Names are funny things. It’s the first thing we tell anyone about ourselves but in reality reveals absolutely nothing about us. And yet it used to be believed that the knowledge of someone’s name gave you power over them
Take my name, for example. My name is Jonathan but what does it actually mean? ‘God is gracious’ or ‘gift of Jehovah’ depending on who you ask. It’s the name given to me but it’s very rarely used. It’s on all official documentation of course but the only person who ever called me Jonathan was my mother – or Jonathan James if I was in trouble. My father called me John, and my elder brother called me JJ – and he’s the only person ever to call me that.
Most people know me as Jack. To my son, I’m Dad. According to my nephew, I’m ‘Unca Ack’. My wife calls me sweetheart. My girlfriend calls me ‘My J’. My ex usually refers to me as ‘that fucking bastard’. There’s my service buddies who still call me Commander.
But I’m more than that. I’m a father, a son, a brother and an uncle. I’m a husband, a boyfriend, a Dominant and a submissive.
It’s our connections to people, our relationships, our identities, our… titles for lack of a better word, who define who we are much more than just a simple identifier like our name.