Time for another batch of name quotes!
From the NPS booklet Bears of Brooks River 2018 (PDF):
Bears at Brooks River are assigned numbers for monitoring, management, and identification purposes. Inevitably, some bears acquire nicknames from staff and these nicknames are included in this book, but naming wild animals is not without controversy. Is it appropriate to name wild animals?
Names also carry meaning, intentionally or not. What stigmas would you attach to a young bear nicknamed Fluffy versus a large male bear named Killer? How would those stigmas alter your experience when watching that animal?
[The booklet also included the nicknames of various Katmai bears, including “Walker” (whose “large dark eye rings” were reminiscent of zombie eyes) and “Evander” (who was missing part of an ear, much like Evander Holyfield after his 1997 fight with Mike Tyson).]
From the 2011 book Children in the Roman Empire by Christian Laes:
A first important moment in the lives of newborns was the day of naming, or dies lustricus, when the family celebrated not only the purification and naming of the young child, but also his or her entry into social life. […] On this day of naming, the ninth day after birth for boys and the eighth day for girls, the baby underwent purification rites and was ‘born socially’ as it were. Only after the naming was the child recognised by the state. […] Prior to the dies lustricus, an infant was considered to be ‘more like a plant than an animal’.
From the 1812 book A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels (Vol. 4), edited by Robert Kerr:
When the eldest son of Huana Capac was born, he ordered a prodigious chain or cable of gold to be made, so large and heavy that two hundred men were hardly able to lift it. In remembrance of this circumstance, the infant was named Huascar, which signifies a cable or large rope, as the Peruvians have no word in their language signifying a chain. To this name of Huascar was added the surname Inca, belonging to all their kings, just as Augustus was given to all the Roman emperors.
[The name Huascar was a one-hit wonder in the SSA data in 1997, incidentally.]
From the Scary Mommy essay “I Regret My Kids’ Religious Names” by Alicia Mosby:
So I’m not blanket-condemning religious names. It’s about a problem we have with the religion: we left it. At the time we named our sons, we believed they needed to have religious names, and we named them accordingly. Now I don’t believe it, and I wish I had takebacks. You can’t say “well, you should have thought of that before,” because no one thinks they’re going to leave their religion, especially that one [Catholicism]. It’s not a contingency you plan for. In fact, when we did leave it, we were stunned and lost for a very long time.
Right now, I’m regretting the hold this religion exercised on my children’s names. No more and no less. It told me to give my kids religious names. So I gave them all very, very religious names.
From a People interview with Mindy Kaling (whose two children are named Katherine Swati and Spencer Avu):
“I don’t trust my own judgment with those kinds of names,” she admits. “If I name my son River, that connotes a certain kind of person who is very go with the flow, artsy. But what if he’s not like that at all? Will he be furious with me?”
“I just tried to pick classic names that felt like they would have to work really hard to get mad at me about later,” Kaling says, with a laugh.
From a Daily Mail article about nominative determinism:
And now, a man called Keith Weed has been appointed president of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Of course he has. Especially when you hear that his father’s name was Weed and his mother’s name was Hedges.
‘If a Weed gets together with a Hedges, I think they’re going to give birth to the president of the RHS,’ said Mr Weed, 59, who lives near RHS Wisley in Surrey.