Monday, November 3, 2008

What's in a name?

We all know that a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet and that a Chrysanthemum by any other name would be easier to spell. But there are some odd ones out there, you know.
The patron saint of travellers, Christopher, is a case in point. He famously carried Christ across a river. Indeed, Christopher comes from Greek and means Christ-bearer. What was he called before Christ needed carrying? Sticking to New Testament stories, Saint Veronica was the compassionate woman who wiped Christ's face on his final journey. Veronica translates from Latin as True Image (vero icon) and this name was given to her - presumably - after the miraculous appearance of Christ's face on her towel. What was she called before her kind act? We know that Caligula was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus and I applaud the abbreviation, but when did Ivan become Terrible, was Katherine always Great, was Richard born Lionhearted?
Will George W Bush be simply remembered as Dubya?

1 comment:

GC said...

Don't applaude abbreviations - people will think you are a Seal.

I don't know how he got his name either. You could find out, hopefully it will ween you off Status Quo.