Posted by James Briggs on March 16, 2008 at 13:37:
In Reply to: Sonny Jim posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 16, 2008 at 12:59:
: : When I was born, back in the early 1930s, my father greeted me at first sight with 'hello, sonny Jim'. As a result I was baptised James, but why did my father use the expression? There are 100s of google hits for 'sonny jim', but almost all relate to modern-day singers or songs - long after my time! I found only one site which gave a suggestion of what I'm after 'Sonny Jim, used by older people to address youngsters'. No origin though. Does anyone have any idea where the phrase came from? I suspect that it comes from a 1914 film character of that name, with 11 episodes recorded between 1914 and 1915. The character was played by Bobby Connelly. Can anyone tell me more? See http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0042845/
: It was originally "Sunny Jim", a character created in 1901 to market a breakfast cereal called "Force", with jingles such as "High o'er the fence leaps Sunny Jim; Force is the food that raises him!"
: "Sunny Jim" dolls were made in the UK till the 1960s and so the name is remembered. As late as the 1970s it came naturally as a nickname for the Labour politician James Callaghan.
Thanks. As I read your message that Force character came back to me - in fact I had thought of it a few days ago and then forgot to take things further! Old age, probably?! Thanks again. I've got a 75th party coming up at the beginning of May and I think it's likely that people will ask me why I was named James. Now I can really tell them. JB