Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Naming a Boat

Bill's Log

What’s in a name? Power is in a name. He who knows the name of a person can call upon him to respond; relationships can be established.

Names in ancient times often had significant meanings, for example El Shaddii, (Almighty God) renamed Abram, ‘Abraham’, which means, ‘Father of Many Nations’. Hence his new name was symbolic of a new relationship. Likewise Abraham’s wife, Sarai, was renamed Sarah, which means ‘Princess’, because she was to be the ancestor of a Royal Nation – the people of God.

Is it not significant that parents-to-be consult together with great care when choosing a meaningful name for their new son or daughter? And yet, how often do we come across names open to ridicule and jesting! Poor David Beckham and his wife ‘Posh’ have recently named their third son, Cruz. I wonder if they realised this Spanish name is exclusively given to females.

So what does a name indicate? Sometimes little, other than a fancy, or perhaps a vogue; a quality; a statement of belief; the continuation of a family tradition or a symbol of hope; most likely, it comes as an expression of love, with the prospect of bonding between parent and child.

The naming of a company, a brand, or a commercial venture, can be crucial. Do you remember the disastrous renaming of The Royal Mail to, ‘Consignia’? It was consigned to the dustbin after costing millions to implement and millions to rectify.

How about the naming of the largest cruise ship in the world, the ‘Aurora’? What a fiasco it became! Superstition reared its ugly head, because the pundits forecast this gargantuan monstrosity would be plagued with bad luck after an embarrassing Royal launching ceremony when the traditional champagne bottle failed to smash. Some say the jinxed liner should be re-launched and given a new name – but wouldn’t that be farcical?

Isn’t it any wonder that sailors agonize over the name of their new boat or the renaming of a second-hand vessel? What does the name of your boat say about you?

To end with a humorous note, the name of my yacht is ‘Bumper’, which I believe is an inherited statement indicative of a previous owner’s fears or hopes! May the mirthful name live on into posterity.

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