Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Nominative Determinism

"The Guardian" had a thread of correspondence and comments about this - is it also called "nominal determinism"? - possibly prompted by discussion of Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice.

If your name is, for example, Teresa Green are you more likely than most to work in forestry, perhaps because your parents were arboriculturalists? Or work in a garden centre if your name is Anita Lawn? To work for the Meat Marketing Board if you are Mr Lamb, or London Zoo if you are a Ms Lyons?

After listening to Gardeners' Question Time with its Flowerdews and Swithinbanks, I heard that the head of the Horticultural Trades Association was Mr Briercliffe. By the by, the awful ash virus was first spotted in the UK at Ashwellthorpe - but that's another topic, place names.


  1. This subject arises in the neeja from time to time, which in itself suggests nobody knows why names can seem to coonect to jobs, at least in the mainstream.
    There are views off the beaten track that give/find significance or meaning in words in this way; or even meaning in letters. The origins of the letters we use are seen by a few to be connected to quite spiritual matters.

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