Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What's in a name?

The title of the article that got me thinking about this was.....
"Would Brad Pitt be as sexy if he'd been named Maynard?"
[I guess of lot of this depends on whether or not you think Brad Pitt is sexy.]

Shakespeare says.....
"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;"

In other words, what matters is what something is, not what it is called.

How important is a name? Does it determine one's personality or destiny? My own Father wanted to call me "Cookie". Fortunately on this one, my Mother won out and I was named Leslie-Jane. My father's name was Leslie James Rodger, and to distinguish us, I got the double-barreled moniker. Some of my relatives still call me Leslie-Jane and my Mother uses it when she's mad at me. The other affectionate name my Dad had for me was "Puddler"...I still smile at that one. Thank heavens he'd never heard of the American skier Picabo Street! (Pronounce that Peek-a-boo).

Celebrities are know for naming their kids weird names. 'Apple': Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris martin. 'Bluebell Madonna': Spice Girl Geri Halliwell. 'Camera': Arthur Ashe.

Jamie Oliver sounds a bit like my Dad in naming his daughters 'Daisy Boo' and 'Poppy Honey'. Then again, his wife's name is 'Jools'

One of the Canadian Idol hopefuls is called 'Mookie' after the Blue Jays baseball player.

Every time I hear something like this I wonder how these little tykes will fare in school!

Steven Pinker in his book "The Stuff of Thought" says..."Naming a baby is the only opportunity most people get to choose what something will be called"

We had so many names for our kids that we had to wait and see what they looked like before we finally decided. We were very traditional and went for the family connection, not to mention the fact that no one could correctly pronounce Geneviève the french way.

Our first was named Jane Alexandra....Jane because it was such a common first or second name of family on both sides, Alexandra after my dearest friend Dana.

Gordon Leslie was a combination of my Father and Larry's Uncle Gordon, two very wise, strong and wonderful men.

We still managed to call them "Dini"
and "Pooch".....sorry kids.
Love you guys and who you've become. Good names!


  1. Just look at those two!!! I so remember when.

  2. This was a funny blog posting and I agree there are many unusual names out there. As for me my parents named me after everyone thus Linda Mae Kathleen Elizabeth became my name. Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures of the kids. Where did all those years go?

  3. Oh I know only too well the significance of a name, my middle name being STella, you know of the street car fame. It actually was a female version of my uncle, my mother's only brother, whom she missed desperately Stanislaw, so I'm Stanislawa (Stella) Canadian. But go ahead an introduce me, and see someone squacking like Marlon Brando. And then there is my boy Sasha, I keep telling him he's named after someone famous, (I don't know who) I'm presuming it will be him. What a couple of cuties your kids are. I hope this means you're scrapping. Thanks for the great post.

  4. What a great post. Looking back at those photos of Jane and Gordon makes me long for those days.
    I still usually provide only my middle initial, though I was by all accounts named after a wonderful woman.
    We did have an "Apple" at one of my schools and it was always amusing to hear "Captain" and "Major" called to the office; and it was frequent as they were constantly tardy for pickup at the end of the day.
    I remember chuckling over some of the names my mom saw on the election roles in her job: "Tatnus Tatt", "Thusnelda Tidman" and "Ida Roda Horsey" are the few I recall.
    Oh yes and I did teach with "Mary Christmas".
    A friend of mine hoped her daughter would not marry her boyfriend lest she become "Ariel Rifle Shooter"! They did part company.
    Thinking of names reminds me that I must give "Big Tiger" and "Little Squirt" a call this evening.

  5. Did you hear about the court ruling that came out of New Zealand last week? A nine-year-old girl was made a ward of the state until her parents changed her name, which was "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii". The court ruled that the name set the child up with an unnecessary social disability and handicap. So I suppose we should all just be thankful...

  6. In my hometown Milly Hart married Michael Burns.

    When people are small they don't seem to like their name...then they do. NO ONE was named Alexandra when I was growing up. Later it became one of the most popular names. Odd thing, names.