PDA

View Full Version : Do you "name" your ukulele?



Preacher
01-21-2014, 03:43 AM
Hope this isn't too frivolous of a topic, but I've seen a few people here refer to their ukes' names. Just wondering how y'all come up with one. While my new ukulele is supposed to be an inanimate object, it seems to be very much alive as it sings to me and moves me and I find myself longing to spend time with it. (Yeah, I've gone totally over the edge now!)

How do you know if it's a boy or girl? I have a Mainland Mahogany Tenor, which I associate with a male (not to mention that in my mind, it's closely associated to Mike's smiling bearded face since I got it from him in person!), but my Kamaka is a soprano, which I would normally consider a female. But I always refer to it as the "old man" since I've had it for over 30 years. The Gecko soprano is a bright purple which I'm inclined to see as female.

How can I know?

And what has the ukulele done to me that I'm even posting this!?! :)

RonT
01-21-2014, 03:54 AM
One is named 'IZ'.
R

Pukulele Pete
01-21-2014, 04:22 AM
Yes , I have around 15 ? ukes and they are all named ukulele except for two which are named banjo ukulele.

DaveY
01-21-2014, 04:40 AM
I don't name or genderize my ukuleles, but I have noticed that when men give theirs a gender, it's usually female. I think some guys also do that with cars and boats and guns. I haven't noticed female players making their ukuleles male. I have no interpretations of this, as I did not go past Psych. 101. To me, it seems even more complicated than learning the notes on the fretboard. However, I'm pretty sure that to figure out if the ukulele is male or female, you have to look around inside the soundhole.

bborzell
01-21-2014, 04:55 AM
No, not much point in naming them. None of them seem to want to come when I call them, anyway.

SailQwest
01-21-2014, 04:58 AM
My first solid wood uke had a model name, Jenny. I've been naming my ukes ever since. (My husband names his ukes mainly to humor me.)

In addition to Jenny, I have Angie, Daphne, Mary Jane, and Blue Cat; all concerts. My tenors are BJ and Beachelele. (My rarely-played soprano is called the Black Applause.)

My husband's ukes are Jethro, Zeke, and The Applause; all tenors. (His rarely-played soprano is called the Red Applause.)

greenie44
01-21-2014, 05:19 AM
Don't name my ukes or my cars or my shirts. The ukes have a name - Collings Tenor Re-entrant, Kanile'a Super Tenor, Lanikai 6-string Tenor, etc. I guess if I were to get multiple ukes of a certain type, I would either have to extend those names (with wood type, etc.), but my goal is to not go there.

I do name my dogs, who come when called. When a uke can do that, I'll give it a name.

dnewton2
01-21-2014, 05:39 AM
I guess I name mine. Well they came with names: Howlett, Koaloha, Moore Bettah...

I do not own more than one uke per builder/manufacuter though. I don't think I would name them anyway.

mikelz777
01-21-2014, 05:41 AM
I'm not one of those who are in the naming camp. I call them by their brand name and/or size.

RonT
01-21-2014, 06:05 AM
...then there's Kala one, and Kala two..... Maybe should name them Soprano and Tenor...naa.
R

janeray1940
01-21-2014, 06:23 AM
I'm not one to name inanimate objects (I have a hard enough time choosing names for my pets!), but I got curious about this since there's a long tradition of naming guitars (https://www.google.com/#newwindow=1&q=naming+guitars) so I'm guessing the tendency to name ukes is a crossover from that. I don't have that many ukes, so referring to them as "the custom," "the pineapple," and "the concert uke" has always worked for me. One of my ukes has a Feb 14 manufacturing date, and a couple of friends have christened it Valentine - which I think is kinda cute but it wouldn't have occurred to me on my own.

What I can't wrap my head around is when people refer to their ukes in conversation by name, e.g. when a fellow uker says that she "couldn't bring Lulu" to our uke group meeting or that "Josephine needed to stay home tonight." I try not to judge, but - come on, this is just weird :)

Telperion
01-21-2014, 06:30 AM
What I can't wrap my head around is when people refer to their ukes in conversation by name, e.g. when a fellow uker says that she "couldn't bring Lulu" to our uke group meeting or that "Josephine needed to stay home tonight." I try not to judge, but - come on, this is just weird :)

Agreed. It's weird.

kvehe
01-21-2014, 06:38 AM
Some of mine have names, and some of them don't. Of the ones with names, some have regular names (Emily or George, for example), some have names that are not regular names (Yocto or Meerkat, for example), and some have names that are more like titles (The McLaren). Now that I think of it, the newer ones don't have names at all. I've heard that some people think that sopranos and smaller ukes are female, while tenor and baritones are male, with concerts going on a case-by-base basis. In any event, even though some have names, with the exception of The McLaren I never open a case thinking, "I'm going play Emily"; I open the case thinking, "I'm going to play the KoAloha super concert", or whatever.

ukulelecowboy
01-21-2014, 06:43 AM
Of the hundred or so ukuleles that we have collected and owned, I have named only one. The Graziano Baritone Ukulele that is my current and only performance instrument. I named it Ella...

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b75/ADDmodeler/Graziano%20Baritone%202/DSC_0210_zps8c307d80.jpg (http://s17.photobucket.com/user/ADDmodeler/media/Graziano%20Baritone%202/DSC_0210_zps8c307d80.jpg.html)

rem50
01-21-2014, 07:16 AM
I usually never name an instrument but I bought a Sailor uke a while back because the logo is the same as the one my dad (WWII navy vet) used to have on his forearm. It was named after him. Thankfully it was a relatively generic name :)
63180

cantsing
01-21-2014, 07:35 AM
During the few months where I owned 2 ukes, I called them "my ukulele" (my main player) and "my other ukulele" (which I rarely played.) Nobody has ever accused me of being overly imaginative.

OldePhart
01-21-2014, 08:30 AM
I don't bother naming anything that can't come when I call it...

peaceweaver3
01-21-2014, 09:51 AM
What I can't wrap my head around is when people refer to their ukes in conversation by name, e.g. when a fellow uker says that she "couldn't bring Lulu" to our uke group meeting or that "Josephine needed to stay home tonight." I try not to judge, but - come on, this is just weird :)

I just realized I named the ukes I loved, and not the ones I didn't. Their names and/or gender just were something I felt, like an inspiration I guess.

And I've had 2 friends, one a musician and the other who was just cool, who knew the ukes' names and referred to them in conversation. But then, I've been naming instruments I loved for a long time, not just ukes. And at the moment none have names, because I have no uke. :(

Naming them is not about them coming when you call. If they do that, I'm outa here! It's about connection, at least for me.

uke552
01-21-2014, 10:13 AM
However, I'm pretty sure that to figure out if the ukulele is male or female, you have to look around inside the soundhole.

Made my day....:cool:

Cohumulone
01-21-2014, 11:10 AM
I think it's kinda fun to name inanimate objects. My motorcycle is Charlene and I always pat her on the tank and thank her for getting me home.

The new banjo uke? That's Snuffy. Easier for me to say "I'm going to let Snuffy out of his cage for a while."

Kyle23
01-21-2014, 11:26 AM
I always thought it was weird, but I did name one. One of my best friend passed away last year from a car accident so I named it after her. She was the only person that I personally know that I felt comfortable showing my uke videos to.

Freeda
01-21-2014, 11:59 AM
I don't name ukes or cars, or much of anything.

bborzell
01-21-2014, 01:18 PM
I don't bother naming anything that can't come when I call it...


Is there an echo in here?

BlueSockMonkey
01-21-2014, 01:53 PM
I don't bother naming anything that can't come when I call it...

Well, my cat doesn't come when I call her, but I gave her a name anyway. ;)

Likewise the ukes. My babies are Sugar Kowalczyk, Sophie, and Flipper (all sopranos), plus Maurice the concert size. I figured I spend so much time with each of them, they deserve names.

janeray1940
01-21-2014, 01:53 PM
I am not sure, but is there a convention in these languages and others concerning how to talk about musical instruments, do they use the female or male Le/La?

If you can believe the US Navy (http://www.history.navy.mil/trivia/trivia01.htm#anchor253178), well - you may be on to something. This discussion reminded me that boats and other vehicles are often referred to as "she," but I've never heard one referred to in the masculine, so I googled "why are boats called she?" and the Navy link provided the following: In languages that use gender for common nouns, boats, ships, and other vehicles almost invariably use a feminine form. Likewise, early seafarers spoke of their ships in the feminine gender for the close dependence they had on their ships for life and sustenance.


Just to be a contrarian, this makes me want to give all of my ukes manly-man names...

itsme
01-21-2014, 02:22 PM
<sigh> I wish the search feature here was more robust or I'd give you some links, but this topic has come up numerous times.

I'm in the no-naming camp. The vehicles here are referred to simply as the car or the truck.

I have one baritone and it's called the bari, one soprano called the Flea and once concert called the Fluke. My tenors are just called by their maker... the Kala, the Mainland, the Pono, etc.

BigD
01-21-2014, 03:59 PM
im also a non-namer. i understand why people do, but its just never really come up for me. My gf has tried to name them over and over and it just doesnt stick, unless i have multiples of the same uke(which wont happen) its just not going to happen. Ive actually been wondering about this lately too because ive got a new seagull entourage that im just in love with and i still have no desire to name it. to each their own i guess.

