At last, recognition that I am indeed famous. From FamilyTree.com, which I’m sure any reasonable person would agree is the first place they’d check for confirmation of who is and is not famous.
“A French and English surname, Gentry comes from the Old French terms ‘gentil’ and ‘genterie’ which means someone who is of noble birth or high born. The spelling variations for Gentry include Jendry, Gentiry, Gentric, Gentil, Jentry and Guntrey. In England those with the Gentry surname are scattered mostly in the central and eastern portions of the country. The highest percentage are in Essex and the city of London. In Scotland the greatest concentration of gentry families is in Perthshire county. [etc, stuff about USA Gentrys omitted] Famous: Dennis Gentry (professional baseball player), Robert Gentry (actor), Teddy Gentry (musician), Minnie Gentry (actress), Bobbie Gentry (singer and songwriter), Curt Gentry (writer), Gary Gentry (professional baseball player) and Alistair Gentry (science fiction writer).”
I’m the only British one, too. Hurrah! And… er… the only one with a trisyllabic first name. In combination with my surname, this is a dactyl (a stressed syllable, then two unstressed) followed by a trochee (a stressed syllable, then an unstressed syllable). Edward Alexander Crowley changed his name to become the occultist and “most evil man in the world” Aleister Crowley in the belief that this formula had some kind of magical power and would lead to its bearer becoming famous. I’ve seen it noted that (to give two examples) the names Jeremy Paxman and Eleanor Rigby follow this meter, but I’ve never seen any documentation regarding from where precisely Crowley picked up the notion to begin with. From doing far too many drugs, probably, like most of his mad ideas. Silly sod.
Bobbie Gentry is an imposter Gentry, though, a pseudo-Gentry. It was a stage name inspired by her mother in combination with the 1952 Film Noir Ruby Gentry, a movie in which it’s not even that character’s original name, but one she acquires from her husband shortly before she accidentally kills him, but before she shoots her brother and becomes the captain of a fishing boat. You know, as you do.