Saturday, September 13, 2008

Changing Names


There is something about the sanctity of a name. We’ve had horses that came with names we didn’t like and we never changed or even abbreviated them. When ever I brought up the subject with people it is just an unwritten law that you don’t mess with a horses name, even though I have never known a horse that is called by its registered name. It’s like they are born and they get names that are a combination of the sire and the dams registered name and then they get a nick name that they are known by for the rest of their lives.

There was a geological feature near where I grew up. It was called Pigeon Rock, but recently I saw it referred to as Hawk Rock. The damn thing still looks like a pigeon poised atop a granite mountain, but somehow “Pigeon” didn’t fit the character of the new population. I felt a bit resentful about the name change, but then I realized something.

The question might be, “Who owns history?” but I know that my generation changed the names of places that our parents had different names for. There was a place where we used to go fishing and we called it the Union Hall because this piece of river was right behind the UAW building, but to my father’s generation called that piece of river, “Horses Drink” because it was a good place for people to water their horses back when people used horses for every day living. I’m sure if that building is still there it is called something else now since the auto plant has been gone from that town for twenty five years now.

Maybe it would be a good idea to have the opportunity to renew ones name or the names of anything every twenty five years or so. If you ruin your name, that’s OK, you get a fresh start after 25 years. If you live in a town with a name that has a bad connotation because of an event, change the name and change it back in twenty five years if it is appropriate. After all New York was once New Amsterdam. If that can change anything can change.

13 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

Naming a place (especially in childhood) seems to be a way of putting our own personal stamp on it - making it ours.
As for changing ones name - great idea if it weren't for all the damn paperwork involved.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Uncle Walt said...

I guess the question would be ... who owns your name? Seems to me, if slavery was truly outlawed, you have the right to change your own name without asking anybody's permission.

You have to request permission to change your name, because you are enslaved by the government.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Oh, Wally !

Guy, my mom recieved a "tryout" horse once with the worst horse name ever. "Soda Fizz". And we had to use it. :-(

Hey, I think I have heard that the law of the boat-owning world (the opposite of horses, Guy) it is considered bad luck if you do NOT change the name of the boat when you are the new owner of a previously named vessel.

Anyone out there know if this is true or is it BS.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Cyn said...

I was always okay with my first name. My middle name? Not so much. I was named after my aunt for whom I didn't have a lot of respect. So when I got married, my maiden name became my middle name and I just dropped my aunt's name. She was Ruth. So I became Ruthless.

I apologize. My dear dad was a notorious punster.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Our native names are such tongue twisters it amazes me so many are still in use. Perhaps if the folks knew what some Indian names really meant they WOULD be changed, and rapidly.

Auntie, after my past experiences owning boats, if I have another I'll name it in anticipation of more of the same 'Miss Adventures".

1:37 PM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

Colleges do that a lot - do a remodel in the science building - take the guys name off - he's dead anyway - and put the new guy with money's name on it.

4:01 PM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I've considered changing my own name several times. I've "owned" several nicknames... some of which I am still known by in some circles. I've considered and even spoken aloud once of just changing my name to "Darev2005". My wife just gave me that look. You know whick look. And didn't comment. I suppose that our naming of things is our mark of ownership, in a way. And it's slightly more sanitary than peeing on them. Hmmm... maybe I'll change my name to "Male Personal Pronoun Singular". That has a nice ring to it. Bet I won't run into another one for awhile.....

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Auntie I never heard about not changing the name of a boat being bad luck, but my fisherman friends always said that a woman on board was bad luck and a redhead would sink the boat.

5:20 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, that's what lawyers are for...oops, scratch that.

Walt, we are not enslaved by the government. We are free to walk away from this country when ever we wish.

Auntie, I could live with that name if it was a good horse. I'd just call is SF. If it were a bad horse SF could stand for "Stupid F***."

Cyn, I almost took my wife's last name when we got married, but it wasn't worth the needed effort.

MIke and West Coast Indian names take a while for East Coasters to get. Names like Hohokus were easy for me, but it took me a year or so before I could pronounce Necanicum.

Lori, I will still consider naming a wing here at Disgrace Land. The Hahn wing will only set you back 60K.

Darev, I once consider having two numbers as a name.

Anon, I wonder if Luciel Ball ever traveled by boat.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Guy, Lucille Ball never probably did, but I KNOW my mother probably was banned.!

8:03 AM  
Anonymous columbiacontrolfreak said...

Ask Darev if he ever uses his middle name.......;-)

Don't know why mom stuck him with it since she hated her middle name too.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous g said...

I had motorcycles from a very young age - 4th grade or so. Back in the day we used to ride all over astoria (back then there was more forest). If the cops weren't chasing us or the 7th graders harassing us, it wasn't a fun day.

I remember one particular hill that was the daddy of all hills and great for bragging rights if you could make it on a rainy day - Pond Hill.

Many of you drive by Pond Hill all the time. It's where the gas main is on the east end of town across from those grey colored commercial buildings. Look to your right on the way out of town and you will notice a dirt trail heading up the hill. AKA Pond Hill.

11:53 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I've only used my middle name once, and then I used it for an anchor. Luckily the rope broke and I had to leave it on the bottom of the lake.

3:35 PM  

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