Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Boy Names

Reading a very British book, Strange Death of Tory England, it struck me, not for the first time, how some names have changed sex.

For instance, being largely unread, I was confused to the sex of one Evelyn Waugh (it was but impossible to access Google from a used book though the same would be undoubtedly true with new books). And if you do not recognize the name Evelyn Waugh, woe be unto you but you are quite welcome to the rank of the unreads.

(That brings me to an aside... there's that Waugh family biography of four generations of literary Waughs [Arthur, Evelyn, Auberon and Alexander] written by Alexander Waugh that's beens sitting on the shelf of Booksale, largely ignored.)

Aubrey, Cecil, Claire...

And some names that are on their way across the gender line like Adrian, Bobby, Francis and Charlie...