Tag archives: names

Fame or Shame
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   November 5, 2020

There are good reasons for giving names to hurricanes and tropical storms. It helps the weather-watchers avoid confusion in referring to them. But it was a bad idea to use the first names of people, because, if you happen to have that name – and especially if the event turns out to be a bad […]

Name Dropping
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   August 27, 2020

The first question I am usually asked: “Is Ashleigh Brilliant your real name?” Yes, it is. My father was Victor Brilliant, and he came from a whole family of Brilliants. The origins are Russian and Jewish. Around the time of Napoleon, Jews were allowed to choose their own surnames. Many chose pleasant-sounding names, such as […]

Bad Names
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   March 15, 2018

No doubt you’ve heard of the usher who said, “May I sew you to your sheets?” And you probably know that such slips of the tongue are called Spoonerisms. William Archibald Spooner, the honoree of this eponym, lived much of his long life (1844-1930) at Oxford University, where he was for many years a loved […]