* * *
Then she smiled for the first time. "Do you give names to other things like that?"
"Sometimes," said Steerpike. "I have a disrespectful nature".
"Do you give people names?"
"I have done".
"Have you got one for me?"
Steerpike sucked the end of his swordstick and raised his straw-coloured eyebrows. "I don't think I have," he said. "I usually think of you as Lady Fuchsia".
"Do you call my mother anything?"
"Your mother? Yes".
"What do you call my mother?"
"I call her the old Bunch of Rags," said Steerpike.
Fuchsia's eyes opened wide and she stood still again. "Go away," she said.
"That's not very fair," said Steerpike. "After all, you asked me".
"What do you call my father, then? But I don't want to know. I think you're cruel," said Fuchsia breathlessly.
extract from Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake