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Tony Grist

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My Names [Jan. 6th, 2005|01:18 pm]
Tony Grist
I've never used a pseudonym before. And I wouldn't have done so here on LJ if it hadn't been the etiquette (so to speak.) I don't mind people knowing who I really am- and if you want to be told I'll tell you, no qualms.

But I like my adopted name. I've started to identify with it. It's more elegant and eloquent than the real thing.

But what's with this "reality" business anyway? Which is more real- the name my parents gave me or the one I have given myself?

My real first name derives from an ancient Roman family, the most famous member of which has a leading role in Shakespeare. It's further identified with the guy who set the early Christian fashion for going out into the Egyptian desert and hallucinating (otherwise known as monasticism.)

Wanna have a guess? No prizes I'm afraid.

And my last name is an odd little monosyllable of uncertain derivation. It might mean "grey" or it might have something to do with milling.

But Poliphilo- he's this Italian Renaissance Alice who scuttles through Wonderland (in search of his girlfriend) oohing and aahing at the architecture and furnishings. I didn't spend a whole lot of time choosing the name, but I find it fits very comfortably. Lover of Many Things is what it means.

I want it on my tombstone.

[User Picture]From: butterscotch711
2005-01-06 06:08 am (UTC)
It's good when you find a name that works. I like yours.

I think I've kind of fossilized into 'Butter Scotch'. I used to change names every one in a while, like shedding skins - but that also meant shedding friends, which worked well a few years ago, but I think I'm a little more solidified now I'm not a moody teenager.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:00 am (UTC)
Is there a hidden meaning? Do you like butter? Are you of Scottish descent?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 06:40 am (UTC)
Close, but not quite.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-01-06 06:22 am (UTC)
Lover of Many Things fits you perfectly.

I never know what new idea you are going to offer for me to think about.

Today, just because, I am thinking about the Carboniferous period, and the fossils on your window sill.

The Carboniferous period, a Google source says, was when maximum coal formation was made from swampy forests. By then, there were insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, clams, and crustaceans.

The Ordovician (Latin Ordovices, people of early Britain--did you know? I didn't) was, to me, more exciting because the world would have been so--bland, and different. Shallow seas full of shells. No animals walking around the shores. No trees. Brown land, blue sea. And no one to look around at it.

I'm glad you are Poliphilo, who loves all things. Even better, you respond most openly to all things and get immediately engaged and interested.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 06:58 am (UTC)
And now I'm going to wonder why the Ordovices got to give their name to a geological era.


I like to think of Britain divided up into tribal areas. My Bumper Fun Book of Roman Britain (sorry- The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman Britain) tells me that the Ordovices occupied central Wales. And that my own bit of Britain (Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria) belonged to the Brigantes.
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[User Picture]From: dakegra
2005-01-06 06:26 am (UTC)
I've grown quite fond of my username, built up, as it is, of the first couple of letters of my given names. It's *always* available as a username on whatever system I log onto, and if it's gone, I know I've been there before at some point.


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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:03 am (UTC)
Yes, Dakegra is neat and unique and sounds like a real name. I'm lucky that no-one got to Poliphilo before me. I did a Google the other day and it seems that there's at least one other Poliphilo out there on the Net (but not, thankfully on LJ.)
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[User Picture]From: thewayupward
2005-01-06 06:29 am (UTC)
First name - Julian? Last name, I have no idea, all I can think of that means "grey" is Floyd? Baffling!

I never liked my own name - it's so insipid. Also, nobody hears it right first try, which embarrasses me. It works with my last name, though - Karen Lee. I'm a walking adverb! Karenly Karen Lee.

I think Chinese names are interesting, though. Traditionally they're chosen with great care - the family name comes first, so in Chinese I'm Lee Wei Sian. After the surname is the generation name (traditionally), so everyone in the same generation as you in your family shares it. Some families have a poem or something which an ancestor wrote, and they run through the words consecutively for each generation (does this make sense?) so for a new generation they use the next word in the sequence. Yeah. Then the last character is the given name.

Anyway, people go to insane lengths to get names that sound cool - there's a lot of stuff that works by having a similar sound to a word with a desirable meaning? So I knew a girl whose surname was 'Ma Li Qian', which when said backwards (Qian Li Ma) sounded like the Chinese phrase that translates as, um, a winged steed. Anyway everyone made such a fuss because it was so auspicious and subtle.

Only thing is, Chinese doesn't really borrow from other languages like English does, so while nobody knows "Peter" derives from - uh, "petros", for 'stone', Chinese names are very obvious when they mean something, and most do carry some kind of ambition your parents had. So if your parents wished for you to be strong and undefeatable and you're a weedy kid who everyone walks all over, well, people know it.

This comment got long for no reason, and it's only tenuously related to what you were saying, but I thought you might find this stuff interesting? also, yo, I'd love to know your real name.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:06 am (UTC)
That's fascinating about Chinese names. I didn't know any of it before. I particularly love the bit about the family poem.

No, I'm not Julian Floyd. I didn't know Floyd meant grey- so that's another thing I've learned today.

