Where did Bombay-born English writer Joseph Rudyard Kipling, most famous for The Jungle Book, get his memorable middle name?
His parents, John and Alice, got engaged in the summer of 1863 on the shores of Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, Staffordshire, England. Wedding planning finally started in late 1864, after John secured a job in India. The pair married in March of 1865, set off for India a month later, and welcomed Joseph Rudyard, nicknamed “Rud,” at the end of December.
Rudyard Lake had been created in 1799 by damming a brook. It was named for the surrounding settlement of Rudyard, which had existed since at least the early 11th century, when it was called Rudegeard (derived from a pair of Old English words meaning “shrub rue” and “enclosure”).
According to the SSA data, dozens of U.S. baby boys were named Rudyard during the 20th century. Do you like the name Rudyard? Would you consider giving it to a modern baby boy?
- Leek: Rudyard | British History Online
- Ricketts, Harry. Rudyard Kipling: A Life. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1999.