Thursday, August 14, 2008

Abstract "Dinnertime Talk" in de Pigly Household

Hubby heard that, ages ago, people's occupation determined their surname. For instance, a carpenter would be Mr. Carpenter, an' his son would usually continue de name in continuin' his father's line of work. So, accordin' to that theory, a farmer would be Mr. Farmer, a fisher would be Mr. Fisher, a cobbler Mr. Cobbler, James the milliner would be Mr. James Milliner, etc.

Ah said to hubby, "Mi aunt married name 'Sailor', so her uber-great-grandpa-in-law was a sailor, then."
Hubby says, "Piggy, if her uber-great-grandpa-in-law was actually Mr. Kente, de African, an' his slave-owner was Mr. Sailor, then his descendant wouldn't be Kunta de 33rd, he might just be Mr. Toby Sailor."


Then, wi started ponderin' how names affect concepts. For example, de surname "Driver": (luv Minnie, by de way), that name implies then that a chariot or carriage, etc., had to be 'driven' so de concept of drivin' wasn't born wid de advent of de automobile. "Or is there a "Mr. Rider" or "Mr. Walker" or "Mr. Carrier"... Also, Merchant an' Vendor; but maybe not Servant, Artisan, or Lumberjack. Names were allegedly translated in modern times too, names like Sargeant, Officer, Minister, an' so on. Descriptive names an' animal names exist as well, names like Fine or Lion, in much de same way Native Americans use descriptive names. There might have been another word for seamstress, or else bein' de purview of women, seamstress was a less likely surname.

"Yu might hear de last name "Surgeon" but not de last name "doctor" or "physician" so maybe all doctors used to chop, or surgeons didn't need to chop, per se, ages ago. An' there's no such last name as dancer, is there? So, maybe dancers then were hoppers or tappers, as in Mr. Hopper or Mr Tapper. An' ah mentioned to hubby that de allegedly oldest of de professions isn't represented, so women prob'ly weren't named for their occupations but for their father's if de woman didn't marry. Mr. Pig thought for a moment, "Hooker," he said, "De name 'Mr. Hooker' exists." Far-fetched though, soh wi didn't bother pursue that concept. Maybe, de less legitimate occupations back then (whores, even actors, etc.) weren't recognized. But then again, "Minstrel" is prob'ly a last name for actors. An' maybe dif'rent prominent occupations existed then, for instance, "Mr. Reader," " Mr. Messenger," or "Mr. Forester" (unlike 'busher', forester cut timber/lumber??).

Now de whole Pigly family thinkin' up occupation-type names. Outta nowhere one of wi might shout: "Potter" or "Tiler" or "Priest."

We thought of: Cook, Butler, Parson, Mason, Author, Singer, Joiner, Butcher, Baker, Friar, Blacksmith, Goldsmith, Tinker, Brewer ... an' ah think that's it. It's fun thinkin' dem up, an' kids enjoy it. De kid in all of us too. Try it nuh!


Jdid said...

no military names? no mr soldier although i have heard somebody last name as infantry although i dont know if that was really his name

Melody said...

Maybe 'cause soldier is a kinda spectrum, not specific like Shepherd or Miller, an' even vaguer than Hunter or Piper (although some military titles like Major's a last name). De name Infantry don't sound too strange to mi.

Abeni said...




Stunner said...

In fact the surname Doctor does exist. That was the last name of one of my coworkers. All I can say about my last name is that it's Irish. And I definitely can't attribute any occupation to it. Some dinner talk, lol!

Melody said...

Nurse is an uncommon last name, Kam, keen of yu to find that one.
Stunner, Doctor is uncommon too, didn't know of it 'til now.
--Lately, we also thought of Boxer (although in de old days it mighta been Pugilist), Plumber (although plumbers had no indoor work early out), Warden, Constable, an' Carver.

cooldestiny said...

I know a "Hermitt" ...