Saturday, May 9, 2015


Johnny onny bo bonny
banana fana fo fonny
fee fi mo monny…

You just knew this was coming, didn’t you?

WARNING: Do NOT play the game with “Chuck.”

My full legal name is John Connelly Holton. I’m named for my grandfather, John Connelly; he was called “Hicks” because he was from Bloomington, Illinois, out in “the sticks” at the time. My Uncle Jack (hi, Jack!) is John Connelly, Jr., and I believe his son is John Connelly III. My Mom’s family calls me Johnny, as does at least one of my brothers. I guess that was to distinguish me from my grandfather and my uncle. My other Uncle Jack, my Dad’s brother, is my godfather.

My favorite names are the ones you’d hear in a 1960’s Catholic school roll call: John, James, Christopher, Patrick, Catherine, Roberta, Julie, Beth, Mary, David, Robert, etc. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the others, just that those are the ones I grew up with.

Names have this tendency to go in and out of style. Right now, the names above are on kind of a downswing. Go back a few generations, and you have names like Edith, Horace, Gertrude, Genevieve (my mother’s name and her mother’s name), Florence, Ethel, Fredrick, etc. One day I’m sure those names will make a comeback. A good writer’s trick is to check the Social Security Administration’s website, where they have lists of the top 100 men’s and 100 women’s names from every decade since the 1880’s. Probably not a good idea to name someone who was born in 1935 “Heather” or “Joshua”…


This was, of course, an entry in Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where the prompt was “name.” If you’d like to participate, the rules are there.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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