We don’t know when our name came into being or how some distant ancestor acquired it. We don’t understand our name at all, we don’t know its history and yet we bear it with exalted fidelity, we merge with it, we like it, we are ridiculously proud of it as if we had thought it up ourselves in a moment of brilliant inspiration.
—Milan Kundera (b.1929) Czech Novelist
Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.
—Burton Hillis (William E. Vaughan) (1915–77) American Columnist, Author
Names are changed more readily than doctrines, and doctrines more readily than ceremonies.
—Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866) English Satirist, Novelist, Author
A name is a kind of face whereby one is known; wherefore taking a false name is a kind of visard whereby men disguise themselves.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
The invisible thing called a Good Name is made up of the breath of numbers that speak well of you.
—E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax (1881–1959) British Politician, Political leader
Some to the fascination of a name, surrender judgment hoodwinked.
—William Cowper (1731–1800) English Anglican Poet, Hymn writer
To name oneself is the first act of both the poet and the revolutionary. When we take away the right to an individual name, we symbolically take away the right to be an individual. Immigration officials did this to refugees; husbands routinely do it to wives.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist
Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Misses (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense. Two are corruptions of Mistress, the other of Master. If we must have them, let us be consistent and give one to the unmarried man. I venture to suggest Mush, abbreviated to MH.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.
—Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796–1865) Canadian Author, Humorist, Businessperson, Judge
Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.