I discovered that Emmeline Pankhurst’s My Own Story was published by Eveleigh Nash in 1914, and Pankhurst being the most notorious of suffragettes, I wondered if Eveleigh Nash was a woman. No, it turns out he was a he (and married Mrs. Alice Gibson Smith in 1930), so then I wondered about the unusual name Eveleigh; it was originally a surname, and this site provides the origin:

Recorded in several spelling forms including Everleigh, Eveleigh, Everley, Eversley, and Everly, this is an English locational surname. It originates from either of the villages called Everley, in Wiltshire and Yorkshire, or Eversley parish in Hampshire, or possibly for some nameholders from a now ‘lost’ medieval village believed to have been in the West of England. The name is believed to translate as ‘boars wood’ from the Olde English pre 7th century ‘eofor’ meaning a boar, and ‘leah’, an enclosure in a forest used for agriculture. Like most locational surnames, this is a ‘from’ name. That is to say that the name was given as easy identification to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. It is also a reason why most locational surnames are to be found recorded in several spellings. The first recording of the surname in any form is that of John de Eversele of Kent in the year 1273, whilst recordings from surviving church registers include: Anne Everlaye, on October 1st 1580 at St Olaves church, Hart Street, Marie Everlie at St Brides church, Fleet Street, and John Everlegh on June 10th 1753 at St Lukes, Old Street, all city of London.

Which is well and good, but really all of this is just an excuse to post this 1906 photograph of William Tufnell Le Queux and Eveleigh Nash. What a pair of names! A charming image, too; one wouldn’t have minded having a glass of port and a chat about the literary scene with that pair.


  1. Btw they’re reading a copy of the Daily Mail. Harmsworth, true to form, serialised The Invasion of 1910 about an imagined war with Germany, in the year of the photograph, 1906. All I can read using Photoshop is THE INVASION OF 1–0 … A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE SIEGE OF LONDON … (Something) ALWAYS SAYS TO YOU…

  2. Well spotted! Here’s the Project Gutenberg page for the book (which has one of those striking covers of the sort I posted about the other day). “The following account, written by a reporter of the Hull Daily Mail, appeared in the London Evening News on Wednesday evening, and was the first authentic news of what had happened on the Humber on Sunday…”

  3. Oh, thanks, I’ll read it.


    Two of the myriad of London’s night-workers were walking down Fleet Street together soon after dawn on Sunday morning, 2nd September.

    2nd September! Wow, spooky.

  4. PlasticPaddy says

    Re placename Everleigh. If this is a place for agriculture, the middle of a wood with wild boar might not be the best choice. Maybe “Grove/Clearing of the boar”? Compare Eberloh, now only a bus stop in the Gemeinde halfing in Upper Bavaria.

  5. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    I expect everyone here knows this already, but I’ll say it anyway: Evelyn Waugh’s first wife was called Evelyn.

  6. J.W. Brewer says

    Now I’m curious if Wm. T. Le Q. was some degree of kin to Nigel Tufnel.

  7. Surely. I believe when he broadcast music from his own station he used to say “Now, I’m going to turn this next number up to eleven!”

  8. AJP Crown says

    Nigel Tufnel was a much better writer.

  9. Well, he had much more hair. It stands to reason.

  10. (If anyone’s wondering about the phrase “stands to reason,” we discussed it back in 2003.)

  11. You mean, hair stands to reason?

  12. Stu Clayton says

    Often a new idea first raises your hackles, and later raises your consciousness. That was what Hegel was on about with aufheben.

  13. Aufheben in 2005 and 2017.

  14. Stu Clayton says

    Hebt man aufzuheben an,
    Hebt man ab und spinnt fortan.
    Aufgeschoben ist nicht schwer,
    Aufgehoben umso mehr.

  15. William Tufnell Le Queux was widely admired for his punctuality.

  16. AJP Crown says

    William Tufnell Le Queux:
    Widely admired for his view
    That spies might be controlling
    Australian fast bowling.

  17. William Tufnell Le Queux
    Said, “I’m not at all fond of the clerihew.
    not very good at rhymes.”

  18. AJP Crown says

    Mrs Everleigh Nash
    Had her chauffeur take out the trash
    When her car was full of furs.
    This occurred every couple of years.

  19. Recorded in several spelling forms including … Eveleigh … and Everly

    Which raises the question: did Eveleigh have brothers?

  20. There is some inherent uncertainty with the pronunciation of names beginning in Eve-, so I looked up what the various pronunciation dictionaries say.

    The BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (BPD) gives the pronunciation of the family names Eveleigh and Evely as ˈivlɪ, which in the more widely used system corresponds to /ˈiːvli/ (with /i/ as a shorthand to represent the unstressed vowel as either the /iː/ with happY tensing or the traditional /ɪ/). The Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (EPD) also gives ˈiːv.li. In short, it is pronounced “EVE-lee” as you would expect from the spelling.

    While Evelyn is pronounced /ˈiːvlɪn, -lən/ “EVE-lin” as a family name, as a given name it can also be /ˈɛvlɪn, -lən/ “EV-lin”. Everley and Everly are pronounced /ˈɛvə(r)li/ “EV-ər-lee” according to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (LPD) and .

    Speaking of names starting in Eve-, Everest is only ever pronounced /ˈɛv(ə)rɪst, -əst/ “EV-ər-ist” (or even /ˈɛvərɛst/ “EV-ə-rest”) according to the BPD and the LPD. However, the Oxford BBC Guide to Pronunciation: The Essential Handbook of the Spoken Word (2006) which supposedly supersedes the BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (despite eliminating the pronunciation of many British names that made the latter a useful resource) says that “curiously, explorer Sir George Everest (after whom the mountain was named) pronounced his name eev-uh-rest”, or /ˈiːvərɛst/. The EPD meanwhile says “Sir George Everest’s surname is pronounced /ˈiːv.rɪst/”, or “EVE-rist”.

  21. While Evelyn is pronounced /ˈiːvlɪn, -lən/ “EVE-lin” as a family name, as a given name it can also be /ˈɛvlɪn, -lən/ “EV-lin”.

    One way if it’s a man’s name, the other way if it’s a woman’s.

    There are various names that are spelled differently but pronounced the same for men and women – Frances/Francis is the most obvious, and also Alex/Alix and Sidney/Sydney, and (with a few exceptions) Joe/Jo – but I can’t think of any others that are spelled the same and pronounced differently.

  22. @ajay: One way if it’s a man’s name, the other way if it’s a woman’s.

    According to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, as a man’s name Evelyn is pronounced /ˈiːvlɪn, -lən/ “EVE-lin”, but as a woman’s name it can be either /ˈiːvlɪn, -lən/ “EVE-lin” or /ˈɛvlɪn, -lən/ “EV-lin”, and in American English it is usually “EV-lin”. The Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary also says that the pronunciation “EVE-lin” is only used in the US for UK persons of that name. I would guess that in American English Evelyn is pretty much exclusively used as a female given name.

    As for names that are spelled the same but pronounced differently according to gender, we could cheat a bit with imported names such as Andrea and Andrea (Italian), Jaime and Jaime (Spanish), Jean and Jean (French), and Joan and Joan (Catalan).

  23. AJP Crown says

    Pronounced one way if it’s a man’s name, the other way if it’s a woman’s

    I don’t know if you want to count Welsh m. Siôn (like Shawn the sheep) and f. Siân (ʃaːn), but Angel and Gabriel might have different m&f pronunciations. With the Waughs, ‘He-Evelyn’ and ‘She-Evelyn’ is evidence that they were pronounced the same. A pronunciation difference by sex & country somewhat similar to English v. American Eve-Ev is German. The first time I saw a man I knew as Vinnie, a Hamburg nightclub manager tough-guy, writing his name ‘Winnie’, I was gobsmacked.

  24. Winnie the Pooh is male in AA Milne’s books, but the real-life bear in the London Zoo that he was named after was female.

