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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Urquhart


"Otterloop" sounds like it's Dutch, probably, but "Urquhart" I know is Scottish. And it's as much fun to type as it is to say ("Urkut"). It's a mild reference to my favorite movie, Local Hero, and its multitasking hotelier Gordon Urquhart, and also to my own Scottish heritage. Thompson is a sept of the Clan MacTavish, but I've also got Malcolm (and Whitt and Church and Scattergood and other English names) in my familly.

It tickles me to suppose that there was some likelihood of a hyphenated name in the Otterloop household, until they said it out loud and thought better of it. But Madeline Urquhart Otterloop could console herself with the knowledge that one of the coolest castles in Scotland is Urquhart Castle. below, and that it sits on the banks of Loch Ness.


16 comments:

Cedar said...

I love Petey's foot shaking in the final panel; like a dog, he wags it as he gets more excited.

Jason said...

When I read the comic today, I immediately wondered if it might be a reference to Local Hero. Cool to see one of my favorite cartoonists is a fan of the movie as well.

Mike said...

Bill Forsyth seems to have disappeared, which is too bad. "Local Hero" was considerably better than "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain," which was essentially the same movie except made by a committee. His lovingly insane movies are works of genius. I bought one of my boys the DVD of "Gregory's Girl" a couple of years ago and discovered that it has an optional sound track -- in the original burr, which they dubbed over for the American release because it was judged too incomprehensible.

Arkholt said...

Heh, I've got Scottish ancestry on my mom's side as well. Her maiden name, however, is Dawson, which is not nearly as cool looking or fun to say as Urquhart.

angryparsnip said...

I really enjoy the way Today's strip shows how closely you follow your roughs. amazing. . .

Thanks for the great start to the day!

Natalie said...

Glad to see my last name in print, besides brief mentions in Harry Potter :) I was curious as to why you chose it. I suppose now I will have to watch local hero.
It took me a while to appreciate the "coolness" of Urquhart, and boy, it is fun to have to spell out to everyone. Every time. Great work!

Lele Corvi said...

wow

Kid Shay said...

Holy moly! I've been to that castle. Sadly did not get a picture of Nessie. This post brought up all kinds of memories of my semester in Scotland. Thanks!

Robert Gidley said...

Congrats, Richard, on the Reuben nomination (www.reuben.org). Keeping some pretty good company, too, being nominated along with "Lio" and "Pearls Before Swine."

richardcthompson said...

Cedar, his toe is his most active part, I think.

Jason, yup! Glad to hear it, and thank you, sir

Mike, I read somewhere that Forrsythe got fed up and quit the movie business, which is a dang shame. Weirdly enough, my wife, her sister and I went to the DC premiere of that "Englishman" movie (it was a charity thing, tickets were reasonable, and they both had a crush on the star, Hugh Grant, who attended with his then-girlfriend). And I thought the same thing; it was a genre picture of the sort that Local Hero turned on it's head. It's a genre that, in British movies, goes back at least to Whiskey Galore- the scrappy locals versus some Big Guy intruder. And you can guess every turn in "Englishman", whereas in Local Hero I'm surprised every time (where'd that unclaimed baby come from?). And I dared my wife, then very much expecting our daughter Emma, to ask Hugh Grant what Emma Thompson the actress's middle name is, 'cause we were stuck for one. She did, but he just gaped at her and stammered something unintelligible. Some Mr. Charm. But I'd like to hear the burr version of Local Hero.

Arkholt, Dawson's good. But wouldn't Urquhart make a good first name, too?

Angryp, if you make the rough vague enough you can do anything. That's my secret.

Natalie, you've got an excellent name with a long history. Now go watch that movie! Then go over to Scotland and claim your birthright.

Lele, I tried to send you an email some months ago but it bounced back. Ciao from Arlington VA!

Kid S, I envy you that. The castle's been used in a coupla movies too. Like The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which is pretty bad, though I liked it when I was a kid and a big Sherlock Holmes fan.

Robert, thank you, sir.

here today, gone tomorrow said...

Petey's jiggling foot!!

(Local Hero is one of my absolute faves...)

Mrs. Denneldoff said...

My maiden name was Farquhar, which is even more difficult to pronounce and spell than Urquhart--I'm not entirely sure I know the correct pronunciation!
Wasn't the Sinister Prime Minister also called Urquhart?

Auntie J said...

I have heard that in New England some Urquharts had been changed to Orcutt through the immigration process ..not nearly as much fun to say, spell or have as a last name. I'll keep Urquhart thank you very much. Besides, our family crest is " something to see " :)
Wasn't Sean Connery Sir Robert Urquhart in "The Bridge Too Far?"

Leslie said...

I had to leave a comment when I read that Local Hero was your favorite movie since it is also mine.

LBTH = Leslie Barbara Thompson Herman (your cousin in Michigan)

Alexandria said...

my last name orcutt, the other night i found a book under my grandmas bed in it i found we were called urquhart but after moving to american thet changed the spelling! SO COOL

Coralie Girard-Urquhart said...

I like to pronounce it "haircut..."