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Thread: Name imagery
July 1st, 2013 01:29 PM #1
Do your favorite names conjure certain sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures in your head? What type of imagery are you most attracted to? There's almost always a correlation between the names we love and the things we value, and I'm interested to know what you think the imagery you associate with your favorite names says about you. Or, if you're someone who doesn't "get" name imagery, what do you think your favorite names say about you?
Last edited by southern.maple; October 4th, 2015 at 11:12 AM.
July 1st, 2013 03:38 PM #3
Every name has a color (often more than one mixed together) and texture to me, and some of them have a shape. For example Catherine is a dusty, pale pink - think a pale dusty-rose color with the texture of powdered makeup. Lydia is similar: white and pale grey with a dusty, cratered texture, like I imagine standing on the surface of the moon would look and feel. On the other hand Henry is bright turquoise blue with veins of navy, smooth but a bit crackled, and shape as though you're standing under a dome.
As far as imagery I think @ottilie's description of how she sees names or wants a name to look is absolutely beautiful, but I don't get much like that, just the colors. And my personal 'favorite' colors don't necessarily correspond to my favorite names. Ex: my favorite colors are grey and chartreuse, and the name Ailsa combines both those two colors, but I don't love it. It's okay, but wouldn't make my list. (Might have something to do with the fact that it, like Albert, has a warty, gourd-like texture)
Sometimes I wonder if I'm not more oriented towards auras than I am towards the colors of the names themselves, because two people with the same name sometimes have different colors. Ex: my uncle Steven I see as very dark hunter green/black, painted velvet texture, whereas my ex-fiance who was also a Stephen had a more smooth, warm, honey/light brown color - I don't think the spelling of the name has much to do with it, since individual letters aren't colored to me. I had another ex, Christopher, whose name was a deep burgundy-violet like the skin of a ripe plum, but I've met other Christophers who weren't the same color.
I don't know that it really affects my preferences for what names I like, since no matter what color they tend to have the same basic features: shorter (one or two syllables), vintage-sounding names with spunky nicknames. There are exceptions, of course (Barnaby and Leona are both 3-syllable names) but none of the colors match. I tend to think of the colors/textures as just a "bonus" dimension to the name rather than a deal-breaker, although if I thought a name's color/texture was really hideous I'd probably hesitate to use it.
Sorry for the novel, HTH!baby BOY arriving november 2015
currently considering: Martin, Shepherd, Edmond, Teagan, Winston, Absalom
a girl would have been named: Beatrix Judith
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July 1st, 2013 05:32 PM #5Senior Member
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- Apr 2012
Edited for privacy.
Last edited by charlieandperry1; July 28th, 2014 at 11:40 AM.
July 1st, 2013 05:37 PM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
- London, England
Yes, I do. I've never tried to hide that! I get certain feelings from names, a setting, a smell, a taste. I don't expect everyone to understand or see things the way I do; I'm slightly insane and I've got synesthesia, so I know it might seem absurd. It's got everything to do with who I am as a person, and the names I am most attracted to are the ones that makes the most sense to me, that gives me visions of how I think my little ones will be. I grew up as a little explorer; playing Robin Hood and King Arthur in the garden and in the forest, mermaids in the ocean, hiking in the mountains (preferably with a tail, so we could play huldre, a scary Norwegian forest nymph), dancing on cliffs. I'm a nature girl. If the names I love doesn't feel naturesque to me, off they go. Oriana and Roxana, two names I love dearly, both gives me images of lace, velvet, rubies and emeralds, jasmine teas and boudoirs, they smell like heavy perfume and taste like expensive chocolate; all things I love, but they're indoor names. I can't give my children indoor names. It might seem totally ridiculous (I know), but as I said, I'm crazy. My favourite kind of imagery is nature, wild untamed nature. Some are stormy ocean scenes, some ancient forests, some wild midnight gardens, lakes in the forest, long dewy grass, seasides at twilight, snowy icy mountain scenes. Mysteries, magic and faerie. They smell and taste like the salty ocean, roses, honey and rain. All kinds, but all nature. Scattered with nymphs and sorceresses, knights and hunters.
I also see names in colours, so it can be quite tricky. I need to match the feeling and colour I get from a name with two others, and they need not to crash and at the same time have a very special meaning to me. So a naming process can be quite frustrating...
What I think my favourite names say about me? Behind my back? Probably that I'm a nut. No, I think it says it all. I hope? When I was little, my parents used to call me "little hulder" (again, those scary wood nymphs, they are beautiful women with tails who lure men with their song and they're never seen again, kind of like woodland sirens maybe?), because they said I have an ethereal quality (sounds self involved, but I'm not trying to be special here). This has always been a blessing and a curse though, I'm bipolar and that's definitely in my nature and plays in on how I see things.
However, when I meet someone (or get to know someone) the imagery and colour can change. Which is why naming my child after people I know (or knew) can be very tricky. Worked out with my grandfather as he was woodsy.My darling Marian Illyria Aphrodite, March 2013 & Little Bunny (a girl!) due 9th of February 2014
July 1st, 2013 07:40 PM #9
@ottilie: For what it's worth, I don't think it's crazy at all. I think the way you see names is incredibly beautiful. The things I see in my head aren't as vivid as the things you see, for sure. Regardless, I do get something for all five senses from my favorite names. Like you, I've got this type of imagery criteria in my head. If I can't get a certain smell or certain sight from a name, it generally doesn't stay on my list for long.
@charlieandperry1: I'm also very traditional and I don't adapt well to change. I'm pretty sure that's why I favor classic/traditional/vintage names, although I do have a few wildcards on my list. Most of my list comes from my family tree or the Bible though, and yeah, that says a lot about me.
@greyer: The texture thing is interesting. For me the name itself doesn't have a texture, it just brings to mind things that do. Like Benjamin conjures the feel of old, worn leather and sanded wood. If that makes sense.
Last edited by southern.maple; July 1st, 2013 at 07:59 PM.