Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So back to my original question - Do you have what is considered to be an unusual surname? What sort of response do you usually get when people hear it? Do you know about the origin of your "unusual" name?

Well, it is time to delve into my collection and I will start with one of my most recent finds.

The gentleman's name was HEADLEY. Not bad for a christian name. I have heard of Headly - a former governor of the Bank of Jamaica was a Dr. Headley Brown, who met a tragic and untimely death when he committed suicide some years ago.

But can you imagine a Mr. ?

What a brilliant piece of synonymous juxtaposing!

A scarf (noun) is a piece of cloth for wearing around the neck, head, or shoulders.

A quick check with an online etymolgy indicates that the word first came into use about 1276 and meant a "connecting joint" and probably came from the Old Norwegian "skarf", which was a nail for fastening a joint. This was a general North Sea ship -building term. This word was also borrowed into Romanic French "escart", and Spanish "escarb". By 1555, it was used to mean "a strip of cloth"- a band worn across the body or over the shoulders and related to the French "escarpe" meaning a slash or sling .

As a cold-weather covering for the neck, first recorded in 1884. In the 1960's it crept into U.S. teen slang and was used to mean "eat hastily", relating to its use as a noun meaning "food" or "meal" in the 1930s.

Andwhen did it come into use as a surname?

What were Headley's parents thinking when they gave him the name HEADLEY SCARF?

Your guess is as good as mine!