Name Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes about names. Many of these you can also find on the Namely Marly Facebook Fan Page as well.

I am very attuned to names so I find these good name quotes in books, movies, and just being out and about. However, I also some have some favorite resources for name sayings listed at the bottom of this page.


Words are things. You must be careful, careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance. Don’t do that. Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.

Maya Angelou

Bob Marley isn’t my name. I don’t even know my name yet.

Bob Marley

I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

W.C. Fields

Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Words have meaning and names have power.

Author Unknown

Proper names are poetry in the raw.  Like all poetry they are untranslatable.

W.H. Auden

I hate American simplicity. I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort. If I could pronounce the name ‘James’ in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it.

Henry James

Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior.

Logan Pearsall Smith

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose  by any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

I am a quick study – I can memorize a script in an hour – but I can’t remember a name three seconds. I’ve even forgotten my wife’s name on occasion.

Don Adams

I’m gonna tell a real story. I’m gonna start with my name.

Kendrick Lamar

You’re not a star until they can spell your name in Karachi.

Humphrey Bogart

When I was young, poverty was so common that we didn’t know it had a name.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.

Thomas C. Haliburton

I’d be stupid not to take into consideration that there are certain things people will not consider me for because my name is Lopez. And I know I can do any kind of role. I don’t want anybody to say, Oh, she can’t pull this off. So those are barriers that you have to overcome.

Jennifer Lopez

Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask why me? Then a voice answers nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.

Charles M. Schulz

Jim Bakker spells his name with two k’s because three would be too obvious.

Bill Maher

Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.

Bill Cosby

The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers.

Marshall McLuhan

I can handle this. ‘Handle’ is my middle name. Actually, ‘handle’ is the middle of my first name.

Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Friends

Names are an important key to what a society values.  Anthropologists recognize naming as ‘one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.’

David S. Slawson

Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms inside your head, and people in them, acting. People you know, yet can’t quite name.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.

Leonard Bernstein

Tigers die and leave their skins; people die and leave their names.

Japanese Proverb

Who would name their kid Jack with the last words ‘off’ at the end of the last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up.

George Clooney

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.

Charles Dickens

How vain, without the merit, is the name.


Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.

Rabindranath Tagore

Name is a fence and within it you are nameless.

Samuli Paronen

A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.

Salman Rushdie

From our ancestors come our names, but from our virtues our honors.


If I did have a tumor, I would name it Marla. Marla, the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you would stop tonguing it, but you can’t.

Narrator from the movie, Fight Club

It is to be observed that ‘angling’ is the name given to fishing by people who can’t fish.

Stephen Leacock

Of all eloquence a nickname is the most concise; of all arguments the most unanswerable.

William Hazlitt

I don’t remember anybody’s name. How do you think the “dahling” thing got started?

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Women have had the power of naming stolen from us.

Mary Daly

The devil’s name is dullness.

Robert E. Lee

A nickname is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man.

Author unknown, quoted by William Hazlitt

People’s fates are simplified by their names.

Elias Canetti

Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth’s marvels, beneath the dust of habit.

Salman Rushdie

The music industry is a strange combination of having real and intangible assets: pop bands are brand names in themselves, and at a given stage in their careers their name alone can practically guarantee hit records.

Richard Branson

If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things.


We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.

Victor Hugo

You have but to know an object by its proper name for it to lose its dangerous magic.

Elias Canetti

The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name. 

Aldous Huxley

I have fallen in love with American names, the sharp, gaunt names that never get fat.

Stephen Vincent Benet

Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves.

Terri Guillemets

Favorite Name Quote Resources:

The Quote Garden

Brainy Quote