What’s in a name?

I’m obsessed with names. Ask anyone I know. One of the things I like most about being a writer is the chance to name people all the time. And towns. And entire kingdoms. (For the record, naming towns and entire Kingdoms is not as easy at it seems.)

One of my favourite perennial stories (as in one that I seem to get asked to write every year) is the one about the baby names. Last year’s was a cracker (actually, any time I get to speak to Mark McCrindle about names is a good day).

So it will come as no surprise to you that I take the names of things very seriously. Which is why The Builder and I have been having some highly amusing conversations about the Ford Kuga recently. As I said on Twitter last night, as a busy soccer mum you could not pay me enough to drive a car with a name that is pronounced ‘cougar’.

The Builder, of course, thinks my aversion is hilarious. He threatens to buy me one on a regular basis.

“You’d drive it if I brought one home,” he said. And it must be said that it’s quite a nice looking vehicle with many enviable features.

“Maybe,” I said, after a pause, thinking of the joy of a new car, “but I’d remove that little name-plate thing and tell you vandals had done it.”

He laughed. “I’d find it and get it made into one of those identity necklaces for you.”

We crack ourselves, up, we do. But the fact remains.

What were they thinking when they named that car?

Do names fascinate you in the same way they fascinate me? Any examples of major clangers you’d like to share?

[image: Yes, I know it’s Pikachu, which has nothing to do with this post, but don’t you think he looks kind of like an embarrassed cougar … no?]