Anyone who claims that names are nothing but smoke and mirrors, i.e. not worth mentioning, is probably trying to hide the fact that he or she has a very bad memory of names. Because the opposite is true: the reputation and fame of the name are of decisive importance – the name of an omen, as the Roman comic poet Plutus already knew. Accordingly, size is definitely part of carrying a name like Jisildis or Tyler-Finn with dignity. Or constantly fight against the prejudices that Kevin and Chantal cling to.
It becomes even more difficult when family name and profession are starkly out of proportion: Plastic surgeon Fleischer and master baker Schimmel are forced to do business damages on their behalf.
However, it affects not only people, but also places. Cassrup-Rauxel and Wanne-Eickel, for example, have the Kevin Chantal problem through no fault of their own. The inhabitants of the Austrian village of Fucking were so tired of the constant theft of city signs at one point that they renamed the local settlement Fugging.
However, place names can not only cause fun, they can also be a major annoyance. For a century, the tallest mountain in the United States was forgotten and named Mount McKinley before being re-named Denali in 2015. On the other hand, Uluru in Australia still bears its colonial name Ayers Rock, much to the chagrin of the indigenous population. The fact that Squaw Valley’s name for a California winter sports resort could denigrate Native women is also dawn on Americans, and the venue for the 1960 Olympics will be called Palisades Tahoe.
With New Zealand, the focus is now on an entire country. In film and tourism circles, the island nation has been known exclusively as Hobbiton and Mordor for years, but that’s not the topic for now. Instead, the Maori party filed a petition aimed at renaming New Zealand as Aotearoa. The word means the land of the long white cloud.
What did the thick gray cloud land actually mean in primitive Germanic?
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media ninja. Unapologetic web guru. Friendly music fan. Alcohol fanatic.”