Sunday, 30 December 2007


The Dutch got their surnames later than most. In 1811 Napoleon annexed Holland and a requirement for surnames was introduced. Some people thought that this would only be short-lived, and picked silly names, such as Poepjes, which means 'little poos'; Piest, which means much as it sounds; and Zeldenthuis, which means 'hardly ever at home'. I don't know if the Amsterdam telephone directory is full of little poos, but it would serve them right. There wouldn't be much point in listing the Zeldenthuis's.

There was a man in a local I used to frequent known as 'Pineapple Dan'. This wasn't his real name, which was just Dan, but he used to drink pineapple juice, and every time he came in the landlord would say, "Pineapple, Dan?".

The Social Secretary has a friend named Pat Nobbs.


  1. Investigating your early stuff. You're such a good writer, you know.

  2. Fancy - I'm much too lazy (as they always said on my school reports)ever to be a good writer. But it's sweet of you to say that.