Ducks' names (again)

Wilmer Rivers rivers at seismo.CSS.GOV
Fri Jan 20 06:15:14 CET 1995

I'm pretty sure that the famous Hueys were not Hughs or Hugos, but
I suppose if you were named Hugh or Hugo you could go by Huey anyway.
So duckling # 1 is equally likely to be "Huey", "Hugh", or "Hugo".
I maintained that no one is really named "Dewey", but David disagreed.
Now, a lot of people have "Dewey" as their LAST name (e.g., the inventor
of the Dewey Decimal System for cataloging books), so it could be used
as a first name too.  [It seems to be a tradition mainly of the rich
and powerful to give their children first names taken from the last
names of prominent branches of their family tree.  Calvin Trilling
once wrote that most of his classmates at Yale had names like "Hatcher
Baxter Thatcher III", and would be called "Hatch".]  So duckling # 2
could be named "Dewey", or this could be a nickname for either "Duane"
or "Dwayne".  Similarly, if duckling # 3 was correct in insisting on
what he was to be called, then his name is actually "Louie", but it
seems more likely that it's really either "Louis" or "Lewis".  So which
is it among Huey/Hugh/Hugo, Dewey/Duane/Dwayne, and Louie/Louis/Lewis?
I don't know, but it seems improbable that two of them would be given
the "non-standard" names "Dewey" and "Louie" just so that all three
names would rhyme; that's a good use for nicknames instead.  Of course,
if you're named "Dumbella", you probably aren't too bright, so no
telling WHAT you would name your kids.  And I'm certainly in no position
to talk - my father had aunts (not triplets, but close in age) named
"Flora", "Dora", and "Cora".  HONEST!!!!!

Wilmer Rivers

More information about the DCML mailing list