Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A Muse on Names.

I’ve heard it said that some Native North American Indian tribes used the practice of calling their babies after the first thing the mother saw after giving birth. So it might be Running Elk, Swooping Eagle, Leaping Salmon, Defecating Bear, that sort of thing. If such had been the practice at my birth, I wouldn’t have been given the utterly prosaic name Jeffrey. I would have been called Singing Bird, because my mother said the first thing she saw after I was born was a blackbird singing on the sill outside the window.

But times have changed. Nowadays there would be only two names available to new mothers.

‘And what’s your name, little chap?’

‘People With Funny Hats And Pieces Of Cloth Covering Their Noses And Mouths, Miss.’

Thank you. And what’s your name, little girl?’

‘Machine With Moving Green Zig-Zaggy Lines, Miss.’

I suppose the odd exception might come along in those cases where the sprog insists on coming into the world on the back seat of a car before they make it to the hospital. He or she could be called Policeman Wiping The Sweat Off His Brow, but they would be a rarity. Are we going in the right direction?

No comments: