What’s in a Name?

  • Charles DeBose


The “star-crossed lovers” of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet bear the names “Montague” and “Capulet,” which identify them with opposing sides of a family feud. In that context, the rhetorical question highlighted in the title of this chapter may serve as a reminder that, indeed, names matter a lot. A rose called by a different name might smell sweet right on, but the fabled flower might not appreciate what African Americans refer to as being “called out of its name.”


Language Variety Language Planning Taboo Word Black Person African American Culture 
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Copyright information

© Charles E. DeBose 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles DeBose
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversityUSA

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