Archie Harrison’s royal baby name

May 18, 2019

14  comments

I had a Great Uncle named Archie Harrison. That’s right, just like the new royal baby, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Our family’s Facebook group page erupted in delight and laughter over the coincidence, with many saying how Uncle Archie would have gotten a big kick out of the new baby’s name. My own son, who could be a stunt double for Prince Harry, complete with red hair and beard, is named Harrison, after my maiden name, so we’re feeling as if we received a royal wink from our distant English family.

My Harry.

Names have always fascinated me to the point I bought baby name books long before I was married. I cleverly hid them, lest any boyfriend happen to see them and be spooked off by unrealistic ideas. I really just liked reading about the meanings behind each name. The books came in handy when I named my dog “Mabel,” which means, “lovable.”

Like the quilts on our beds or a recipe handed to you in the church parking lot and now tucked between Acts and Romans, our Southern names tell a story. We all know Vernella is obviously the daughter of Vernon and Annella. Gennie Sue’s real name is Imogene Susan, after her two grandmothers. There’s a method to our madness and a difference in our quaint old-fashioned names that honor our history and just plain weirdness.

The hippie generation started the trend of taking uniqueness a little too far with names like “Prairiebelle” and spiraled out of control from there into making people think it’s OK to invent spellings or even give a baby a nickname instead of a full real name.

Biblical names are always a safe bet. My mother’s two uncles were Paul and Silas, which was inspiring, but you have to know what you’re doing to avoid names like Judas or Lucifer. You don’t want your son bringing Jezebel Jane home from college.

My family used my double name so much, when I was younger, I’d actually tell people my name was “Anne” because that’s the only part I caught. I dropped the Anne in middle school during an unfortunate incident that can’t be printed, but it bounced on and off over the years with family using one thing and friends using something different, but both names were rejoined by college and since that’s how my husband met me, it stuck. The double first name has seen a resurgence over the last few decades since we believe the more names you have, the better your story must be. However, when you see some baby names, you know their story is, “Once upon a time, your parents didn’t know how to spell — bless their hearts.”

Teachers can rattle off good name stories. I had one mother correct me when I called her son, “Timothy.” Even though the paperwork clearly said, “T-i-m-o-t-h-y.” “It’s Tomothy!” She bellowed, then added, “I don’t know why everyone calls him “Timothy!” I was a new teacher and thought any woman crazy enough to name her son Tomothy would pull out some whoop-up on me, so I didn’t have the nerve to state the obvious, “It’s because that’s how you spelled it . . . you phonetically challenged woman!”

Because of my family ties, I adore the royal name, Archie Harrison, and am thankful they didn’t spell it R-chee Hairsin. But you know that version will pop up somewhere soon.

This story first appeared on AL.com and will be featured in the Mobile Press Register, Birmingham News and Huntsville Times.

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  1. My mother, God bless her departed soul named my sister such an awful name that she was so embarrassed about. One day while in high school she was needed in the office, she refused to acknowledge the request because she didn’t want her friends to know her given name. We called her a shorter version that she uses today.
    We all have a good laugh about how our parents came up with names for us, all six and they are doozies. I’m Sue Ellen!
    Lordy, if you could hear my husbands family names.

    1. Oh, how I’d love to hear the full version of that story! Your poor sister! Family names are so fun, and to try and come up with six had to be a challenge!

  2. Now why did I know you were going to write about little Archie Harrison? ? The first thing that popped into my head when I heard it was, Oh my, I wonder if LeslieAnne is related to those Windsors? Your son certainly does superficially look a lot like Prince Harry, so who knows? Maybe you are. I hope your Great Uncle is having a good chuckle about it all wherever he may be! Double names are indeed still alive and well in the South. A lot of the names in my family certainly reflect our English heritage on both sides, but I did not ever hear of an Archie or of a Harrison, either, for that matter. My in-laws, bless their hearts, both have very silly names, and they bestowed upon their three offspring the most excruciatingly proper English names in the book! I will tell you about it when I see you again.

  3. Hello! Believe it or not as I read the new Royal child’s name, I DID think of you and your handsome red headed son and Harrison! How fun! We will watch that wee one and see if he has red hair, whatever they are over the moon with their child and blessed at that! Did you shed any tears when your Harrison cut his beautiful red locks?

    1. Tears of joy! I thought I hated it when he had long hair, but now he wants to shave it so short . . . I’m not sure about it. We call him “Harry” sometimes, and I’ve sent him photos of Prince Harry and mentioned how nice his hair looks. My Harry’s just a little too creative for the look of royalty right now.

  4. I do love those double names since my son has one. Paul Allen is named after both his grandfathers and he is called both names. My Lindsay is named after my PaPa since she had his birthday. I love family names and have heard more odd names and spellings from my years in the school system to overflow my cup. Good grief…you just have to wonder sometimes!

  5. While researching my husband’s family tree, I came upon a distant grand uncle of his whose last name was Flood. His parents named him Noah. I swear.

  6. There is such a family resemblance to Prince Harry, people should curtesy in your presence! My parents always called me by my middle name, Roxanne, which caused all kinds of excruciatingly embarrassing problems for a shy child on the first day of school. Fast forward many decades and time to apply for Social Security. My application came back “no such person identified with this number”. Trust me, I uttered a very colorful version of Whaaaat! I actually had to go to court and have my name changed to My Name, despite the fact every single legal document I have was in My Name, including my passport. After 6 months of police fingerprinting, background checks, and $$$, my name got changed to My Name. The judge told me he expressly asked to hear my case because my maiden/middle name is Sassard. Turned out his grandmother was a Sassard born in Charleston too, and we are cousins!

    1. Now that’s exactly how we find our “people.” Judges, names, family . . . it all makes sense somehow. I’ve always loved the name Roxanne, but I’m sure you get people singing the song to you a lot. I can just hear you, “Ha-ha, I’ve never thought of the song before. Who sings that?”

      1. When I used to have an auditorium full of 150 students, they would all sing it to me at 8 AM. Sting should pay me some sort of royalty. My parents saw Cyrano de Bergerac when they were newlyweds, and hence my name!

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