Next Show:10th Anniversary Show! // Mar 15 at 8:00pm // PianoFight, SF

Stand-Up Thursdays: Names

What is in a name? Would a rose by any other name smell so sweet? A name is more than something people yell at you to get your attention. It shows a lot about who you are, where you came from, and where you're going. A nickname can deflate a hostile situation while hearing your full name screamed by your mother would elicit quite a different response.

The origins of names go back to the beginnings of language in general. Most names probably started as descriptions of the person, rather than just a collection of pretty sounds. There was probably some cross play in this regard, where the actions of people helped to reinforce the meanings of their names as much as the names described them. Early names were most likely very simple, with caveman equivalents of "Big" or "strong" or "brown". As time wore on and there were more people gathered in large groups, compound names become more and more useful in identifying specific individuals. As names would get reused, they would start to form a pool of common names for that particular culture. This led to Surnames or family names being added for further calirity. Surnames were based off many things, but the most common are usually related to the career of the family, their gods or martyrs, or traits viewed as favorable by their culture. Within the last century, hyphenated names are becoming more common place. Who knows what the future of names will bring?

But is the your name really that important? Or is it all in how its used? Rowan Atkinson (AKA Mr. Bean) shows us what you can do, no matter what the name may be.



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