Monday, June 20, 2011


One of the major differences between my native land of England (I am about half English and half Scottish) and the U.S. is the profusion of first names in this country. There are some bizarre names in England, such as "Marmaduke", but they are rarely encountered. "Quentin" was about as exotic a friend's name as any I can recall. It helped that his last name was "Hockliffe"
When I see a name that is new to me, I try to puzzle out its country of origin. With last names this is often easier, as with -ian endings for those of Armenian ancestry, or German-Jewish names ending in -stein. I get most French, Italian, and Spanish names right.

A new one on me was "Rogelio". My guess was that this was Spanish, reminding me of "Julio", and that turns out to be correct. It's not a common name, however. I came across the name in a story about a computer hacker, a successful one responsible for $36 million in fraudulent transactions. He is reported to have stolen more than 675,000 credit card accounts.

What made the news story especially memorable was his last name: Hackett...

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