P.L. Parker

P.L. Parker

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What's In a Name?

Shakespeare's Juliet says:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

But would it........

I've often thought that having an interesting given name delineates the person we are or will be.  My sisters were given the glorious names of "Elena" (Spanish meaning bright side) and "Karlyn" (family spelling of the name "Caroline"- various cultural meanings - Italian meaning strong - English joy).

Now we direct your attention to my given name "Patsy."  I guess the meaning here is my mother is and was a great country western fan.  She loved Patsy Cline - ergo the "Patsy." But she also loved Loretta Lynn - thereby crowning me "Patsy Lynn."  Of course "Patsy" is the diminutive of "Patricia" meaning noble - which is how I envision myself but "Patsy" also means "dupe" or "scapegoat," which in terms of my life seem more appropriate.

When reading a book, I find it hard to visualize my hero as heroic if the author named him any of the following names:  Fred (makes me think of Flintstone), Todd (which means "fox") might be fine for some, but I just hate that name, Alvin (chipmunk), Roger (short form of the term "jolly roger" - hey, might change my mind on this one), Elmer (Fudd), Abner (only if he has muscles - but still blah), Ronald (boring), Eustace (sounds too much like "useless"), Igor (bent over helper of Frankenstein). 

Same thing with my idea of the heroine, Fannie (need I expand?), Agatha (my mother's old aunt). Maude (good for westerns though), Wendy (fairy or blonde), Candy (more blonde), Barbie (blondest), etc.

Next time you're reading or writing a book, give special thought to the names. Will I be thrilled by the name of the hero/heroine or will just reading the name lower my estimation of the character's worth?  Yes, it probably would!  

Personally, I love the male names Michael, Colin, Tegan, Jake, Lucas, Zachary, Travis or feminine Tannis, Leah, Lara, Jasmine, Annalise, but then those are strictly my preferences.

What's in a name, if a rose was named for the outhouse, would it still smell as sweet?

P.L. Parker

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