Time for another batch of name quotes!
From the novel I Shall Wear Midnight (2010) by Terry Pratchett:
[T]he coach door opened again and one dainty good touched the flint. It was her: Angelica or Letitia or something else out of the garden; in fact Tiffany knew full well it was Letitia, but surely she could be excused just a tiny touch of nasty in the privacy of her own head? Letitia! What a name. Halfway between a salad and a sneeze.
From an article about black names and stereotypes:
Names do matter, and sometimes they say something whether we want them to or not. Just the other day, a caller from Arizona, after a long conversation about a column, commented that my name, Bob Ray, “must be a redneck Texas name.” He obviously didn’t know my race.
Even a mistake in a name can stick with you for a lifetime, as my late friend Ossie Davis discovered. Ossie, a great actor and director who died in 2005 at 87, was born in Georgia. When the nurse asked his parents for a name, his mother said, “R.C.” The nurse wrote “Ossie” on the birth certificate, he said.
From an article about using diacritical marks in baseball players’ names:
Until recently, most sportswriting has omitted diacritical marks. The reason for that isn’t out of disrespect or wanton cruelty. Rather, it is because of educational chauvinism and ignorance. […] Many schools don’t teach the use of diacritical marks — mine didn’t — so it is implicitly chauvinist. Names without diacritical marks are normal, according to these institutions. We graduate from these schools having learned this. Then some of us become sportswriters who retrofit people’s names to fit what we were taught. Sportswriting by and large omitted those accents from players’ names until very recently, including here. Sportswriters rarely asked players how to properly write and pronounce their names. Unsurprising, given the past and current demographics of sportswriters.
I say all of that to point out that our failure to use diacritical marks isn’t necessarily malicious, just ignorant.
(The article also linked to a PDF listing players’ preferences concerning their own names.)
From an article about German parents opting for Jewish baby names:
Non-Jewish parents in Germany are picking names straight out of the Hebrew Bible for their newborns, and they might not even know it.
But few non-Jewish parents actually know the meaning of such names — they just like how they sound, according to Frauke Rüdebusch, a linguist with the Society for the German Language, which has put out an annual list since 1977.
According to Rüdebusch, a survey done several years ago showed that most people chose names based on how they sounded rather than their origin.
From an article about an 11-year-old golfer in Minnesota named after the Ryder Cup:
With a name like Ryder, practicing golf at a young is no accident. Ryan Carlson says, yes, his son’s name is inspired by the Ryder Cup, but he didn’t expect he’d be such a natural. Shortly after he began to walk, Ryder began swinging a plastic golf club, quickly learning how to hit balls.
From an article about baby names by a writer named Josanne:
In my case it can be mildly tiring because I am constantly having to explain that there is no “i” in Josanne, (simply because the most common spelling and pronunciation is Josianne) – one person had even asked me if I was sure I was spelling it right and asked me to check my own ID card. True story.
From an article about names in India:
Intuitively, most Indians recognise that names like “Shubham” and “Rishabh” are younger and more modern, while those like “Om” and “Shashi” are older.
A quote about jazz musician Red Norvo from the book American Musicians II: Seventy-One Portraits in Jazz (1986) by Whitney Balliett:
Norvo isn’t my real name. I was born Kenneth Norville, in Beardstown, Illinois, in three thirty-one oh-eight. […] I got the name Norvo from Paul Ash, in vaudeville. He could never remember my name when he announced me. It would come out Norvin or Norvox or Norvick, and one night it was Norvo. Variety picked it up and it stuck, so I kept it.
(Red also had a strong opinion about the name of his instrument: “Please don’t call it a vibraphone. I play the vibraharp, a name coined by the Deagan Company, which invented the instrument in 1927 and still supplies me with mine.”)
From an interview with Emilia Clarke, following the Game of Thrones finale:
Q: I would guess that [the parents who] named [their daughters] Khaleesi in the spirit of empowerment. And yet the character has taken this rather dark turn.
A: I know! It doesn’t take away from her strength, though — it doesn’t take away from her being an empowered woman.
I think that, when you see the final episode, they’ll see there is a beginning and a middle and an end to her as a character. I think that there are people that will agree with her, because she’s a human being.
And Khaleesi is a beautiful name. [Laughs] It’ll all be forgotten in a minute! You know, and people will just go, “Oh, what an unusual name, how fabulous,” and the child will say, “Yes, yes. My parents just really liked the name.”
From an article about Sharona Alperin, who inspired the 1979 song “My Sharona”:
The cover art of the single “My Sharona” actually features Alperin posing in a revealing tank top and tight jeans. For some time, she was famous in her own right. […] “I remember going on tour, and seeing sometimes people dress up. And I’d say, ‘What are you dressed up as?’ And they would say, ‘Sharonas.’
From the book Edgar Cayce on Vibrations: Spirits in Motion (2007) by Kevin J. Todeschi:
[T]he readings suggest that the soul often has an impact upon the consciousness of the parents as they are in the process of naming their offspring. In addition to that, the readings contend that an individual’s name may carry some similarity from one incarnation to the next, as the name often embodies the overall vibration and consciousness of the individual.
From an article about the 2001 Japanese movie Spirited Away:
The characters’ names reflect who they are
Boh means little boy or son, Kamaji means old boiler man, Yubaba means bathhouse witch, and Zeniba means money witch. The heroine Chihiro means a thousand fathoms or searches, while her worker name, Sen, just means thousand.