I'll let other people have their guesses and then publish my "real" name in tomorrow morning's posting.
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[User Picture]From: barbarakitten_t
2005-01-06 06:41 am (UTC)
i have to say, i like that you are called lover of many things. i think that would be a wonderful epitaph...

i am barbarakitten_t, because kitten was taken and my given name is barbara, which means "stranger." it is, in many ways, fitting. kitten is what my chosen family calls me most of the time and when i first ventured onto the net (not PLATO, which was my REAL first venture into cyberspace, but netnews, which was where i found my first 'world inside the crystal') i became kitten of alt.callahans. that was in 1991.

i don't know how other people think of me, but i have the distinction of being a verb (to kitten-the act of spewing liquid (either hot or cold) in the general direction of the monitor and speaker who has produced the response...generally a response involving being happily delighted but sometimes being amazed, astounded or outraged.)

i would be interested in seeing you under the Light of Reality(tm) and knowing more about the person behind the name.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:13 am (UTC)
St Barbara is one of my favourite saints.

Do you know this wonderful image of her by Van Eyck? http://www.artchive.com/artchive/V/van_eyck/st_barbara.jpg.html

I'll post my real name tomorrow- after all the guesses have come in. And add a bit of autobiography
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-01-06 06:44 am (UTC)
Hm. I would say Julian or Julius. And maybe "Awn" for your last name?

I love your alternate name. I wanted to use my 'nom de plume' but for some reason I could not. (Mollie Luna) So I kept the moon reference. But I do know exactly what you mean. I refer to Mollie Luna as *she*. She is my twin, my more creative half.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:18 am (UTC)
Julius is getting close.

What a shame you couldn't use Mollie Luna. It's a wonderful name.

I've only been Poliphilo for about 9 months, but I reckon I'll be using it- one way or another- for life.
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[User Picture]From: catvalente
2005-01-06 06:44 am (UTC)
Ah. I love one of the female versions of that name: Pamphile. Actually a derivation of Pan-phile: love of everything.

And also a fabulous shape-shifting owl-witch in Apuleius' immortal "The Golden Ass."

Come here, little boy. I've got roses growing in my garden...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:20 am (UTC)
I hadn't made that connection. O wow, yes!

I have discovered my dark female essence. (Throws imaginary hat in the air and capers.)
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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2005-01-06 06:57 am (UTC)
Oh good, let me be the first to say "Anthony." He started eremitic monasticism - it was up to Benedict a little later to set coenobiticism as a trend.

As for the second name -- Grist?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 07:22 am (UTC)
Bloody hell. Yes. Plumb in the gold. I am discovered.

Anthony John Grist at your service, known to my friends as Tony.
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From: morrison_maiden
2005-01-06 10:22 am (UTC)
I really like your pseudonym. I haven't had much luck thinking of one for myself. I guess I haven't really thought it out too much :\
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 11:02 am (UTC)
I'm guessing your user/name is a tribute to Jim Morrison. Am I right?
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[User Picture]From: qos
2005-01-06 11:28 am (UTC)
I'm not sure where it came from, but I've always had a sense that names were powerful and should be meaningful.

My first name is a relatively common variation on "Jane", and my given middle name was "Gay" -- back when it only meant "happy." In the mid-seventies, as I began to wish for a heroic aspect to my life, and looked to a name change to encourage it. So I changed my middle name to Sabrina (for reasons too lengthy to detail here). I changed it legally when I turned 21, because my father wouldn't allow it while I was still a minor.

I grew up as the oldest daughter of the superintendent of the school district, so I was taught very early about the distinction between public and private discourse, and about discretion, and how things can reflect back on other members of the family. I tend to be very open with people, but when posting in cyberspace I've almost always used a pseudonym.

Since adopting qos -- for the tarot "Queen of Swords" -- I've found that the symbolism has become even more powerful and pertinent to my offline life.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 12:13 pm (UTC)
I agree about the power of names. When I was a practising Wiccan I took a succession of "magical names" (none of which I used outside the circle.) The idea was that you took the name of a god in order to aquire his/her characteristics.

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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2005-01-06 11:45 am (UTC)
I wondered what your real name was a while back, and you've dropped enough clues that I could figure it out in a quick Google.

I've never used a fake name. I think that's because when I first started using the Internet, in 1980, no one did. It seems silly to me. I didn't realize it was etiquette on LJ.

In any case, I do like your nom de net.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-06 12:03 pm (UTC)
"Etiquette" may be a bit strong- but most people seem to treat LJ as a masked ball. When I first signed up I thought it would be fun to be mysterious.

I guess now that I've unmasked myself I might as well put my "real" name on my info page.
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[User Picture]From: hepo
2005-01-07 06:31 am (UTC)
I see nothing wrong in using a Non de plume on the internet, it adds to the mystic and allows a level of harmless expression. You go to it.


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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-01-07 06:48 am (UTC)
I'm not dropping the pseudonym, but I've declared the identity behind it- and put my real name on my infopage.

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