Our names are our identities, everybody has one. We respond to them, we share them, we might like or loath them.
To learn more about a given name you can dive in to what is known as onomastics – the study of names. Reaching into linguistics, sociology, and anthropology it can uncover the history and origins of a name. Because by learning where a name comes from there’s the possibility of a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of that name.
So, why Teddy Locks?
When the brand was launched, the founder, a brit, was living in the USA. Wanting to produce the socks on US soil - to help keep a low carbon footprint, ensure high ethical standards and guarantee the highest quality - she also wanted to make sure some of her British roots were incorporated in to the brand. And so, Sam looked for British influence to help her name the company.
While brainstorming, she considered the places she had visited and the colloquialisms she used. She was searching for something modern and fresh, classic but not stuffy. Then while reminiscing about her time living in London, she recalled the whispers of riddles ... in Cockney Rhyming Slang.
Rhyming slang is a local dialect based on rhyme, thought to have originally been used by traders, hawkers and thieves in the East End of London during the first half of the 19th Century. Some common examples include:
Apple and Pears - Stairs
Dog and Bone - Phone
Bubble Bath - Laugh
Thanks to the media (think Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and free movement this tongue is still in use today and now recognized all across the British Isles and beyond.
And it was within this unique tongue that Sam would discover that Teddington Lock, although a beautiful spot on the River Thames, is also Cockney Rhyming Slang for sock.
And so, just like that - Teddy Locks was born.
To further broaden your slang skills you may like to try and crack this riddle:
The other day’s a-dawning, a cut and carried fella was feasting on a borrow and beg at the local Colonel Gadaffi. He was telling a weep and wail about his pesky dustbin lids. At a gay and hearty down the local light and dark they’d bashed over the give and take. Apparently, he threw a right wobbly and headed right to the nearest rub a dub where he knocked back a pimple and blotch. But when he stumbled back to his gates of Rome, his trouble and strife was waiting for him. And she weren’t best pleased, because he was completely scotch mist and had blown all their bloody bees and honey.
Translated, this story goes something like this:
The other morning a married man was eating an egg at the local café. He was telling a tale about his pesky kids. At a party at the local park they’d knocked over the cake. Apparently, he’d gotten really mad and headed to the nearest pub for a scotch. But when he stumbled back home his wife was waiting for him. And she wasn’t very happy with him, because he was pissed (drunk) and had spent all of their money.