Your name isn’t always what they call you.

I looked to the headlines for some good news to write about. That was my first mistake. I checked the birthday list for the day. Not much there either, unless you are a fan of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, a Russian Naval Officer.

Although, it is also Slobodan Milosevic’s birthday. When he, the President of Serbia and Yugoslavia was in the news, some years ago, I was certain that if I’d ever had a son, I would name him Slobodan. Despite the fact that Milosevic wasn’t a very nice guy, I sure do love the name Slobodan.

“Slobodan, honey, it is time for breakfast. You’re going to be late for the bus, Slobodan.”

Certain names are just better than others. How they roll off the tongue, or maybe, how they can be construed. In the case of Slobodan, it is sort of like some superhero. Slobodan. Like — Robocop. But in this case, it is a normal Dan, and he is really Slow-bo.

Pharmaceuticals sure do play the game. Someone gets paid big bucks to come up with those names. Yet, most of them are just ridiculous. Like, if I had one of those conditions, god forbid, and I had to take those meds, I sure wouldn’t tell anyone. “Well, you know. I’m taking Pootydooo twice a day.”

But there are others pharmaceuticals that have good Superhero names. Like Keytruda — Master of Keyless Intrusions. Or Eliquis — He may be gay, but he’ll save the day. Lyrica — Carrying a tune, and fighting crime.

You see. Names are important. It is what we go by.

Every so often, you will come across someone who has been dealt an unfortunate blow in life, with their naming. I saw a guy in a BBC interview, a military man. Major Dickie Head. Seriously.

And I immediately felt bad for him.

Or the guy from Middletown in a news piece a few weeks ago. Jack Goff.

Ben Dover.
Dick Smasher.
Chris P. Bacon.
Hundreds and hundreds more of these. They all make Polly Kronenberger seem, somehow, okay.

Yes. Our names. That word, or set of words, by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known. The famous people often change their names. I guess they think they’ll have a better go of things.

Stevie Wonder – born Steveland Judkins
Albert Brooks – born Albert Einstein. Of all things.
Gerald Ford – born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.
Cary Grant – born Archibald Alexander Leach

Hundreds more of those too.

We take great care with the naming of things. Our places. Our people. Our pets. All my pets certainly turned out to fit into their names. Lou. Ollie. Frances. Maxine. And more. But I wonder what they call me. Do they all call me the same thing, or does each one have their own name for me? Certainly, they refer to me as “something” in their brains when they see me.

“Oh great. Here comes LumpyHead again. Oh my god, she’s walking this way with the scissors. I hate when ol’ LumpyHead trims me. I’m running for it.”

Our names. They don’t define us, though. Believe me. They are just another label. And labels are simply classifying phrases, applied to us. Often times, those labels can be inaccurate or restrictive. Polly doesn’t want a cracker.

I’ve gone all around this topic, but two things are clear.
When it comes down to it, we should just be our true selves, no matter what our names are.

I’d still probably name my kid Slobodan.


“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
― W.C. Fields


“If he be Mr. Hyde” he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


“You know how hard it is to feel like an extreme falcon-headed combat machine when somebody calls you “chicken man”?”
― Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid