A rose by any other name....
Do you recognise the quote above? It's from Romeo and Juliet and the full quote is:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Basically, what it means is that what matters is what something is, not what it is called.
Now, being a good English woman, I probably shouldn't tell you this....but....I don't like Shakespeare. In fact, I loathe Shakespeare! I think it's because we were forced to study him at school...endlessly. Even after many years, I can still recite big chunks of Macbeth. Do you know that some actors are very superstitious about Macbeth? They won't mention the title of the play, but call it "The Scottish play". It is considered bad luck to mention the name Macbeth anywhere in a theatre - but especially in the dressing rooms. I've read that if an actor says "Macbeth" in the theatre, they have to go outside the building, spin round 3 times, spit, curse and then knock on the door to be allowed back in!! Obviously that doesn't apply when they are on stage performing the play!
Anyway, I got well and truly sidetracked there....back to names! Although I don't like Shakespeare, I can see what he was trying to say - how important is a name? My full name is Caroline. Caroline means strong - but my parents chose it because they liked the name, not because they liked the meaning. However, I think I am quite strong! Would I still be strong if I was called something else, though?
The reason I started thinking about names is because there was a report published a couple of weeks ago listing the most popular names in the UK over the last 170 years. The most popular boys' name was John - there have been more than 2 million boys called John since 1837! I noticed that all of the boys' names in the top 10 either come from the bible or are the names of British Kings. The most popular girls' name was Elizabeth: there have been 1,167,650 of them since 1837 - our own Queen is one of them.
Of course, nowadays, children are often named after pop stars, actors or other famous people. I even know one little girl who is called Crystal Chelsea - because her parents support Crystal Palace and Chelsea football clubs! So, when I looked at the list of most popular names for boys born in 2008, I expected to see lots of Brads, Michaels and Baracks, but instead, William and Harry were in the top ten: can you guess why?
Think about your own name...does it mean something? Did your parents choose your name or did someone else choose it? Did they choose it because they liked it, or because it meant something special? Or did they name you after someone else? I'm looking forward to reading about your name!
Carrie (or should that be Caroline Elizabeth!!)
P.S. Callum has promised to update you on his baby soon.
P.P.S. For those of you who have read my old blogs, I promise I will give you the answers to my photo quiz and update you on my travels next time.
loathe: to dislike very much
dressing rooms: the rooms in a theatre where actors put on their costumes
to be sidetracked: to forget what you are supposed to be doing and start doing something else
P.P.P.S. Kirsti's comment made me start thinking about idioms and phrases to do with flowers and plants. I'm sure you can think of more!
To let the grass grow round your feet: : to delay doing things instead of taking action
To have green fingers: to be good at growing things
To grasp the nettle: to deal bravely with a problem
Not a bed of roses: something that has unpleasant aspects to it as well as some good ones e.g. Life is not always a bed of roses!
The last straw: the latest in a series of bad events that makes you feel that you cannot bear any more
To hit the hay: to go to bed
Barking up the wrong tree: to try to do something without any chance of success because you do not understand the situation properly
To hold out an olive branch: to show you want to make peace
Pushing up the daisies: if someone is pushing up the daisies, they are dead!
Shrinking violet: someone who is shy