In days of old we were named after what we did.
A ‘Thatcher’ was someone who thatched rooves.
A ‘Smith’ worked with metals, and an ‘Archer’ or ‘Bowman’ well you get the point, (pun intended.)
It made things much simpler. Now when we meet a stranger two of the things we try to establish are their name and what they are up to.
Some names give us more than a clue as to what the bearer might do.
To illustrate this, there are a number of individuals within the legal profession named ‘Judge’.
Others get involved in crimes where their names would clearly make them the chief suspect.
I have represented a ‘Burns’ charged with arson, a ‘Fiddler’ charged with false accounting, a ‘Blagg’ charged with robbery, and even an’A. Salt’ charged with beating someone up.
In motoring cases I have also represented people whose name seems to have a bearing on their behaviour.
For example, I have represented more than one ‘Brake’ who clearly had difficulty in doing so as they were prosecuted for speeding. One of my favourites was a Miss ‘U. Turner’ charged with carrying out a dangerous manoeuvre on the highway.
I also recall a case here at Lancaster where the names of the defendants turned everything on it’s head as they were ‘Holmes and Watson’.
Rather than detecting crimes, as their illustrious namesakes would have done, these two were accused of committing them.
Fortunately, being called Halewood-Dodd, it would seem as though my only crime will be having a ridiculously long surname.
It’s perhaps good fortune, and a lack of ability, that I failed to fulfil my boyhood ambition of becoming a Premiership footballer as It would have cost fans a fortune to have my name printed on their shirts.