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Naming Rights


By Miranda

If you have to get your name into the English language – and names are a rich source of new words– then it would be more enjoyable to have it associated with something pleasant.

It's possible you may think that Stalin's little helper in the Soviet's Great Terror has been well served in obtaining a place in the dictionary in association with a petrol bomb. Alas, it was only his nickname, Molotov, which achieved this distinction. A Skriabin Cocktail somehow lacks impact.

Scientists and inventors are well represented, often in units of measurement in their fields of work. Scotland's James Watt was assigned the unit of power, while England's Joule got the unit of energy. Poland's Marie Curie achieved a radioactivity measure though she lost the SI status to Henri Becquerel.

If your green credentials need a boost then using the device named after its inventor, Rudolf Diesel may be an improvement on your current petrol engine. 

Dr Guillotin, from France's Terror, lives on in the memory for the execution machine named after him. Interestingly, he did not design it nor even endorse capital punishment, but he did call for the creation of a means of dispatch which caused less pain than traditional methods.

WH Hoover showed the advantages of entrepreneurship over invention – but the task for which his name is a synonym is still household drudgery whether your vacuum cleaner beats as it sweeps as it cleans or not.

Louis de Bougainville was more fortunate in having a whole genus of flowering plants, originally found in South America, named after him by his expedition's botanist, who 'discovered' it (the local people having known the plants, of course, for some time). And we can be grateful, since bougainvillea is much easier to say than commerconea.

Bouquets also, to those who named zinnias, fuchsias and wisteria.

What word could you make out of your own name? And what would you want it to stand for?


Comment on this blog


15 Responses to

Naming Rights

shonkster said:
January 13, 2010 at 8:38 PM

I have already had an entire genre of occupations named in my honour - shonky used car salesmen, shonky lawyers, shonky journalists, shonky politicians, etc. Shonk to live and live to shonk!

January 13, 2010 at 9:09 PM

fawcett, force it in,tap,big drip,wat a name what will i be remembered for? or sheree which means love

January 14, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Let's start with Kimbies, then there's Kimino, Kimba the white lion!!! My surname MacMaster means 'son of the Master' in Scottish but I get Mixmaster, Macca's, Big Mac etc

kragzy said:
January 14, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I think the "kragzy scale" should be a measurement of cryptic crossword difficulty. For example, a puzzle may measure 7 on the kragzy scale. The irony is that kragzy himself would probably get stumped on anything above about 3!!

January 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I've had a cyclone and detective named after me...shame they couldn't spell my name right. I wouldn't mind naming a butterfly or an interesting insect.

January 14, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Everything was fine for a while - I just told people to think of Mrs Presley if they forgot my name. And then (sigh) a movie director named a bus after me, and now people say "Oh yes, ha-ha! Queen of the Desert, eh?" Trying to smile sweetly with gritted teeth is proving very difficult.... I may have to resort to violence.

tulip1101 said:
January 14, 2010 at 6:40 PM

although not having anything or anywhere named after my family here is a small list of the nick names we had labled on us as kids Jopie - you pee Eusiji - you s**t van Doorn - VD

mommyscat said:
January 15, 2010 at 1:39 PM

My surname is the name of one of the 3 wise men that visited Jesus. Thats good enough for me

OTooly said:
January 15, 2010 at 4:56 PM

im just a tool!

Anglican said:
January 15, 2010 at 8:45 PM

I feel sorry for the people who have other, (in)famous people named after them! My brother is getting sick of jokes about his name - he is not a pugnacious UK politician!

January 16, 2010 at 12:45 AM

I have a district near Kingaroy named after me.Or is it the other way round?

MIZONE said:
January 17, 2010 at 11:31 AM

I'm named after a drink bottle and a tablet, see the connection - well down the hatch. I enjoyed the other comments.

merry50 said:
January 18, 2010 at 10:07 AM

I thought the Molotov cocktail was named after Vyacheslav Molotov - russian politician?

kragzy said:
January 18, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I went to High School during the height of Beatles fame. The name of one of my friends was John Lennon. He hated the Beatles!

mondas said:
January 18, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Mondas, comes from Doctor Who,I can't remember where or why but my son assures me it does. My actual name means Promised from God which think it very beautiful as did my dad when he choose it. Elizabeth.