What’s in a name?

This has little to do with real estate, but I’ve been thinking about a lot about names lately.

First of all, Meadowlark Lemon died over the holidays. (So did Lemmy and that is an interesting name too). Meadowlark’s real name, of course was not Meadowlark. It was George. Who would name a kid Meadowlark, right? Nevertheless, it is one of the most memorable names in professional sports.

Two. As I have an interest in behavioural economics, I like to read about trends in baby names. I predict with the awesome popularity of our new prime minister, there are going to be a lot of babies born this year who will be named Justin (and Justine). Nice names. I hope we don’t go through that same Jason and Jennifer craze we went thorough in the 80’s though. For a while there, every baby was John, Jack, Jordan, Jennifer, Jasmine or Jacklyn.

Three. Sometimes your name falls out of favour. I was reading this article about this poor girl named Isis that found her name blocked by Facebook. Isis, besides being a new terror group, which likes to cut the heads off its victims, is also an Ancient Egyptian goddess of magic and wisdom. The name Isis was non-existent in Ontario delivery rooms before the 1990s, but reached double-digits in 2006 and 2009. Bad timing. So what do you do? Change your name to Iris? Or maybe Justine? One thing is certain, just like Adolf and Osama, Isis as a baby name is gone forever, or at least for a long long time.

Four. On a personal note, when I was growing up, I never liked my name Keith and I especially didn’t like Duncan. Is it weird for a kid not to like his name? I didn’t like it so much that during my university years, most people thought my name was Bob. I even got my family to call me Bob. That’s just weird, right?

Much later I came to terms with Keith. Someone told me it is a strong and assertive name without being aggressive. I like that.

Five. Who gets to name the streets in new subdivisions? It is terrible when you have a Spruce place, off of a Spruce Crescent, off of a Spruce Boulevard. That sort of thing is confusing and unimaginative and has to stop.

Six. I don’t know if this is true or not, but whoever the government body is who decides the names of new schools, asked the public last year to help name the new school in Vista Hills. The most requested name was James Bond Public School. Ha ha. So, now construction will begin on Vista Hills Public School. Splashypants. Anyone remember that story?

Kitchener Waterloo is well known for it’s confusing streets as well as for their pronunciation. Krug does not rhyme with drug. If you say Webber instead of Weber, we know you’re new in town. Last year I sold a house on Heiman Street which, I pronounced wrong during the process. Every newbee in KW struggles with Breithaupt. Out-of-towners mispronounce Dietz, overthinking that one – Diets. And, how about Noecker and Gaukle?

The neighbourhoods aren’t much better. Hidden Valley neighbourhood isn’t in a valley, not is it very well hidden – you can see those big houses clearly from highway 8. The Lakeshore neighbourhood is nowhere near a lake. Sportsworld is long gone, but we still have a Sportsworld Drive

Mansion Street was once called Kaiser Street. Not many people know that. It was likely changed about the same time Berlin became Kitchener.

There is a Zeller Drive and an Old Zeller Drive. Zeller is a local name. He’s the guy who was responsible for the discount chain store baring his name (now converted to Walmart or shuttered as Target). But as for the Zeller Streets, Old Zeller drive is new with new houses and Zeller is old with older houses. How did that happen?

Do you have any favourites? I think I have just scratched the surface with this post.

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