  25. Vyvyan & Vivian

  26. David Marjanović says

    2nd September! Wow, spooky.

    Fun fact: that’s how we name days in German.

    (At some point we dropped the Latin genitive endings from the month names.)


    The gerrymander, with /dʒ/, is named after Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, “pronounced like ‘Gary'”. GIF avant les trois lettres.

    Jaime and Jaime

    Whose bright idea was it to see Jamie spelled Jaime and not think that was a typo? Now there are even people named Jayme out there.

    (I do not envy Sahra Wagenknecht, and her spelling makes sense by German rules while Sarah is misleading.)


    Sure. Winfried is a very rare name, but masculine like every other -fried and -fred name, and peace itself (Friede(n)); the only known exception is Winifred Wagner, and she was born in England.

    Vinzenz is hardly more common anymore, especially not in Protestant places like Hamburg.

  27. 2nd September! Wow, spooky.
    Fun fact: that’s how we name days in German.

    Yes, sorry about that. This opaque comment was about William Le Queux’s seeming to know in 1906 that Hitler’s invasion (ok, of Poland) would start on 1 Sept.

    But since you mention it and unlike miles, gallons & the like, the American December 7, 1941 which needs a comma or 12.2.1941 which to the rest of the world occurs in February, is willfully confusing & bloodyminded in its… whatever. Nuttiness.

  28. No American has ever written 12.2.1941, and commas are needed all over the place. Tell it to the goats.

  29. “With the Waughs, ‘He-Evelyn’ and ‘She-Evelyn’ is evidence that they were pronounced the same”

    …did they use those terms when speaking, though? Or just when writing?

  30. I’m sure plenty of jokesters used them when speaking, but that’s not the point — the very existence of the terms (and “Shevelyn,” also attested) shows the names were pronounced the same.

  31. John Cowan says

    Yet another of those reforms we didn’t adopt beyond the Sundering Sea, like changing the pint to 20 fluid ounces or the hundredweight to 8 stone rather than 100 lb as God intended. Practice was fluid on both sides for a long time: our national day is the Fourth of July, but the Declaration of Independence says “July 4, 1776” (though it is neither the date when the resolution was voted in nor the date when the document was signed; it is the date when it was first printed).

    Indeed, the OED records Steven Hawes in 1509 writing “Vnder our sygnet in our courte ryall Of Septembre the two and twenty day”, and as late as 1885 the British Medical Journal allowed “Dr. Oscar Liebreich read a paper on Lanolin before the Berlin Medical Society, on October 28th” through the editorial gate, though it’s possible the report was written by an American.

  32. It’s like Brits complaining about our using the word “soccer” when it was their own invention.

  33. Brits complaining about our using the word “soccer”
    They only do it to annoy (“They can’t call it football! Heehee!!”). Tell them to fuck off.

    But the date thing even confuses Americans internationally. Just before the lockdown I had to fill out some pension forms, and being on US soil, at the Oslo embassy, I used the US order mm/dd/yyyy. They sent a summary back to me, with all the months and dates politely & helpfully (& wrongly) reversed.

    I’m all for optionally writing October 28, or even October the 28th, if you want to. That’s still done in England sometimes, just not in circs where it might cause confusion (i.e. when you’re using only numerals).

  34. For a long time or until I decided it was kinda pretentious I wrote the month in Latin numerals, i.e. 23. ix. ’78. That would work. Americans could write ix. 23. ’78.

  35. Ha, I used to do that too!

  36. Unless I am filling in a form that calls for numerals, I essentially always give dates in long form. If I am asked for my birthdate, whether to be provided orally or in writing, it is “March 23, 1977,” and today’s date is “April 16, 2020.” I started doing this in part to avoid any potential confusion that might arise from just providing a string of numbers, and also in part for esthetic reasons. Moreover, I normally phrase dates this way even when providing the expiration date on my credit card, when I am ordering something over the phone. Even though I am reading “11/24” of my card, and I know that the person entering the card information is going to need to type it in the same way, I say “November, 2024,” just because that is how I habitually handle dates. A handful of times, the person taking my order has been confused by my phrasing, which I found quietly amusing.

