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Look around the neighborhood and name that house!


Karen Eckert


Karen Eckert

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The idea of naming one’s house or property has always fascinated me.

I just returned from a four-day trip to the beach where every house had a name. The names embodied all the good things associated with a beach vacation: relaxation, recreation, sun, surf, ocean breezes and the list goes on.

Names like “Wanda Inn” called out a welcome greeting to passersby. “Sweet Ice Tee” (and a logo of a golf tee) told me that the owners likes golf. “Once Upon a Tide” hinted at an oceanic fairy tale. Some names espoused philosophy, as was the case with “Egret Nothing.” When I saw a house named “Whatever She Wants,” I knew that the owners subscribe to the theory of “happy wife, happy life.” One house was pedantically named “The Beach House.” OK, so not everyone is equally creative.

Now that I am back home, I have decided to apply this house-naming technique to my own home and others in my neighborhood. Why should beach homeowners have all the fun? Like the folks at the beach, I looked to my environment for inspiration.

Here’s what I came up with:

“Which Ditch is Which?” is inspired by the massive amount of standing water in Greenville this summer (aka the rainy season). It is sometimes difficult to tell where the water on one’s own property ends and the water on the neighbor’s property begins.

Other names that tap into (get it?) the water idea are “Ponder This” and “Rain Bee Gone.” “Rain Bee Gone” would be especially appropriate for a homeowner who not only has dealt with all this summer rain, but who also raises bees — or who used to raise them.

I especially like “Over Flo.” This is the perfect name for anyone with flooding issues and would also work well if the homeowner had just broken up with his girlfriend Florence and was now finally moving on with his life. 

Not all water imagery must be negative by any means. “Once Upond a Time” would work for a home with standing water, but could also signify that there’s a Koi pond on the premises. A quick spelling change to “Once Upond a Thyme” indicates that not only does the property sport a pond, but also an herb garden.

At my house, where I have thought about planting an herb garden, but where that has yet to happen, I might suggest  “Land Before Thyme.”

In addition to water, I turned to our own 11-year-old pet beagle for inspiration. She is constantly trying to dig out of of our fenced-in backyard so names like “Diggin’ It,” “The Great Escape,” “Unleashed,” “Don’t Fence Me In” and “The Faulty Dog” come to mind.

Speaking of our yard, the name “One, Two, Tree” could signify that we have only one tree, a young pin oak. We were hoping our crepe myrtle could be pruned to look like a tree, but it insists on being a bush.

For the brand-new home being built across the street, I dub it (for now), Port Au Pottee because of the blue and white plastic portable toilet that graces the lot. I used the alternate spelling of “tee” in case the owners like golf.

A homeowner’s personality or characteristics can also serve as inspiration. The name “Crabby Daddy” would be great for the home that harbors an easily irritated father who likes to go fishing and crabbing in what little spare time he has. “Chorz ‘n’ Snorz” works well for the home where the residents are tuckered out each day from their endless “To Do” lists and can’t wait to collapse into bed each night to catch some much-needed Z’s. 

So far I have not made a final decision on the name for my own home. For now I am simply calling it “The First House on the Left After You Turn Onto Our Street.” I know. It needs some work.

I think this naming thing will require another trip to the beach for further research. When I was there last week, I remember seeing a house with the name “Changes in Attitude.” I should see if it is available for rent. I have a feeling that a stay at that house is exactly what I need. As a matter of fact, that house has what I need written all over it.

Contact Karen Eckert at keckert@reglector.com or 252-329-9685.