The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Names

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

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

This is an age of strange names... ~W.J. & G.A. Audsley, Taste versus Fashionable Colours: A Manual for Ladies on Colour in Dress, 1863 [referring here specifically to a book title –tg]

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, c.1594  [II, 2, Juliet]

The Patels have first names that hurt my tongue... ~Tom Hanks, "A Month on Greene Street," Uncommon Type: Some Stories, 2017

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

I mean, this is a guy who changes his name to climb out of his family tree. ~Elementary, "High Heat," 2017, written by Kelly Wheeler  [S5, E19, Detective Bell]

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

I always thought it was a ridiculous name for a prison. Sing Sing, I mean. Sounds more like an opera house. ~From the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote

His right name was Alexis Alexander Sparks. It was so long that we decided to cut it up and use it in pieces. My mother called him Alexis, my sister called him Al, most of the troop called him Sparksey, and Mr. Ellsworth called him A.A.S. The only person who calls him by his full name is Minerva, because it reminds her of the history of Greece. ~Percy Keese Fitzhugh, Roy Blakeley: Lost, Strayed or Stolen, 1921  [a little altered —tg]

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

[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

Pseudonym: writing under a false name so that one may write more truly. ~Terri Guillemets

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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