A – Z Challenge E is for Ermintrude

A[1][1]ERMINTRUDE is not a name much used in the UK. It may be popular in other places, but at my high school when one of the local teachers wanted to tease he called one Ermintrude. It never failed. We did not want to be known as Ermintrude. Curious, really, because the underlying meaning is ‘wholly or all loved’. Diminutives include Irma, Emma and Trude. Emma in particular is a popular choice for girls and the title of a much loved Jane Austen novel. What puts us off? Difficult to answer, I think. I know that cultural preferences and the sound of language must have a lot to do with it. I thought Heidi impossibly exotic and glamorous when I was a child and read the stories. Fast forward and I now know several people called Heidi – occasionally I still think it’s exotic and glamorous. But Ermintrude? I was hearing about another new baby the other day and the name? Elsie. I laughed which wasn’t much appreciated, but it underlines a point. All things come round again. Elsie is a diminutive of Elizabeth, but nothing like as popular as Liz, Lizzie, Beth have been. To my ear, it sounds old-fashioned. And it isn’t any more. It’s bang up to the minute. Let’s hear it for Elsie – oh, and Ermintrude. What up-to-the-minute names strike your ear as old-fashioned?

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10 thoughts on “A – Z Challenge E is for Ermintrude

  1. What fascinating information about Ermintrude! I particularly enjoyed your school experience. When I was at school and we were being taught Scottish country dances, if a pupil was left without a partner, they had to dance with an imaginary partner called Esmeralda.


    • Hi AJ. I know what you mean, but each child is an individual and even when they share a name with friends, the personality traits they have are likely to come from their genes – I think. Maybe you’ll use Elsie, maybe you’ll wake up one morning with another clear favourite. Good luck whichever you choose, Anne


    • Hi Kate, names are fascinating. Don’t know why some take and others don’t. C/Krystal has become fairly popular in the gem world, but as you say, not many others. Beryl isn’t one I considered when my children were expected. Did you? Anne


  2. No, I mentioned it because it was really popular with the generation before ours but I haven’t heard of anyone younger having it (don’t think my daughter would have thanked me …) – but funnily enough there’s a Crystal in (one of) my current wips.


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