An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Misses (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense. Two are corruptions of Mistress, the other of Master. If we must have them, let us be consistent and give one to the unmarried man. I venture to suggest Mush, abbreviated to MH.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


You should never name an animal which is not yours to keep, or which you intend to eat.


Deborah Boliver Boehm


No orator can top the one who can give good nicknames.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.


Dennis Frakes


Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.


Dennis Frakes


Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.


Thomas C. Haliburton (1796-1865, Canadian jurist, author)


A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man. It is a bugbear to the imagination, and, though we do not believe in it, it still haunts our apprehensions.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.


Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978, American Vice President)


These names: gay, queer, homosexual are limiting. I would love to finish with them. We're going to have to decide which terms to use and where we use them. For me to use the word "queer" is a liberation; it was a word that frightened me, but no longer.


Derek Jarman (1942-, British filmmaker, artist, author)


To name oneself is the first act of both the poet and the revolutionary. When we take away the right to an individual name, we symbolically take away the right to be an individual. Immigration officials did this to refugees; husbands routinely do it to wives.


Erica Jong (1942-, American author)


I shall write a book some day about the appropriateness of names. Geoffrey Chaucer has a ribald ring, as is proper and correct, and Alexander Pope was inevitably Alexander Pope. Colley Cibber was a silly little man without much elegance and Shelley was very Percy and very Bysshe.


James Joyce (1882-1941, Irish author)


I think a child should be allowed to take his father's or mother's name at will on coming of age. Paternity is a legal fiction.


James Joyce (1882-1941, Irish author)


Once you label me, you negate me.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


In its purest sense, nicknaming is an elitist ritual practiced by those who cherish hierarchy. For preppies it's a smoke signal that allows Bunny to tell Pooky that they belong to the same tribe, while among the good old boys it serves the cause of masculine dominance by identifying Bear and Wrecker as Alpha males.


Florence E. King (1936-, American author, critic)


We don't know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don't understand our name at all, we don't know its history and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


I don't like your miserable, lonely single 'front name.'  It is so limited, so meager. It has no versatility. It is weighted down with the sense of responsibility. It is worn threadbare with much use. It is as bad as having only one jacket and one hat. It is like having only one relation, one blood relation, in the world. Never set a child afloat on the flat sea of life with only one sail to catch the wind.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


To live in mankind is far more than to live in a name.


Vachel Lindsay (1878-1931, American poet)


I sometimes think I was born to live up to my name. How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna? I would either have ended up a nun or this.


Madonna (1958-, American musician, singer, actress,)


The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.


Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980, Canadian communications theorist)


I came to live in a country I love; some people label me a defector. I have loved men and women in my life; I've been labeled "the bisexual defector" in print. Want to know another secret? I'm even ambidextrous. I don't like labels. Just call me Martina.


Martina Navratilova (1956-, American tennis player)


Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.


Thomas Paine (1737-1809, Anglo-American political theorist, writer)


Don't call me an icon. I'm just a mother trying to help.


Princess Diana (1961-1997, British Princess)


The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit.


Salman Rushdie (1948-, Indian-born British author)


What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


If the fairest features of the landscape are to be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men alone.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Better to see the face than to hear the name.


Author Unknown


It is a sad truth, but we have lost the faculty of giving lovely names to things. Names are everything. I never quarrel with actions. My one quarrel is with words. The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


I don't like giving names to generations; It's like trying to read the song title on a record that's spinning.


Ian Williams


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