"Tristan" now feminine given name

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri Feb 24 18:00:12 UTC 2006

From:    Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>

> Some months ago I casually picked up a popular magazine (so popular
> it seemedc to have more photos and random swashes of color than
> words) that featured a gush-filled article on what today's stars were
> naming their babies.

> If I only I could remember the magazine !  Or the names !

> Believe me, "Tristan," "Medea," "Dweezil" and "Moon Unit" weren't
> there.  What was there was really appalling !  In fact, writhe-worthy !

> Maybe I can dig up the reference.

There was a study a while back (using California naming patterns, IIRC)
that concluded, among other things, that the wealthy classes have the
same naming patterns as the middle and lower classes, it's just that the
wealthy are a decade or two ahead of everyone else.

Therefore, if you're writhing now at what celebrities are naming their
children,[1] prepare to writhe *lots* in a few years.

In other naming stuff, a good friend of my family of my parents'
generation (b. sometime in the 1940s) is male and named Kay (pronounced
[ke]), which i always expect to be a female name. (I also have trouble
imagining someone who's male being named Kerry.) I also grew up around a
lot of females of all sorts of ages named Billie (one Billy) and Bobbie
(or Bobbi), usually with the middle name Sue or Jo or Jean, with the
middle name usually but not always used along with the first name.

My one and only blood cousin (b. in the late 1960s), who's female, goes
by her middle name Susan, but her first name is Tommie (she's named
after her father, who died before she was born). She says she's always
amused when she gets the occasional bit of junk mail addressed to Mr.
Thomas [last name].

Incidentally, i'm surprised that nobody's yet mentioned--unless i just
happened to miss it--the song "A boy named Sue".

[1] Which i'm not doing, FWIW--i think the name Apple is a *fabulous*
girls name. But then again, one of my children has a (AFAICT) completely
unique first name, and an obscure literary reference as a middle name,
so i'm not sure i'm the most middle-of-the-road informant on this sort
of thing.

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

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