  37. AJP Crown says

    I started doing this in part to avoid any potential confusion that might arise from just providing a string of numbers, and also in part for esthetic reasons.
    Do you have favorite numbers, like Ramanujan & Hardy, Brett? (And, if so, which?)

    I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavourable omen. “No,” he replied, “it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.”

  38. the very existence of the terms (and “Shevelyn,” also attested) shows the names were pronounced the same.

    It doesn’t show that at all. If you have two people with names spelt the same but pronounced differently – Jean and her French husband Jean, for example – you might well refer to them in writing as “Mrs Jean” or “She-Jean” or something, to make it clear which one you meant. Doesn’t mean that you used those terms in speech.

    On the month/day or day/month issue: it was fluid in Britain as late as the 1920s. Dorothy Sayers, in “Have His Carcase”, has the characters trying to crack a ciphered letter, and guessing that the first six characters are the encrypted date (some time after 10 June):
    “Now, is he more likely to have written June somethingteen or somethingteen June?”
    “Most English people write the day first and the month second. Business people at any rate, though old-fashioned ladies still stick to putting the month first.”

    Dickens, as far as I can see, always said “Fifth of June” rather than “June the fifth”.

  39. AJP Crown says

    The only time I can remember an oral version of Waugh’s friends making the He-Evelyn & She-Evelyn joke is in the John Banville novel about Blunt, The Untouchable (a good book btw).

  40. AJP Crown says

    it was fluid in Britain as late as the 1920s.

    It’s fluid now, as I keep saying. November the fifth or the fifth of November it’s still Guy Fawkes night. It’s the writing of numbers that’s done consistently dd/mm/.

  41. @AJP Crown: All my favorite numbers are transcendental (as almost all numbers are).

    Separately, there may be some confusion about the nature of month/day order in English. In all varieties of English that I am familiar with, “July fourteenth” and “fourteenth of July”* are in free variation. That does not mean that they are both equally common, but that each is unremarkable and grammatical in all instances. Which version is more common is almost certainly correlated with how dates are typically written, but either version is perfectly acceptable.

    What is not freely variable is the order in which dates are written. In America, we simply do not write “14 July”; if one wants to indicate a reading in which the date comes before the month, it is necessary to write the date as an ordinal and to include the preposition: “14th of July.” In spite of that, for the the other order, “July 14” is usually (but not always) going to be read as “July fourteenth,” although it would generally be a little odd to write it out that way (as “July 14th”).

    * I pulled a date out of the air here, which I subsequently realized was Bastille Day. I normally remember that Bastille Day follows Independence Day in July,** but the precise date is not something that I usually have on the tip of my tongue. I do remember watching, live on American network television, the fireworks and celebrations at the Bastille on July 14, 1989—the two hundredth anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. The French government had planned an extended sequence of celebrations of the important milestones of the French Revolution, and I imagine that they were still a bit deal in France. However, with the outbreak of a real revolution in eastern Europe later that year, I think the rest of the world largely ignored the French celebrations.

    ** When I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, the public radio station had a weekly filler program Focus on Flowers, in which a local gardening expert talked about flower gardening for about five minutes. Usually, she would focus on a particular kind of flowers, but occasionally she talked about other topics, such as gardener’s Latin. One time, toward the end of June, she talked about suggestions for red, white, and blue flowers for celebrating the Fourth of July and Bastille Day. I would not have remembered it, except that she ended with a suggestion of white lilies for Bastille Day; and in the nineteenth century, displaying white lilies on Bastille Day in France was a pretty much asking to get your ass kicked.

  42. Apparently if you add some delphiniums & carnations, it takes republican minds off the lilies.

  43. This is a good place to push for my preferred pi day, 22/7. Drawbacks: my fellow Americans would find it unpatriotic and it’s during school interyear and no one would care. Also, as one person remarked when I unveiled the suggestion “too rational”

  44. Ben Tolley says

    Perhaps a bit late on the soccer issue, but it’s always seemed to me that the fact that it is used in Britain is a big part of the problem. If Americans called the game roundball or something, that would be amusing but unexceptional to most Britons, like sidewalk or eggplant. But it is a word in British English: a word with an associated register which makes in inappropriate in many environments. The problem when Britons encounter when Americans use it is that the meaning is instantly comprehensible but the the register clashes, as if every reference to a car was jalopy, including in newspaper articles and encyclopedias.

