[ANSTHRLD] Squiggles as a name

Jay Rudin rudin at peoplepc.com
Tue Sep 22 07:43:23 PDT 2009

>I am trying to document, for a client, the name "Squiggles" or something
> that sounds reasonably close to that (Don't ask, its an inside joke.) time,
> location, even gender don't matter, as long as it sounds like "Squiggles"
>Can anybody help?

If you really mean you're trying to document it, this is fairly easy.  Found out what culture he found the name in, and what documents from that culture survive.

But you don't mean you're trying to document it; you're trying to find it, or something like it.

Postponing the question of whether we should help somebody do this, it's really bad for us in the long run to misuse our own terminology.

Documenting a name is producing the documents that the name came from, not forging documents to pretend the name came from them when it didn't.  He wants you to invent a name he has no reason to believe exists, and to forge documents purporting that it existed when it did not.  Forging documents is not documentation.  Sometimes we create jokes, and it can be great fun, but we should not call the process documentation.

Now, on to the name.

He needs a culture in which names include the sound -qu-, and end in -s.  The only one I can think of is classical Rome, where the name Quintus exists, and many male names end in -us

There are also names formed from common words, such as Quintus, which (probably) originally meant the fifth son, and Tiberius, which means either the river Tiber or "egotistical starship captain" (I forget which).

The only word I can find quickly that starts with "squ-" means fish, and probably won't help.  But "sequor" means to follow, and he might argue a name like "Sequegulus" to mean follower.  To do this he would have to find a justification for that '-g-", which I don't see linguistically.  He'd also have to document the naming practic of producing names from common words, and show a pattern of the words so used that word include "sequor".  This is a *lot* more work than merely finding a period name and telling us where you found it.

It would be a lot of linguistic and historical work, but if his joke is worth that much time and effort for him, that's my recommendation for where he should start, and I'd love to see the finished product.  I really enjoy well-prepared nonsense.

Of course, his joke is more important to him than to me.  if it's not worth his time and effort to do that level of research, it's not worth my time and effort either. 

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin

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