Thursday, March 19, 2009

Funny Names from the Past

(Finished page proofs, and book proposal for the next novel.)

I don't know about you, but I love interesting names. It's probably because I
am a writer that I find quirky names so fun. Charles Dickens has to be the all-time master at coming up with interesting names for his characters, names like, Mr. Swiddlepipe, Beatle Bumble, Mr. Fizziwig, Mr. & Mrs.Jellyby, Mr. Turveytop, Mr. Smallweed, and the list goes on.

I have a habit, while watching British television shows, of reading the names in the credits. Even there I have found some quirky names, that have given me ideas for character names.

In my last post I mentioned the 100 year daily inserts of happenings in my hometown newspaper in central Maryland, the Frederick News Post. Here are a few names, along with their post from 100 years ag

Jan. 22, 1909

Officers are on the lookout for Frisby Dunn, of Brunswick, who is wanted upon the charge of passing an alleged worthless check for $20 upon Mrs. Susan Wyand, of Keedysville, Washington county, who conducts a small jewelry store in that town.

January 11, 2009 Arthur Harper, aged about 11 years, and Lee Volluse, about the same age, were placed under arrest last evening on the charge of taking several puddings and some ham from the meat store of Messrs. Kolb Brothers, North Market street.

March 19, 1909

William R. Finneyfrock was the winner of the $50 lot located at Summer City on the Chesapeake Bay and donated to the holder of the lucky number 1148, by the South Chesapeake Beach Land Co.

January 13, 1909
Ex-Mayor Aquilla R. Yeakle was taken with an attack of acute gastritis, while in the store of Mr. Harry Flautt, in the City Hall building, yesterday afternoon. (We can only imagine...)

January 08, 1909

Mr. Charles Esterly, who is employed in the junk shop of Mr. John

Baumgardner, North Market street, met with a peculiar accident yesterday. Mr. Harry Lipps, another employee, was engaged in throwing iron to a pile, when one of the pieces hooked in his glove, causing it to fly into the air. In falling, the piece of iron struck Mr. Esterly on the head, cutting it in three places, making very ugly wounds.

January 06, 1909
The case of James A. Butts vs. Samuel C. Butts, a suit for $5,000 damages, was taken up yesterday afternoon before a jury. The plaintiff and defendant are brothers, and reside near Burkittsville. The suit was based on a charge of alienation of the affections of the plaintiff's wife.


Jessica said...

LOL! Finnyfrock is hilarious!!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Finnyfrock stood out to me too. Hysterical!

Back then you also saw a lot more of the unusual Bible names. I think I saw an Aquilla in your post. :)


Jaime said...

Oh these are hysterical!! I too picked out Finnyfrock from the bunch. I might name my next pet that, it's just so fun! :)

Great blog - I'm glad I found you through Jessica's blog! :) Your new book looks intriguing. I love historicals so I might just have to pick this one up! :)

Rachel said...

A few months ago there was a segment on The Daily Show that was dedicated to British "war veterans". Being The Daily Show none of it was true, of course. But I was in tears laughing so hard at all of the ridiculous British sounding names that the writers came up with.