Sunday, 19 July 2009

Will you take some tea, Miss Melford?

I was visiting my niece J--- yesterday, and she was intrigued to know how I chose my name. Good question.

The Lucy bit is easy: I've just always liked that name, and it isn't so far removed from the old one on my birth certificate. The same 'oo' sound, anyway. It's a sweet sort of name. Nobody would be unkind to a Lucy, would they?

Melford is different. I thought long and hard about what would go well with Lucy. Basically I wanted a normal-sounding English name that was easy to say, easy to spell, and could be handwritten with a nice flow if ever I had to supply a signature. (That's a nice flow in my OWN handwriting, which may not resemble yours!) Additionally I wanted my new name to seem vaguely 'of the countryside', to the extent that if you said it slowly with a West Country accent it would sound like something out of the Archers, my dear. Yep, you could imagine the girls in the cowshed a-milking and a-saying, 'That Lucy Melford thinks she be a right fine lady, but we'm know bettur', or somesuch. It was a nod in the direction of Dad's Devon background.

Turns out that J--- reckoned that 'Lucy Melford' could in fact have been a character in any Jane Austen novel! It was that kind of name, redolent of rose-covered vicarages, and taking tea, and polite conversation, and the attentions (or apparent lack of them) of Mr Darcy. That WAS a surprise! 'Miss Melford, you are a lady of sensibility and perception and will surely excuse my conduct. I am compelled to speak...' and so forth.

Can't say I'm at all dismayed by this 'Jane Austen' tag. I'm rather pleased, although it means that I haven't got a modern, cool, trendy sort of name, and can't ever cut it on TV. (I was hoping to somehow get a spot on Loose Women) Sigh.


  1. Chrissie has mentioned a problem leaving comments on my postings. I'm testing this! Lucy

  2. Seems to work now, Lucy..



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Lucy Melford