't.
> --
> David Bowie                                         http://pmpkn.net/lx
>      Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
>      house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
>      chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list