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What's In A Name?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    What is in a name you say? I simply say, A lot! A lot more than we care to admit. We go to some lengths to find an appropriate name, even if not the lengths of Musk! With our first born, my DH constantly teased me with the name “tabla”, his logic being if a girl can be a Veena and sound pretty, why not a tabla? No arguing there, not the pretty part though. Wouldn’t you agree? Even if I claim I want to be a nobody constantly, I know I will be that nobody with a name still .

    Talking of names, DS just yesterday called Toby, my dog with some weird sounding word and he responded. A debate ensued whether he responded to the sound because it was different or because DS called him and what not. DS who is fascinated with languages could have used some word from some language and so I ask him what he meant with that word anyways. He said, “Nothing, I just made up the word”. Being the mom that I am, I explained that there is no word without a meaning and recited very eloquently “vagarthaviva samprukthau…..” to which my son smiling, quietly says that “Idaho” yes the state, has no meaning! I throw my hands up in exasperation and let it go making a note that I need to go through some material on how the states got their names which instantly brings a smile as I think of my DD asking me as to why I store such unwanted information in my head! Anyways, I understand a word need not have a meaning but then it acquires a meaning if used long enough. That is my take anyways. Who hasn’t heard of pig Latin, tell me?

    The day wears on and DH is bored enough that he decides to go on a second walk for the day. About 20 minutes into his walk I get a call from him asking me to get the car to a certain location; to rescue a couple of dogs that seem lost without any identification on them. My DD is delighted when I ask her if she wants to go with me. It takes another half hour to cajole the dogs into the car while I walk the neighborhood asking if anyone knows anything about the dogs all the while thanking my stars that DD is also there. This certainly is a time of strength in numbers, as various neighbors come out to help. It is getting dark and finally the second dog which was giving trouble to get into the car, is in.

    We bring them home, keep Toby away not knowing how all of them would react to one another, try to get them to eat some food, drink water, post on social media, make phone calls to places we think are necessary, and play with them to ease them into our home. The only problem - we do not know what to call them! We know pets respond to their names way better and any name we try out, we do not get a response. The gamut of names varied from Jack, jill, Ab, CD, JK to all the dog names we know, not succeeding one bit to elicit a response to any name from either of the dog.

    As kids play with the dogs, I see the dogs’ anxiety and understand it even. So, I decide to sleep by them on the couch to help them settle down for the night. We all need the sleep. But they disturb me the whole night, and I try to calm them. Not knowing what to call them to get them to respond to me, getting up every time to bring them back to me, asking them to sleep. They are barkers, that I tell you! Even the slightest sound they go “bow, bow” and I didn’t know how to ask them to stop, worrying about everyone else sleeping, other than saying “stop”!

    All of us are up way early in the morning, Toby is let loose finally, and all the dogs are socializing well making us wonder what it is we feared even. I am also anxiously waiting to hear from the parents. As I see a message about the dogs come through finally, the thing that brings instant relief is the mention of the dogs’ names! Now I know their names and yes, they were not even remotely close to any of the 50 or 100 names we were trying. Go figure!

    We, as human beings, are innovative, appreciate identity and come up with a way of doing the same – identifying by a name I mean. Growing up as children as bad as it sounds to you now, we had code names for most of our neighbors and we referred to them with those names when we were conversing amongst ourselves and they ranged from names like squirrel (in our language), jilebe, to dalbergia, yes like in plant species. Of course, I have successfully passed on that habit to my children, but we mostly choose characters from TV shows to match the neighbors’ current personality. And as I share this secret with you, I ask you to please not judge me! After all, we are in this virtual world with identities that mean something to us. Aren’t we? And don’t you say, “What’s in a name?” now.

    Anyways after the text message, I call the dogs by their names and there is an instant response. Not just response, there is recognition and even light in their eyes, not to speak of the unstoppable tail wagging. DD is delighted hearing me call them by their names and shouts their names from the other end of the room, and they run to her. Suddenly my home is not the home of a stranger – there is running around in circles, jumping up and down as if to thank me that I finally recognize them! There is jubilation all around! Later, when the real owner shows up to pick them up, it is with a tinge of sadness and a lot of joy that we hand over the pups to them, assuring them that we understand, things happen and glad that we could keep them safe. Their names and faces will always remain in our memory! Very grateful for the wonderful experience!
     
