Recycling First Names

Photoshopped image of son, mother in law and husband
James (son) on left, Audrey (mother in law) in middle and Jamie (husband) on right

Recycling First Names

This morning, not for the first time, I was annoyed by my inability to remember which British King Edward was which (monarch, not potato!) and which British King George was which. Yet again, I marvelled at my complete lack of ability to differentiate Edwards from Edwards, Georges from Georges and in some instances, Edwards from Georges! I wished the various royal houses had been a bit more adventurous with the names of their children, instead of recycling first names.

And then the irony struck me. I’d done exactly the same thing! My son, James, is the first (and only) son of my husband, James, who was the eldest son of James, also the eldest son of James… and so it went on back through the generations. I suppose it’s fortunate I don’t need to remember which number husband and son are in the line.

But interestingly, you can see from the photo that both my James are rather similar. Of course, it has been manipulated in photo-editing software because they were never the same age at the same time! The original photo was of James (husband) on the right and his mum. James, our son was inserted into the photo on the left. It’s a spooky little photo but it’s interesting to see how similar they looked at the same age.

Have you any first names that occur regularly from generation to generation?



    1. No, Nicola! Just as well it’s nothing like James or any other variation!

      1. Guess it’s time to change your middle name! 😉

        1. If I changed any name, it would be my first name!

          1. And why would you want to do that? Dawn is a beautiful name, full of deep meaning and promise for the day: the return of light after the darkness.

          2. Well, thank you! But I’ve never really liked it.

  1. Now you have to think of 3 reasons why you don’t like it. Then 32 reasons why it’s a good name and why you should like it. And think about those reasons!

    1. I’ll get right on to it!

      1. And, sorry, you don’t need “32” reasons why Dawn is a good name and etc. Just more positives than negatives!

        In the meantime, I’ll continue to think of alternatives to my boring name. 😉

        1. I’m struggling with 32! There’s nothing wrong with your name! You’re named after a king!

          1. Actually, I was named after an uncle or great uncle. He was just a businessman.

            And you should read some recent analysis of King David and how he became king. Even before he was king, he was “giving gifts” to King Saul’s supporters. Back then, “giving gifts” was something only the king was allowed to do. So David was trying to bribe Saul’s supporters into overthrowing Saul and making David king. Explains perfectly why Saul suddenly tried to kill David and David fled!

            I was supposed to be named John, but my mom’s big sister had a son first and named him John. I understand my mom was furious!

            If I’d been named John, both my first and last names would have both been derived from the same name.

            So, boring names all around for me!

          2. I was almost Karen Nicola or Nicola Karen. Just as well I didn’t have Nicola for a first name because it really doesn’t go with my married name! But I’d have settled for Karen. I like the sound of that.

        2. Maybe I should use “T. Deus le Dulle” and claim to be an ancient immortal French count. 😉

          1. It’s got a certain je ne sais quoi!

  2. Hmm, Nicky Knox? Got a certain rhythm to it. I don’t think I’d want to be a child in school with that name!

    Karen Knox sounds familiar. Not nearly as nice or colorful as Dawn!

    1. Nick Knox is even worse!

  3. Wow. They do look alike.

    No first names recycled as first names in our families as far as I am aware.
    But much recycling of first into middle names and vice versa though.

    1. That’s the sensible way to do it!

    1. So what is it with the dancing tree frog?

      1. Business and serious Twitter name. Treefrogs are colorful creatures calling attention to themselves. A dancing treefrog is going even further. All part of trying to rebuild my business of creating things!

    2. What was your first Twitter name??

        1. Ah, I see. That’s quite hard to pronounce. I prefer Dancing Treefrog! Nice name!

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