Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What's In a Name? Part 1

HI! My name is......What?....My name is ....Who?.....My name is......ummmmm.....Brittney...*Whaaa Whaa Whaaa Whhaaaaaaaaaa*

Ok, so maybe I'm no the real Slim Shady; I'm not even the real Brittney if you think about it. But for some reason, this was the name my loving parents chose for me upon my arrival in this existence.....and I have resented them every moment since.

At first it wasn't SO bad. I mean, it was only a mild annoyance when, in grade school, the teacher would call roll by first name and when she called Brittney, 10 other little girls would raise their hands, along with the 13 Ashley's and 27 Michael's. And if you think this is just another one of my crazy conspiracies, I have magical proof that it's not just the voices in my head telling me these things.

I submit to you the following Disney validation from the movie Hercules:

Panic: "Hercules." Why does that name ring a bell?
Pain: I don't know. Um, maybe we owe him money?
Hades: What-was-that-name-again?
Meg: Hercules.
Panic: Wait, wasn't Hercules the name of that kid we were supposed to...?
Pain, Panic: Oh, my Gods!
[they run, Hades seizes them]
Hades: So you took care of him, huh? "Dead as a doornail." Weren't those your *exact* words?
Pain: This might be a different Hercules.
Panic: Yeah. I mean, Hercules is a very popular name nowadays.
Pain: Remember, like, a few years ago, every other boy was named Jason, and the girls were all named Brittany?

There you have it, proof, hard evidence, if Disney says it's so, then it is so.

Unfortunately, my mild annoyance with my name would soon bloom into full blown desdain with the arrival of a certain "Pop Princess"

You're not fooling anyone with you sweet little yoga sit pose sista'.....we see you for who you truly are. A name usurper!!!!! What do you have to say for yourself??...........................That's what I thought.

So what is in a name? as Shakespeare (if that really is his real name) asked so many years ago? We as human beings have a knack for naming. Indeed, we can trace our propensity for labeling allllll the way back to Adam and Eve, when God gave Adam the task of naming all of the animals and plants and such in the garden. I can just see how this one played out.

Adam: And I shall call you.....Stinky-poo-poo!
Eve: How about Skunk?
Adam: Sure sure....and you I shall name......Freak-Neck!
Eve: Or.....Giraffe might be nice...
Adam: Indeed. And you my fine creature I shall call Giant-Red-Lumpy-Butt!!
Eve: Baboon it is
Adam: It's a good thing you've got me to take care of such important jobs Bubble-Chesty
Eve: My name is Eve
Adam: I suppose that works too

What is our fascination with labeling everything in our world? The obvious answer is so that we can make sense and order of things. After all, if we didn't agree on what to call this or that, then language would do us little good when it came to passing the crescent rolls at Thanksgiving.

Joe: Hey, pass me a crescent roll.
Bill: *Lobs a spoon at Joe*
Joe: No. A crescent roll
Bill: (Slightly perplexed) *Places a turkey leg on Joe's plate*
Joe: NO!!! I said a CRESCENT ROLL!
Bill:(Pause)(Beat)(Considers)*Offers Joe the Jell-O salad*

Bill died that day. But the turkey was moist and the pie plentiful so really, it all kind of evened out.

Ok, so I think we can all see why names are important. But have you ever stopped to consider the negative effects that labeling can have on a person? This is a subject I intend on exploring in my next post. I fear I have wasted too much time in silliness and have subsequently exceeded the attention span length of most readers.

Stay tuned!


  1. Love it! I knew a family with 12 kids, when they turned 13 they were allowed to legally change their name to what they thought best suited was very odd for those of us who knew them when they were "X" and now had to call the "Y". BTW Our Britt wishes to change her name.

    1. I kind of love that idea. And I think anyone named Brittney should get a "do over".

  2. Making a point by calling on a Disney film; you may be from Utah and perhaps raised Mormon.

    I personally like the name Brittney, but you always have the option of shortening the name and going by something like "Ney", or better yet "Britt-Ney Ney". That is a name you can launch a rap career on.