What’s in a name anyway?

by Stephen Tall on January 14, 2007

As Paul Walters, David Rundle and Iain Dale have all been kind enough to note, I almost get a starring mention on the back page of this week’s Lib Dem News. Almost, but not quite.

For, in reporting the results of that poll, the good folk at LDN have re-christened me John Tall. Fortunately my dad, whose first name is John, doesn’t subscribe to LDN, as I’m not too sure he would care to have his name sullied by association with an article on sexy Lib Dems. He might not feel it would fit too comfortably with being a man of the cloth.

(And, yes, for the record that does make me a son of a preacher-man. Believe me, I’ve heard all the jokes.)

Had I been born a girl, my parents inform me I would have been called Rachel Elizabeth. Thankfully – and pace Johnny Cash’s advice – they decided not to toughen me up in that way.

What they did do was give my two brothers and me middle names beginning with ‘J’ – I got Joseph, a long-standing family name. Though co-incidentally (and something I only found out this week-end) my birthday, 19th March, is also the Feast Day of St Joseph. Wikipedia describes him – in perhaps the most untheologically PC way imaginable – as the ‘foster-father’ of Jesus.

Apparently St Joseph lived to the ripe old age of 111, a fate I don’t intend to emulate – dying standing on one leg is just way too undignified.