What's in a NAME???

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 years ago
2,082 posts

When you have more than 3 or 4 of a kind of instrument (like dulcimers, banjos, drums, etc) it helps to have names to refer to them, even if the 'name' is only the maker's name. 
When I check in with my fiddler husband about what instruments we'll be taking to a party or gig, or simply when we're going to practice at home, it helps us to be on the same page when I refer to a specific banjo by name... the Ramsey, Blondie, Stichter, Hog Sisters, Cockerham, PigHead, Man in the Moon...  thus my husband knows immediately which banjo I'm talking about and thus what kind of repertoire/style I'm thinking we might be playing in, and what keys.  Plus, it's just more fun!
Since I never eat my instruments, I've never found naming them to have any effect on my ability to sell them.  spaghetti   heheheh




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ben Ramage
Ben Ramage
@ben-ramage
4 years ago
10 posts

I have started calling my Ron Gibson "Jenny" (totally unoriginal, she is one of Ron's Jenny Lind models; my other is simply "the other one" or the Red Kite. My other instruments have similarly unoriginal names.  "Clouds" (5 string banjo whose fret markers are shaped like clouds), the Short Stalk (short stalk 5 string) the Davidson is a 5 string travel banjo tuned to A named after the maker, a luthier called Phil Davidson, who also made my guitar bodied bouzouki which is called the "8 String". I have two Gibson mandolins called with blinding unoriginality "The 1932" (go on guess when it was made) and the 1923 Snakehead (or, simply "the snakehead"). Then there's the Weber, (named for the former Gibson luthier who built it, not for the barbecue) and so it goes.  I agree with the statement never name something you might have to sell.

IRENE
IRENE
@irene
4 years ago
168 posts

GREAT POST and I'm smiling while reading all of them.  When I lived in Hawaii so many years ago, I'd travel to the elementary schools by request and show and tell of the instruments I had.  One of the first times I held it up and asked the children if they knew what this was(my dulcimer) ...........one cute little Hawaiian guy said, "I think it's a squashed guitar".  One dulcimer that I rescued from a shop on the Big Island, it was written up in the DPN....I was told that this dulcimer was used as yard art and then taken to the dump.  I restored her, and have named her, "Lilly from the dump."  This last dulcimer that I've just finished #25....I did some different things to the lower sound hole...and used a viola floating bridge...my she's loud...sounds more like a banjo...so she's named SUSANNA.  I've been reading all day APPALACHIAN DULCIMER TRADITIONS by Ralph Lee Smith.  Totally enjoying reading by the fire while the high outside was 15....Thanks for mentioning this book on this site!!  Got it used on ebay.  aloha, irene

Lois Sprengnether Keel
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel
4 years ago
194 posts

Sadly most of my husband's banjos don't have much that burns.😎

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
4 years ago
1,321 posts

I hope it doesn't get so cold you're forced to burn a mountain dulcimer!  If you have a hammered dulcimer, it will burn longer.  ;)

Norman Arrington
Norman Arrington
@norman-arrington
4 years ago
4 posts

According to an old time cowboy I know, the reason they  didn't name their horses was "You never name something you may have to eat".  This is a very cold winter so I do not name anything I may have to burn.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
5 years ago
1,988 posts

Not names, really, just identifiers -- "the Uncle Ed",  "the Hogfiddle", "the Walking Stick" etc.

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

Lois Sprengnether Keel:

   (Do you think they talk to each other?)

Yes, I do...They complain if their strings need changing and tell all when they travel to distant lands for a road trip!  rofl

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

Lois Sprengnether Keel:

Half have names and half don't.   (Do you think they talk to each other?)

My dulcimer with a swan head and tail feathers is called Swannie.  My first dulcimer was found abandoned in a fleamarket  and I call it the Orphan.  Haven't figured out a name for my Folkcraft nor little travel Applecreek.

Love "Orphan" as a name....I have three flea market finds-my first dulcimer ever is BOB-the maker was named BOB.   My Folkroots is named after the gentleman I got it from!

