Friday Five

I have never done this before, but has inspired me:

1. Are you named after anyone? If so, explain.

Yes. There were a large number of Nicholases in the Whyte family tree, going back to Sir Nicholas Whyte/White, an Irish judge in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, who died while a prisoner in the Tower of London.

2. Do you have your children’s names picked out already? If so, is there any significance?

B’s name was chosen originally because it was original, and Irish, and we didn’t actually know anyone with that name. – who has almost certainly forgotten this – convinced me retrospectively that we had named her in honour of a 14th-century Swedish saint who famously moved to Rome to try and improve the moral behaviour of the Pope.

F was also chosen as an Irish name, and because we didn’t know anyone else with that name, but this time there was a deliberate reference to an eighth century Irish saint, a bishop of Salzburg, who famously believed that the world was round.

U was named after a favourite aunt, who died in 1998. My aunt, oddly enough, had been named after the wife of an earlier Nicholas Whyte (not the Elizabethan judge, but his grandson).

3. If you were born a member of the opposite sex what would your name have been?

Don’t know.

4. If you could re-name yourself what name would you pick and why?

I have occasionally toyed with rechristening myself with my middle name, which is Henry, but it doesn’t really work. I think I would choose something unabbreviatable and difficult to mis-spell (see next question).

5. Are there any mispronunciations/typos that people do with your name constantly?

Absolutely. People call me “Nick” even though I always introduce myself and refer to mjyself as “Nicholas”; in writing, the “h” disappears from my first name, the “y” turns to “i” in my surname, occasionally if I’m spelling it down the phone to someone who is only half listening the “h” disappears from my surname as well. And because I work in a slightly multi-alphabet environment, my surname can be either Γουάιτ or Ουάιτ in Greek, and in Cyrillic it can be Уайт (Russian) or Вајт (Balkan). And I’ve seen an Albanian interview where I was “Nikolas Uajt” – even though it is theoretically the same alphabet.

Still, it could be worse. At least I’m not like the guy from “The Hunting of the Snark”, who had “wholly forgotten his name”:

He would answer to “Hi!” or to any loud cry,
Such as “Fry me!” or “Fritter my wig!”
To “What-you-may-call-um!” or “What-was-his-name!”
But especially “Thing-um-a jig!”

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1 Response to Friday Five

  1. inulro says:

    If you think I’m making this up, check the stats on average annual vacation days by country:

    Finland: 44

    Hmm. Maybe I should move to Finland instead of Sweden.

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