Names are conventions, right? But some names contain something special: a bird! For example, the name Paloma comes from the colloquial name in Spanish for the common pigeon, but as a human name it often refers to doves. Or Garzón, my last name, is derived from Garza, or Heron, in Spanish.
Listen to this episode in Spanish here.
What's in a Name? A Bird!
Written by Camilo Garzón
This is BirdNote.
“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” That’s from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, referring to Romeo’s family name not mattering to Juliet, only her love and desire for him. And, sure, names are conventions, right? But some names contain something special: a bird!
For example, the name Paloma comes from the colloquial name in Spanish for the common pigeon, but as a human name it often refers to doves. Or take Garzón, my last name, it's derived from Garza, or Heron, in Spanish.
[Little Blue Heron/Garza Azul call]
Another example is the last name Sokolov. Like the one from the Russian-Canadian author, Sasha Sokolov. It’s derived from Sokol, or Falcon, in Russian!
[Peregrine Falcon call]
Another name you might recognize, Drake, is not only the name of the Canadian rapper from Toronto. It’s also the term for an adult male duck.
[Mallard drake calls]
In the U.S. Tori could be short for Victoria, but in Japanese, it means bird!
[Japanese Bush Warbler song]
And then there’s bird-inspired nicknames. Saxophonist Charlie Parker, the American Jazz legend, was also known as Yardbird or Bird. Some of his song titles reference the nickname — like the "Yardbird Suite", "Bird Gets the Worm", "Bird of Paradise,” and “Ornithology.”
[Clip of “Ornithology”]
Names are important. And some of them carry a special legacy: that of a bird.
This show is also available en español — visit our website, BirdNote dot org, to learn more. I'm Camilo Heron. Sorry, I’m Camilo Garzón.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Content Director: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Script Editor: Camila Kerwin from the Rough Cut Collective
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Little Blue Heron ML 134186 recorded by M. Fischer, Peregrine Falcon ML 203974071 recorded by L. Demongin, Mallard ML 341469141 recorded by J. Ekström, Japanese Bush Warbler ML 214569401 recorded by H. Mirando.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2022 BirdNote October 2022
Narrator: Camilo Garzón
ID# names-06-2022-10-07 names-06