19 July 2010

Why DID They Name It That?

Why Name It That? has been online for about three months. The intent was to post the origins of names - mostly rock bands, but also products, teams, places and others. A kind of etymology that goes beyond words.

It's not a unique idea. There are plenty of serious etymology books (see below) and websites and ones that focus on places, names and even rock band names. I have a shelf full of them.

The term etymology probably scares off many people, but I think there's a wide interest in why some names get attached to people, places and things. They are fun, trivia, conversation-starters.

I bit later today I'll post my first "request." Someone sent an email asking why something was named that. Now, I'm not looking for requests. I have a backlog of things to post that would keep me busy for years just from the original version of this site that my son did years ago. But the request was an origin that I didn't know, so I did a bit of research.

That's why I'm not big on requests. The Internet makes it so easy to find these things that you shouldn't have to ask someone for the origin. So, the challenge is pick things that you don't know anything about but might like to know.

Any real fan of The Doors knows that the band took its name from two authors that Jim Morrison admired - but why would you name a soda Dr. Pepper?

Rock Names Updated: From Abba to ZZ Top: How Rock Bands Got Their Names    Geographical Etymology: A Dictionary of Place-Names Giving Their Derivations   

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