A Pro. by any other name...

       What's in a name? Traditionally, quite a lot. Knowing a person's name gave you power over them - which is why many ancient peoples were in the habit of using pseudonyms instead. There are traces of this way of thinking still around today: enormous numbers of people deliberately use nicknames, partly to disguise their real identity and partly to express a particular part of their own character. Because names, of course, have meanings.

       So for anyone who's interested, and doesn't already know, here are the meanings of the names of our favourite people!

The Professionals

George Cowley.
       George: (English, from the Greek via Latin and Old French) - 'Farmer' (more specifically, one who works the soil.) Also, of course, the patron saint of England!!
       Cowley: A pretty old surname - variants have been around since the 12th century. I can't find a definitive meaning, but since the 'ley' element usually indicates a 'lea' or meadow, possibilities are 'hazel meadow', 'cowl meadow' or 'cow pasture'. All of these are appropriate - hazels symbolise wisdom, the cowl symbolises either a monk or secrecy, and the third should be self explanatory to anyone familiar with the original series. ("A cow gives milk - a cow looks after it's young..." 1)

Raymond Doyle
       Raymond: (English and French, from the German) - a combination of the elements ragin (advice, counsel, decision) and mund (protection or protector.)
       Doyle: (Irish) - 'descendant of Dubhghall' (Dubhghall meaning 'black stranger' or 'Dane'.)


       William: (English, from the German) - wil (will, desire) and helm (helmet, protection).
       Andrew: (English, from the Greek) - 'manly'.
       Philip: (English, from the Greek) - 'lover of horses'.
       Bodie: I can't find Bodie as a traditionally recognised name. It could be a variant of Bode (herald or messenger) or (from the Old English bodig) Bodey (physical presence, body.)

The New Professionals

Harry Malone
       Harry: a contraction of either Harold or Henry. Harold: - (English, from Old English) 'army leader' or 'army controller' (the power behind the army). Henry: - (English, from the German) 'home-ruler' or 'home power'.
       Malone: - (Irish) 'descendant of Maoleoin' (servant of St John...)

Tina Backus
       Tina: contraction of Christina (English, from the Latin) 'a Christian'.
       Backus: - (from Old English) 'One employed in a bakery' (!!)

Sam Curtis
       Sam: - contraction of Samuel (from the Hebrew) 'name of God' or 'God has hearkened'.
       Curtis: - (English, from Old French) 'courteous' - indicative of a well-educated, well-mannered man.

Chris Keel
       Chris: - contraction of Christopher (English, from the Greek) 'Christ bearer'. Also the patron saint of travellers.
       Keel: - strictly speaking, a person from Keel (in Staffordshire, UK) or Keal (East or West, in Lincolnshire, UK.) In context, I'd guess it was chosen because of its association with ships...

The Actors

Gordon Jackson
       Gordon: - generally believed to have been taken from the Scottish surname. Meaning uncertain, but it has been suggested that it means 'dull, boorish, stupid'....
       Jackson: - 'son of Jack'. Jack became a term for an ordinary man or peasant, so a 'Jack's son' was nobody very special.

Martin Shaw
       Martin: - (English, French and German, from the Latin) from Mars, the Roman god of war (and, earlier, fertility.)
       Shaw: - (from Old English) 'Dweller by the wood'.

Lewis Collins
       Lewis: - (English form of the French name Louis, itself from the German) 'famous warrior' or 'famous battle'.
       Collins: - (diminutive of Nicholas; from the Greek) probably 'victorious people'.

Edward Woodward
       Edward: - (English, from Old English) 'prosperous guard' or 'lucky guard'.
       Woodward: - (English, from Old English) 'wood warden', 'forester'.

Lexa Doig
       Lexa: - (modern female diminutive from the male name Alexander, Greek) 'defender of men'.
       Doig: - apparently this means 'black'....

Colin Wells
       Colin: - (English from the French; Nicholas, or English from the Gaelic; Cailean) from Nicholas - 'victory of the people' - or from Cailean - 'pup', 'young man'.
       Wells: - 'Dweller by the springs'.

Kal Weber
       Kal: - (modern: not listed but possibly derived from Calvin or Callum - or simply made up: it has a nice sound!) Callum (Scottish Gaelic, from the Latin) 'dove': Calvin (English, from the French) originally 'little bald one'.
       Weber: - (English and German) 'weaver'.

       Now, can anyone confirm whether these are the actors' real names, or only their stage names? Not that it's that important - I think most of them are pretty appropriate anyway! - but I like to be accurate.
       Oh, and if anyone wants to know about any of the other names in either series, email me and I'll add them....

Klansmen - Cowley to Doyle. Back

© Joules "4-2" Taylor

© 1999 WordWrights.

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