Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark: His Name Game

Dick Clark died on April 18, 2012. Sorry to see him go. Speaks volumes to generational change to hear about his dying today, at 82.

But I am left wondering if Dick Clark's parents [Julia Fuller (née Barnard) Clark and Richard Augustus Clark] had a sense of humor when they named poor Richard, or were they just doing things unconsciously?

American Bandstand's Clark was born on November 30, 1929, in Mount Vernon, New York, with the given name Richard Wagstaff Clark.

Richard became Dick. The moniker means "penis," oftentimes, of course, in our culture.

As to Wagstaff, the meaning and origins of that name are rather interesting:

English (chiefly Midlands and Yorkshire): occupational nickname for an official who carried a staff of office, from Middle English wag(gen) "to brandish or shake" + staff "staff," "rod."

English (chiefly Midlands and Yorkshire): obscene nickname for a medieval "flasher," one who brandished his "staff" publicly.

Source: Family Education.

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