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Something So Right

Still Crazy

I got a fright this morning when I heard Moira Stewart say "Singer Paul Simon...", because when older artists get a mention on the news it's usually for one reason only. Fortunately, he'd just been having a barney with his wife of 22 years.

It was good to hear his voice.
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I don't think I've ever heard the word "barney" before, but after looking it up now ("a noisy quarrel"), I think I can see why Barney the Dinosaur got his name. ;)
I assume Barney as a name is a diminutive, but of what? Barnaby?

I went to school with a boy whose surname was Barton and whom we called Barney. That's the closest I've come to meeting one in real life.
My cousin Barney was christened Barnaby! Hope that helps.
Thank you! (I've always rather liked the name Barnaby, possible because next door had a cat called that when I was tiny.)
I assume Barney as a name is a diminutive, but of what? Barnaby?

Good question. Wikipedia just says that Barney "is a masculine given name", and (on the page for the surname), "a surname", without giving more information. Various baby name sites say it's a diminutive of Barnabas (and thus of Hebrew origin, meaning "son of comfort"), Barnaby and Barnard; it's also said to be derived from "Bernard", the meaning of which is given as "brave bear".

Here is a somewhat more comprehensive meditation on the name; whether any of it, or indeed any of the above, is factually accurate is beyond my ken. For all I know it may well be that there's no single correct etymology, anyway: the name may have arisen in different contexts, or its formation (and adoption/spread) may have been influenced by other perceived relations beyond the actual origin.
I've never heard it as a surname! Also, now I have the jingle for Dog City's Barney spoof, 'Bernie, The Big Pink Saint Bernard', in my head.
I don't think I've ever met one in real life. The two "Barnies" that spring to mind would be "Barney from New Order" (Bernard Sumner/Albrecht/whatever he's having himself this week), and "Barney from _How I Met Your Mother_", who it seems is a Barnabus (and fictional, clearly).
Moment of cognitive resetting when delayed-watching a news item from last week, also featuring Paul Simon, but entirely unrelated -- he'd just shown up at some Seamus Heaney junket.

I did an even bigger doubletake at "wife of 22 years", though. I'm sure I have a "New Bohemians" album someplace, and I dare not now check how old it is. Fruit flies like banana.

I suppose a small comfort is that one's "gendered violence" concerns might in this case be partially offset by "tiny elder abuse" worries.
I know which one I'd bet on if it came to fisticuffs, going by that photo.
Phew!