What’s in a name?

Quite a lot it seems.

Since I bought my farm I have been trying to think of a name for my cottages.  A year ago I even asked for your input here on this blog.  I have received many nice idea’s but none seemed to ring true.

As my guest cottage nears completion I am under pressure to finally decide on a name so that I can begin to advertise.  I put the question out to my Facebook friends and have again got so many wonderful names.  Only after I had rejected many of them did I  stop to question myself.

Why is this so hard?  It was easier naming my children. With my problem solving background I never once stopped to itemize a list of what I wanted in the name and that is why I was not getting anywhere.  How could I expect friends who have never even been here to come up with a name that “just feels right”?

This morning I sat down to summarize what I was looking for.  These are my thoughts.

The cottages are rustic with only basic amenities. They are old but the guest cottage is clean and is busy getting replastered and painted. They have thatch roofs. The finishes and linen are all new and add a little comfort to the basic design.

They are in the middle of the bush – African bush, which is harsh dry and prickly with animals roaming about – some can be rather dangerous.  Still, there is an amazing vibe here – peace, tranquility (besides the bird noises and the occasional hippo and wildebeest grunt.)  It’s sunny and hot most of the year, and lazing by the pool is a super experience – far from the madding crowd. At night the milky way shines brightly in the pitch black sky as you sit around the bonfire, listening to the magical night sounds of the bush. You almost feels that you can just reach out and touch the stars.

How can one name reflect all of this? Short and sweet – I don’t think it can – that is why it has been so hard to find a name.

So, taking the above into consideration, I need to find the nearest fit.  My thoughts so far are

  • I don’t want a native African name – this has been overdone in the area. ( Unless an astounding one catches my eye)
  • Soft gentle names that make one think of gentle lawns and flowing streams with happy bunnies hopping about just won’t fit. I would like to reflect the rugged beauty of the African bush.
  • I still need it to sound homey and comfortable in a rustic way.
  • It must not sound like a 5-star lodge – people will be misled.

Finally, after making all of these notes I feel that I can narrow down my selection (although I keep thinking that as soon as I decide on a name and make it official, I will find another that I prefer – that’s just me 🙂 )

So – this is my final call for any suggestions you may have.  Please feel free to make as many as you like.

Here are some pictures to help you along.

19 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. I gave this some thought yesterday when I saw your FB post. Nothing comes to mind yet but I’ll keep pondering. Those photos are fantastic, by the way. I’ll certainly come stay there whenever I’m in the neighborhood!


  2. Your description of your home brings to mind the smell of a hot dry day in the bush. I love that smell, I can smell it in my imagination now. I can feel the heat on my body even in the cool shade of the acacias. I can hear the cicadas the only sound in the middle of a hot dry day when the birds are taking a siesta. the nights are cool and the only sound you can hear is the humming of the stars. Have you ever stood quite still in the night and listened to the stars – they hum. Or maybe I’m mad, anyway, I can’t think of a name for your cottage. perhaps “cricket cottage”


    • What a wonderful description of the African bush. Thank you! I am going to try and listen to the stars tonight! – I have a vague feeling that I know what you are talking about. (re humming stars). Thanks also for the name suggestion – I will add it to my list.


  3. Slowvelder – Why not name them after their closest trees?

    Or… I think you have three cottages:

    I notice that one has what looks like a piece of driftwood near it (Driftwood Cottage) and the one in the centre is nearest the pool (Watering Hole Cottage) and the last one seems to be surrounded by more trees than the others so “Nearest Species” or Boma Cottage.

    S’fun naming things – it’s taken us three years to name our farm, but after our last trip there I think we have finally decided on one 🙂


    • Thanks Dani great idea – I think I will be getting one name for the whole place and then I will give each cottage its own name. The tree nearest the guest cottage is a snuff box tree – could be snuff-box cottage – cute :). The one nearest my daughters cottage is a wild fig – that would also be good. My cottage has a baobab right at the door – its tiny but will cause a huge problem in about 400 years time 🙂 . The main cottage (dining room, kitchen lounge and veranda) is in front of the pool – watering hole sounds great for that! Thanks !


  4. “The Slowvelder” – your blog is so popular. would it not be great to be able to visit your blog? Your blog’s name is so discriptive. Imediately one gets the feeling of where you must be writing from. And if any of your bloggers go and visit, they already know it would be full of bush, intereting things to see…and the host…well she is one of a very special kind! Love you lots X


  5. Wow–I wish I had a name in mind–but I think “Back to Africa” sounds great.

    Sorry it has taken me all day to visit you! But thanks for stopping at my blog today. Now I want to visit your cottages. The place looks amazing!



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