Monday, 31 October 2011

Name in the Spotlight: Huck


Yes, Huck. 

The name is famously connected with Mark Twain's  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Great American Novel has led Huck to be seen solely as a nickname for Huckleberry, which means 'sweet berry'. But, surely, Huck can be used as a standalone name, right?

Well, country singer Brad Paisley and his wife thought not. They named their son William Huckleberry, who now goes by Huck. Novelist Steve Amick and his wife had a different stance on the name, calling their son Huck Lightning.

Further evidence provided by G.J. Huck shows that his surname was used centuries ago, as far back as 1298, as a first name. There is a theory that Huck derived from hugu, meaning intelligence, thought and spirit in Old High German.

But many won't be convinced. For some, Huck will always be a nickname. So if you want the name but want to stay away from Huckleberry, why not try Hucke, meaning 'load' in Middle High German. The extra vowel at the end makes it seem complete. Perhaps Huckfeld, Huckle, Huckelby or Hucksen can be considered more 'real' names. Other alternatives include Hauke and Haike. There is always the option of going for Huxley and its similar sounding nickname of Hux.

If Chuck can make the transition from nickname to fully fledged name, can Huck?

2 comments:

Lou @ Mer de Noms said...

For me, Huck really could work well over in the States, but as a Brit, I hesitate slightly. I would consider him as a short form for something like Henry, but feel he doesn't quite work for me as a standalone.

Zeffy said...

I agree with you. Americans tend to be more adventurous when naming their children (the British upper-class is the same to some extent), so Huck would be out of place in most primary schools. Huck feels like he needs to be in Texas and not in leafy Surrey.

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