Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bogan (and Other Irregular) Names

I haven't had much time to do anything with the blog the past week as I've been very busy preparing both work and my family so they are all organised while I am on my trip to Clare. Anyway...
I'm a teacher, and so one of the things I'm involved in almost every January is discussions about what weird unique names have surfaced on the class lists, and how exactly one might be expected to pronounce them! I know this is a topic of interest to some other people, to the point that I have one particular friend who often wants updates on the latest in "bogan names". For some reason, people seem to think this is a very recent phenomenon, and that once upon a time everyone in Australia had names from the Bible, Botany and the British royal family, with 'nary a US state, "noice, un-u-s-u-al, different" spelling or celebrity in sight. I call shenanigans on this theory, and present exhibit A for the defence, the list of names in my own tree which would no doubt feature on the "Bogan Name" list should it have existed at the time:
Asenath b. 1849
Aurelia b. 1802
Brunty  b. 1925
Burty  b. 1884
Faith, Hope and Charity  c. 1803
Chestina b. 1832 (who died as an infant) and her younger sister, my great-great-great grandmother, Jestina  b. 1832
Cora Verosa Venice b. 1908
Zillah  b. 1884
Darrell  b. 1888 (Darrell? In 1888? Maybe 1988!)
Dorothea Evelyn Alethea  b. 1906 (OK, they're all 'regular' names, but all together like that?)
Ediva Leonora  b. 1882
Edna Leweine b. 1913
Elder  b. 1884 and his older brother Epi, b. 1881
Elma b. 1898 (Fudd anyone? Poor girl!)
Elva  b. ca 1922
Essie  b. 1890
Eveleen Clarice Lena  b. 1902
Evelina  b. 1833
Firth b. 1854
Lauretta  b. 1891
Honour  b. 1826
Imelda  b. 1896
Indiana b. 1867 (That's right people, an American state as a name in 1867! She subsequently became a single mum. I bet all the neighbours blamed her name in that same tone people usually reserve for strippers named Montana.)
Inez b. 1914
Jennie  b. 1893
Aleric  b. 1884
Laban  b. 1835 (Yes, Biblical, but very obscure! He's not even that nice a guy!)
Lister  b. 1847 (As wonderful as it is to see a Red Dwarf name in there...)
Loma b. 1892 (I thought misprint for "Lorna" too, but apparently not!)
Maidie Lestley  b. 1917
Valetta b. 1899 (No, the family are not Maltese)
Maryrion  b. 1882 (What? Mary and Marion were both taken?)
Stanley Gordon Livingstone b. 1891 (Someone's parents liked their colonial African stories!)
Urinia  b. 1839
Wanda b. 1920

No doubt you were all wonderful people, but when your teachers saw your name on a class list this was the mental image they had of your family... or the 1802-1920 equivalents, anyway.

Quite a list - and that's even after excluding the ones which were probably family surnames which should never have reappeared as given names (I'm looking at you here, Peapells!), the probable mis-spellings for something more common and those that just made some unfortunate sods sound like total wankers: Hobson, Hedley, Hollis and the like.
Of course what would I know: my eldest son is named after this gentleman here!
No, not Indiana, we called the dog his third great grand aunt Indiana.


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