Daft Duffy

Duffy at the Brit Awards from coventrytelegraph.net

The Welsh crooner set the charts on fire with her début album Rockferry way back in 2008, and she’s yet to replicate this success again. Born in the Welsh town of Bangor with a decidedly French first name – Aimée – and a twin sister named Katy. Together they share the middle name Ann.

Whilst I can’t explain why someone who’s first language is Welsh ended up with a French name, I can potentially shed some light on her surname.

The surname Duffy comes from the Irish name Ó Dubhthaigh, meaning black. You can find the majority of them still in Monaghan which is where the name originates, although some have spread to neighbouring Donegal and Roscommon, and indeed worldwide.

Speaking from personal experience, I can remember having to learn a heap of Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy’s work for my English Literature exam, and hating every minute of it.
I also know of a friend of a friend who has the surname Duff, and is known as Duffy. But, crucially, it comes from a different origin, being a corruption of the Gaelic word Dubh, meaning black. So either way, they both mean the same thing, and probably did come from the same sources way back.
Right now, Duffy does not appear in the popularity charts of either England&Wales or indeed Scotland who lists all the names used in each particular year.
However, in the UK, duff is sometimes used as slang for something which is faulty. And then we have the stuff Homer Simpson likes to drink.
Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Daft Duffy

  1. I’m not sure the fact that it was French is all that big a deal; Aimée’s just been treated as a variant of Amy by many, I think — especially so back in the mid 80s when Amy was so popular. Not all first language Welsh folk choose Welsh names for the babies :D!


  2. I can only think of the word “duffer”!

    I do know someone called Duff for his first name; he’s so eccentric as to barely have a connection with the real world.


  3. Pingback: Under 30s British Stars Rich List « Mer de Noms

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