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Quotations about Names


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Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable. ~W.H. Auden


Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive. ~Thomas C. Haliburton


The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers. ~Marshall McLuhan


Name is a fence and within it you are nameless. ~Samuli Paronen


A nickname is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man. ~Author unknown, quoted by William Hazlitt


Why, can you imagine what would happen if we named all the twos Henry or George or Robert or John or lots of other things? You'd have to say Robert plus John equals four, and if the four's name were Albert, things would be hopeless. ~Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


You have but to know an object by its proper name for it to lose its dangerous magic. ~Elias Canetti


Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names. ~Proverb


[W]hen their Names are emboss'd in a different character upon the Title-page, sometime only with the two first Letters, and sometime with fictitious cramp terms, which few shall understand the meaning of; and of those that do, All shall not agree in their verdict of the performance; some censuring, others approving it, mens judgments being as different as their palates, That being toothsome to one, which is unsavoury, and nauseous to another: though it is a sneaking piece of cowardice for Authors to put feigned names to their works, as if like Bastards of their Brain they were afraid to own them. ~Desiderius Erasmus, translated from Latin


An anonymous pen is a coward's weapon, which stabs in the dark. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


I have not... concealed my real name beneath a fiction. ~James G. Percival, Preface to Clio, 1822


Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves. ~Terri Guillemets


Names are an important key to what a society values. Anthropologists recognize naming as 'one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.' ~David S. Slawson


From our ancestors come our names, but from our virtues our honors. ~Proverb


What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet...
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet [II, 2, Juliet]


Tigers die and leave their skins; people die and leave their names. ~Japanese proverb


Words have meaning and names have power. ~Author unknown


If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things. ~Confucius


Of all eloquence a nickname is the most concise; of all arguments the most unanswerable. ~William Hazlitt


Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior. ~Logan Pearsall Smith


Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit. ~Salman Rushdie


I hate American simplicity. I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort. If I could pronounce the name James in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it. ~Henry James


I have fallen in love with American names, the sharp, gaunt names that never get fat. ~Stephen Vincent Benet


And we were angry and poor and happy,
And proud of seeing our names in print.
~G.K. Chesterton


People's fates are simplified by their names. ~Elias Canetti


Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. ~Mary Daly


I have known a German Prince with more titles than subjects, and a Spanish nobleman with more names than shirts. ~Oliver Goldsmith



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Last modified 2016 Jul 30 Sat 12:55 PDT


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