Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's in a Name? Orignial Names of Famous People


What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
- William Shakespeare
  From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Those words are spoken by Juliet in the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.  I have to disagree somewhat with Juliet’s opinion on the importance of names. Although names are not the be-all and end-all, they have great significance in a person’s life. Your name is an integral part of your identity. In a very real sense, your name defines you. You hear it spoken to you all the time.

The subject of names has always fascinated me. I always enjoy hearing the story behind someone’s name – if there is one. I usually ask expectant mothers if they have chosen a name for their baby. I always advise them not to pick an obviously trendy name. It can be difficult to determine, but certain names never seem to go out of vogue.

I was called Josephine after my paternal grandmother whose name was Giuseppina. The name on my birth certificate reads “Josephine Ann”. Joanne is simply a combination of Josephine and Ann. For some unknown reason my second name is spelled without an “e” on my birth certificate.  My mother, however,  taught me to spell it with the “e.".  Since reading Anne of Green Gables, I have always preferred Anne with the “e”.

Nobody calls me Josephine, but that is my legal name and I have to use it on my passport and on my Ontario Health Card.

Note : Today I am introducing a new feature on my blog. It will appear from time to time and will provide the original names of well known people, living and dead. Here is the first instalment.


Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope.

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu.

Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.

Actor Tony Curtis was originally named Bernard Schwartz.


Word of the Day

Ophidiophobia – An abnormal fear of snakes


Why did the chicken cross the playground?

ANSWER : To get to the other slide


Last night was not a good night for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Baltimore Orioles trounced the Jays 11-3 in the second of their three-game set at Camden Yards. This is definitely not the same Baltimore team that Jays have dominated all season.

- Joanne

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