After Dinner Speeches
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Israel Zangwill, the well-known writer, signs himself I. Zangwill. He
was once approached at a reception by a fussy old lady, who demanded,
"Oh, Mr. Zangwill, what is your Christian name?"
"Madame, I have none," he gravely assured her.--_John Pearson_.
FRIEND-"So your great Russian actor was a total failure?"
MANAGER-"Yes. It took all our profits to pay for running the electric
light sign with his name on it."--_Puck_.
A somewhat unpatriotic little son of Italy, twelve years old, came to
his teacher in the public school and asked if he could not have his name
"Why do you wish to change your name?" the teacher asked.
"I want to be an American. I live in America now. I no longer want to be
"What American name would you like to have?"
"I have it here," he said, handing the teacher a dirty scrap of paper on
which was written--Patrick Dennis McCarty.
A shy young man once said to a young lady: "I wish dear, that we were on
such terms of intimacy that you would not mind calling me by my first
"Oh," she replied, "your second name is good enough for me."
An American travelling in Europe engaged a courier. Arriving at an inn
in Austria, the man asked his servant to enter his name in accordance
with the police regulations of that country. Some time after, the man
asked the servant if he had complied with his orders.
"Yes, sir," was the reply.
"How did you write my name?" asked the master.
"Well, sir, I can't pronounce it," answered the servant, "but I copied
it from your portmanteau, sir."
"Why, my name isn't there. Bring me the book." The register was brought,
and, instead of the plain American name of two syllables, the following
entry was revealed:
"Monsieur Warranted Solid Leather."
The story is told of Helen Hunt, the famous author of "Ramona," that
one morning after church service she found a purse full of money and
told her pastor about it.
"Very well," he said, "you keep it, and at the evening service I will
announce it," which he did in this wise:
"This morning there was found in this church a purse filled with money.
If the owner is present he or she can go to Helen Hunt for it."
And the minister wondered why the congregation tittered!
A street-car "masher" tried in every way to attract the attention of the
pretty young girl opposite him. Just as he had about given up, the girl,
entirely unconscious of what had been going on, happened to glance in
his direction. The "masher" immediately took fresh courage.
"It's cold out to-day, isn't it?" he ventured.
The girl smiled and nodded assent, but had nothing to say.
"My name is Specknoodle," he volunteered.
"Oh, I am so sorry," she said sympathetically, as she left the car.
The comedian came on with affected diffidence.
"At our last stand," quoth he, "I noticed a man laughing while I was
doing my turn. Honest, now! My, how he laughed! He laughed until he
split. Till he split, mind you. Thinks I to myself, I'll just find out
about the man and so, when the show was over, I went up to him.
"My friend," says I, "I've heard that there's nothing in a name, but are
you not one of the Wood family?"
"I am," says he, "and what's more, my grandfather was a Pine!"
"No Wood, you know, splits any easier than a Pine."--_Ramsey Benson_.
"But Eliza," said the mistress, "your little boy was christened George
Washington. Why do you call him Izaak Walton? Walton, you know, was the
"Yes'm," answered Eliza, "but dat chile's repetashun fo' telling de
troof made dat change imper'tive."
The mother of the girl baby, herself named Rachel, frankly told her
husband that she was tired of the good old names borne by most of the
eminent members of the family, and she would like to give the little
girl a name entirely different. Then she wrote on a slip of paper
"Eugénie," and asked her husband if he didn't think that was a pretty
The father studied the name for a moment and then said: "Vell, call her
Yousheenie, but I don't see vat you gain by it."
There was a great swell in Japan,
Whose name on a Tuesday began;
It lasted through Sunday
Till twilight on Monday,
And sounded like stones in a can.
He was a young lawyer who had just started practicing in a small town
and hung his sign outside of his office door. It read: "A. Swindler." A
stranger who called to consult him saw the sign and said: "My goodness,
man, look at that sign! Don't you see how it reads? Put in your first
name--Alexander, Ambrose or whatever it is."
"Oh, yes I know," said the lawyer resignedly, "but I don't exactly like
to do it."
"Why not?" asked the client. "It looks mighty bad as it is. What is your
Who hath not own'd, with rapture-smitten frame,
The power of grace, the magic of a name.
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