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date: 26 February 2024


  1. Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.
    W. H. Auden 1907–73 English poet: A Certain World (1970) ‘Names, Proper’
  2. I have fallen in love with American names,
    The sharp, gaunt names that never get fat,
    The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims,
    The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat,
    Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat.
    Stephen Vincent Benét 1898–1943 American poet and novelist: ‘American Names’ (1927)
  3. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.
    Lewis Carroll 1832–98 English writer and logician: Through the Looking-Glass (1872) ch. 6
  4. Dear 338171 (May I call you 338?).
    Noël Coward 1899–1973 English dramatist, actor, and composer: letter to T. E. Lawrence, 25 August 1930
  5. The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn't just one of your holiday games;
    You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you, a cat must have three different names.
    T. S. Eliot 1888–1965 American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) ‘The Naming of Cats’
  6. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is called Arthur.
    to Arthur Hornblow, who was planning to name his son Arthur
    Sam Goldwyn 1882–1974 American film producer: Michael Freedland The Goldwyn Touch (1986)
  7. A self-made man may prefer a self-made name.
    on Samuel Goldfish changing his name to Samuel Goldwyn
    Learned Hand 1872–1961 American judge: Bosley Crowther Lion's Share (1957)
  8. A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man.
    William Hazlitt 1778–1830 English essayist: Sketches and Essays (1839) ‘Nicknames’
  9. If you should have a boy do not christen him John…'Tis a bad name and goes against a man. If my name had been Edmund I should have been more fortunate.
    John Keats 1795–1821 English poet: letter to his sister-in-law, 13 January 1820
  10. The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.
    Marshall McLuhan 1911–80 Canadian communications scholar: Understanding Media (1964)
  11. No, I'm breaking it in for a friend.
    when asked if Groucho were his real name
    Groucho Marx 1890–1977 American film comedian: attributed
  12. What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.
    William Shakespeare 1564–1616 English dramatist: Romeo and Juliet (1595) act 2, sc. 2, l. 43 (Oxford Standard Authors ed.); some editions prefer ‘By any other word’ and act 2, sc. 1