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  2. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Enjoyed it. We have a dog named Cleo, short form for Cleopatra. and her response is always quick.
    I do not know how naming started but surely it was for identity and not for name calling. haha
     
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    @Srama
    In a dog eat dog's world, name calling being norm in White House, Here I find something special and refreshing about naming and what is in it.

    2. A splendid write up of an incident like missing dogs that have lost their way and your painstaking efforts to bring them home granting asylum for a night involving DD DS.

    3. You and you family members might have even tried to teach some new tricks to old dogs being your guests to quell their bark when others asleep.
    I liked the lines origins of names sans meaning or no meaning.

    4. A neighbour named her labrador as (woman) Hitler - an anagram of MIL and derived a kind of satisfaction in name calling.
    5. I heard dog-ma & dogmatic connotes neither dog or puppies.

    6. This memory would dog me all my day through. However this time i wonder why no word about "Nature" & quote in this write up.

    Thanks and regards.
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    What's in a name? Everything. : ) I was at a nursery last weekend, and saw one set of plants marked with the most inelegant name of "Mosquito Geranium"

    We had names for neighbors too when growing up. Now, when I get in touch with neighbors from that time, we ask about the aunties and uncles using the names we had for them. In some cases, we don't even know the real names. One tall and life-long lanky uncle was "Sarve Chettu" after the tall Casuarina trees.

    Random ponder - the number of posts in the local social media about missing or found-roaming dogs have increased in the past 3-4 years. Is it that more people now have dogs, more careless owners, or I am reading local social media more closely now?
     
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  5. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sabitha,
    Name is everything!!!! Leave out dogs....even Gods, especially in India have names! Mukkoti devathalu in Telugu ....means three crores of God's. By naming them their form comes before our eyes. Ganesha we think his form is in front of our eyes!!!!
    Dogs socialise well. I used to see in London...in parks many come to walk with their dogs. Adults become friends, sit and chat (pre corona days) and their dogs used to run around with tails wagging and playing and running.So those were their socialising time.
    You were a good hostess to overnight live-in guests in the form of dogs and took good care of them, though you lost a night's sleep!
    Syamala
     
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  6. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @HariLakhera ,

    Thank you for your first feedback!
    I am sure Cleo keeps you busy and entertained. Even with the two pups we found, the girl pup was super protective by nature!
     
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  7. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Thyagarajan sir,

    First things first!

    This certainly made me smile. I can clearly see in my mind's eye even now the greenery that was around the place where we found the dogs. I am not sure why while writing, my mind did not go into the details of nature :) I just put down what came to mind and I was indeed surprised that the one thing that had bugged me the most was not knowing their names!

    Thank you for your words of appreciation. Honestly, anyone would have done the same thing and we cannot imagine losing Toby even for a minute, though he runs away every now and then chasing some smell of animal! Long ago when we got Toby, I had written about how we named Toby Here is the link To be....not to be....to be....not to be....to...to...to.....Toby :)

    A friend here would always say that in America one must be born as a dog. We know of many many people who treat their puppies with so much love. I am sure not all are saints, even as you mention of the anagram, I could not help think of Lord Dattatreya with his four puppies - but then it takes all types to make up the world, especially the yin and yang! I am sure dogma must have its roots from some Greek or Latin word and has nothing to do with a dog! We thoroughly enjoyed having four legged guests for a night. Glad we could do our part.
     
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  8. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Rihana,

    Why am I not at all surprised that we continue to twin....names for neighbors I mean! I think that geranium is specifically named to draw our attention to buy the plant - you know before covid days how we would find all sanitizers strategically placed?

    I would certainly attribute it you reading more closely :) I was off of all that like a good girl for a long time and had to log on to post and then fumbled my way around quite a bit but I was quite surprised how quickly the word spread around - I was impressed. Now time to tone back down again, from the social media I mean!

    It is always such a pleasure to hear from you. Hope you are well and keeping busy!
     
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  9. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Syamala,

    You are so right about the form coming in front of us when we recall a name! And when difficulties come our way, I am sure if need be we will remember all the three crore names! Yes, name is everything. If we hadn't found the owners, i am sure we would have adopted them and named them as well :)

    They do indeed socialize well. We were glad that the three puppies played well. Not just me losing sleep, Toby too for both of us made up our sleep the whole day yesterday. Seriously, seeing the pups' anxiety, anyone would have done that.

    Thank you as always for your feedback!
     
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  10. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    In Tamil nadu lanky lean and tall are known as Ottawa kombu -ஒட்டற கொம்பு - cobweb stick.
     

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