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I've just been reading "A suitable vengeance" by Elizabeth George, ... "Alfred" or "Stanley" or some other popular Victorian/Edwardian male name.

"Sidney" is a fairly common female name in the USA (OJ Simpson's younger daughter is called Sidney), which might be ... writer of mysteries set in Britain, she has to have a couple of aristocratic characters to make them seem authentic.

Is Sidney as a female name an upper-class twit name in the UK, then?

When I mentioned it to my wife she said she had encountered a female Sidney the parent of a pupil at a posh girl's school where she (my wife) worked a few years ago.
And in last nights newespaper there was a picture of a female Cydne.

Steve Hayes
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I've just been reading "A suitable vengeance" by Elizabeth George, ... to read about a female character with the name "Sidney".

Umm, what is disconcerting? Sidney vs Sydney or the whole concept? (G)

The character in the book was Sidney, not Sydney, and it was disconcerting to see the pronouns "she" and "her" used with what I had hitherto regarded as an exclusively male name. It's also one I've disliked, because of its resemblance to "kidney".
But the Sidney/Sydney concept doesn't appeal to me very much either. That's probably a generational thing. I associate it with Saterday afternoon down at heel stale beer and cigarette smoke sleazy bars where dirty old men discuss racing form. And they were all WWII soldiers with names like Syd and Fred and Alf and Stanley.
When I was "under-21" the next door neighbor had a baby girl whom they named Sydney. I thought it was ... not surprised Sidney dropped off the scale for men in the US ... Remember the TV show "Love, Sidney"?? Cheryl

Steve Hayes
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Is Sidney as a female name an upper-class twit name in the UK, then?

I've never met an English woman called Sidney.
I think that I have heard or seen an actress called Sidonie. Wasn't that one of Colette's names?
When I mentioned it to my wife she said she had encountered a female Sidney the parent of a ... (my wife) worked a few years ago. And in last nights newespaper there was a picture of a female Cydne.

What about Cyd Charisse?
Fran
ObCubana: Siboney
Ted
I've just been reading "A suitable vengeance" by Elizabeth George, and have found it rather disconcerting to read about a ... but doesn't appeaer to feature in most of the novels, which is why I've only encountered her now.

Please excuse the digression, but it seems that Scotland Yard is mighty crowded these days with Thomas Lynley et al (George), Richard Jury et al (Grimes) and Adam Dalgleish et al (James) all working on more murder cases than England sees in a year and yet they never bump into each other.
Francis A. Miniter
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I've just been reading "A suitable vengeance" by Elizabeth George, and have found it rather disconcerting to read about a female character with the

Maybe you heard of the Mayflower Madam, a celebrity of the 80s. Her name is Sydney something.
Strikes this ear as no more odd than "George Sands"

George Sand was a male pseudonym of a female writer, Chopin's lover. She even dressed like a man to make a statement.
I've just been reading "A suitable vengeance" by Elizabeth George, ... to read about a female character with the name "Sidney".

To genealogists out there - has anyone found a female ... of Sidneys, and see how many are male or female?

A quick search of Ancestry's 1891 for Females produces: Sidney 433 Sydney 391 There are probably some mis-transcriptions but not over 800 :-)

Well, that's convincing enough.
Obviously the problem is my limited experience.

Steve Hayes
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I've just been reading "A suitable vengeance" by Elizabeth George, ... "Alfred" or "Stanley" or some other popular Victorian/Edwardian male name.

Strikes this ear as no more odd than "George Sands" and, so, has something of a racy quality to it, ... "Alfred" on the one hand and ... "Sidney" on the other, although I am unable to explain (academically) just how.

There is also George Eliot, and the character in Enid Blyton's "Famous five" books, though that is explained.
And I know a lot of Georgias.
Also seems no more odd than surnames-as-first-names, as in "Kennedy HUGGINS", "Galbraith HUGGINS", or "Thompson HUGGINS" (source: our HUGGINS family ... names: Beverley, Leslie, Hilary, Vivian, Michael, Ryan, Jordan, feminized names such as Nicole (from Nicholas), and the list goes on...

I've known a lot of people with unisex names male and female Leigh and Lee, and Ashley and Ashleigh, Lindsey and Lindsay, Hilary and Beverley. I'd just never thought of Sidney as one of them. Nor, for that matter, Michael (from your list).
Names with male/female variants I've also known - George/Georgia (already mentioned), Leslie/Lesley, Vivian/Vivienne, Marios/Maria (Mary) though there is Carl Maria von Weber, the composer.
And what about that song, "Franky and Johnny"?! Interesting how we respond variously to the acoustics given by forenames. And vive la différence ;-).

Yup - the Sidney=kidney is what gets me!

Steve Hayes
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Alison Causton wrote on 16 Jun 2004:

Female in sex, but masculine in gender?

Steve Hayes
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Web: http://www.geocities.com/hayesstw/stevesig.htm http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/books.htm
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