What on earth were his parents thinking?
Pot, kettle, black. At one point I intended to call the Small Boy Sam Mustang. I'd heard a Radio 4 programme about wild horses in the USA and had been transported - out of my wits. Not much call for cowboys in my neck of the woods.
Then I was seduced by the Irish (culture, not the entire population) and thought Padraig was the ticket. You were going to call me Porridge? wailed Small Boy when he was much smaller. Or Gabriel, I added which provoked him to tears - An angel? An angel??? - and a lengthy huff.
Count yourself lucky, my boy; if you'd been a girl, Redinka was first choice.
I gave up on Irish names after the Baby Name Book stated: We have not given any indication as to pronunciation as this varies in different areas of Ireland. Well, that was helpful. You may as well scatter a handful of Scrabble tiles across the kitchen table - SAOIRBHREATHACH - and insist that it's pronounced FRED.
These days anything goes with names. I met a woman who'd called her daughter Cheminee. I think we'd all agree that Chimney doesn't have quite the same cachet. (Pronounced Catchett in English.)
So perhaps it's not so odd after all that Mr & Mrs Boyes didn't stop to consider whether Roger was the best name for their son ...
No-one has nicknames any more. (I was actually christened Moptop.) I expect when we were all called John, James, Mary and Susan it made sense to create nicknames. It was important to differentiate between Tall Mary, Nice Mary, Fat Mary and Barking Mad Mary Who Shoots On Sight.
And nicknames were needed to conceal identities. Many writers still use 'em. Nom-de-plume, nom-de-guerre, alias, pseudonym, anonym - a moniker by any other name would be discreet.
I strongly suspect that not all romantic novelists were originally called Rosamund. Unless all young women called Rosamund are honour-bound to become romantic novelists? Perhaps their parents sign them over to Mills & Boon at birth?
Dockers were notorious for their nicknames - there's a list here - but once a nickname was applied, it stuck, regardless of whether or not you were a docker.
The Jenny of this post's title, as a proud young wife, annoyed all the Pontlottyn shopkeepers by asking 'Is it fresh?' about anything she purchased. 'A loaf of bread, please. Is it fresh?' 'Six ounces of loose tea. Is it fresh?' Her undoing was asking for a tin of Brasso - is it fresh?' and having to live with that nickname for the next sixty years. Still, she was luckier than Mrs Ackerman-Rice-Pudding ...