Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's In A Name

If you had been given a different name, would you be the same person?  I have read several times that our names influence our personalities to a degree. 

From what I understand, my Mother wanted to name me Alberta because she is from Canada, and my Father wanted to name me Ruby because it's my birthstone.  My Grandfather stepped in and chose Kelly, a good Irish name.  Thank goodness he did, Alberta sounds like a lady truck driver and Ruby reminds me of a...um...well lets just say, for the sake of keeping my blog rated G...of an elderly soiled dove.  I couldn't imagine going through life being nicknamed "Al!"  (Sorry Mom!)

Another bear artist told a story the other day, apparently a customer had wanted a bear but chose not to buy it because even though she liked the name, the spelling was wrong.  While I felt bad that the other artist lost a sale over something so small, it was kind of funny.  That would certainly never stop me from buying a bear since I have the power to change it. 

However I was looking at a catalog last night and I got to thinking about that a little bit.  Sometimes a creative name will push me that much closer to buying something I already liked.  The item in question last night was a very pretty piece of jewelry with a romantic name that stirred up all sorts of delicious images.  As soon as I read the name I wanted it even more.  I didn't buy it though since my checkbook is ruling me more than my over active imagination this week.

There have also been several instances of shop names on Etsy or places like that, that have kept me from buying things because I felt they were less than tactful, and it seemed a reflection on the person I would be purchasing from.  One name in particular still resonates in my memory.  I wanted to buy some supplies and couldn't do it.  The shop name was in such poor taste, and when I read that her profile expounded on it, I couldn't bring myself to give this person my money.

I found myself wondering how many other people were like me in that respect?  Do names of things have an influence?  To what extent?

I know when I make a bear I think very carefully about what I want to name it.  Sometimes they tell me right off, and other times they are a bit shy and wait a little while til I get to know them better.  I want to convey as much of the bear's personality as I can.  I also like to leave a little for the adopter to learn on their own as well.

In many ancient cultures people believed that knowing a true name of something gave you power over it.  In our modern society, I think that still may still hold true...although not in the way they intended back then.  Think about it, if you know and remember another person's name you have the power to make them happy and feel special, develop a relationship with them, and maybe even become friends.  It's important to human beings to feel as if we are seen, and having someone know our name reaffirms that we are alive and that we matter.  That's a very great power indeed.  I always try to learn people's names and remember them.

In "Romeo And Juliet," Shakespeare penned the phrase "That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."  But I am not so sure...

Hugs, K. <3


SilverNikNats said...

Completely agree! I am drawn to anything with the same names as my children or dolly which is my nickname.
My parents changed my name when they went to get my birth certificate so all my family call me by my middle name and work colleges call me by my real name, my best friend always said I had split personalities tho I'd say im just indecisive!

DogsMom said...

When I work with animals up for adoption I notice the difference a name makes. The way people approach them and how they interact with them, a lot depends upon the first "name" impression.
Names of blogs and stores also can invite me in to look around or make me pass by and not spend the time.
Whether adopting a live or stuffed companion, it takes some time of being together to determine a proper name.
Parents should do that with their children too. (I have nothing against family names.) I could have ended up an Alvira.


Heather said...

Agreed! I have absolutely been pushed over the edge to purchase based on a name.

The Littlest Thistle said...

Oh I loathe my 'Sunday best' name, mainly because it's Gaelic and people can't pronounce it, and I'd really rather they didn't mangle it! Still, my mother persists in sending me e-mails containing horrendous names that she's found either when reading the paper or browsing her work's e-mail address list (last week was 'Nacho Box', which just sounded like lunch!), to prove to me that it could be worse :oD

The whole unadulterated name, including the middle one, is so horrific, I just can't see it with any other surname, so anyone knowing any good looking single guys with the surname 'Cameron', let me know (rich would be an added bonus of course ;o) )

What really annoys me are deliberate bad spellings, because they're 'different' - uh, no, it just makes you looks stupid!

Sorry, climbing off my soap box now...

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