25 July 2013

By George!

Bloomberg on the latest HRH (here):
I don't want to rain on the Royal baby parade, but "George"? Yes it was great-grandpa's name, which is sweet. But there have already been six of them! There are so many better ones Kate and William might have picked off the royal family trees.
My personal favorites, long overdue for a revival, come from the Saxon and Viking kings who ruled England before 1066. Egbert, Ethelwulf, Ethelbald and Eadwig are all fine names, not to mention my personal pick, Ethelred (the Unready).
Admittedly, Ethelred has some bad vibes associated with him. Unpopular among his own people, he ordered the execution of all Danes in the country, and then tried to buy off the Danish armies that invaded with a tax called Danegeld. It didn't work. He was displaced by King Sweyn Forkbeard (face it, also a better name than George), from today's Denmark.
Unready is actually a mistranslation of Ethelred's Saxon nickname, although unfortunately that doesn't help. It meant Unwise.
Actually, it did not mean Unwise;  it meant "ill-advised"  (from the Anglo-Saxon raed, meaning advice or counsel).

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