Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Naming Oliver Twist (Today)

Oliver Twist, the orphan in Dickens’ eponymous novel, famously got his name from an alphabetical list kept by Mr. Bumble, the “beadle,” who ran the orphanage.

I’ll bet you don’t know, though, the names of the orphans before and after Oliver. Those poor things were christened Swubble and Unwin.

I’ve always wondered how a system like this would work if it involved real names, and not the fanciful things that Dickens loved. So, here you are …

Now, what I’ve done is simply take the most popular first names and surnames (in the US of today) and put them together, starting with A and ending with Z. To avoid alliteration, though, I’ve offset the first and last names by one letter. 

Oh, there are also simply no decent boy names that begin with U and Y or girl names that begin with X. So, I’ve eliminated those, along with all surnames beginning with X.

Boys First Boys Last Girls First Girls Last
Andrew Brown Abigail Baker
Brandon Clark Brianna Campbell
Christopher Davis Chloe Daniels
Daniel Evans Destiny Edwards
Francis Green Faith Gray
Gabriel Harris Grace Hall
Hunter Ingram Hannah Irwin
Isaiah Johnson Isabella Jackson
Jacob King Jessica Kelly
Kevin Lee Kayla Lewis
Logan Miller Loren Moore
Michael Nelson Madison Nichols
Nicholas Owen Natalie O'Brien
Owen Phillips Olivia Parker
Patrick Quinn Paige Quick
Quentin Robinson Quinn Roberts
Ryan Smith Rachel Stewart
Samuel Taylor Samantha Thomas
Thomas Underwood Taylor Upton
Victor Williams Uma Vaughn
William Young Victoria Wilson
Xavier Adams Whitney Yates
Zachary Bell Yasmin Zimmerman

So I guess that means that Oliver would probably have been Samuel Taylor, or perhaps Owen Phillips.  Messrs. Swubble and Unwin? Ryan Smith and Thomas Underwood. Much better, don’t you think?
Please sir, may I have a better name?

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