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Author Topic: Naming things  (Read 10105 times)
Altair
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« Topic Start: August 06, 2009, 08:22:04 pm »

I confess: I'm a habitual namer.

I have a strong tendency to name things that are important to me. The latest: I just got a new bike (the first one I've bought in 30 years, since I was 16 years old, which is frightening considering how much biking I do--up till now, all on hand-me-down bikes). Within a half hour, I'd named it. My garden? Named. The little green man relief in my garden? Named. Even my prized watches have names of sorts. When I first acknowledged my paganism, I labored over what would be the appropriate pagan name to take on.

And for each one, the name has to be just right.

Does anyone else share this affliction?

Obviously, this is a human tendency everyone shares, to greater or lesser extents. But what does it say about us as humans? And do you think pagans feel any greater need than others to name things? Do you think there's any sort of spiritual impulse involved?

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« Reply #1: August 06, 2009, 10:05:51 pm »

Does anyone else share this affliction?

No, but I had a friend who named EVERYTHING (or so it seemed).
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« Reply #2: August 06, 2009, 11:02:13 pm »

Does anyone else share this affliction?

I name cars and bikes, but that's about as far as it goes.  To me, it's kind of like naming a horse - you need to have something to call it while begging it to go just that one more mile to the station, for a car, or to come to a stop before the hill ends in that cross street at the bottom, without throwing you over you over the front in the process, for a bike.  (both familiar beggings with a broken gas gauge, on the one hand, and living in a city as hilly as mine, on the other.)

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« Reply #3: August 07, 2009, 07:00:53 am »


My car's got a name.
And my first pendulum wanted a name - which I thought something beween weird and amusing.
Other things I haven't named so far, but I would if I felt the urge to do it.
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« Reply #4: August 07, 2009, 07:02:51 am »


They only thing I name is my cars, don't know why, but they 'feel' like they need a name.  Though, lol, I'm sure my van doesn't appericate it's name. Vanpire.  Okay, It came from spending 2 wks fixing one thing after another. About 6 things went wrong in those 2 wks.  Nothing major *knock on wood*, but still not a good time for that.  All in all, it wasn't bad, it is 21 yrs old. Smiley I guess at that age he could be in a lot worse shape.  (And don't ask why, my van 'feels' like a he.)  The name came about as a slip of the tongue.  I said it was like a Vampire, draining me of my money, but my mom thought I said Vanpire, so it stuck.  

Usually they get better names then that. Smiley
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« Reply #5: August 07, 2009, 09:58:06 am »

I confess: I'm a habitual namer.

I name, too.

House. Car. Harp. Computer. iPod. (Ok, and cat, but that one's normal.)

Mostly, I name stuff that has sufficiently personality that I want to talk to it, or sufficient impact on my life I want to be able to encourage it to behave properly.
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« Reply #6: August 09, 2009, 09:30:32 am »

I name, too.

House. Car. Harp. Computer. iPod. (Ok, and cat, but that one's normal.)



Oh, I forgot computers; and not just computers, but the Airport wireless router as well. ("Mother", as a nod to the great SF film Alien. The setup asked me to name it, and I just *couldn't* name it willy-nilly; no, the name had to be just so. And of course, once the Airport was "Mother", when the iPod came along and the setup again required a name, it became "Prodigal"...)

Judging by the posts, cars (and extending it to include bikes, modes of conveyance) seem to win as the most commonly named possession. Not a surprise, really, considering the loving attention they get. There's a reason Stephen King wrote an entire book about a car named Christine.
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« Reply #7: August 09, 2009, 10:20:43 am »

Judging by the posts, cars (and extending it to include bikes, modes of conveyance) seem to win as the most commonly named possession. Not a surprise, really, considering the loving attention they get. There's a reason Stephen King wrote an entire book about a car named Christine.

Mnnh, in my case it's not that I care for my car by polishing it every week or so, it is more that I've always felt cars as entities. Kind of.
Hard to explain. Same way I feel about houses. There are good ones, not so good ones. The car works willingly or can be mischievous.
I don't know how this feeling comes up and where it originates, but it's there for me.
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« Reply #8: August 09, 2009, 02:41:36 pm »

Oh, I forgot computers; and not just computers, but the Airport wireless router as well. ("Mother", as a nod to the great SF film Alien. The setup asked me to name it, and I just *couldn't* name it willy-nilly; no, the name had to be just so. And of course, once the Airport was "Mother", when the iPod came along and the setup again required a name, it became "Prodigal"...)

