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  1. #1
    JarekSteliga is offline Member
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    Default double barrelled

    I read this in a book:

    "The company had been founded by a genuine British here, Noel Pemberton-Billing. He was a yachtsman and racing driver, and decided in 1913 he should learn to fly. But being double barrelled, he wasn't going to take his time. In fact he bet a friend 500 GBP he could get an aviator's licence not in a day - but before breakfast. And he did.

    Does "double barrelled" mean, "impatient" or something similar, or does it just point to the fact that someone's family name consists of two parts? In the latter case, I do not see the connection between Noel Pemberton-Billing's double barrelledness and his reluctance not to take his time.


    Or is - as I am now beginning to reflect after having written the above - a double barrelled name suggestive of a person bearing it being of no ordinary pedigree and therefore not wont to wait for anything (like in line or for his turn etc.)

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Double-barreled shotgun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It's a reference to a double-barreled shotgun. The implication is that one does not have time to wait to reload, one needs to be able to fire off two shots in a rapid fashion.

    In this case, I think the implication is of impatience and wanting to experience life at its fullest.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It's a reference to a double-barreled shotgun.
    I think here the reference is only to his hyphenated name. People with double-barrelled names are traditionally thought of as upper class, pushy, influential, impatient. etc. Hoi polloi might take days or weeks to get their pilot's licence; not Pemberton-Billing. He got his before breakfast.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I think here the reference is only to his hyphenated name. People with double-barrelled names are traditionally thought of as upper class, pushy, influential, impatient. etc. Hoi polloi might take days or weeks to get their pilot's licence; not Pemberton-Billing. He got his before breakfast.
    Thanks, I've never heard the term. It must be BrE.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Thanks, I've never heard the term. It must be BrE.
    What's the AmE term for a double-barrelled surname? Hyphenated?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    What's the AmE term for a double-barrelled surname? Hyphenated?
    I would call it a hyphenated surname, or last name. This is usually seen here in women who do so when they marry, so as to not disrupt their professional lives under their "maiden names." Or because they simply do not want to lose the name they were born with.

    It's not very common in these cases for the children of such couples to give both surnames to their children.

    It doesn't have the notion of aristocracy that I am gathering it carries in Britain.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I would call it a hyphenated surname, or last name. This is usually seen here in women who do so when they marry, so as to not disrupt their professional lives under their "maiden names." Or because they simply do not want to lose the name they were born with.

    It's not very common in these cases for the children of such couples to give both surnames to their children.

    It doesn't have the notion of aristocracy that I am gathering it carries in Britain.
    That's interesting, especially with regard to the hyphenated surname not being passed on to offspring. The surname always passes to the children here, although of course, they can choose not to use it once they turn 18.

    It's perhaps not as prevalent as it once was but if I met someone called Tarquin Ffortiscue-Smythe, I would be able to make a very good guess to his class, his education and his upbringing (and probably his manner of speaking even before he opened his mouth).
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #8
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: double barrelled

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    That's interesting, especially with regard to the hyphenated surname not being passed on to offspring. The surname always passes to the children here, although of course, they can choose not to use it once they turn 18.

    It's perhaps not as prevalent as it once was but if I met someone called Tarquin Ffortiscue-Smythe, I would be able to make a very good guess to his class, his education and his upbringing (and probably his manner of speaking even before he opened his mouth).
    I think the idea is to avoid multiple hyphenated names in the future generations. If Joe Smith-Wilson marries Elizabeth Roadriguez-Preston, their kids would then be Jimmy and Suzy Smith-Wilson-Rodriguez-Preston.

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