How do parents ponies pre-know the talent of their newborns? In many cases, the name seems to be very reflective of the talent, or of their eventual mark. I think if I were making up the universe I’d have the ponies be given one name at birth, and then take on another — kind of like how some Christian groups do baptismal names or confirmation names — when they do figure out their talent.
I, for one, would like to know Mrs Cake’s maiden name.
Actually, I’ve wrestled with this question before, outside the context of pony — how, exactly, did Thomas Crapper end up in the toilet business? — and there’s enough of this sort of thing to justify a philosophical discussion:
Also referred to as “aptronyms”, New Scientist journalist John Hoyland coined the term “nominative determinism” for these strange cases of people who seem inexorably drawn to their profession by virtue of their name.
He was led to the subject after a being alerted to a scientific paper by authors JW Splatt and D Weedon on the subject of incontinence, on the same day as seeing a book on the Arctic by a Mr Snowman.
The idea has something of a history, with psychologist Karl Jung suggesting in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a “sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man’s name and his peculiarities”.
And there exists an entire wiki of persons with aptronymic names.