Saturday, July 9, 2005

Basil Is My Name-o or The Name Of Baby Basil

I was quite shocked when John from WuzzaDem contacted me the other day. Turns out that someone had performed a Yahoo! search for "name of baby basil" and his blog was a search hit! And, if that wasn't enough, this little blog was not anywhere near the top!

That got me to thinking. Which can be an odd experience, for me and for those around me. But anyway, it made me wonder exactly what were they searching for?

  • Were they searching for the names of babies? And were they looking for "Basil" as a possible name?

  • Were they looking for the "real name" of someone who is known as "Baby Basil?"

  • Or is there a specific type of basil (the herb) that is known as "baby basil" and they were looking for a scientific name?

I had no clue what they were looking for. But I've never let my ignorance of a subject prevent me from telling more than I know.

Baby Names

So, let's look at the first possibility on my list. Let's say they are looking for names of babies. Why might they want to name a baby "Basil." Well, if they are American, they might not want to. It's not a very popular name in the U.S. Well, maybe in some circles, but not around here.

First of all, folks around here pronounce it wrong. And I would know. You see, on my birth certificate, you'll see the name "Basil." Yes, it's a real name. And it's my real name. Just like "Walker" is the President's real name.

It's pronouced "BA-zil." The first syllable is a short "a" as in ... "as." Say the word "as" ... then add a "b" sound in front. Then add the "il" ... but make it a shortened syllable; not as long as "ill" (meaning "sick") but a shortened version of that sound. Put it all together, and you have it.

If you're referring to me, and you pronouce it with a long "a" sound ("BAY-zil") then you're wrong. And, if after I tell you and you still do it, you're wrong and you're a dumbass.

If you're referring to me, and you pronounce it with a long "s" sound instead of the short "s" (or "z") sound, then you're wrong. And, if after I tell you and you still do it, you're wrong and you're a dumbass.

If you're referring to me, and you do both, well... you get the idea. Only double-dumbass. Got one of them at work.

Of course, someone else might pronounce their name "Basil" differently. If so, good for them. Pronounce it as they want it pronounced. Hey, if they want it pronounced "bigblueduck" that's fine, too. Just pronounce MY name correctly.

Real Name of the Character "Baby Basil"

I have found evidence of a cartoon character in the U.K. from the early 1990s called "Baby Basil." But nothing that indicates it was a pseudonymn of a real person or another character. The author of the character "Baby Basil" is Leo Baxendale, who also had the more well-known "Willie the Kid."

That's the only "Baby Basil" character I could find.

Unless they were looking for me. Well, let's pretend they were looking for me. Well, I've already told you that "Basil" appears on my birth certificate. Along with two other names of mine. One of those is my last name. The other is the name that family and friends and co-workers know me as. And, if you're looking for that, well, you won't get it from me.

You see, I have a job. And it's the second most fun job I've ever had. And I want to keep my online presence here on this little blog separate from my online presence on my job. Not that I have a very prominent online presence on my job. But, I want to keep it separate.

I'm a conservative. And I'm an American. And some of our clients are not in the U.S. And some that are in the U.S. are in "blue" states. So, if I make some crack about Canadians or the British, it'll be a joke ... mostly ... but some might take offense. Same thing with some of our stateside clients in the Kerry Belt.

Personally, I don't care. Professionally, I do care. It would be inappropriate to cause any reflection on the Evil Corporation for which I work that might cause any discomfort. So, here, I use my name "Basil" (although I always spell it "basil") which I don't use professionally.

Some bloggers know my real name. Frank J., for instance. I won a book from him last year. And I had to give him my real name. Some others, too, but I won't give you their names. But, there was a reason for it. Most know me just as "basil."

Now, I'm not the only blogger known as "Basil" (or "basil"). There are lots of others. No, I didn't do my research when I named this blog. I thought, "Hey, how many bloggers can there be named 'Basil?'". A lot, as it turns out. Go Google "basil blog" (without the quotes) and see what you get.

  • This little blog.

  • Kevin Basil's blog. Kevin looks like a hippie, but he's a nice guy.

  • A dormant Basil's Blog (last post, April 13, 2004) that someone named Caron posted stuff on.

  • A blog by Basil Baker that's been dormant two weeks longer that Caron's blog.

  • A Quran site.

Also, there's:

It seems that Basil is a really big name in the Orthodox Church. And I seem to have a small following over there. They usually come here by mistake, but some stay. One even called me a "guilty pleasure." Heh.

There are lots more Basils around, including artists, musicians, and general layabouts.

Up in Canada, there was a character "Basil the Bear" on their version of Sesame Street. Canadians.

The Herb

I find instances of the herb "basil" (often pronounced "BAY-zil") of the genus Ocimum. And instances where some refer to a "baby basil" meaning, as best as I can tell, small plants. I don't see that they are anything more than that. Perhaps a chef might know more.


I have no idea what they were searching for. But that's okay. I'm not sure they have any idea, either.

Oh, when John from WuzzaDem brought this to my attention, I was nowhere to be found on the search. That's been fixed.



  1. Well, I just had to laugh a little on the Quaran one. Good to hear you fixed the search thing. You're doing a fine job.

  2. Couldn't resist trying a search on Basil and saw this: Catholic Encylopedia: St. Basil the Great. I can't imagine what they would have thought if they were searching for information on the Saint as a baby and got here.

  3. Jay:
    I appreciate that. Thanks.

  4. vw bug:
    Yeah, I bet they were in for a surprise. I wonder if any just turned their computer off and sought absolution.

  5. I thought baby basil was what you called your son until he reached the early childhood stage.

    I'm so confused, not that me being confused surprises anyone.

  6. Don't forget all the "Basile's" in the world. With that extra "E", nobody can agree how to pronounce our name.

  7. phin:
    Like me, he never went by the name "Basil" ... and still doesn't. There was a movement in his early life to call him "Trey" ... since he's III. That of course means that I'm Jr.

    Oh, that movement went nowhere.

    Does that clear up your confusion?

  8. oregano:
    Oh, yeah. All the various forms and spellings make for a confusing day.

    By the way, I pronounce "Basile" as "bigblueduck"

    How do you pronounce it?

  9. No, no... the "E" is silent. That would be "littlegreengoose"

  10. You're going to be BAYbe BAYsil to me because of my love of alliteration. Tough shit.

  11. Feisty:
    And you'll always be 'Fiesty' to me!

  12. oregano:
    Of course! What was I thinking?


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