What’s in a name? Why some people should not be allowed to have (or name) children


(It’s only words…?)

I think most people would agree that Shakespeare had a way with words – but it has to be said that he did have a few strange ideas about names.

Take this following quote from Romeo and Juliet:

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”

Of course, he also wrote the following lines in Hamlet:

“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”

Which could be seen as his flowery way of admitting that he was often talking through his hat – or out of his Elizabethan arse, if you want to use a more Falstaffian phrase.

Some people would certainly think this latter quote and, perhaps, confession makes more sense than stating grandly that names don’t matter one fig, or one rose.

Good folks like Justin Case, Barb Dwyer and Stan Still would most definitely disagree with that ‘which we call a rose’ question – insisting, with Gertrude Stein, that a bloody rose is a bloody rose is a bloody rose.

If these people would quote Shakespeare, it would probably be this line from Hamlet:

“Give thy thoughts no tongue.”

Or, in a pinch, improve on that famous sentence, spoken by a rather exasperated Lady Macbeth:

“Out, damn’d sot! out, I say!”

Anyway, enough of the Bard bashing – but here’s why some folks would rather be called by any other name than the one their parents gave them:

What do you call some of the most unlucky people in Britain? Justin Case, Barb Dwyer and Stan Still. It sounds like a bad joke, but a study has revealed that there really are unfortunate people with those names in the UK. Joining them on the list are Terry Bull, Paige Turner, Mary Christmas and Anna Sasin. And just imagine having to introduce yourself to a crowd as Doug Hole or Hazel Nutt. The names were uncovered by researchers from parenting group TheBabyWebsite.com after trawling through online telephone records.

(By any other name still a very shitty song…)


  1. I went to school with a kid who had the unfortunate name of Noah Cownt. ;-)

  2. That's pretty bad, yes.