Thursday, December 02, 2004

Brewer's Phrase and Fable - a mythical name

Nice to see I have made it into the Millenium Edition of Brewers' Phrase and Fable. I'll leave it to you to decide if that is my 'real' name or just a joke from my dad - my 'given' name (I wasn't christened) is Toby, not Tobias, which is the Jewish version, and means 'God is good' Tov Jah):

Tobias. See TOBIT .
Tobit. The central character of the popular story in the Book of Tobit in the APOCRYPHA. Tobit is a scrupulous and pious Jew who practiced good works, but, while sleeping in his courtyard, being unclean from burying a Jew found strangled in the street, he was blinded by sparrows, which 'muted warm dung in his eyes'. His son Tobias was attacked on the Tigris by a fish, which leapt out of the water and which he caught at the bidding of the angel RAPHAEL, his mentor. Tobit's blindness was cured by applying the gall of the fish to his eyes. Father and son prepared to reward Azarias (Raphael), whereupon the angel revealed his identity and returned to heaven.
Tobit's dog. See CAMEL.
Toby. The dog in the puppet show of PUNCH AND JUDY. He wears a frill garnished with bells to frighten away the Devil from his master.
Toby jug. A small jug in the form of a squat old man in 18th-century dress, wearing a three-cornered hat, one corner of which forms the lip.
The name comes from a poem (1761) about one 'Toby Philpot', adapted from the Latin by Francis Fawkes (1720-77), and the design of the jug from a print sold by Carrington Bowles, a London print seller, to Ralph Wood, the potter, who turned out a great number of Toby jugs. Sir Toby Belch. See under BELCH .

And my mum was a Vose - or probably a Huguenot refugee 'de Vaux' - so whether we have a connection to Guy Fawkes - Vaux - faux - false (name) I leave to you to decide. (He was the Lee Harvey Oswald of his age). I like to think we are entitled to Vaux Hall (now Vauxhall, a previously rundown area of London, but still - probably - one of the most expensive bits of planet to buy) but it's all nonsense to me, so make up your own jokes...

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