Taking My Name In Vain

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Paul Whybrow

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Jun 20, 2015
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Cornwall, UK
While editing a short story last night, as I went to check the hyphenation of a word, my own name Paul jumped out at me!

Chambers Dictionary lists Paul Pry as 'a person who pries into other people's business. [The eponymous character in John Poole's play (1825)]'

Intrigued, I investigated further:

Paul Pry (play) - Wikipedia

Wikipedia describes Paul Pry as: 'a comical, idle, meddlesome and mischievous fellow consumed with curiosity.'

Well, that fits me! :rolleyes:

I was christened Paul after my father, who was named after his father, who was named after his father, all of us with the name of a British king as a middle name....John, in my case.

Curiously enough, my mother used to tell inquisitive infant me "to stop prying" when I was being nosy about something, though I doubt she knew of a 19th-century play.

My surname of Whybrow is uncommon, though as I knew of a couple of writers called Whybrow, I experimented with the pen name of Augustus Devilheart when I first returned to creative writing. Marion Whybrow wrote art books and Ian Whybrow writes children's books; neither are related to me. Using a pen name was too complicated for me, so I reverted to my birth name.

There's a village near Penzance, Cornwall, called Paul. Whenever I'm taken over with a fit of egomania, I imagine moving there and changing my name by deed poll, so that I'm Paul Paul of Paul House, Paul. (The men in white coats are coming to take me away o_O).


Of Pauls in fiction, who I like, there's Paul Atreides in the Frank Herbert's Dune universe, Paul Sheldon in Stephen King's Misery, Paul Morel in Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence...and what of the Apostle Paul?

Does your name have any literary connotations?

Did an author take your name in vain with a fictional character?

my-boss-hates-when-i-shorten-his-name-to-dick-especially-since-his-name-is-paul-396a8.png
 
Yeah. Most people hear the name "Lex" and think of a particular villain.

Failing that, I've had more than one old-school professional wrestling fan talk about someone called "Lex Luger", who was also known as "the Narcissist" apparently. Not terribly flattering.

On the plus side, there's also the little hacker girl from "Jurassic Park". Even better, there's the sole survivor of the alien monster battle Royale from "Alien vs. Predator." Alexa "Lex" Woods is a cool action hero who is not-a-dude and not-a-white-people. That's a little more complimentary than evil white guys who want to rule everything because their egos will settle for nothing less.
 
I didn't go into such great depth as you @Paul Whybrow but I think the first mention of Eva was in "Uncle Tom's Cabin". In Walsall (my home town) there's a statue of Eva sitting reading a book in the central library, I don't know if it's still there. This "Eva" had quite an effect in my life then, as she was the angelic figure I would have so liked to have been. Here's a pretty good description of that. Evangeline St. Clare in Uncle Tom's Cabin Then of course there's "little Eva" the singer who invented the dance of the locomotion in 1962. The Italian spelling of Eva is quite different but I never disclose that to an English speaking public so as to be spared some leg-pulling.

My father's family were immigrants from Austria in about the 1850s and settled on the land that I have inherited now. My father told me they came from Russia but to be more precise they came from ULAN-Batan which is in Mongolia on the border of Russia to the North and China to the South. The name Ulian means "fierce warrior" and it is believed, because it is rare, all who bear this name are in some way related.

That's my father's side. My mother's is even more colourful- her grandmother came from the Gipsy kingdom of Montenegro (Sarajevo), a member of the royal family, a princess- as can be seen from the tombstone picture in our cemetery.
 
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I met a guy named Robin Hood--for real. He was left on the hospital steps as a baby, and the nurses named him that. He was a complete nutter, and seriously accident prone, but an incredibly nice guy.
 
Yes. I was named after Forever Amber.

...also yes.... all the time. Ambers are typically skanky young women about to be indicted for murdering their boyfriend because he cheated on them with their best friend Tiffany. Or, they're prostitutes. Or, they're just mean girls. Oh... and strippers. Lots of strippers named Amber.

When I was 18 I was a waitress and some of the waitstaff used to tease me about my name. I didn't know what they were talking about. I guess there was a porn star named Amber. Actually, probably more than one.

None of which applies to me in the least bit. For starters, Amber is my real name.
 
Yes. I was named after Forever Amber.

For starters, Amber is my real name.

Well, it's a beautiful name anyway. Electric. Electra meant Amber Princess. Then there is a heroine in literature called Amber Darke, gentle; something of a mystic, and she gets the man the scheming spiteful 'baddie' girl longs for. The book is called 'The House in Dormer Forest'. The novelist was Mary Webb who famously wrote 'Precious Bane.'
 
Well, it's a beautiful name anyway. Electric. Electra meant Amber Princess. Then there is a heroine in literature called Amber Darke, gentle; something of a mystic, and she gets the man the scheming spiteful 'baddie' girl longs for. The book is called 'The House in Dormer Forest'. The novelist was Mary Webb who famously wrote 'Precious Bane.'

I'll have to look for it. Thanks.
 
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