Friday, June 09, 2006

Nice place, shame about the Name

I've often wondered from where my surname derives; never for very long nor with much conscious effort, the possibilities are not actually that flattering and probably better forgotten. There's always the chance that it referred to some particular talent, long-forgotten but remarkable in its day, or a bent towards a particular skill, perhaps of a literary or academic nature. Discovering that I am descended from a long line of lop-sided people, or lazy loiterers wouldn't exactly enhance my CV or self-esteem. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to check out the UCL Surname Profiler which I discovered over at Pete's earlier tonight though.

It's quite compelling. I'd recommend you take a look if you've a spare couple of minutes ( and chances are, if you've got time for this drivel, you're hardly CEO of NASA or B&Q).

Anyway, I now know I am probably named after an English Settlement ( I have made a mental note to seek out my ancestral seat one of these fine days - 'til now I'd assumed it was Pisa). It must be a pretty exclusive place as there are only 3% of the population with a more rural surname than mine. I like that. It appeals to my elitist nature. It's not quite in the top 2% where I am more used to finding myself in league tables, but I'm sufficiently content with it.

I've also learned that the town ( I'd have called it a village) from which my father ( and John Harrison, inventor of the chronometer and general good bloke for the British maritime and empire-building industry) hail, is the top place in Britain to find our rare, fine pedigree, has been since 1881 and there is a 3245% greater chance of finding one or other of my relatives there ( and most of them are married to each other - cousins - easily recognised, the ones with the webbed feet and shoulder humps) than anywhere else in the country. The only other stronghold appearing to be New Zealand.

What I am more puzzled about is the Social Demographic profiling of our genus. Rustbelt Resilience! What type of category is that, for goodness sake? Rustbelt Resilience? It might be suitable for your common or garden rose bush, but not your Specimen Cherry.

It doesn't stop there. It then tells me that 93% of the population have a more high-status name. Well, they are welcome to them, cramped together in their New Urban Colonies and Dinky Developments Caring For their Elders. I won't be downtrodden, I shall not tarnish and wither under their scorn. This Cherrypie of Pisa stands proud, just ever so slightly to the left, may occasionally threaten to wobble to the right a bit, but resolutely proud to bear the name of her forefathers.


Blogger andrea said...

Not fair! Teasing us with all these seductive musings and not telling us what your surname *is*. I know I know. The WWW/anonymity thing. I must now check out this Profiler as I have two surnames, my married one (which I use less and less) and my pre-married one, which I use most of the time. Both are insulting words, so I didn't have a lot of choice, though Pratt ('maiden' name), fortunately, is mostly only a derogatory word in England. The other one is universally derogatory but, like you, I'm keeping that one under wraps!

2:26 am  
Blogger cream said...

Tried it with my Algerian name and got zilch! What did I expect?

Tried with Cream and I come from Edinburgh! How did they know that I'd studied there?

Cherrybabe of Pisa, your posts are getting more and more interesting by the day! And intelligent too, not like some of us!

9:09 am  
Blogger delcatto said...

I tried it out and no surprise there, mostly around Wales.Shame I'm Irish but with my surname translated as 'foreigner' in Gaelic and the name itself in English lets people know my ancestors hailed from Wales originally...and it's not Jones, look you.

8:41 pm  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

No surprise as my Belgian ancestors were too content eating chocolate and counting diamonds to wander off to jolly old England.

12:26 pm  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

If I wasn't so content to dick around with other things, I just might be leaning in the same direction as you and find my location. If I don't move from my hill, Joyce just might make a phone call and sik the coppens on me.

iqdqqov = intelligent mixture of icecream and beer

5:53 pm  
Blogger Pamela said...

I put in my surname (married) and found quite a bit of info. Interesting. I've always known that *we* have a castle in Scotland but I didn't know that hubby's ancestors were so spread out in other places as well.

3:21 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I like Pratts, Andrea - one of my managers in a former role had that surname and she was lovely - I also gave my surname away on a previous post but fortunately, the stalkers seem to have missed it

Cream - you rule the world so have no need for small colony stuff - I love you xx

Del - thank you for providing me with a topic for weekend research - how to stalk a southern cod-head with Welch/ Irish roots

HE - and we lived to tell the tale - phew!

Brian - I suspect Hildebrands hail from Hun country - doubt they had much opportunity to colonise in these parts. Thank goodness, or you might never have met your wonderful wife

Pamela - we may have more in common than might first appear x

12:08 am  

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