From “A Fashionable Life: Paloma Picasso” in Harper’s Bazaar:
She produces two major [jewelry] collections a year [for Tiffany’s New York]. This year, to celebrate her 30th anniversary, she has already launched three new collections: Marrakesh (including the openwork bracelets), Hammered Circles, and Paloma’s Dove, which features, most appropriately, a dove pendant.
Having been named by her father in honor of the dove he drew that became the symbol of the World Peace Conference in 1949, Paloma went through a process for designing the latter that wasn’t easy. She did about 200 drawings. “I didn’t want it to look like a Pablo Picasso dove,” she explains. “One looked like a Braque, and I thought, ‘No! Can’t have that!'” She did finally settle on a perfect version. “One looked like an angel. I’ve always been proud that my name stands for peace, and I thought, The angel of peace; that’s my combination,” she says. “A dove that will protect you.”
From an ESPN article about NFL kicker Ryan Succop:
One of the very last entries under Ryan Succop’s biography in the Kansas City Chiefs’ media guide, under the section marked “Personal,” is the pronunciation of his last name.
“Full name: Ryan Barrow Succop (pronounced SUCK-UP)”
It’s a name that could lend itself to snickers, punchy headlines or flat-out ridicule, assuming he ever missed a kick. But the truth is that Succop is banging the football through the uprights with record-setting dependability.
From a review of the French film What’s in a Name? by Inkoo Kang of The Village Voice:
The premise of parents attacking each other for their taste in baby names sounds yawningly self-indulgent, even downright stupid. Yet the French chamber dramedy What’s in a Name is frequently delightful, full of ribald humor and compelling, intelligent debate. (One joke about fetal alcohol syndrome is a standout, while another comparing coming out as gay to confessing to dog murder somehow avoids offensiveness.)
Last sentence of Inkoo Kang’s twitter bio: “What you really need/want to know: it’s pronounced in-goo.”
From an NPR article about McSweeney’s:
[The new anthology] begins with McSweeney’s’ mock letters section, easily its goofiest offering. Typical to the section is a letter from one Tom O’Donnell:
I have a common name. According to some estimates, nearly 40 percent of men are named “Tom O’Donnell.” … In the time it took me to write this sentence, chances are you named at least one of your children “Tom O’Donnell.”
This would all be fine if it were still Bible times, but today it’s a problem. Why? Because it’s basically impossible to Google myself.
Tom O’Donnell hopes, in his increasingly demented letter, that McSweeney’s will hold a contest, or a poll, or perhaps a tournament to find him a new name.
I’ve narrowed down my list of potential replacements to the following … :
Vladislav Fukuyama-Gomez: I love names that combine several different ethnicities, because they’re used in movies to tell you it’s the future.
Dennis Pulley: I can think of no better way to honor my great-grandfather’s memory than by taking the name of the man he killed.
QUIZNOS Presents Todd DeMoss: Sure, it’s a mouthful — but so is the delicious Chipotle Prime Rib sandwich, only available at QUIZNOS.
From an essay on Dennis, the “most menacing baby name,” in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:
Normally, I’m not big on the idea that a baby’s name has any bearing whatsoever on his/her personality later in life — though I have noticed that anybody named Jack or Willie seems to have been born cool.
But the evidence suggests that Dennis is dangerous.
Dennis is charismatic, but he’s a rebel. He’s never a meek conformist who goes along to get along. He is often a big jerk, but not always. He can be a weirdo, a cynic, a lacerating wit, an obsessive nut job. But chances are, he’ll be what we say in polite company, “a strong personality.” Dennis can’t be characterized as any one thing, and that’s exactly the point. He’s doesn’t just march to a different drummer. He is the different drummer.
From a blog post by Celeste of The Reluctant Mom’s Blog:
I have always disliked my name – Celeste – I still really dislike it.
The main reason that it is probably a less than ideal name for me is that I have a lisp. Do you know how hard it is to say Celeste when you have a lisp?
It comes out “Tha-leth-t” and pretty much as spit on the listeners top lip. My spit on their lip.
This would usually require people to say “sorry, what was your name again?”
I would get more nervous and my lisp would be more pronounced. To make matters all the more tragic, I could not pronounce “r” or “s” until I was in Sub B/Grade 2.
Eventually I would be too defeated to repeat my name, just started going “yes, close enough…” and then let them call me Nancy or what ever.
On one occasion the person misheard me and called me “Chester” – so far that has been my favourite incorrect name.
I didn’t correct them – I wanted to be their ‘Chester.”
From “Racism And Meritocracy” by Eric Ries at Techcrunch:
I previously described on my blog one simple change I made to the hiring process at my last company. I asked all of our recruiters to give me all resumes of prospective employees with their name, gender, place of origin, and age blacked out. This simple change shocked me, because I found myself interviewing different-looking candidates — even though I was 100% convinced that I was not being biased in my resume selection process. If you’re screening resumes, or evaluating applicants to a startup school, I challenge you to adopt this procedure immediately, and report on the results.
From a Telegraph article about skier Bode Miller:
The legal saga of America’s most successful downhill male skier, two glamorous blondes and a bicoastal custody battle over a baby boy with two names has taken a fresh turn in a New York courtroom.
Bode Miller, the Olympic gold medallist, arrived for the hearing holding his nine-month-old son. But there he was required to hand the boy back — for now at least — to his ex-girlfriend Sara McKenna, a former Marine.
It was little wonder that the infant seemed confused as he was passed between parents who cannot even agree on his name: Ms McKenna calls him Samuel and Mr Miller prefers Nathaniel.
From a Metro interview with Benedict Cumberbatch:
What’s the story behind your fantastic name? There’s a sort of debate about that. Cumberbatch could be Welsh for a small valley dweller. The ‘cum’ in Cumberbatch is hill. I need to look into it. Benedict means blessed. My parents liked the sound of the name and felt slightly blessed because they’d been trying for a child for a very long time. I’m not Catholic, so it’s not that. They liked the idea of Benedict and Ben, the fact that it can be contracted. I think Toby was their second choice.
From a post about long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad at Having a Word:
Nyad sounds like naiad – naiads in Greek mythology were water nymphs or spirits. That’s cute, I thought. Then I noticed that naiad is an anagram of her first name – Diana. *Cue dramatic chords* So, could this just be coincidence or is something else in play?
There is a notion – called nominative determinism – that a person’s name can somehow influence the type of work or activities they do, and maybe even their character.
The idea is an ancient one but the term nominative determinism was coined in the 1990s in the Feedback column of the popular science magazine New Scientist (one of the examples cited was an article on incontinence that had been published in the British Journal of Urology by J W Splatt & D Weedon.)
Related to nominative determinism: The Name Letter Effect.
For previous quote posts, check out the name quotes category.