The Name Bonsall means….Oak Ridge Boys

February 15th, 2014

Before the Oak Ridge Boys evening concert on General Yeager’s birthday, we greeted each of the Oak Ridge Boys and members of the band onstage while the curtain was down.

Joe Bonsall lights up the stage...Literally.

Joe joked with me about my version of the lyrics in their songs.

After a collective laugh, I said: I have to ask you a question – I know after all these years I should know the answer, a little embarrassed about that but….I just don’t….so here goes…

I’m sure Joe was wondering what this mysterious question could possibly be. Or apprehensive….what could Victoria possibly think she should know and doesn’t….the imagination ran wild, I’m sure.

I plunged in: “How do you pronounce your last name? I assume you pronounce it correctly.”

Deflation – how dull. Or relief?

Joe: BONsall.

Me: I get confused with the two “l”‘s – seems like the accent should be on the last syllable. If it were French…

Joe: It’s really European – BON-tzall

Rex jumped in: My friends always say. “Hey! How’s Joe Bonzo?” I tell them it’s BONsall and they still say Bonzo – how’s Joe Bonzo?

Joe: Yeah – lots of people say Bonzo. No matter how many times you correct them.

The two of them must have repeated Bonzo at least 10 times.

I was thinking: Uh oh. Thanks, you guys. Now I’m going to be confused and remember Bonzo, instead of…..AAAHHHHHH……Was it BONsall? Or?

Well, I’ll just refer to him as Joe (or Joey – I got permission a couple years ago). Or Dahling like Tallulah Bankhead, a famous 1920’s actress: “I call you Dahling because I cahn’t remember your name.”

When I got home, I looked it up: According to some: “Bonsall” means: “Farm Hero.”

Name is Norse-Viking &¬†derived from the village of Bonsall, near Matloch in Derbyshire. Name moved to Wales. Pre 10th Century, translates as ‘Beorns-Halh’. ‘Beorn’ is a personal name meaning ‘Hero’ and ‘Halh’ a piece of cultivated land – a farm.

One site says: Bonzalls/Bonsalls, including my new favorite first name, Obadiah Bonsall, came to Philadelphia in 1682. Another site says:¬†First recorded Bonsall is Thomas Bonsall in 1799 during the reign of George III, “Farmer George”.

Well. Better than Bonzo, which according to one site, means “Three fries short of a happy meal.”

Tee hee.


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