09 June 2011

The Naming of Things

Do you name things? Like inanimate objects, like cars and guitars and cellphones and computers? Or do you just call it the Jeep?

It totally amused me that Mel named her guitar Bob Jackson, and I got to thinking about the naming of objects.

If you have an iPod/iPhone/iPad, you know that Apple asks you to name your device when you first plug it into iTunes. When asked to name my very first iPod, lo those many years ago, I named it "Fred". I love "Fred" - all four letters are contiguous on the keyboard, so typing makes a nice little square dance with your fingers. Fred fred fred. Subsequent replacement devices have been Fred 2, Fred 3; my current iPhone is Fred 4.

Naturally, my iPad is Ginger.

This - oh, shall we call it whimsy? - confounds my husband, who is the sys op in the house and has to understand and manage the very many devices that talk to the network, all of the others of which have bland generic names like "Nintendo DSi" and "Miranda's iPod" and "Magpie's laptop". If were up to him, my iPad would have been named "Magpie's iPad". Feh.

Then there are the cars. My car is Kate - a red spitfire. When we had to replace his car, and got something somberly silver, we named it Spencer. Granted, we don't often refer to them as Kate and Spencer; usually it's "are we taking your car"? But I like that the cars are Kate and Spencer. And even better is that Spencer has a lady GPS. Every time she says "your route is being calculated", we answer "thank you, Tracy".

Fred, Ginger, Kate, Spencer and Tracy.

What do you name your things?

18 comments:

Janet said...

my original iPod was ElfPod :-) I haven't named any of the rest. How boring of me!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

When we bought a second Audi we had to name it. We couldn't just refer to our cars as the A4 and the All-Road, or the black Audi and the red Audi; that's too ridiculous! So we call the All-Road "Black Betty" after this really cool black lab we met on the ski trip we took a week before we bought the car. Black Betty the car is super temperamental and young and high energy, just like Black Betty the dog. And then, you know, once we'd named the black car we had to name the red one. It's called Audrey.

Heide said...

A friend once had a plant named Ivy Compton-Burnett. I've always kinda wished I was the kind of person who named things.

Bibliomama said...

I name things Fred all the time. In university I was named Fred for a while (I think I wrote "Kristine I love you marry me, Fred" on my friend's door when I was drunk). When Eve got her goldfish I jokingly said we should name it Fred the Fish, which she jumped all over, because my kids? SUCK at naming things. When Angus was little he slept with Baby Charlie, Teddy, Duckie and... Other Teddy.

Our GPS is named Calpurnia.

Harriet said...

For years my computers were named "Eleanor." I'm not sure why. My current one is named "Tomato" and the primary document file on it is "Sandwich," this in honor of Harriet the Spy's favorite food. I had a car named Sven in college (an ancient Swedish model). But I haven't named my cars since. I've never considered naming my instruments.

Harriet said...

Also there used to be a store (it may still be there, but I haven't been in years) in Charleston, SC called Fred. It sold kitchenware in black and white color schemes. I liked to buy things there because you'd come out with a fabulous white shopping bag with "fred" in large black sans serif letters on it.

yogurt said...

Sigh. No names here. But I think its fun hearing other people's names for their cars. Kate and Spencer tops the list!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

No names for inanimate objects here, though I can appreciate the whimsy.

susan said...

We are big on names around here. Our current cars are Hildy (Honda Accord) and Subie (a Subaru). Former cars were Maggie and New Julian (actually we had a car named Julian, and replaced it with another car of the same model, which CG promptly christened "New Julian," and that stuck). My laptop at home is named Elsie (LC--laptop computer) and its predecessor was Cherry (named after a cherry tree in our old yard). And as soon as I saw my ipod I knew it was an Ellis.

My phone, however, is nameless.

And then there are all the stuffed animal names......

So yes, we name things!

The Library Lady said...

My husband's car is "Cosmo" because it is "Cosmic Blue" and the girls like "The Fairy Oddparents". Mine is "Mama Silver" and I do think she's a mama car, carrying family, groceries and everything else patiently about!

My MP3 does not have a name. And I wish I could figure out where it's gotten to :(

De said...

We don't name things. The only exception is Tony's 4Runner, The Alligator. When we got the jeep, we decided it needed a name, too. It's black like our dog, Pepper, so we chose "P-eponymous," but for some reason (can't imagine why!) that didn't stick. Sometimes we call it The Jeep-igator.

cactus petunia said...

I love it! We once had a huge, white 1970 Ford Torino station wagon named "Jaws", and a giant, white Dodge Maxi-van named "Moby Dick". Our next car was a little brown Dodge Vista. It just seemed right somehow to call it "Minnow".

Kyddryn said...

My first car was Clementine Anne Chevrolet,Clemmy for short.

I now drive Rose Marie Chevrolet, Rosy for short.

Our home is Casa de Crazy.

My laptop is Bob the Wonder Computer.

Yep...I name things. I wonder why we do that?

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

nonlineargirl said...

My Prius was "The Space-egg" but the mini-van is nameless. It does house a small figure on the dash, Senior Mysterioso. I didn't name the Senior, however, that is the name that came on his packaging.

Elissa said...

Check out the children's book, the Old Woman Who Named Things. Its why Nora named her dog Lucky.

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Woman-Who-Named-Things/dp/0152578099

leanne said...

I don't usually name things. Except at work we need to name our computers. I don't recall what my current computer is called (I'm horrible with names). But I know in the past I've used Otis (after a cat), aurora, and corona.

YourFireAnt said...

I like that I can type my name all with my left hand.

So, I'll probably name my Ipad (when I get it) Teresa.

.

Kyla said...

I do enjoy naming things, but I don't do it all the time and seem to do it less as I get older. I should fix that. I've named cars and tennis shoes and all sorts of inanimate things.