What’s In A Name?

Tucker McCarthy

We played “the name-game” in second grade. Imagine how it was when we got around to my name. Some of the kids gasped and some giggled. I just sat there. Back then I thought that having an unusual name was a curse. All I ever wanted was to be just like everyone else.

Today, however, I have a new appreciation for my name. A unique name can distinguish you from the masses. A great name doesn’t have to be unique, but it helps. There is a certain poetry to names; a poetry that can involve rhyme, alliteration, and most importantly, rhythm. Just look at Colgate’s directory.

The class of ’07 is up to bat to enter the competitive arena of grad-school applications and job interviews. For most of us, our names just blend, but for those who sound like a Dickens character, the distinction begins atop the r?esum?e. Names like Keithly Bramble, Nixon Tan, Grayson Bust, and Cailyn Reilly go to the head of the class leaving Average Joe and Plain Jane to rely on the banalities of grades and experience.

But the on-deck class of ’08 also has some stage and page worthy names including the Shakespearean Jamie Breedlove, to say nothing of Owen Brenner, Barnes Kelley, Devren Hobbs, and Kinnon McCall. These names join the pantheon of the sophomoric alliterations including Garrett Gish, Hannah Hanscom, and Jamil Jude. Classmates Keaton Cross, Fionn O’Halloran, and Cameron Thaney are some of the best names of the Colgate lot.

Nor does our tongue get a rest with the ’09ers. How ’bout Mackenzie Bower, Kismeth Caminero, and Alexander Anastasio. These first-years, even after lessons from art gallery director Dewy Mosby or the career servicing Cortland Schroder, might still end up indebted to the doubly named Susan Dolly Lathrop or her hyphenated colleagues, Donald Dugan-Hass and Charles Banner-Haley.

Some ‘Gaters share their name with those known outside of Hamilton. There are those from the screen like Tim Allen, Brett Butler, and Annie Hall. John Dunn heads a group of great thinkers which includes Jessica Descartes, F. Scott Kraly, and Robert Keats.

Our names don’t end with those that flow like poetry or those shared with the famous. We have presidents: Adams (Jennifer), Taft (Raymon), Bush (Allison) and the also-rans, Gore (Megan) and Dole (Lindsey). We have cars: Porscha (Albert) and Audi (Paul) as well as Jill Ford. Our vices may include Kelly Kuss, Alyssa Lust, and Courtney Robb, but eventually we find Mary Joy and Joe Bliss. We don’t have a fall but Robin Summers, Suzanne Spring, and their floral friends Garrin Rose and Bryan Bloom suffice. The avian Steven Byrd and Diane Finch flock together with Chad Hawk and Mark Falcon. During these seasons, Jesse Brooks leads to Ryan Streams. For most of the year, however, it’s all about Christina Winter and Elaine Snow.

We can’t forget about the dynamic duos of Colgate. There is Tara French and Karl Fries and Mike Coast and Sarah Kruse. We don’t have a butcher or a candlestick maker, but we have a Baker (Morgan), a Cook (Mike), a Banker (Mike), and a Porter (Merissa). I live in Cushman House, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like Emmett House, Alex Woodhouse, and Nikki Newhouse. Some of our friends are Silver (Timothy) and some are Gold (Adam). But, it’s all Good (Emily).

Clearly, Colgate is a place with a variety of names. We have Elliot Conn, Conn Davis, and Davis Godbout, Iron Kim, Kim Taylor and Taylor Shaw. As an English major, Colgate has taught me the difference between Wright (James) and Wong (Mindy)-Moore (Andrew) or Less (Jordan). And that’s the fun of this name game. Those names are great, and surely preferable to John Doe or Jane Roe, but at the end of the day it is the personality of my friends that I will remember Best (Joanna).