a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
Read the BBC Learning English blog post about names
Do you recognise the quote above? It's from Romeo and Juliet and the full quote is:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Basically, what it means is that what matters is what something is, not what it is called.
How important is a name? My full name is Caroline. Caroline means strong - but my parents chose it because they liked the name, not because they liked the meaning. However, I think I am quite strong! Would I still be strong if I was called something else, though?
The reason I started thinking about names is because there was a report published a couple of weeks ago listing the most popular names in the UK over the last 170 years. The most popular boys' name was John - there have been more than 2 million boys called John since 1837! I noticed that all of the boys' names in the top 10 either come from the bible or are the names of British Kings. The most popular girls' name was Elizabeth: there have been 1,167,650 of them since 1837 - our own Queen is one of them.
Of course, nowadays, children are often named after pop stars, actors or other famous people. I even know one little girl who is called Crystal Chelsea - because her parents support Crystal Palace and Chelsea football clubs! So, when I looked at the list of most popular names for boys born in 2008, I expected to see lots of Brads, Michaels and Baracks, but instead, William and Harry were in the top ten: can you guess why?
Think about your own name...does it mean something? Did your parents choose your name or did someone else choose it? Did they choose it because they liked it, or because it meant something special? Or did they name you after someone else? I'm looking forward to reading about your name!