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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: 3 Misses
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 00:08:34 -0500

Robert Borski writes:

>Onomastically, the name "Birkhead" has eluded me,
>but according to the OED, "birk" is a variant of "berk" and derives from an
>"Abbrev. of Berkeley (or Berkshire) Hunt, rhyming slang for c*nt." Which to
>me, by connotative extension, comes very close to "maidenhead."

My old _Webster's_ gives "birk" as [Scot. & Dial. Eng.] "birch". It gives
"birch" as akin to the German "birke", deriving from an Indo-European word
meaning "shine, white". I presume that the "white" is due to the whitish
color of the tree bark. So, "Birkhead" can be taken to mean something like
"whitehead" or "brighthead" or "shininghead". The same dictionary lists
"Helen" as from the Greek "Helene", which means, literally, "torch". So, the
two names "Helen" and "Birkhead" would seem to be reinforcements of each
other's meaning, for whatever that's worth. I can make nothing of "Tyler".



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