Tag Archives: origins

How Strange Is The Name Of Alabama State Hopeful ‘Luther Strange’?

by Anura Guruge

As you would expect of one who wrote a 160-page book on the ‘Names of Popes‘, people’s names intrigue. I am always curious as to their origin and how one came to get it.

So, of course, the strange name of Luther Strange really piqued my interest and I had to research it.

Wow. It is what it is! ‘Strange’ as in stranger! Who would have thought.

I started with this PBS.org provided Last Name ‘search’
— which uses the U.S. 2010 Census data.

So it is not a totally obscure name though its usage is dropping!

Just in case you are wondering I get 0 (i.e., ZERO) for my last name.
But that is because they only included the TOP 150,000 names.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. From ‘surnamedb.com’ — as you can see.

So now you know.

The next question is whether he will win today’s Alabama Primary. Right now he is trailing, but it is still quite early in the night.

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by Anura Guruge

The Word ‘Dotard’ — Origins & Synonyms.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Dotard origins by Anura Guruge in NHlifefree.com

Dotard origins by Anura Guruge in NHlifefree.com

It, i.e., ‘dotard’, was a word I was familiar with (given my very British heritage) — though, of course, living in the U.S. I had not heard it in a long time. I am sure I first encountered it at the Public (i.e., private) School I attended, in North London, “Mill Hill School” — the read birthplace of the ‘Oxford English Dictionary‘ and the alma mater of Denis Thatcher (Margaret’s husband). It was a school rich in vocabulary and idioms, my two favorites, that I still treasure and use being: “Play the White Man” (i.e., do the right thing) and “Munda Logic” (African/black logic). Both are very profound and have many applications.


  • An old person in their dotage.

    That is where the word comes from ‘dote’ + ‘-ard‘.
    -ard‘ denotes someone with a specific condition — as in drunkard.
    Dote‘ refers to an imbecile!

  • An old person with impaired intellect.


Old English.

1st known usage was by the inimitable Geoffrey Chaucer in his beyond ionic ‘The Canterbury Tales‘ — in “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue“. It went: “Til they be wedded; olde dotard shrewe!”

Then it was Edmund Spenser (above) in 1590 & then Shakespeare (above) ~1598.


  • old man, elder, senior citizen, old codger, geezer, old duffer, pantaloon, graybeard.
  • senile, fogy, fuddy-duddy

So what do YOU think? You think ‘they’ got it right?

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by Anura Guruge

“Dennis Badman, MD”, What An Intriguing Name.

..Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. The ad that has been appearing in “The Baysider” for the last couple of months. Use link below to access “The Baysider”. The ad., in that issue, is on the back page, i.e., page A 14.

Click here to access the Thursday, April 2, 2015 issue of “The Baysider”.
Ad is on page A 14.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access original.

Click here to access “Houses of Names”.

Dr. Dennis Badman is more than likely a good man, probably a good doctor too. I do not know him from Adam. I have just noticed his (rather large) Ad. in “The Baysider” over the last couple of weeks. His name, in addition to cracking me up each and every time I see it, also intrigued me. Names fascinate me — as you would expect from one who wrote a book analyzing names.

I also love it when people go onto do things ‘despite’ their name. It can’t have been much fun growing up a ‘Badman’ — though, in a perverse way, one might have been able to exploit it. There are some advantages to be known as a ‘Badman’.

I have been meaning to do a study of ‘famous’ people with ‘difficult’ names. And Dr. Badman has now given me the impetus.

Without even looking it up, given my familiarity with names, I had an inkling that ‘Badman’ had Germanic roots. I was right. It is ‘Anglo-Saxon‘ and Anglo-Saxons, by and large, where Germanic tribes that migrated to the British isles when the Romans left.

The ‘bat’, for ‘boat’ part is new to me. [Which reminds me. Teischan asked me the other day why ‘cricket’ is called as such. I was mortified that I had NO clue. Appear it comes from ‘crook’, the original bats used many centuries ago].

So Dr. Badman could have been Dr. Batman — which might have been even neater.

Then just this morning I made another connection. Sir Donald Bradman, a physically diminutive (i.e., 5′ 7″) Australian, is the most legendary of cricketers. ‘Bradman’ — ‘Badman’ with an ‘r’. Did his family insert the ‘r’ to avoid being bad men?


Click to access Wikipedia entry for the great man, who ended up with an UNBELIEVABLE and unmatched Test batting average of 99.94 — when one of 40 is considered exception and only a very few these days have one greater than 50.