Lois Sprengnether Keel
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel
5 years ago
194 posts

Half have names and half don't.   (Do you think they talk to each other?)

My dulcimer with a swan head and tail feathers is called Swannie.  My first dulcimer was found abandoned in a fleamarket  and I call it the Orphan.  Haven't figured out a name for my Folkcraft nor little travel Applecreek.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
5 years ago
1,321 posts

If I were to give my dulcimers proper names, I'd be like Ma Kettle and never know one kid's name from another.  (Anybody remember Ma & Pa Kettle on tv about a million years ago? ) 

pmundy
@pmundy
5 years ago
5 posts

I have named mine "Sweetie". Not very original but she always has a sweet note or sound for me in spite of my just starting to learn to play. I would have gone with "Dulcie" but that is what I named my hammered dulcimer.

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

Kusani:


The name of my last build is VERY descriptive!  I experimented with a couple stains and it failed; hence named: The Ugly One. faceplant   Despite appearance, it sounds fairly good. dulcimer



That makes it sound like a "wicked" sounding instrument!

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
5 years ago
320 posts

Kusani, just slap some black paint on it like Mr. Thomas did.  Paint covers a multitude of errors.

Kusani
Kusani
@kusani
5 years ago
134 posts

The name of my last build is VERY descriptive!  I experimented with a couple stains and it failed; hence named: The Ugly One. faceplant   Despite appearance, it sounds fairly good. dulcimer

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

Strumelia:

I had two custom made mandolins for many years- an F5 and an octave mandolin... both with similar inlays and made by the same luthier.  I called them The Little Snapper and The Big Snapper.  They were gorgeous.  I sold them last year, both to the same person.

Love those names!

Dusty Turtle:

Some of mine have names: Rosa, Lucinda, Mr. Salty.  One or two remain nameless.  

Mr. Salty got his name when I was playing for my kid's 1st grade class and someone said it looked like a "peanut guitar."  Indeed, the hourglass shape does resemble the shape of a peanut and the lacewood resembles the texture of a peanut shell.

What a super cute story...I can imagine the Mr. Peanut reference!

 

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

John C. Knopf:


I've been using words from the Bible, usually the Psalms, as names for my new dulcimer builds. 


It's getting more difficult to find words that can be names also! Mephibosheth? Maher-shalal-hash-baz?...grin



Thats a super idea!!!   

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
5 years ago
2,082 posts

I had two custom made mandolins for many years- an F5 and an octave mandolin... both with similar inlays and made by the same luthier.  I called them The Little Snapper and The Big Snapper.  They were gorgeous.  I sold them last year, both to the same person.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
5 years ago
1,602 posts

Some of mine have names: Rosa, Lucinda, Mr. Salty.  One or two remain nameless.  

Mr. Salty got his name when I was playing for my kid's 1st grade class and someone said it looked like a "peanut guitar."  Indeed, the hourglass shape does resemble the shape of a peanut and the lacewood resembles the texture of a peanut shell.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
5 years ago
320 posts

I've been using words from the Bible, usually the Psalms, as names for my new dulcimer builds. 

It's getting more difficult to find words that can be names also! Mephibosheth? Maher-shalal-hash-baz?...grin

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

This is a list of names (including hubby's)

Broadway, Skinny, Kat, Ollie, Bud, Baby, Wally, Milly, Boxer, Annie, Bob, Tiny Tim, Shane, Pocahontas, Sweetie, Logan, Merl.

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

Bob:

I have been "naming" mine by the month that it was made. ("October"  is just getting started, though.)

Great idea!

Mine are by Maker, Seller, User, wood type...really anything I can distinguish from the others!

 

Bob
Bob
@bob
5 years ago
86 posts

I have been "naming" mine by the month that it was made. ("October"  is just getting started, though.)

HEWalker
HEWalker
@hewalker
5 years ago
27 posts

Just curious.....does anyone "NAME-nickname" their dulcimers as I do???   I will get a list of mine together and post their names!