At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

I am going to digress somewhat from cryptozoology to take a look at one of my interests - Given Names.  In the United States, while most people have ordinary given names, there are some that are downright extraordinary.

One of the reasons for this is that in the 16th and 17th Centuries it became habitual to give children in England either unusual biblical names or the names of abstractions.  These names migrated to the American colonies.  It is the abstract names I wish to consider.

If we turn our attention to the Mayflower, we discover two male passengers were Love Brewster and his brother Wrestling.  Their sisters, Fear and Patience, voyaged to America a year afterwards.

In the early Colonies we find that Peaceable Sherwood was living in Virginia in 1623.  Revolt Morcock was thriving in 1624.  Other early denizens of the American colonies were Resolved White and Humility Cooper.

Most of us have heard of Increase Mather, whose father was born in Liverpool (England) in 1596.  Another immigrant was Increase Nowell, who was flourishing in 1628.  Increase became a not uncommon American name.  Other American names that we find include Standfast, Life, Supply and Donation.  If you had lived in the Colonies in 1649, you might have bumped into Hate-evil Nutter.
These names were to be found on both sides of the Atlantic, but I hope that in the name Fly-fornication, which certainly existed, the fly part is an Imperative Verb rather than an Adjective.

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