Monday, February 13, 2012

What's in a Name

A Postcard for a Swapbot Swap |

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Today is Get a Different Name Day, so if your name does not please you can just pretend for a day that it is something else. This is actually a copyrighted holiday! A couple of other funny holidays they have come up with are 'Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo-Day', 'For Pete's Sake Day' and 'What if Cats & Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day'. Hahaha, yes what if?!

Anyway names have always fascinated me.

Character names in novels can make or break a story I think (imagine if Harry Potter had been named David Jones? Or Romeo had been named Neville?). Anne from 'Anne of Green Gables' agreed with me; she was rather partial to romantic sounding names such as Cordelia and Geraldine. One of my favourite possessions as a kid was a small book of baby names and I loved to look up the meanings so that I could name the characters in the stories I wrote appropriately. If a name meant white (Gwen for example) then the character must be virtuous!

According to this book my own name, Jocelyn, means playful. If you are interested in the meaning of your name here is an interesting site.

Surely it must be easier to do great things if you have a suitable name. Stonewall Jackson or Ulysses S Grant for example! (I am sure the beards also helped.)

USA | Civil War Generals 1861 - 1865
A Postcard for a Private Swap

Famous people love to give their poor children silly names. Jason Lee of 'My Name is Earl' fame called his kid Pilot Inspektor. I think he should have stuck to Earl Jnr quite frankly!

Place names are the best! When I was in Senior School my teacher had a big map of the United States on the back wall. There were other maps of course, including a Map of the World but I loved the USA one best because of all the cool names! The state names are awesome - Dakota, Wyoming, Montana for example. Then there were towns called 'Bowling Green' and 'Flag Pole' and ones named after more famous places like 'Paris, Iowa', 'Moscow, Arkansas' and 'Rome, Oregon'. Neat!

USA | Oklahoma
A Postcard for a Swapbot Swap

When I lived in London I heard about a flat available tn the tube stop of 'Angel'. I was very taken with the idea of living in 'Angel' because I imagined, rather whimsically, that my mail would be addressed to 'Jocelyn, Angel'. 'Angel' turned out to be a dump. I never lived there.

Now I know there are plenty of place names I wouldn't want my mail sent to including 'Lost Nation, Nevada' (depressing); 'Tick Bite, North Carolina' (no thanks!); 'Boring, Maryland' (snore).

Yugoslavia as was
A Postcard for a Private Swap from RenatoBG

Here's a country that apparently didn't like it's name and swapped it for 6 others!

Do you like your name and if you could have another name for the day what would it be?


  1. what a nice card, i live in one of those new countrys, in Bosnia, but i can't find this card here, is there any chance to contatc person who sent you this card so i can swap too... := )

    1. You know, "stonewall" Jackson is not the real name of the former President, Andrew Jackson??

      I like my name because I don't share it with anyone in the world.

      As for place names, one of my favorites is Intercourse, Pennsylvania

    2. His parents named him Thomas Jonathan Jackson but he was named Stonewall by his friends and foe alike after his first major success in the Civil War (First Battle of Bull Run). Andrew Jackson was dead before then.