“Look at poor Henry! You look like a tired old cucumber!”

What's in a Name? is a magazine story.


Gordon arrives at Knapford with the express two minutes early, feeling proud. Henry arrives three minutes late and Gordon teases him, calling him "a tired old cucumber". Henry, too tired to talk, does not reply. That night at the sheds, Gordon insults Henry with the same name again. This time, Henry snaps at Gordon and calls Gordon "a big blue kettle" which makes Gordon cross. James arrives and laughs at the situation, until Gordon and Henry start calling him names like "an old phone booth on it's side" and "a jar of strawberry jam that's been knocked over". James becomes just as cross and calls the two others "old cans". Edward finally arrives and tells the engines to stop arguing and that they all have perfectly good names which they should use to say goodnight.