Names of the Week: Corky and Pudsey

Sooty, another stuffed toy that influenced my childhood. Photo taken by me at the Childhood Museum in London.

I love the nickname Teddie, preferrably for girls than boys, but I love the concept of stuffed toys. I still have all of my childhood ones, my special one being named Corky. My grandmother bought him for me when I was around 15 months old, and my parents had gone on an extended jolly to New York. They were supposed to go for a weekend, but stayed for two weeks. I still haven’t forgiven them. But as a result, I was introduced to one of the more important figures in my childhood.

So let’s talk about his name. I named him, but even I can’t remember how I came to that decision. As a child, I would spell his name Korkey, and I’ve seen sites saying he’s a varient of Corey.

There are some namesakes to consider:

Corky Carroll, an american surfer, who pioneered the professional sport.

Corky Cornelius, a jazz trumpeter, born as Edward.   

Corky Evans, a canadian politician.

Corky Laing, a canadian drumme,r born Laurence.

Three characters for The Sopranos are named Corky: Corky Caporale, Corky Ianucci and Corky DiGioia

Corky, a killer whale in SeaWorld San Diego.

As I mentioned above, Corky is a variant of Corey, a name that could derive from the Old Norse name Kori, which is of unknown meaning. Corey could also be of Irish origins, thus meaning hollow hill.

Then there is the Scottish variant, Corrie, which means maiden. And I’ve seen this used as a nickname for people with the surname Cork, which means swamp or marsh. Corky could also be a short form of Corcoran, meaning ruddy-faced. Again, also of Irish origins.

Then we have Pudsey, who is a famous bear in the UK. Pudsey Bear is the mascot for UK charity Children in Need. The have a televised night of fundraising each November on BBC1, one of the major channels in the UK.

There is a town named Pudsey in West Yorkshire, and this is where Pudsey Bear got his name.

In the 1086 Domesday Book, Pudsey was named as Podechesaie and Podechesai, and buy 1203 had become Pudekeshee. Pudsey is also well-known for its wool manufacture, and, from the 19th century, Cricket. Many England cricketeers, such as Sir Len Hutton, Matthew Hoggard and Herbert Sutcliffe all learned to play cricket in Pudsey.

Sadly, Pudsey is also known for being one of the most polluted areas in the UK during the Industrial Revolution. There is the joke that Pigeons flew backwards in Pudsey to avoid getting soot in their eyes as the wind from industrial towns Leeds and Bradford blew thick soot into Pudsey.

As for the origins of Pudsey, it derives from the Old English name Pudoc, perhaps a diminuative of Puda, meaning Puduc’s island or river land.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Corky and Pudsey

  1. When I was little I had a plush donkey called Feste – which makes me sound like the most pretentious 10 year old in history. But he was named after the “ghost” horse in the Lucy Boston children’s books, not after the character from Shakespeare.


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