What’s in a…

The exact Shakespearean quote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”

We can certainly understand the point of that famous question and reasoning, but to truly say that names are nothing more than just arbitrary labels, well… that is a lie. It’s a falsehood, which is being challenged and disproved more each day. People everywhere, are choosing, now more than ever, what they not only call & label themselves, but people are also insisting that others call them by their self-identified & chosen name/label; and if a person misnames/mislabels someone today, it can be costly to the person who calls them out of their name/label.

So what’s in a name and what is a name anyway?

How do we find a common understanding and definition of the actual word “name”? Let us look at an established source that defines the language which we are using, and we must remember it’s not American after all, no, it’s English, you know, from England. So let’s see how the English define their language which we know & use. According to Oxford English Dictionary:

Definition #1 is pertinent to this discussion. Speaking of defining words, and before we go any further, how is the word “definition” actually defined?

Names have meanings, and there should be exact meanings. Those who name others, are those who have control over others. If someone renames another, they also have the power to redefine. Let us keep this in mind.

A changed name will have a different definition than the original name. Sometimes the name change can be positive, and other times negative. Positive name changes aren’t an issue especially with those who change their names themselves, but negative name changes, which are changed by others through power & control are another thing altogether. Denigrating nicknames or slurs are bywords, which can go from a means of mockery, all the way to the disparagingly renamed, eventually adopting the new ill-meaning label for themselves… If a byword is imposed long enough, it has the power to redefine holistically.

We are reaching a good enough stopping point for now, but before we bring this post to an end, let us see what a “byword” is:

More times than not (as stated in the definition above), a byword is not positive, but actually, it’s notorious, and what does notorious mean?

That should give us the exactness in the meaning of what a byword is, and when we continue next, let us remember that names matter. In our next few discussions, let us keep exact meanings in mind. I hope that we will soon pick things up, defining the name of a particular group of people: a peculiar people; a people who self-identify now (by and large), as a byword; a people who (by the overwhelming majority today), consider themselves to be a people without a national name… A people who neither knows nor considers that they are a nation, and what their name means.

Until next time, shalom ✌🏾

Published by What Is Hebrewing

Israelite by bloodline, American by way of slavery, Alive by Yah’s Word!

2 thoughts on “What’s in a…

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