Lessons in Language: Eponymous

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I would like my name to go down in history as a standard word in the English language, despite the inherent pitfalls in the idea.

Several people made entertaining suggestions for what my name might mean, if the circumstances were ever right for it.

  • Alan Baxter suggested: To narrelle (v) – to worry existentially about the mark you leave in history.  narreller (noun) She can’t stop writing because she’s such a nareller.
  • Seantheblogonaut said: To narrelle (v) – to approach someone with exuberance and excitement on a certain topic, a pleasant onslaught.  He was narrelled into a corner, overcome by the young man’s exuberance.
  • George Ivanoff said:  To narrelle — to make a great show of having a difference of opinion with someone, only to later discover that you actually share the same opinion. Especially in reference to Doctor Who.

I promised a copy of Walking Shadows to the entry that made me laugh the hardest, and I have to say all three of these people know me rather well! But the winner has to be Sean, because that’s pretty much a perfect way to be remembered for a slightly scary thing I do but in a nice way. 🙂

In that last post, I also cheekily suggested that a carmody (noun) was a period of 13 years between one instalment of a book series and the next. (I hope Isobelle Carmody doesn’t mind…)

Of course, a few more ideas then came to me.

For example, I suspect that Tara Moss will have a big impact on the language.  ‘Moss’ will be an adjective meaning ‘elegant and articulate’. However, the phrasal verb ‘to moss up‘ means for a writer ‘to attempt to become more elegant and articulate (perhaps by scrubbing off the worst of the ink stains), but not quite getting there’.  Using both of these words in a sentence:  Narrelle mossed up for the television interview but she had to face it, she would never really be moss.

Hazel Edwards is going to make her mark as well, as a noun:  hazel: an entrepreneurial writer with a generous spirit.  As Stefan began his career, he knew that one day he wanted to be a hazel.

On Twitter, @angryaussie and I were talking about what gaiman might be (surely Neil Gaiman will become part of the language, if he isn’t already). @angryaussie thought ‘to gaiman (v): To reimagine existing mythologies in completely new ways. (see Sandman and American Gods)’. I thought a gaiman (noun) might be a writer who successfully creates work across multiple genres (books, comics, films and tv scripts, songs and so on). I’d quite like to be a gaiman one day.

Of course, it wasn’t enough for me to get folks to define me in a future lexicon, no! I invited some other writers to suggest what their names might mean, if they entered the language. Here is what a few brave and creative people sent to me.

Trudi Canavan: to be trudied is to have whacky homebaked cookies brought to your ‘do’.

Gillian Polack: A Polack, of course, is what Hamlet’s father killed on the ice, so a gillianpolack is someone who lives in many timelines, with a deep understanding of the foodways of each but who has a secret fear of Shakespeare.

Alan Baxter: I can’t stand it when people are douches and get away with it because no one will ever call them on it. I always do. So maybe “alaning” someone could be calling out their bad behaviour or bullshit.

Rowena Cory Daniells: I would like my name to mean: rowena… One who brings Calm

Kaaren Warren: I’m hoping that to warren will mean to burrow into the subconcious leaving disquieting deposits behind.

George Ivanoff: to ivanoff — to insert a Doctor Who reference into a piece of your own writing. He’s ivanoffed twice in his new novel.
(
And yes, I have ivanoffed once in Gamers’ Quest, once in Gamers’ Challenge, and thus far twice in Gamers’ Rebellion [which I’m currently writing]).

Helen Lowe: a helenlowe: just one umlaut away from a lion.  (This suggestion comes via Helen’s partner, Andrew Robins)

If you want to play the game, feel free to leave a comment defining your name in the future lexicon!

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.

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Posted on September 17, 2012, in language, writers, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sean nailed it!
    I am going to print this out, I love all the definitions so much.

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