Graham Reid | | 2 min read
This might need close attention. It's about the bewilderingly few names in my family.
My older sister was Margaret Elizabeth Paterson Reid, I was Graham John Claverhouse Reid and my younger sister Barbara Reid (no middle names, although when she was in primary school she compensated for the lack by telling the teacher her full name as Barbara Ann Jelly Ice-cream Reid).
So in the Reid family there was Graham and Margaret, Graham and Margaret. And Barbara.
But we were never that.
My Mum and Dad rarely referred to each other by their given names, they called each other Joe. My Dad had picked up that during the war – he was a radio operator in the British Merchant Navy – in West Africa where the locals referred to Europeans as Joe.
So they were Joe and Joe. (Although maybe Jo and Jo.)
My older sister Margaret was always Bobbie, taken from the affectionate Le Petite Bobo (little baby) which she had been called when we travelled around France.
I was Boy.
And Barbara was always Bubs (Barb a bit later on).
So Graham and Margaret, Graham and Margaret and Barbara were . . .
Joe and Joe, Bobbie and Boy and Bubs.
Two Js and three Bs.
But not always.
Phone calls to our 64444 number ("six double-four double-four") – if they weren't for Farmers department store which had a similar number -- would often elicit, “Do you want to speak to Big Graham or Little Graham?” or “Do you want to speak to Big Margaret or Little Margaret?”
In more recent years I did some genealogical research in Edinburgh where my older sister and I were born.
It revealed family names on my father's side went back through generations of Grahams, Johns and a sprinkling of Jameses . . . and one outlier. Adam the shoemaker. (I think he was the one who end up dying of alcoholism.)
My mother's side did something similar with Margaret and Elizabeth.
No points for originality in my family.
Except perhaps when it came to nicknames.
Although . . . Boy?
* The sub-heading is a bit obscure. In the Nineties in New Zealand there was a short-lived rap duo Double J and Twice the T. There is more about my unusual middle name at Elsewhere here.
These entries are of little consequence to anyone other than me Graham Reid, the author of this site, and maybe my family, researchers and those with too much time on their hands.
Enjoy these random oddities at Personal Elsewhere.