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What's in a name? All about George

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What's in a name? All about George

Post by Katiedot on Tue Feb 22 2011, 12:46

From omaha.com

Published Tuesday February 22, 2011

Cleveland Evans: George is name rooted in history

George Washington would have been 279 years old today. His first name is a lot older than that.

George is derived from the ancient Greek ge, “earth,” and ergein, “to work,” and meant “soil tiller.” In other words, the first George was a farmer.

The name George spread throughout Europe because of St. George, a soldier martyred in Palestine around 303 A.D. Little else is known about him.

Around 1000, the legend of St. George developed in the country of Georgia. In the story, a deadly dragon is fed human victims, chosen by lot. One day the king’s daughter is chosen. As she waits near the dragon’s lair, the Christian soldier George passes by. He conquers the dragon, leading it around using the princess’s girdle as a leash. George makes the grateful king promise to show compassion to the poor.

Returning Crusaders brought this tale back to western Europe. St. George became a symbol of chivalry. By 1300, he was considered patron saint of England, and by 1538, George was one of the most common names for English boys.

George got a boost in 1714 when Queen Anne died, and the German Hanoverians became the new royal family. For the next 116 years, a King George sat on the British throne. George was the third most popular boys’ name in England, after John and William, throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

Augustine and Mary Washington probably named their first son after King George II. In 1732, most boys were named after relatives, but George Washington had no blood relatives named George.

The fact that Washington was named George saved the name from becoming unpopular in the new United States. Otherwise, Americans wouldn’t have given sons the same name as the hated King George III.

The use of middle names increased when parents named sons after Washington while making clear they weren’t named after the king. In the 1850 U.S. Census, 12 percent of the 451,016 Georges were listed with “W” as a middle initial.

Until 1911, George was one of the top five names for American boys. It then began a gradual decline. The first year George wasn’t a top-ten name was 1938, and 1975 was the first year it fell below the top 50.

The presidencies of George H.W. and George W. Bush may have slowed the name’s decline a bit, but didn’t reverse the trend. In 2009, the 2,352 Georges born in the United States ranked the name 163rd, its lowest ever.

Today, screenwriters often use George for ineffectual humorous characters, like George Costanza on the television series “Seinfeld.”

As a handsome leading man, actor George Clooney defies his name’s image. Clooney was named in 1961 after his father’s uncle, George Guilfoyle. Still, it’s hard to see Hollywood casting Clooney as a character named George. He hasn’t played one since handyman George Burnett on “The Facts of Life” in 1987.

The name George is likely to continue to fall in use. Parents who use it, like Clooney’s, will be more interested in honoring family members than following current fashions.


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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by it's me on Tue Feb 22 2011, 22:04

George is a really nice name Smile

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by Dexterdidit on Tue Feb 22 2011, 22:47

I have a bird called George suits him. Older names are coming back here in Oz. I know a baby called Mabel and Oliver and a Warren. I even have a niece named Pearl. It goes through fashions so you never really know what is going on with names. Although I do hope my real one is gone for good never that impressed by it!

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by melbert on Wed Feb 23 2011, 02:39

Well Dex, we know you to be a very lovely woman, so whatever your "real" name is doesn't matter to us! YOU impress us!! I love you

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by Dexterdidit on Wed Feb 23 2011, 05:03

Thanks Mel! I still think kids should be able to decide for themselves when they reach a certain age although I think at 7 I wanted to be called Sparkles so might not be that good an idea.

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by lucy on Wed Feb 23 2011, 12:44

I'm glad all these old names are back in fashion,and your right it does seem to change with generations or even decades.With my kids it was Ashleys,Saras,Joshes,Justines,so many of their friends had the same names,that after awhile it was nice to hear something different even if it was an old school name.

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by Vi on Wed Feb 23 2011, 12:48

lucy wrote:I'm glad all these old names are back in fashion,and your right it does seem to change with generations or even decades.With my kids it was Ashleys,Saras,Joshes,Justines,so many of their friends had the same names,that after awhile it was nice to hear something different even if it was an old school name.

I like Peter and Jack

my sons have Latin names

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by melbert on Thu Feb 24 2011, 02:59

My son has an old Biblical name, as do my two brothers. Yet, they're still "modern" names.

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by PigLove on Thu Feb 24 2011, 05:53

I have a very old-fashioned name which has lots of possible nicknames. Unfortunately, my parents picked the very WORST nickname for me to grow up with, so I had to adjust in college. Now I have a bit of nickname fear, I'll admit. But overall, I like my name a lot! Definitely a classic. Smile

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by Dexterdidit on Thu Feb 24 2011, 10:35

I think every second kid I meet is either called Ashley or Jordan! So yes a new phase would be good.

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by lucy on Thu Feb 24 2011, 13:16

PIGLOVE! SO you are carrying on a family tradition I love it!

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by PigLove on Thu Feb 24 2011, 16:45

I'm from a long line of swineherds, you see. Wink

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by melbert on Thu Feb 24 2011, 17:26

and you're cute!

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by sandwiches on Thu Feb 24 2011, 18:31

I want to name my next dog George so I can 'love him and squeeze him and call him George'. Very Happy

*anyone who doesn't know Bugs Bunny will not get this* Wink

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by melbert on Thu Feb 24 2011, 19:38

Welcome Sandwiches!!!

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by sandwiches on Thu Feb 24 2011, 20:07

Thanks! Smile Nice to be here. Lots of yummy pics in this forum. I love you

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by Atalante on Thu Feb 24 2011, 20:21

Did Bugs Bunny have a dog called George ? scratch

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by sandwiches on Thu Feb 24 2011, 21:11

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Bugs Bunny skit.

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by melbert on Thu Feb 24 2011, 22:02

Thanks Sandwiches! Brought back good memories!!

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

Post by lucy on Fri Feb 25 2011, 01:42

Great cartoon 2 dogs tall dumb one, short one named George!

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Re: What's in a name? All about George

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