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  1. #1
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    Default Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Hi,

    I had thought Westerners always called themselves first name and the last name, eg. George W. Bush is short for " George Walker Bush". But why is Premier Brown known as "Gordon Brown" rather than " James Brown" or "James G. Brown" by media?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by rainbow402; 14-Apr-2008 at 18:38.

  2. #2
    Neillythere's Avatar
    Neillythere is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    He no doubt prefers to be called by his second name, possibly originally to distiguish him from someone else of the same or similar name.

    Many folks, not just in the UK, prefer to be called by something other than their "given" first name.

    This could be one of their other names, or a nickname.
    Typical of old (traditional) UK nicknames are "Dusty" Miller or "Nobby" Clark.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    It's not always true. It's not at all uncommon to find people using their "middle" name as their common name, espcially when father and son share the same first name or there is another family member with the same name.

    (Note that the president's middle name is Walker.)

    (Sorry, your post wasn't there when I started. I hate to be redundant!)

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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Thank you for your answers, sirs.

    Sorry, Barb_D, I typed the " Walker" in mistake. I have revised it. Thanks.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neillythere View Post
    He no doubt prefers to be called by his second name, possibly originally to distiguish him from someone else of the same or similar name.

    Many folks, not just in the UK, prefer to be called by something other than their "given" first name.

    This could be one of their other names, or a nickname.
    Typical of old (traditional) UK nicknames are "Dusty" Miller or "Nobby" Clark.
    In some families, the first-born son is traditionally named after his father but adopts another name for clarity. My father-in-law, George, was called 'Johnny' to distinguish him from his father, also George (and "John" wasn't even his middle name).

    Two more of those traditional names are "Spud" Murphy and "Chalky" White; there's also - less traditional, but very popular among schoolboys - "Nosmo" King.

    b

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    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Afterthought: maybe GB's parents wanted to avoid confusion with the late lamented Godfather of Soul James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul,' dies at 73 - CNN.com) - though I doubt if they'd even heard of him. (He hasn't really got the same charisma.)

    b

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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Two more of those traditional names are "Spud" Murphy and "Chalky" White; there's also - less traditional, but very popular among schoolboys - "Nosmo" King.

    b
    Bobk, thank you for your answers. What 's Nosmo King?

    And "Spud" Murphy? What's the link between " spud" and Murphy?

  8. #8
    Neillythere's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Nosmo King?
    It's Brit humour - No smoKing?
    Comprende?

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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    Mr. Neillythere, thank you for your answer.

  10. #10
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Why is " Gordon Brown" rather than "James Brown"?

    "Spud" Murphy - Murphy is an Irish name; the Irish people used the potato as their main staple of food; a colloquial name for a potato is "spud".

    A good example of stereotyping.

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