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Ivor Novello 1893-1951

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  • Ivor Novello 1893-1951

    Ivor Novello (born David Ivor Davies; 15 January 1893 ? 6 March 1951) was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.

    Portrayed 'The Lodger' in Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 film by the same name.

  • #2
    It's funny how famous people/events can sometimes influence how children are named. In the latter half of the last century, we saw the names "Tracy" and "Wayne" become popular (for obvious reasons), and latterly I've noticed a few "McKenzies" (after McKenzie Crook) and "Keanus" among boys of my nephews' generation. The phenomenon goes back much further, of course, giving rise to some really unusual names. For example, I had a great uncle Verdun, named after the WWI battle, and an older colleague in work with the same name.

    Anyway, apropos this thread, I also had an aunt named Novello, despite (a) it being yer man's (assumed) surname; and (b) the "-o" ending clearly designates the name as male. I knew her as "Auntie Vello", which I thought was odd enough to start with; when I found out that she was named after a male actor, it only got weirder.

    A similar transgender thing happened with Tracy, which is now almost exclusively a female name, but was originally male (see Tracy Tupman in The Pickwick Papers). Ditto Paris, one of the hunkiest heroes of the Trojan War, is now a girl's name for some reason.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen"
    (F. Nietzsche)


    • #3
      Ivor Novello

      I worked for a while in a four man office with his great grand-nephew, who had no idea of his fame.

      He always appeared a little gormless, but never more so than the day when out of the blue, he idly asked whether I'd ever heard of someone called Ivor Novello. When I replied to the affirmative, he seemed surprised, saying he'd only asked because his mother had recently mentioned her grandmother's brother had "once done a bit of acting"...I, nor my other office colleagues could hardly believe what we were hearing as he continued "she was a Davies you know", as if this explained everything.

      When we explained to this hapless wight just who/what his relative was, he was initially dumbfounded, and later just dumb...even making allowances for his relative youth, (early twenties), "sic transit gloria" never seemed more appropriate...perhaps his family played down the relationship after the petrol coupon scandal, or the revelations regarding his sexuality...who knows?


      • #4
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