What’s in a name?


Shakespeare’s Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Actually there’s a lot in a name! The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name. Your name is associated with powerful forces that shape your lives through your name.

Do names matter?

To a remarkable degree, they do. Names seem to have a conscious influence over a person’s own choices. The Romans had the expression nomen est omen, meaning “name is destiny.”

How do we react to our own names?

Research indicates that people are unconsciously drawn to things, people, and places that sound like their own names.

Having a rare name or a very common one must be a very different experience Living with a name that we like, or one that we dislike does have serious consequences on self-confidence, happiness or the way we relate to others in society. With a rarer name, one feels unique. With a common name, well one feels just about ordinary.

Children should be given good names, while those with unsavoury connotations should be avoided. It is said that a name whose meaning is favourable can exert an auspicious influence on its owner and vice versa.

In ancient India, children were named after gods and goddesses, going by the Vedic concept of “naam-roop abhed”, that which believes in the unity between name and form.

Since a name is a vibration, which strikes you several times a day, it can profoundly affect your destiny.

It is also said that the sound of a person’s own name is music to his ears. So if you call your subordinates, colleagues and employees by their names, you can make an instant connect with them. By calling a person by his/her name, you are giving out a signal that says that the person’s name is important to you. This will help you have better relationships with people. If you address your maid servant as “Shanta bai” rather than just “bai’, she will do your bidding must faster and in a happier state of mind because you have acknowledged her as a human being with a unique name rather than just a servant without an identity of her own.

Another place where names matter is the school. God forbid if your parents have given you a funny sounding name, you have to bear the brunt of all the barbs and jokes relating to your name all your school life. Also, children who have names starting with the first few letters of the alphabet are called first for any oral exam or viva and do not know what to expect, while children whose names come further down the list have the advantage of getting some tips about the line of questioning.

So next time someone says, “What’s in a name?” you can actually turn around and say, “Everything”!

Ladies, if you have any interesting anecdotes relating to your names, please feel free to share them here.

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