Ok, I suppose I could actually share names, too Smiley

Car: Creature (after the Heather Alexander song, "Creature of the Wood")
Harp: Tale
Computer: Current one is "musica humana", the previous one was "esoterica"
iPod: polyhymnia (which is a really horrible pun, as most of what's on it is Pagan-related music, hence religious.)

House: Refuge (I suspect there's more to that name, but don't know it yet. She's got a *very* strong personality, and sucked me into renting here the moment I walked through the door. Tiny little 400sq foot house, essentially a studio apartment, but standing by herself. Previous tenants had not taken as good care of her as they might have, too.)
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« Reply #9: August 09, 2009, 03:25:39 pm »


Does anyone else share this affliction?


I name a few things, but excepting godforms, I have a habit of naming them...generically. So my pen is, uh, Pen. My soft toys are Bear, Tiger, Penguin. I sort of *feel* the capital letter if I talk to them (not that I do  Tongue), but it sounds just the same as the normal nouns.

I guess it's because I'm not particularly attached to my specific name. I always think of me as Me.
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« Reply #10: August 09, 2009, 07:06:43 pm »

Does anyone else share this affliction?

Obviously, this is a human tendency everyone shares, to greater or lesser extents. But what does it say about us as humans? And do you think pagans feel any greater need than others to name things? Do you think there's any sort of spiritual impulse involved?

Perhaps it's just the animist in me but things that seem to have their own personality or character tend to get named very quickly.

The Car: Lucien
The House I Rent: Shadowgate
The large hunk of rose quartz in my faerie garden: Faeheart
The Greenman plaque hanging outside: Lord Bug (has a ladybug on his tongue)
The PC in my home office: Electra
The Coffeemaker at work: The Caffienator

And yet I struggle with names for my characters when I write fiction.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #11: August 09, 2009, 07:17:23 pm »

The Greenman plaque hanging outside: Lord Bug (has a ladybug on his tongue)


My greenman is Verdanus (with the stress on the first syllable--VER-da-nus--as I understand it would be in Latin).

Love the name of your PC.
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« Reply #12: August 11, 2009, 10:22:45 pm »

Mostly, I name stuff that has sufficiently personality that I want to talk to it, or sufficient impact on my life I want to be able to encourage it to behave properly.
This.  But also,

The setup asked me to name it, and I just *couldn't* name it willy-nilly; no, the name had to be just so.
It's not just about me deciding to give names; it's about things that want to be known by name, and about finding the right name - whether that's determining what the thing's name already is (or some acceptable English-language representation of it, see below), or having a conversation with the thing to figure out what name it would like to be called.  (Like Aisling, I see my naming-of-things as relating to my animism; in my case, largely because conversing-with-things is involved.)

My Dodge Caravan is Charlotte III, because she assured me she would be a worthy bearer of the name (and so she has been) - the original Charlotte (a GM half-ton truck) received her name when her reliability in adverse conditions induced me to exclaim, "Some truck!  Radiant!  Double-t, double e, double r-r-r..." (she couldn't be Wilbur because Wilbur was a pig, and her vehicular predecessor was a porcine PITA named Wayne and commonly addressed/apostrophised as "Wayne, you pig!"); hence the name represents a marked degree of reliability and is not given lightly.

My athame, by contrast, has a name that is not a word, but that is represented in English with "my athame".

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« Reply #13: August 12, 2009, 07:21:56 pm »

I confess: I'm a habitual namer.

...

Does anyone else share this affliction?

I'm the opposite.  I've tried to name my car or my computer, because it seems like so many people do, but I can't quite seem to anthropomorphize them enough to mange it or something.
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« Reply #14: August 13, 2009, 05:15:50 am »

I'm the opposite.  I've tried to name my car or my computer, because it seems like so many people do, but I can't quite seem to anthropomorphize them enough to mange it or something.

*nods*  I've had one or two things just sort of organically develop a name (my iPod is Ghostwheel; my two work computers were Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul for a while), but never really managed naming most things.  (Computers and such have names because the system requires it, but they're not, like, personification names--they're just a convenient way to differentiate between "the computer in the living room" and "the computer in the computer room" when speaking of something that needs done on "the computer".)
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