Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Ah, Shakespeare. Not that I care much for Romeo and Juliet, I like this quote. A name is simply a label affixed to something. Us humans, we tend to label everything; types of motorcycles; tires; boats; cars; and even... certain body parts. Our motorcycles even have names, or minimally we refer to them using pronouns that infer a certain sex. Male riders typically refer to their bikes in the feminine. Female riders generally refer to their bikes in the masculine.

Many people I know give their bikes names like Bob and George and Bullet and Cherry and Donna. Why? Is it an anthropomorphizing of a machine? Is it to be cute? I think, maybe it is to bring something closer to us. We are close to our bikes, and to get closer we name them.

Why then, am I drawing a blank when coming up with a name for my Sporty? My Rebel is known to me as "Reb." My Suzuki VX800 is known as "Vixen."

Maybe it is because we have little history. I don't think lovers immediately have nicknames until they know each other, but this is different. "Vixen" came to mind right after I bought her. "Reb" came after a few months, and even before that I was experimenting with different names.

But here... blank. Maybe a few thousand miles more and something will emerge. Who knows.

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