What A Name Says About You
What’s in a name? More than you might think. There is even a name for the study of names – it’s called Onomatology. A name can reveal something about history and heritage and it can even unveil and influence personality too.
If you thought names could have little influence on your identity than just think of some of the people, pets or houses in your life and how they relate to their name. Isn’t it funny how often people look like their names?
Of course names are not the only driving force in our personality but evidence has shown we often can’t help wondering how we would have turned out if our names had been different.
Names can evoke personality and that affects our self-concept. Some names have a more positive effect; they can be more individualistic or whacky. Others are clearly negative – often because of associations to people in history or culture who are disliked.
The power of a name is learnt in the school classroom. Often bully’s pick up on a name or nickname that can be damaging to self-conscious children.
Fad names can backfire too – just because Brittney Spears was popular when you were young, doesn’t mean the name will endure. A fad name can instantly age a person, as it makes their birth culturally specific to the fame of that name.
But even straightforward traditional names can be a burden – Ann or John for example can be seen as sturdy but plain or dull when compared to more individualistic names such as Phoenix or Zachariah.
Certain names sound more artistic or like they belong to film stars – Sebastian, Toby, Ava, Ethan or Rafael. Of course, famous people do influence the connotations of a name.
Spot the dog
Choosing a name for a pet, we often chose a name based on what we believe their personality is. And the same thing applies to house names. Some homes have names passed down through the ages and are part of the building’s heritage. Others are named because of the location of the house – its view for example, or inspired by local history, legends or nature. But increasingly, people are
individualizing their house name, often as an expression of identity, status or personality.
Name that house
Often, house names are inspired by themes.
•Flora and Fauna
Rose Cottage, Honeysuckle and Primrose House all suggest quaint, feminine, Old English homes.
•Location, location, location
Hillcrest, Meadow View and Fairview generate a sense of the home’s surroundings, helping you
visualize landscapes such as beaches, rolling hills or cliff tops.
Badgers Cottage, Fox Hollow and Mole End for example, these names all suggest
cozy, rural cottage-style abodes.
Oaklands, The Willows and Yew Tree Cottage. Trees represent sturdiness and imply slightly grander homes.
The Old Rectory, The Grange or The Old Vicarage creates the idea of grand, old houses, probably haunted!
•Fairy and folk tales
Thimble Cottage or the Wishing Well Cottage have magical overtones, and can be enchanting, evocative names.
House names can also be an expression of cultural identity – a house sign in Welsh or Gaelic for example.
So next time you are naming a baby, pet or home, ask yourself, what’s in a name? The answer can be surprising.
About the Author: Filante UK has been making house name signs in the United Kingdom since 1993 with many thousands of satisfied customers throughout the world. Find out more about
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