Wednesday, 4 April 2007

With Freuds like these ...

Have just made the belated discovery that Sigmund Freud's middle name is Schlomo. Pronounced "schlo-mo", and not to be confused with that cinematic technique beloved of film directors still wrestling with their latency periods: the slow-mo.

Following a recent re-reading of Civilisation and Its Discontents, I actually have quite a lot of respect for ol' Siggy, but Schlomo! It explains a lot.

18 comments:

TimT said...

Does being Schlomo make him a Schlemiel?

alexis said...

He had his moments of schlemielity, there's no denyin', but I wouldn't say it was his primary characteristic.

What about W.S.Gilbert? W. Schwenk Gilbert! These are middle names for a reason.

TimT said...

And I thought Huw was weird. My little brother, mind, has a middle name of 'Farquhar'.

Amadeus, however, is highly recommended as a middle name. Not only is it impressive in its own right, but it gave Mozart the hard-hitting personal acronym WAM.

alexis said...

I think the Harlots might be related to some Farquhars, or maybe one of my sisters went to school with a Farquhar: certainly, there have been Farquhars in my life before. It's not a name you want to mess with.

One of my middle names is Sìne, and it has been the bane of a remarkably baneless life.

TimT said...

The Farquhars are relatives of mine a generation or so back; like the Trains they go back to Scottish history and probably ran around Scotland in sizeable numbers in the 18th century.

Are your other two middle names 'Qua' and 'Non', or maybe 'Cos' and 'Tan'?

alexis said...

Hardy har har har. Ye old Sìne meets trigonometry joke. The answer is no, but you're getting close to that bane I mentioned.

TimT said...

I apologise, but I would note that Sines are frequently accompanied by Wonders!

alexis said...

Ha! That actually was quite funny, y'know, but I am obliged by long-set precedent to take offence, and to reply, confrontatively, with the observation that your name is an anagram for Mini Tart.

N.B.: Sìne is pronounced as "Sheena".

TimT said...

Good heavens, I sound delicious. Am I lemon or jam?

Karen said...

I've read tons of Freud and I've never even thought of looking at his middle name! You are so much more observant than I am!

I remember seeing your middle name somewhere once and being intrigued by it. My middle name is plain old Nicole, but even with a name as bland as mine one can be cursed. I have a non-identical twin sister (whom you've met)called Kerry and people always ask why the names are so similar. And then I have to recite the very embarrassing story of how my father chose similar names because he thought we might fight over who had the better name. And then they form all sorts of ideas about my family which are probably accurate!

My maternal great-grandfather: Clarence Sylvester Temple.

alexis said...

What a tale, K!

And what an incomparable name is Clarence Sylvester Temple! Having said that it's incomparable, I compare it nonetheless to the pseudonym Sam Coleridge deployed on joining the army in 1793: Silas Tomkyn Comberbacke.

alexis said...

Tim, m'dear, I think that's a question only you can answer, although I refer you to the Portugese custard tart for further reference.

Karen said...

If not for my father's theory, I would have been either Rosalind or Lauren. My other sister is Carolyn, but she's named after a friend, not in an effort to perpetuate the "k" sound.

Clarence Sylvester had brothers, some with even better names featuring Reginald and Norman. I feel very sorry for old CS- he went to WWI when he was 19, was gased and contracted VD and then died in his early 40s, having been an invalid for pretty much the rest of his life. I believe the Brunswick Coles (or is it Woolworths?) now stands where he used to live.

I know about STC and the army. I would insert a better pseudonym here, but there isn't one.

TimT said...

They are sold on Smith Street, no? Apparently quite delicious, yes? This requires investigation...

I like Norwegian names. Olaf Olafsson. Sven Svensson. Ingrid Ingridsdottir.

You could obviously take this to extremes - Sven Svensson Svensson Svensson Svensson Olaffson Thorfinnson Olaffson Svensson Brown, fr' instance.
Part of the fun of reading Scandinavian sagas is reading the long lists of names at the start of chapters: "There was a man called Thorfinn. He was the son of... " etc, etc, etc. Makes it pretty annoying when the well-meaning editors relegate it to notes, let me tell you.

alexis said...

'Fraid I haven't acquainted myself yet with the Portugese custard tart vendors of Collingwood, but Smith Street seems to have most things.

K, I will pay a visit to the Brunswick Coles/Woolworths some time to pay homage to CST. The fact that he is your ancestor suggests that he did some reproducing, no? Did he bequeath the VD to your great grandmother?

Stupid war for Australia to have been involved in, but it kicked off a fine tradition of deploying Australian soldiers to far flung corners of the globe for no better reason than slurping up to our imperial overlings.

Karen said...

I would be very touched if you paid tribute to my ancestor, Alexis. He used to sell fruit and veg out of a wheel barrow, so if you could linger in the fruit and veg section thoughtfully that would be fantastic.

As for VD and the family line (!), he was married before he went but did continue to reproduce afterwards with no apparent untoward effects. It seems to be the thing that killed him though.

In much agreement about the war and wars generally, not least because my grandmother had to eat pumpkins for every meal throughout much of her childhood as a result.

Karen said...

In a related vein to what you were saying:

Values go to war.

I don't know if The Age would do anything this horrible, but on page 2 of the print edition of the SMH today there is a photograph of a group of army reservists who are about to go to the Solomon Islands. A female soldier is facing the camera and apparently laughing at something a male soldier just said. The headline above the photo is "Joy Division". I kid you not.

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