If…. the name of the game

Queenwilly and I have been asking each other questions from “If … The Game of Life”. If you want to play along then leave your answers in the comments…..

If you could have chosen your own first name, what would it be?

image from xkcd

My real first name is Gaelic and it has a lot of consonants in it. I was forever having to spell it out for people when I was a child and by the time I was twelve, I’d shortened it by several letters to one that’s similar to my blog name. Growing up, I’d always wanted something simple and tomboyish like Billie or Rylie.

Billie Holiday

Queenwilly wanted to be called Violet. What name would you choose?

read about Violet Jessup here

If you were to have one famous person from history stranded with you on a desert island forever, who would it be?

The question prior to this was “if you were to be stranded on a desert island with one platonic friend only, who would it be?” So we have already discussed the merits of choosing someone capable of building a temporary shelter and a boat to get us off the island. When you choose your famous person, remember you are stranded with them forever…..


I chose Oscar Wilde because I want someone who will make me laugh. Queenwilly chose Charles Babbage. Who would you choose?


Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm  Comments (61)  
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  1. Ginger. She was the buxom movie star on Gilligan’s Island and I so wanted to be called, Ginger. As far as the desert island and forever… yikes. I suppose it would have to be an intellectual and a revolutionary so maybe Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson.

    • Ginger was very cute. I can understand why you wanted in on that 😉

  2. these are very easy questions. i like my given name, but if i had to pick an alternate? it would be Daisyfae. which is why i cleverly chose it for my online persona.

    companion for a lifetime? also very easy. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Brilliant mind, capable of making me laugh endlessly…

    • I like your real name a lot too. It makes me think of that old Ray Paterson song. I always liked the sad songs when I was a child like “Leader of the Pack” and “Honey”

  3. My older twin brothers are Aldon and Aldis, but coming from an old aristocratic family, it’s the surname that’s a problem; it was changed from Ffarquharson-Abbotte in the 17th Century to make it a bit easier to spell, but I wouldn’t mind reverting to my Mother’s family name, which was Corte. As to a first name, I’ve always liked Hampton.

    My companion? Miss Piggy…..and when I got fed up with her, she’d make a good pie.

  4. alouwishus…because it rhymes with delicious.

    probably sacagawea b/c a: she is female and b: she probably knows how to live off the land.

    • One of my father’s names was Aloysius. He had 8 of them!

      • Well, that’s something I didn’t know.

      • Patrick Joseph Aloysius John George Peter Michael McL…………..

  5. Call me Snake…

    And I’d be stranded with Nikola Tesla, and together we’d build a time machine on that island so we could go back in time and kick Thomas Edison’s ass.

  6. I never had an urge to be anyone other than my real life self until I joined the intertubes – then I became all cockroachy and hence archy – although I decided to do the pretentious thing and spell it Ærchie. As for living with someone on a desert island, that would mean I couldn’t be a hermit! Can I have some books instead of a people? Please?

  7. 1: Malach

    2: Hmmm, not sure, maybe Picasso?

  8. The name I would have chosen for myself would be something short and to the point like Tom or Ben.

    As for the famous person that I’d be stranded on that desert island with, I’d choose Mahatma Gandhi. Mostly because as a vegetarian he’d be unlikely to start looking at me one day as though I was a walking pot roast…lets face it, forever is a long time.

    • A walking pot roast…. haha… that’s pretty funny

  9. When I was growing up, I used to wish that I had a name (like Margaret or Elizabeth) that had a lot of associated nicknames, so that I could change them every few years to suit whatever stage of life I was in at the moment.

    I’m not sure about the desert island thing. My first thought was Jules Verne, because he’d probably build us a cool steampunk submarine or something, but if that didn’t work out, then I’d prefer someone with more of a sense of humor. Oscar Wilde isn’t a bad choice, but I’d probably go with Douglas Adams instead.

    • Laura: ooo, yes! I change my choice to douglas adams.

      • But Laura is a lovely name! I prefer that to all the Margaret and Elizabeth diminutives.

  10. @ Daisy: Vonnegut is a good one!

    Name: Rock. So everyone knew.

    Companion: Jesus Christ. I’d ask him to convince me he was God’s son. Because I have my doubts. Plus, I hear he can turn saltwater into wine.

    • So everyone knew what? How hard you were?


  11. Although everyone and their sister is a Jessica thanks to it spiking in popularity the year I was born, I would much rather trade in my last name. Mine is chock full of six consonants and only one vowel, and it’s always mispronounced and misspelled. I used to fantasize about marrying a Jones. My first crush was on a boy in kindergarten named Matthew Jones, and at least 50 percent of that crush was probably based on his surname.

