What’s in a Name? Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 498

On this date, August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on his first transatlantic voyage, departing from Palos, Spain, with three small ships-the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

Although Columbus remains a famous historical figure around the world, his real name is somewhat of a mystery. In Italian he is known as Cristoforo Colombo and in Spanish as Cristobal Colon. But he has also been referred to, by himself and others, as Christoual, Christovam, Christofferus de Colombo, and even Xpoual de Colon. There is even a theory that he adopted the name from a pirate named Colombo.

It is said that a person has three names; one given at birth, one that others call him, and one he acquires for himself throughout life’s journey. In the Jewish tradition, it is said that the crown of a good name is greater than riches and that if one becomes seriously ill, it is suggested that the person change his or her name entirely to confuse the angel of death.

Many of us have relatives that arrived at this country through Ellis Island and immediately began life here with a new name. Some were truncated versions of the family name while others chose something completely different and unrelated in order to hide ethnicity.

Business, company, service, product and brand names are equally important for success. A catchy, distinctive and memorable name or phrase will help grab attention and help a prospective client notice you and discover your company and product.  

Look at the following celebrity names and imagine how their careers may have been different had they used their given names.

Eminem  Marshall Bruce Mathers III
Elton John Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Natalie Portman Neta-Lee Hershlag
Lady Gaga Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
Snoop Dog Calvin Cordozar Broadus
Jamie Foxx Eric Marlon Bishop
Whoopi goldberg Caryn Elaine Johnson
Cary Grant Archibald Leach
Kirk Douglas Issur Danielovitch

How about business names such as: Groupon, Google, Spotify, Yahoo, Travelocity, Expedia to name a few?

Names matter so choose wisely. I became Chad Barr of The Chad Barr Group in 1987. Anyone know my birth name?

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