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SiRyEm
1044482.  Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:27 pm Reply with quote

Alan states that Verruca is a popular name in the U.S. In 42 years I have never met a single person with that name. I was even in the military and still never heard the name.

 
CB27
1044486.  Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:30 pm Reply with quote

To be fair to the show makers, this was something Alan said off his own back, so not a fact ptovided by any researchers or elves as far as I know.

Having said that, it's not inconceivable that Veruca might be used as a name in the US, as this could be an alternative to a known East European name of Veruschka. Having had a quick hunt around, I've also found a minor character in the Buffy series who was called Veruca, so this could be an example.

 
suze
1044490.  Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:23 pm Reply with quote

I think Roald Dahl may have invented the notion of using Veruca as a given name. One of the winning tickets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was held by a rich little diva called Veruca Salt.

A few people may have really been called Veruca, though. An Australian baby-naming site claims it as the #7,762 most common name for girls born in Australia in 2007. I have to say that I'm a little dubious about this, since Australians do use the name verruca for the plantar wart. (Americans by and large don't, although medically trained persons would be familiar with the term.)

Another baby-naming site which searches the US Social Security data finds no Verucas - but to avoid identifying people, that search returns a zero result unless at least one state has at least five people of the name.

 
CharliesDragon
1044495.  Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:34 pm Reply with quote

Well, if it's true for Veruca or not, baby naming trends tend to follow famous people, fictional or not, so in ten-twenty years time, we might have a lot of Hermiones, Edwards and Amys... :P

 
CB27
1044628.  Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:30 pm Reply with quote

I had a quick look at the US social security site, and the impression I got was that they will only show the top 1000 names (I didn't see the bit about at least one state having 5 people of the same name).

The UK lists every year all baby names, for both girls and boys, where at least 3 babies were named as such in that year. Veruca is unsurprisingly not on the couple of lists I looked up for the past couple of years.

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
1044662.  Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:32 pm Reply with quote

I met a Verruca Salts.

 
Bolingbroke
1045328.  Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:22 am Reply with quote

A search of 'Veruca' as a first name in historical records yields three results from before 1964 of Verucas in America: Veruca Ricketts (born 1862), Veruca Rayburn (born 1912), and Veruca P Rutledge (born 1925); which means that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn't the first use of the name, but Dahl might have used it without knowing it existed previously.

I've heard that Dahl named her after a wart medication he found in his medical cabinet - which would make sense, as putting salt on warts was/is a fairly common home remedy. I'd be surprised if the name was popular today though, both because of its meaning and the character.

Edit: Also, couldn't find a single 'Verruca' with two r's anywhere. Although I do love the fact that a common wart is called 'verruca vulgaris'; I didn't fully realise that vulgar came from the Latin for common.

 
CB27
1045375.  Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:05 am Reply with quote

Bolingbroke wrote:
Veruca Ricketts (born 1862)

That's just taking the piss now :)

 
crissdee
1048186.  Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:10 pm Reply with quote

Slightly off-topic, but this started me thinking and I remembered a girl in primary school who had a name which has so far proved unique inmy experience. Her name was Roswitha. I have a vague memory(it was 40+ years ago!) that she was of Swiss descent. Has anyone else ever encountered the name?

 
suze
1048193.  Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:30 pm Reply with quote

It's a female given name that there is in the German-speaking world, yes. There was an early German dramatist who is known to us only as Roswitha.

You've now got husband and me thinking about unique given names. I've taught a few people with bizarre spellings of perfectly normal names, but I can't think of many really odd names. (Or rather, I can think of a few from my youth, but in most cases their owners were of First Nations heritage and the names made perfect sense in their own cultures.)

Otherwise, there was a white girl called Cheyenne when I was in junior high. That would stick out a mile in England, but it's actually not all that unusual in NAm.

Husband recalls a Heathcliff from junior school. Clearly named after the character from Wuthering Heights, but why anyone would choose to name their kid after him is unclear.

There was also the splendidly named Tyreson Truelove. Husband thinks that the kid's father too was called Tyreson Truelove, so it undoubtedly made sense within the family.

 
knightmare
1048214.  Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:25 pm Reply with quote

Yo Willy (m/f),

Quote:
You've now got husband and me thinking about unique given names. I've taught a few people with bizarre spellings of perfectly normal names, but I can't think of many really odd names.


Not using the internet to find silly names, I think I know a female "William", "Willem",Willy (male/female) or Willie, in the Netherlands. Her name is Willem-Mina, if I'm right, locally pronounced like the name of a former queen, Wilhelmina, with a French silent h: ("wi-lem-mina"). She has a Willem (m) and a Mina (f) in the family, hence the combination. It's not an error, and it works.

As far as I know the Dutch king, Willem-Alexander, is also known as Willy, but that's a silly TV joke. He wants to comfort nervous people by not forcing the use of a specific name, he said you can use any (reasonable) name, and he did say that you can find William number IV next to a cow in a field. This Willy from The Hague talks like some Johnny from Cockney.

 
CharliesDragon
1048279.  Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:01 pm Reply with quote

In Sweden there's Vilhelmina and Dorotea Municipality, both named after Queen Frederika Dorothea Wilhelmina.

 
knightmare
1048287.  Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:36 pm Reply with quote

Same there. 19th century, so it's an older Wilhelmina than my WWII-one. Wilhelminadorp (a small town), Wilhelminaoord (a small town, again). 20th century, I assume it's the right Wilhelmina this time: Wilhelminakanaal (a canal, so less meaningful than a town).

As far as I can tell the last Dutch town named after their royalty is Anna Paulowna (19th century). The last town/city named after a person, a civil engineer, will be Lelystad (20th century).

 
WordLover
1048318.  Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:58 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
It's a female given name that there is in the German-speaking world, yes. There was an early German dramatist who is known to us only as Roswitha.

You've now got husband and me thinking about unique given names. I've taught a few people with bizarre spellings of perfectly normal names, but I can't think of many really odd names.
Richmal? Rider? Rudyard?

 
knightmare
1048334.  Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:19 am Reply with quote

Quote:
It's a female given name that there is in the German-speaking world, yes.

I can't think of many really odd names.


Are really odd, native names allowed by EU governments? Anyway, people could submit existing silly names to a popular radio programme. They received about 4,000 James Bond'ish names, like (made up by me) Manny Germsch or Lotta Lof.

I think the opposite is more likely. S.U.S.E. can become the name of a new disease.

Actually my last name can be used as a part of a silly sentence in another language, and there's this number 8's name in French (I'm glad I'm not a surgeon):

 

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