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The blackest ink of fate are sure my lot,
And when fate writ my name it made a blot.
- Henry Fielding, Amelia (II, 9)
A name is a kind of face whereby one is known; wherefore taking a false name is a kind of visard whereby men disguise themselves.
- Thomas Fuller (1)
I cannot say the crow is white,
But needs must call a spade a spade.
- Humphrey Gifford,
A Woman's Face is Full of Wiles
"Whose name was writ in water!" What large laughter
Among the immortals when that word was brought!
Then when his fiery spirit rose flaming after,
High toward the topmost heaven of heavens up-caught!
"All hail! our younger brother!" Shakespeare said,
And Dante nodded his imperial head.
- Richard Watson Gilder, Keats
My name may have buoyancy enough to float upon the sea of time.
- quoted by Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone,
A man's name is not like a mantle, which merely hangs about him, and which one perchance may safely twitch and pull, but a perfectly fitting garment, which like the skin has grown over and over him, at which one cannot rake and scrape without injuring the man himself.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I know that man; he comes from Sheffield.
- Sydney Grundy, A Pair of Spectacles
One of the few, the immortal names,
That were not born to die.
- Fitz-Greene Halleck, Marco Bozzaris
A nickname is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man.
- quoted by William Hazlitt (1),
Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Boys,
of S.F. Smith
My name is Norval; on the Grampian hills
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
- John Home, Douglas (act II, sc. 1, l. 42)
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
- Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt),
Abou Ben Adhem
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
- Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
Vanity of Human Wishes (l. 221)
Ramp up my genius, be not retrograde,
But boldly nominate a spade a spade.
- Ben Jonson, Poetaster (act V, 3)
If you should have a Boy do not christen him John, and persuade George not to let his partiality for me come across--'T is a bad name, and goes against a Man--If my name had been Edmund I should have been more fortunate--
- John Keats (1),
in a letter to his sister-in-law, Georgiana Keats, January 13, 1820
In honest truth, a name given to a man is no better than a skin given to him; what is not natively his own falls off and comes to nothing.
- Walter Savage Landor
Have heard her sigh and soften out the name.
- Walter Savage Landor, Gebir
(bk. V, l. 145)
Great names degrade instead of elevating those who know not how to sustain them.
- Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld
How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
- Abraham Lincoln
He that has complex ideas, without particular names for them, would be in no better case than a book-seller who had volumes that lay unbound and without titles, which he could make known to others only by showing the loose sheets.
- John Locke (1)
It is quite as easy to give our children musical and pleasing names as those that are harsh and difficult; and it will be found by the owners, when they have grown to knowledge, that there is much in a name.
- John Locke (1)
He stands the shadow of a mighty name.
[Lat., Stat magni nominis umbra.]
- Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan)
An illustrious and ancient name.
[Lat., Clarum et venerabile nomen.]
- Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia
Out of his surname they have coined an epithet for a knave, and out of his Christian name a synonym for the Devil.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, On Machiavelli
The name that dwells on every tongue,
No minstrel needs.
- Don Jorge Manrique, Coplas de Manrique
(st. 54), (Longfellow's translation)
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