The First Last Name

You sometimes meet people with nouns for a surname. I am not talking about vague twisted words, but solid descriptions, like Cheese or Salmon.

We are told this is due to one of their ancestors having a job related to this word. For example, Mr Cheese might have had a cheese salesman somewhere down the line, or an ancestral dairy farmer. 

This never struck me as very likely. When did someone’s job transition into someone’s name? Are we going to have Mr Admin Assistant and Mrs Supervisor in the year 3000? And out the dozens of jobs the human race takes parts, why and how is one chosen to rule over them all? 

To find the truth, we must go way back, beyond language, beyond humans, beyond Earth, right back to the dawn of time itself. Plato described it best. Imagine when you think of what these words mean, there is some sort of original concept that we can all relate to. Take cheese. I might picture Brie, you might picture Gruyere, but there is some core concept of cheese we all have.

These are the first things. This is where the surnames come from. Imagine raindrops filtered through a mountain, and ending up as bottled water, and you have a rough idea of how this works. Everyone with a noun for a surname goes way, way back, all the way to the beginning.

When you meet someone with a noun for a surname, make sure you shake their hand. There will be the tiniest tingle, and you will like them before they even open their mouths. Because you will understand what it means to shake hands with a God.