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Damian Cugley

I live and work in Oxford. I have been doing stuff on the WWW since 1993. I’ve contributed to Usenet -- on and off -- since 1988. (Although I haven’t posted in a while for fear of spam.)

Useless facts about my name

What does the ‘P.’ stand for?

I’m not telling. The inclusion of the initial above is an attempt to get bibliography programs entries to munge my name correctly.

To explain: If the average Bib-O-Matic program is asked to reduce the name ‘Damian Cugley’ (which is the form of my name I normally prefer) to the ‘initials + surname’ form, it will get ‘D. Cugley’, which is incorrect -- it should be ‘P. D. Cugley’. But if it is given the name ‘Pxxx Damian Cugley’ and asked to reduce it to ‘forename, initial, surname’ form, then it will produce ‘Pxxx D. Cugley’, which is also incorrect. Therefore we must ensure that no bibliography database contains my full name -- the risk of it propagating into systems which foolishly attempt to munge names automatically is too high. The only way to ensure this is to keep it secret. Sorry.

Even this isn’t bulletproof.

What does ‘Damian’ mean?

The name ‘Damian’ is derived from a Greek name meaning ‘tamer’. There was a pair of twins called Damian and Cosmo, and the names are still occasionally used for twins. It is pronounced approximately ‘Dame Ian’, with the stress on the first syllable (and not ‘Damon’, which is different name altogether).

The spelling ‘Damien’ is the French spelling, and is the spelling used in the Omen movies. I have also seen the spelling ‘Damion’

What does ‘Cugley’ mean?

Well, it might derive from a town name meaning ‘meadow in a forest’ (‘cug’ is Anglo-Saxon for a cow, ‘ley’ is a clearing in a forest). There are towns called Cugley and Greater Cugley or somesuch in Gloucestershire.

Despite the simple spelling and pronunciation of this surname, a surprising number of English-speaking people have troubles with it. They want to spell it ‘Cugleigh’ or ‘Cuddley’ or ‘Cudgely’. Simply put, ‘Cugley’ is pronounced to rhyme with ‘ugly’ (this implies that it may be pronounced differently by speakers from northern and southern England, which seems reasonable). If you can’t manage that mnemonic then we might as well give up now.

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