July 30, 2005

What's in a Name?

With so much talk about Alfonso Soriano leading up to tomorrow's MLB trade deadline, I recently felt compelled to check out the man's career stats on baseball-reference.com. When I got to the page, I made a rather stunning discovery.

Soriano's middle name is Guilleard.

I've got no problem in general with unusual names, but what the hell kind of middle name is this? It sounds like the name of a medieval knight -- Sir Guilleard, The Brave! But while the image of Alfonso Soriano atop a giant steed wearing a helmet and hefting a gigantic sword amused me greatly, it wasn't a satisfactory explanation as to where this bizarre name came from. Seeking answers, I went straight to the most reliable (read: convenient) source I could find.

Google turns up 158 hits on Guilleard, with 8 of the first 10 going straight back to Alfonso Soriano and another one taking me to Arlene Guilleard, a
Communications Studies major at SUNY Oneonta, Class of '07. Not much help there.

Digging further, I found more of the same. Just about every instance of Guilleard on the Internet was simply a listing of Soriano's middle name without any explanation. The closest thing to Guilleard in the Oxford Dictionary was "guillemot," which is listed as "a narrow-billed auk of the genus Uria or Cepphus, nesting on cliffs or islands." Well, that at least explains something. Wait -- no it doesn't.

Alas, with the search exhausted, it seems I'm back where I

started -- picturing Alfonso Soriano atop his horse on some ancient battlefield, dodging arrows from enemy quivers and slicing his enemies' throats with his trusty broadsword.

I guess things could be worse.


Blogger jmals said...

Perhaps a mistaken homage to Robert Guillaume? (holy shit that guy is old DOB: 30 November 1927)

2:30 PM, August 09, 2005  

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