What’s in a name?

One thing to surely turn an ordinary day for me into a grand one is to find a Neil Gaiman book for grabs in the library. Already devouring the first of three gems the moment I got home, I ran across this interesting conjecture in one of his short stories — names have power.

For those who’ve read Gaiman, his stories brim with folklore, the supernatural, unearthly beings and the like, but Gaiman may have stumbled across a grain of real ‘magic’ that’s just right under our noses.

Is it true — do names have power? Supposing your friend was called Pete instead of Pedring all the time, would you have treated him a little differently? Supposing that Ke$ha grew up using her second name (Rose), would she still be singing the same kind of songs? If Eugene Domingo had a different name, would she have been still half as funny? Supposing a baby was named Kate rather than Luzviminda, would she have had a different life? If your classmate was called Kayla or Chloe instead, would you have paid more attention? Admit it — if you didn’t call your kid sister Batchoy so much, is it even just slightly possible that things would have been different?

I guess I’ve never really noticed it before, but working in a multi-cultural workplace has made me realized that we Filipinos really have a thing about our names. I mean, others would actually stick to what they’re born with (ex. Robert, Hazel, John, Marcin, Gaurav, Vuong, etc.), but more often than not, Filipinos would insist on ‘branding’ themselves with unique monikers (ex. Eka, Bikbok, Teng, Ayen, Bhebot, and of course, yours truly, Ish. =P)

Thinking about it, what if I stuck to Trish or Pat instead of Ish? (well, first thing, I would have to use a different blog name in lieu of gibberIsh). Would I have gone to soirees instead of concert mosh-pits? Would I have taken on heels & strappy sandals earlier in place of my mo-jo’s and hiking shoes? I think if I delve deeper, this might call for another blog post of its own — the Ish’es of the alternate universes(!).

2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I think i read somewhere that there is a scientific explanation to that.

    There was this research (I’ll Google it later) that said what you are called somewhat determines how you get through life. To the level na mas sakitin ang mga taong may specific names, tipong ganun.

    Ako na ang scientist. :))


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