What’s in a name?

In varying religions of the world, to be able to name a thing (or person) is to have control of it, such as Catholic priests needing to know the name of a demon before it can be cast out. Similar premises exist also in Pagan belief systems. When people have your name they’ve got you pinned; from the register being called at school to your ‘paper’ trail in adult life right up to your tombstone/tasteful wall plaque. This person was/did these things. Names are bestowed, though often changed by the individual; I’ve lost count of the people I know —across several generation I might add— who prefer to use their second names and there are innumerable people who shorten their names as I have done.

Spartacus is the name given to him by Batiatus, who refuses to even hear his true name

One of the first things we learn to speak and to write, to deny a person their name is to deny them their identity. This can be done by giving them a new name and refusing to acknowledge their true/preferred name (as seen in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, left), using the wrong version of the right name or even, as seen in the prison systems of yore, by ascribing them a number and addressing them by it without exception.

I recently moved to a new city and got a new job which involves me working in any one of 22 different places, in which there are dozens of new people, about three of whom have grasped my name. It’s Geo. It’s not that difficult to grasp. It’s as short as you can get Georgina without just addressing me as “G”. Despite this I have thus far been (and continue to be) referred to as any one of the following:

Georgia, Georgie, George, Cleo, Chloe, Joey, Jojo and yesterday I was even addressed as Shelley. Add to this the painfully inaccurate spellings of any of the above that I have seen (e.g. Gorja, and Gorga) and I am left feeling like the guy from Scrubs:


Helloooo, identity crisis.

I’d sign off, but I’m not sure who I am today. Could be Shelley.

Happy New Year to whoever you are, from whoever I am


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