20 March 2005

What's in a name

BerlinBear avatar Of course, I am not the Berlin Bear. I am just a Berlin Bear. But then, I am not the bearer of my real name either, just a bearer of it. In fact, I share my real name with an international rugby player, a professional snooker player, an American College Football star, and a distant cousin of mine. And those are just the ones I know about.

The real Berlin Bear's actual name is Tilo, and in contrast to me, he has two "wives", whose names are Schnute and Maxi. If you're interested, you can check them out here. I'm afraid much of the site is in German, but you'll find a summary in English in the sidebar under Die Berliner Stadtbären. The bear is the official heraldic symbol of Berlin, and has been since the 13th century. So, I'm tapping into a long, long line here. I'm sure they won't mind sharing though.

Since long before we moved to Berlin, my girlfriend's nickname for me has been Bear. I like to believe that this is because I am strong, powerfully built, have brown hair, like salmon, and am unique and worth protecting. But she would probably tell you that it's really because I'm a bit clumsy, bumbling and ponderous, and growl a bit too often, even if I do give good hugs. Either way, now that I'm living here in Berlin, I have no hesitation in adopting BerlinBear as my nom-de-web for this blog.

That's the way I see it, and that's the way I'm gonna call it.

[This post was originally published on my old blog, here]