What’s in a Name?

After our first happy hour

After our first happy hour

In  my imagination, my French mixte was a girl. Her name would be Simone,* and she would be the perfect thing to ride to cafes to sip coffee, or to bars to drink gin martinis or sidecars while discussing feminist theory, boys, bikes, existentialism, travel, politics and our cats (what do you talk about at happy hour?). On the off chance the bike was more scientific-minded, she could be a Marie (Curie); or, if she had a more artistic temperament, Camille (Claudel).

Imagine my surprise when Le Peug showed up and was…a boy. We get along just fine, but I don’t have a name picked out! I’ve tossed around Baudelaire, Balzac, Napoleon (top of the list, but not perfect), Voltaire, Louis (too generic), Moliere (too lighthearted) even Charlemagne, but nothing feels quite right. So for the time being, he’s Le Peug (Puhzh). I’m thinking it will take a few more days to take his measure and figure out his personality. Any bright ideas? Leave them in the comments!

* A fascinating interview with de Beauvoir can be found here.

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20 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Tinker says:

    Napoleon Dynamite? Or Chuck? (Degaulle of course!). Or name it VeloYellow, and paint it appropriately. Or call it Jehu (behold, he driveth furiously!). No, it’s not French, it’s a biblical reference.

  2. Kinya says:

    here’s some French names we don’t hear too often in the States; Aurélien, Cyril, Hubert, Cédric, Julien, Pierrick, Sylvain actually all names of professional cyclists.

  3. What’s wrong with Le Peug? Sounds all fancy, like a title (but you know it’s not). Henri Le Peug?

  4. dottie says:

    I vote for Pepe Le Peug! He is black and white.

    The only French name I can think of is Jean Juc (Picard).

  5. I’d vote for Michel or Foucault myself, and then have lettered, ever so elegantly, the phrase, “this is not a bike,” on the down tube or fork.

  6. Lynn says:

    Yes, Pepe le Peug! Or maybe Jacques (Anqueteil)? I think Peugeot made a mixte with his face on the frame somewhere. Anyway, I’m so jealous! More photos, please!

  7. Trisha says:

    Scribe, the Foucault ref is too funny, but I’m not enough of a fan of his to make Le Peug his namesake.

    I spent every Saturday morning watching Looney Tunes with my dad and brother when I was a kid. I think I might be riding a Pepe le Peug — thanks Crank! It felt right on the ride in this morning…we’ll see this afternoon.

  8. Charlotte says:

    Well, my Peugeot was named Pierre, just because it started with P. You could do Pierre, Philippe, My husband’s Brompton is called Napoleon, because with just 16″ wheels he finds he has something to prove to the bikes with normal sized wheels. You might say the little bike has a complex. My current French bike is named Asterix.

    What year was yours made? You could pick a top name from that year:

    For this bike I might go for a unisex name – it *is* a mixte after all! The American classic then would be “Pat”, but that doesn’t sound very French. “Stephan/Stephanie”? Or the one that always threw me for a loop, all the men named “Marie”? (even my friend Cyril’s middle names include Marie)

    “Roland” has a nice French rolling feel to it. (Roland en roulent…)

  9. Jennie says:

    You are so posh Trish!
    My vote is for my favorite French star – Gérard Depardieu. “The Depardieu”. Awesome. Or Jean Reno, not originally French – but still ;)
    I also like Hubert, which was submitted by Kinya!

  10. Trisha says:

    Charlotte, Asterix was among the names I tossed around that didn’t seem right (couldn’t go into the whole list). I do like Roland! Literary and alliterative, as in the phrase you mentioned. And I’ll have to figure out the exact year the Peug was made and check out that site.

    Jen, thought about GD but he gets enough attention as it is. :) Maybe I should name him “Bub” after my favorite scene in French Kiss!

  11. tsalyards says:

    Remember that Napoleon was actually Corsican…even though he became ruler of France. What about Voltaire?

  12. Val says:

    Wait…how do you know it’s a boy? Maybe I shouldn’t ask…might be more information than I really need. A lady freind of mine has a Peugeot that is named Pepe le Peu, but that one is a dark blue standard frame (not mixte). How about Alfred, in honor of M. Jarry?

  13. jkc says:

    i always liked the name Simone.

  14. Jon Grinder says:

    How about Armand?

    I’m glad to see you out and about on him, whatever his name may be. Hopefully you were drinking Absinthe, at your first Happy Hour. There is no finer bike on which to chase the Green Dragon than a Peugeot.

    I am currently trying to work a deal on another couple of mixtes to fix up, if you know anyone who is looking. Just watch my blog(s) for news.

  15. stylocycle says:

    Your post reminds me of my favourite literary description of a relationship of rider to a bicycle:

    The heroine Helene’s theft of a beautiful green bicycle in the opening chapters of Simone de Beauvoir’s “Le Sang des Autres”. Yes, Helene steals the bicycle and she abandons the bicycle, but there’s so much more going on in her passionate and brief affair with the green bicycle… Highly recommend reading ti if you haven’t. Had I a green bicycle instead of a blue one, I’d name it ‘Helene’.

  16. Trisha says:

    I love that idea, stylocycle…will have to look up that book.

    Jon, I will def be watching your blog. Off to make sure it’s in our sidebar.

  17. rae says:

    Just got this name book from the library.

    It was pretty entertaining for a baby name book. Not very helpful but it did make me think of you.

  18. Trisha says:

    Aw, thanks Rae! Looking forward to hearing what you’ve chosen for #3. Something equally classic and beautiful, I’m sure!

  19. michele says:

    jean-paul. wasn’t he simone’s consort? as in sartre or belmondo…

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