    As for the island, not sure. But being a redhead with translucent skin, I’d likely shrivel up and disintegrate to dust within days. So perhaps my island companion should be large enough to block out the sun. And hopefully tall enough to reach the fruit in the treetops as I’m rather short. Upon further reflection, I am not cut out for an island life.

  12. 1) Pearl
    2) Quentin Crisp

  13. 1) Eunoia, because I like descriptive names.

    2a) Rowan Atkinson, or

    2b) Sarah Palin, but only because SHE would have to put up with ME. Revenge is a dish best served cold 😉

    • As for 2b, I could never cut my nose off to spite my face. Very brave choice.

  14. I like Hedgeclipper as a band name. It has positive connotations for me!

    Oscar Wilde is the perfect choice to be stranded with! Either him or Timothy Leary. You should have picked me but I guess you were thinking that you wouldn’t be able to keep it platonic….Ha!

  15. i had wanted any name other than mine when i was a kid. it was a name that people often mis-spelled, and so naturally other kids made fun of me.
    at that time, i just wanted a normal name like Amanda or Emma.
    now i am perfectly happy with my given names.

    i’d have Moses. he’d part the sea and we could island hop. plus God speaks to him, and vice versa.

  16. Most famous people would be pretty useless at surviving on a desert island, I imagine. Someone who already lived on an island would be a more suitable. But for company, one of the wittier female comedians would be good.

    • I’d go for Amy Sedaris. And hopefully she’d bring her prescription drug necklaces along with her too.

  17. I hated my name as a child and wanted a girlie name like Nancy or Trixie – thank goodness that wish didn’t come true! I quite like my name now, especially the way that Brits pronounce it.

    Think I’d quite like being stranded with Stephen Fry. Intelligence and wit … and he’d say my name prettily.

    • Oscar Wilde/Stephen Fry for me too.

  18. I think that Robin would have suited you young Nursey. In real life I’d like to be known as Gertrude and I’m with Archie – alone please but with an iPod Touch and a whittling knife …….

  19. Ah, those unspellable and unpronounceable Gaelic names – they’re becoming awfully fashionable again. I have no desire to change my first name. I’m happy with Nick but I dislike Nicholas intensely. I have an unspellable and mildly unpronounceable surname which I’d quite like to ditch, perhaps for my mother’s maiden name which was Southworth which I think has some gravitas. If pushed, change my first name to something inscrutable, monosyllabic and possibly Scandinavian – Sven would do.

    A fellow castaway? Although platonic I’d still choose a woman – they have much better conversation skills, they’re far more imaginative and of course they’re easy on the eye. A woman would also ensure a descent into slobbishness did not happen. Two men left alone, however smart they are, will inevitably just end up in a farting competition. I think I’d choose one of the Mitford sisters – but it’d be difficult to decide which one.


    • Certainly not Unity Mitford (though I do love her name). Maybe Nancy.

      • Nancy???

      • Yep 🙂

        Though Jessica would run a close second.

  20. With a name like Walker, I always wanted something else.. but can’t remember what I might have longed for? Something very vanilla I think. Maybe Lee?

    As for a companion, definitely a friends w/ benefits type- so a man…Maybe Pierce Brosnan, he’s clever and comes equipped with all kinds of tools, good to look at and I could listen to his voice all day long. And, James Bond always made the women swoon.

  21. My real name is Gaelic too but I am happy with it. If I wanted to change anything it would be my surname to its Gaelic original. This isn’t because I am some sort of “Plastic Paddy” it’s because people seem unable to spell a simple and easily pronounceable six letter surname. I would like to see what a mess people would make of it in a my name in its full Gaelic glory!

    As for companions I would choose PG Wodehouse

  22. Anything but Robin, I think. It’s not really not an adult’s name, although it’s cute for a little kid. I think it stunted my growth.

    I’d pick Albert Einstein. You’d never get bored.

  23. The name I would chose would-should be a description of what I do.
    As for the stuck on an Island, it is a trick question.
    When the other person finds out YOU are responsible for trapping them there, don’t you think they will hate you?

