My first wife's name is Barbara (I always want to say "was" but, since she is still alive, it must be "is"). So, all our friends referred to us as "Barb and Doug". We had other friends whom we referred to by couple names, like "Dave and Nancy", "Rick and Carol", "Carol and Mario" (no, not the same "Carol").
After awhile, I noticed that these were couplenames and that there was a hierarchy to them. The dominant one of the couple would always be first. Maybe. Sometimes it seemed only that it was alphabetical.
I also noted that women often put the name of the friend first in a couplename.For example, my (now ex-) wife would say "Nancy and Dave" while I would use the opposite order. In most cases, however, the order would be the same regardless of the speaker.
And then I began to apply this to other couples. I have two older siblings, I always say I have a "sister and brother, both older." I don't know if that is because my sister is the eldest or because of the "ladies first" rule that was implanted in my head as a child.
Then there's the president and vice-president. "Obama-Biden", "Reagan-Bush", "Bush-Cheney", "Ike and Dick" (now, why do I think of Eisenhower and Nixon that particular way?). Even other politicians, like Reid and Pelosi (mostly in that order but not always).
How about Abbott and Costello when, clearly, Costello was the main one of that duo? Or Martin and Lewis? Or Rodgers and Hammerstein? Or Roy and Dale (Rogers and Evans)? Burns and Allen?
Why do we prioritize names in the way we do?
A Night Unremembered
2 years ago