Margaret and Peggy are the Same Person

Peggy-Paint-Brush-Fancy“Margaret and Peggy are the same person,” is probably one of the most common phrases in my vocabulary.  I have to say it to bank tellers, ticket takers, insurance agents, police, lawyers, doctors and more.  As a child I had to tell school teachers.  When they asked how did they ever get Peggy from Margaret the simple answer was that it got messed up between Gaelic and English somewhere.

Having the name Margaret was inevitable for me.  My cousin Barbara Ann had been born four months before me and she got the name of the year.  Barbara Ann Scott had won the Olympic skating gold for Canada.  I got the second round in the family and with three great grandmothers named Margaret and a mother and a great aunt named Marjorie my fate was sealed. Just to put the final touch on it one of those great grandmothers, Margaret McConachie (nee Peart) died three weeks before I was born.

I am forever grateful to my mother who, wanting to please her father, gave me his mother’s name but on the same day began calling me Peggy.  She and the red headed grandmother who raised her, never got along well, so Mom was not pleased to call me Margaret and wanted me to have a name which my own so Peggy it was.

Like most kids I went through the stage of wanting to be called by another name, in my case Margaret, but my mother would have none of it so I had to carry it with me along with my explanation to border guards.  My solution in the past few years has been to sign my drivers license Peggy even though it says Margaret and then I don’t get so much argument.

One site, “The Straight Dope” explains the name this way.  “Never underestimate human ingenuity. Margaret has spawned an amazing variety of names, some of which you wouldn’t connect with the original in a million years. For example: Margot, Marguerita, Rita (!), Greta, Gretel, Gretchen, Marjorie (originally Margery), Margie, Maggie, Madge, May, Maisie, Daisy (!!), Maidie, Meg, and Mog. As for Peg, one historian writes, “the nicknames Mog and Meg later gave rise to the rhymed forms Pog(gy) and Peg(gy).” Can’t say as I know a lot of Poggies, and can’t say as I want to. But you see how Grandma Margaret wound up with Peg.”

This explanation along with many others seems to blame the origin on bad poetry.  Please don’t call me Poggy unless you are doing so in a love poem, which I believe might be an impossible chore with that derivation of the name.  I am also not a fan of being referred to as Peggy Sue and I don’t come from Nova Scotia’s Peggy’s Cove.  Peggy's Cover

So now you know that Margaret and Peggy are the same person.  Next time you meet a Peggy you will look awfully smart if you ask if her name is Margaret.  Be careful though because there are some Peggys who will look at you blankly because their name is and always has been Peggy.  There are also few people who go by Margaret who would like to be called Peggy.  Not sure why.



Cecil Replies in the Straight Dope


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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