  24. Actually, I quite like my name in real life: Eleanor (for formal) Ellie (for my friends). I never put much thought into what I’d like to be called instead as my name was uncommon and has a certain rhythm to it. Also, I quite liked the fact that I was named after Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    As far as a famous person from history I’d like to be stranded with, I’m pretty sure that Oscar Wilde would be quite amusing and completely hopeless as a practical guy. I’m afraid I lean towards someone like Crazy Horse or Geronimo, as I’m fairly certain that their skills in living off the land would be quite useful.

    For a person who is not famous, I choose my dearest husband because he is quite well versed in all things survival, is a very good fisherman and also knows how to skin dive which could be quite useful in stocking the larder. Also, I know for a fact that we get along really well and he has lots of interesting things to talk about.

    • I’m pretty sure queenwilly would choose her husband above all others also 😉

  25. I think I gave the names I might have liked to my daughters, although I hanker secretly after something really silly like ‘Daisy’ too (I have the idea you would simply be born fun if you were called something like that – on the other hand, I have an aunt called ‘Prudence’ and she hasn’t really lived up to that.)
    I would like to have Shakespeare with me because a) I would find out who he really was and b) he could be funny when necessary and provide profound insights when that was called for – and put it all captivatingly. With any luck we’d find a Caliban to fetch and carry and hunt and gather for us.

  26. I’d be Lorna Elizabeth (and you know why I chose that!!).

    And I’d happily relocate to an island with David Sedaris.

    • Yes, I do know why you chose that name. Do you remember I took “If… Questions for the Game of Life” with me when we drove around Canada all those years ago? We played it the night that lovely gay couple cooked lobster for us. I still have the vanilla candle I bought the next day too…..

      • Ah I remember it well … but isn’t it time you lit that candle?

  27. John’s fine, but Jammer would be cool 🙂

    Either Mark Twain, because he’s a friggin genius, or Oscar Wilde, because he’s a friggin genius.

    If a woman, Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baronne
    de Staël-Holstein, because she’s a friggin genius.

    • What a fascinating woman. I had to wikipedia her, thanks for the suggestion.

  28. My favourite crayola has always been periwinkle. (I think because my maternal grandmother taught us, as kids, how to find them & use them as bait for fishing.)

    I’ve always thought that would be a fabulous name. 🙂

    I choose Saul Bellow to hang out deserted island stylie with.

    • Oh excellent choices twinny. What’s your favourite Bellow book?

  29. I already have chosen my own name. I was never happy with the one my parents gave me and insisted all my school friends call me Duncan instead. For many years I went through life with two names – one used by family, and the other used by friends and work colleagues. Once both my parents had died I legally changed my first name to Duncan

    When I became interested in genealogy and tracing my roots I discovered that Duncan was a common name for many of my ancestors in my father’s line of descent so it made some sort of sense that I had been subconsciously attracted to the name and felt more ‘comfortable’ with it than with the name my parents had given me

  30. Sedaris, Wilde, Fry – all fantastic choices for gals with celibate plans…

    • Is it OK if I bring along Robert Downey Jr for dessert?

  31. i bore easily, so i’d want somebody with multiple personalities with me on an island– as long as i’m not kept out of the conversation.

  32. I answered this question in person yesterday, but for the sake of repetition…

    The first name that popped into my head when I heard the question was Django. I don’t know why (I’m not a Django Reinhardt fan).

    My first thought for an island companion from history was Daniel Defoe for obvious reasons but I would probably be happier with someone of the opposite sex so am leaning towards Vivian Leigh or Grace Kelly, although I do prefer brunettes.


    • Vivian Leigh was gorgeous but so highly strung, she might be a pit of a pain in the neck to be stranded with.

      • Hmm, probably just needs a strong, firm hand…

        …to rip husks off coconuts of course.

  33. Because my long name is such a pain to spell, I always wanted something no-one would ask how to spell. Like Helen. Or Sue.

    And I’d be picking Harlan Ellison for my desert island companion. I saw him speak once – honestly, he went on for almost two hours and never referred to notes, and was amazingly entertaining. I got the feeling he could talk under wet concrete.

    • Oh, should I have picked a dead person? Then Anne Boleyn – such a gossip!

    • I have a sister called Helen. But no brother called Sue 😉

  34. I’d choose….Josh. Don’t know why. I just would. Anything but Keith. Apologies to all Keiths out there.

    And I’d have Jesus. I feel there may be some practical benefits. As some might dispute his existance, my second choice would be David Niven. Nice man, gently amusing.

  35. I’m quite happy with my name, but if I have to choose another Oi will do.
    My partner on a desert island would have to be Gail McGarva, after we had built the boat I would still probably stay on the island.

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