  45. Fascinating, I never thought of that!

  46. AJP Crown says

    Ben Tolley’s right, it’s the register; “soccer moms” is particularly provoking if you’re used to wandering the terraces nutting Liverpool supporters. I tried writing something similar but gave up because I couldn’t quite pinpoint it.

  47. John Cowan says

    “The Dormouse and the Doctor”, or geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).

  48. AJP Crown says

    Something that takes place (it is trending on the Twitter) this day, April 20, every year in England, is called 420 Hyde, where we all go and smoke a joint in Hyde Park (where the Stones’ concerts are held) and inhale Corona viruses. So the name must have been invented in the States, I surmise, because it’s not 204 Hyde (which wouldn’t have made any vocal sense anyway).

    JC: geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)
    There’s been some worldwide decree that henceforth geraniums, at least the ones with biggish yellow leaves and red flowers that pensioners grow in window-boxes, shall be known only as pelargoniums. The names were interchangeable when I was a boy. It’s nuts. ‘Pelargoniums’ doesn’t even scan.

  49. Lars Mathiesen says

    They are two different genera, though very similar; blame L’Heretier (1789) for splitting them. But Pelargonium used to borrow geranium as a common name, sounds like Geranium wanted it back.

    If you want a geranium, you can buy one.

  50. Jen in Edinburgh says

    I’ve randomly come up with another name doubler – Angie for Angus, and Angie for Angela, ‘g’s as in the original.

    (Actually, not completely from nowhere – train of thought started by 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover…)

  51. Thanks, Lars. I can buy them here. It’s just inconvenient for reciting the Milne poem, which is most certainly about what they now insist are only called pelargoniums. I say if enough people are using geranium – and I am – it ought to be acknowledged as a word for the window-box plant even if the RHS or whoever doesn’t like it. Plenty of plants have several names in English as well as the Linnean: Verbascum alias Old Maid’s Toenails or African Wobblemixture, that sort of thing.

  52. not completely from nowhere

    This is from my unconscious. Joan, as in the f. name and Joan Miró, the Surrealist painter, is sort of one.

  53. Lars Mathiesen says

    I don’t know who it is that tries to prevent you from calling your Pelargonium a geranium. Both WP and my Danish dictionary acknowledge that the latter word is still one of the common names for the former genus, and for the sister genus Geranium as well.

    If your potted plant pusher pretends ignorance of this fact, take your business to somebody less rigid in their subservience to taxonomy.

  54. John Cowan says

    Common and Linnaean names don’t have to agree: nasturtiums are not Nasturtium (watercress) but Tropaeolum, per the Oxford gardener in Tolkien’s day. So geraniums they may remain.

    In A. P. Herbert’s “The Dead Pronunciation”, when the young barrister says “ooltrah wirayze” instead of “ultra vires” (i.e. “ull-trah vie-reez”), the judge asks him if he also says “gherahniooms”. I can just imagine what would happen (contempt of court at least!) if he replied “No, my lord, I say “pell-ar-goh-nee-ah”.

  55. per incuriam says


    Another factor in the shunning of the word was perhaps its association with the NASL circus of the 70s/80s, when the Americans got to muck around with the rules of the game to make it more appealing to an ignoramus public (there was even talk of making the goals bigger). This was backed by an apparent wall of money, which lured in all the only-slightly-past-it big names (Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruyff etc.), so Europeans contemplated with fear and loathing the prospect of a transatlantic reflux from this abomination submerging all that was sacred.

    Nowadays of course the game in England too is dominated by big ignorant money, and hallowed traditions yield to commercial interests at every turn. The NASL itself is long gone.

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