ven at vvcrane.junglelink.co.uk
Fri Jul 21 20:12:59 EDT 2000
Date sent: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 13:04:22 -0400
From: owner-dwj-digest at suberic.net (dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones))
To: dwj-digest at suberic.net
Subject: dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #195
Send reply to: dwj at suberic.net
> Eliot himself said that every cat has more than one name.
> Terry Pratchett did an extended riff on this, suggesting that a cat's
> multiple names include, among others I've forgotten:
> 1. the name he is given when first acquired, often unsensibly long or
> fancy - Rumpelteazer, for instance. :)
> 2. the shorter and less fancy name the cat ends up *actually* being
> called most of the time.
> 3. the name the neighbours call when they see him
> (Maudethecatfromnextdoorsonthebirdtableagain and
> Yahgerroffoutofityabastard are Pratchett's examples)
> 4. the name that is called when, for instance, the shopping bag
> containing the prime steak starts edging furtively toward the edge of
> the table. This name is usually short and sharp. ("The Egyptians'
> cat-headed goddess was called Bast. Now you know why.")
Someone, probably Maya Angelou, said "The child that is loved
has many names" . This obviously applies to pets too. These days
when I'm naming cats I try to plan for the first nickname to come off
the fancy one as in Cirocco/ Rocky or Vespa/Vespasian. Other
names come as they will. Vespa spent several months being
called Spuggy, N English dialect for sparrow, often appled to a
street urchin, because he was a little thug. A nice little thug,
unless you were his sister. Then his legs grew so that he was on
stilts and he became elegantly slender so I called him Cat Boy
Slim.( I guess that may not work outside the UK or dance culture,
theres a DJ/recording artist called Norman Cook who currently
records as Fat Boy Slim. He was seldom out of the news last year
as he married a celebrity breakfast radio DJ.). Vespa's grown up
into a real handsome cat now, he's still got a roman nose and he
suits his Sunday name too now.
I had Cirocco for fifteen years, she had countless nicknames, all
were permutations of the basic sounds or had "rock" in them --
Rockrose, Roxy, Little Orc, Rococco, Roc-Roc and the Rockster
among them. She answered to "Youlitlebitch" quite often as well,
like all my shecats :-)
The fancy name/nickname appraoach is pretty much what
happened all in all the Dalemark books, does Dwj do this anywhere
else?. Tanaqui, Ii'm intrigued by the Tanamoril story, do you have
any more details of what convinced the authorities to accept the
name. On the whole I'm against regulation but the lack of it in the
UK has led to some unfortunate infants being landed with the
names of entire football teams and other embarrassments. A
recent story I heard from France concerned an English couple living
out there, who were unable to register their son as Oliver after his
father and innumerable grandsires because it wasn't on the official
list. They had to spell the boy's name the French way, Olivier I
think. That's silly.
And, Robyn, I think Chicken is an excellent name for a cat, its
Finally and btw I'm a Southerner so I never called a sparrow a
spuggy in my life -- we say spadgers!
You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
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