What’s In A Name?

I am a part-time music teacher and one of the things I do with my groups of 2-3-4 year olds is clap the rhythms of their names. Some are very interesting indeed: “Maximus Henry Wittlestone” takes some beating ~ and may say something about the area in which I live, not to mention that he goes to a private nursery where snack time involves blueberries and chia seeds rather than marmite sandwiches. For every Maximus, there are plenty of Harrys, Olivers, Scarletts and Poppys. When we do this exercise, I often point out that my mono-syllabic name is very boring indeed to clap. I love my name though and wonder what it would be like to dislike a name for life ~ it must be awful.

One problem I do have with my moniker is that I am called by my middle name. This has led to a lifetime of doctors and dentists calling me by my first name; I drew the line at my first wedding when the registrar referred to me incorrectly. I let him continue for a while before an aunt of mine tapped me on the shoulder and suggested I correct him.

Both my parents were called by their middle names, so you’d have thought they might have thought twice about landing me with the same problem. Mind you, to further confuse things, my mother was too nervous on her first day at boarding school to correct the teacher reading out the register, so everyone who knew Mum after she was 11 call her one thing and her family call her another. Some people are deeply suspicious that I chose my second name, and hate my first, but the reality is it was my parents who welcomed me into this confusing -enough -already world, that called me by my middle name.

My Name Is

When I started this blog I was very amused to see that there is another “Annie Bee” who describes herself thus,

   I used to be a professional disciplinarian and I spent much of my time spanking, caning and tawsing naughty boy’s bottoms. Those days are over, but I still regularly thrash my partner…..

She writes books as well as a blog, and it delights me to wonder whether people might be mixing us up at the google search stage. Those wanting a few pointers on corporal punishment might be surprised to find me ranting about the menopause or discussing the importance of portion control when dieting.

So if you have come to this page expecting instructions on using ‘hellstraps’, you are forgiven  the confusion.

Have a super weekend

Annie Bee x

Annie Bee blog signature




Names They Should Bring Back

I was visiting Exeter recently and took the opportunity to look around the Cathedral. Plenty caught my eye amongst the ancient splendour. Beautiful flags which were so old they were literally see-through.

exeter cathedral flags

Huge organ pipes (my small handbag is placed so you get the scale).

exeter cathedral organ pipes

A medieval Hobbit-like door with some 21st Century Health and Safety equipment on hand.

exeter cathedral door

Another thing I noticed was a memorial stone for the daughter of Mr and Mrs Hibbert, whom they called “Saccharissa” and who died in 1828. Now there’s a name which should be brought back pronto. It makes me think of sugar. Italian sugar. I bet she was kind and pretty.

exeter cathedral name

In  the 19th century, the most popular given names were Mary and either John or William for girls and boys, respectively. We may think that the more crazy end of the Christian name market comes from the 20th and 21st centuries. Not a bit of it. The ‘heir hunter’ genealogy firm in London, Fraser and Fraser, recently came up with a list of bizarre names from 19th Century birth, death and marriage documents. My favourites are Zebra Lynes – a girl born to James and Mary Lynes in Southampton in 1875; Mineral Waters, born in 1892 to Henry and Emma and (definitely the best) One Too Many Gouldstone, born in 1870 to Robert and Martha of Walthamstow, London, who were clearly wishing for a bit of a rest.

So, eat your heart out Apple and North West, Bluebell Madonna, Bronx Mowgli and Moon Unit. This has been going on for years – there is nothing new under the sun.

green bee for signature copy

Annie Bee x