Thursday, October 11, 2012

Name Dropping

By: Arlene Walsh

While away, recently, read a news article in USA Today that reported
finding evidence of that water had once flowed on Mars, in the Hottah
stream bed. Hottah. Wherever did that name come from and when did we
begin naming areas of other planets? And who names them? And where do
they get these names? I know I could Goggle it (in my case, Bing it)
but just thought I’d throw it out there to see if anyone else wondered
about this. And, what about other names and terms that escape
understanding (at least for me). Car names for example: What exactly
is a Prius or a Maxima or Lexus? Anyone know if these names have
origins (before I Bing them)? There are also some terms, especially
sports terms that throw me: retiring the side, for one, a baseball
phrase. What is a side? Where did that come from? And football: the
team defending its goal has a defensive line…now that makes sense, but
the team aiming for that goal has an offensive line which, from what I
know, “protects” the quarterback. Why not call them the protective
line?

What does make sense to me are horse names: “I’ll Have Another” (might
conclude the owner likes his bourbon) and “On the Money” (at least
they hope so) or “Smarty Jones.” Now that’s a real name. This past
August, I found myself at a local racetrack and decided to place a
bet. I didn’t know one horse from the other, but “Easter Gift” was
listed and that hit me. I won $11! Winning aside, it was the name. It
was a good name and made sense although I can’t say from personal
experience that a horse is a common Easter gift, or even Christmas for
that matter. However, in this case, at least, it was a gift that kept
giving.

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