Thursday, April 17, 2008

Puritan Names

Honorable mention in the 17th-century naming Olympics goes to:
Godbert Godbertson!

Godbertson, a hatter, died in Plymouth Colony in 1633.
see Gloria Main, Peoples of a Spacious Land, pg. 78.

On page 97, Main presents the story of the Rev. Justus Forward of Belchertown (Yale class of 1754), who misses out on the laurels only because he was born in the 18th century.

Update II:
I've changed my mind. After a few hours' consideration, I have decided that Godbert Godbertson is actually an even better Puritan name than Humiliation Scratcher. Not only am I incapable of reading or saying "Godbert Godbertson" without cackling, I think that the name cuts through the half-assed religiosity of naming your kid "Thankful" or "Hopestill" or "Hatevil" and goes straight for the gold. In addition, Godbert Godbertson is the perfect 17th-century counterpart to Benjamin H. Grumbles, Shakesville's Gilded Age correspondent.

So, congratulations, Godbert, and our condolences to Humiliation Scratcher, who will no doubt take his demotion in stride.

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