National Unplugged Day asks you to fight digital overload.
October 03, 2011
Jerry Kill, a football coach, was in the news recently about a medical condition (he's okay) and I couldn't help wondering about his name.
Certainly couldn't have been easy going through life with that moniker.
In doing some research, I found out that his ancestors were not professional hit men, but invading Saxons that exported the name to England, where it developed many phonetic variations.
How many Kills were changed to Killiam, Kilius, Killgus, Keale, Keele, Keil, Keile and Kelly is not known.
Surnames were fairly rare until the 13th century but they became necessary when governments got the bright idea of taxation known as the Poll Tax.
(With so many "red headed" Johns running around how could you find the right one to impose a tax on without a last name?)
The trial of Edward Kill in 1703, during the reign of Queen Anne, must have given headline writers a hoot.
Names were changed in Hollywood all the time.
Would Cary Grant have been the same icon if his name were Archibald Leach?
John Wayne might not have been quite as macho as Marion Michael Morrison.
Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko became simply Natalie Wood.
Shirley Schrift? She couldn't sign up for Shelley Winters fast enough.
If you don't have Hollywood connections it may be a bit more difficult to change your name.
But not impossible.
In general, you can change your name only if a court allows you to.
Anyone may use an alias, but you can't get legal papers, such as a driver's license or passport, in any name but your legal name.
Anyway, I know we'll get some fun responses on this one.
None of our members are killjoys.