What’s in a Name?

I enjoy giving names to things, and this became particularly apparent today as we continued our search for a replacement of my car—the one which was part of the big betrayal by Volkswagen. It finally dawned on us that many of the gadgets in the new cars have already been given names by us. So as we search for the perfect car, we have a checklist of required options.

When we sit in the back seat, I look to see if there are cup holders, aka “The Bryce,” which we named because three-year-old Bryce’s favorite must-have is a backseat cup holder.

Next Dad asks if the car comes with pre-collision breaking—“The Bill.” This feature will slow the car down if a driver in front of you unexpectedly applies the brakes. This was named after he rode in a car driven by one of his Bill friends (there are several Bills in his life), who was driving a car at a high rate of speed in the rain while Dad sat nervously in the back. As another car passed them at an even higher rate of speed, that car sent copious amounts of water onto the windshield, temporarily blinding Bill to a third car positioned in front of them, which had slowed down quite unexpectedly. Fortunately, Dad lived to tell the tale, because the car was equipped with the very cool brakes, which slowed the car down, thereby avoiding Dad’s untimely demise.

Today we went for a test drive. As the car swerved a bit to the right, we heard a sound. Dad asked what that was and I answered “The Wendy.” Having ridden with my friend Wendy many times, I was acquainted with “lane departure and sway warning,” which sounds a pleasant chime when your car drifts outside your lane.

On the highway, Dad was accelerating over a ridge in the road caused by recent partial paving. I referred to it as “The Geoff,” in honor of the accident Geoff had while accelerating onto Route 80 while riding his motorcycle. The sign which warned of “rough pavement ahead” came too late, and as we know, Geoff ended up at the hospital where he thankfully made a full recovery.

The rear doors on SUVs now open and closes automatically—“The Dad” or “The Grandpa—in memory of the time I knocked Grandpa to the ground when I hit him on the head closing the back door. I will think of him every single time I press the button to automatically close the door.

I will say that not all my names are car-related. I will close my ramblings with a description of “The Jim,” which is our name for the closed-captions on the television. This name was born when our friend Jim was visiting us, and we were watching a show where we had turned on the closed captions because the characters were speaking in garbled whispers. Jim asked us to turn off the closed captions, which is when “The Jim” became our official name for those little helpers at the bottom of the screen.

Do any of you have any cute little names for non-animate objects?



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