Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

When looking over a list of men's names in a foreign language, as of military officers, or of authors who have written on a particular subject, I am reminded once more that there is nothing in a name.... It is as if they had been named by the child's rigmarole, Iery wiery ichery van, tittle-tol-tan. I see in my mind a herd of wild creatures swarming over the earth, and to each the herdsman has affixed some barbarous sound in his own dialect. The names of men are, of course, as cheap and meaningless as Bose and Tray, the names of dogs.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Walking" (1862), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 236, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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