DaleR
01-21-2014, 04:01 PM
no, but I do hug them very closely and....

cdkrugjr
01-21-2014, 05:09 PM
I don't, but my daughter has named hers Sophia.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
01-21-2014, 05:26 PM
I've named a few ukes, but none of my favorite ukes have names other than their given names. I just can't come up with names that are more fitting than Camp Uke, Kamaka, Islander Uke, Kiwaya and Martin.

Preacher
01-21-2014, 05:28 PM
I wish the search feature here was more robust or I'd give you some links, but this topic has come up numerous times.

I did try to look for this before I posted, but nothing showed up in the first 4 pages of results. I gave up after that. Interesting to see how odd some people think the idea is while others see it as the most natural thing in the world. Right now, the tenor is still nameless but it's definitely a "he."

Lori
01-21-2014, 07:08 PM
I not a namer either. I have a lot of ukes though, and they are all different. The only one that has a name is one that came already named... it is the Amy 2 that Bradford Donaldson made. So, I call most of them by their descriptive names: Mainland Mango, Kala Kiwi, Ohana 5 string, Longneck Pineapple, Baritone, etc.
Good thing my UU member name was available... I couldn't really think of a great pseudonym.
–Lori

allanr
01-21-2014, 07:25 PM
Most of my ukes don't have names, but I have named some. The National is named, Nerp (NRP, National ResoPhonic). My Ukebrand soprano is named, Kenny, after its builder Kenny Hill and a favorite song by my friend, David Olson. The Gibson is named Gibby. That's it for names. My wife names all of her ukes though.

BTW, be sure to Google/YouTube Kenny by David Olson. it is incredibly funny (and well crafted too)

kohanmike
01-21-2014, 08:26 PM
The only name I give my ukes is on an embroidered patch with initials that I swap on my gig bag so I know which one I'm carrying;

Lanikai Quilted Ash is L–QA, Gretsch Mahogany is G–MH, Oscar Schmidt Spalted Maple is OS-SM, Uku Hanknn Acacia Koa is UN–AK, Lanikai Zebra Wood is L–ZW, East-Start Flame Maple will be ES-FM.

Hippie Dribble
01-21-2014, 09:33 PM
When I start naming my ukes I'll tell consitter to throw away the key. :p

wickedwahine11
01-22-2014, 06:08 AM
Yep, it is weird but I do name them. My first uke's name was just randomly chosen because it was Hawaiian - Leilani. My Kamaka's name is Pele just because the curls in the koa reminded me of lava flowing. My Kamoa Kauai built tenor, KoAloha tenor and Pineapple Sunday and Kanilea tenor all have Hawaiian names that have meaning based on what that uke means to me or reminds me of, i.e. the Kanilea is an island inlay so it is "Ailana" - Hawaiian for island. The KoAloha tenor is "Kalaunu" -- crown in Hawaiian since it has a crown bridge. The Pineapple Sunday is "Makana" - gift since Pops let me pick it from all the ones available. The Kamoa soprano is Koloa, since that is one of the towns in Kauai where the person that gave it to me is at. The Kamoa Kauai built is "Kahi Ko'ola Uhane" - place of renewed spirit, since Kauai is my favorite place on Earth and it was built there.

As for gender, all of them are "she" except my KoAloha tenor, which just looks kind of masculine with the crown bridge and headstock -- so I figured I'd make it a "he."

I just name them for fun, but I also named every car I ever owned too.

And nope, they don't come when I call, but neither do most of the cats I have known in my life either, and those got names too.

OldePhart
01-22-2014, 09:28 AM
When I start naming my ukes I'll tell consitter to throw away the key. :p

Actually Jon, I was given to understand that you used to name your ukes but stopped after having used up all the names in a naming dictionary... :)

John

Shazzbot
01-22-2014, 09:45 AM
My Flea is named Frodo and he has traveled the world with me.

RedRamen
01-22-2014, 09:50 AM
My Kanilea is called Bunny Wife Bob.

DaveY
01-22-2014, 01:00 PM
I decided to name one of my ukes after the bass player for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

bborzell
01-22-2014, 01:58 PM
I decided to name one of my ukes after the bass player for Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Michael Balzary? Sounds a bit formal.

Flyinby
01-22-2014, 02:47 PM
Never. Nor would I assign them a gender, because they don't have one. I think I appreciate my ukes as much as the next person, but I don't assign any imaginary qualities to them, they're musical instruments. I don't name my cars either, or surfboards, or tools, toasters, or shoes, and none have genders.

PereBourik
01-22-2014, 04:46 PM
Each one has told me its name.

UkerDanno
01-22-2014, 05:21 PM
I call my vintage Martin, "Marty" once in a while, that's about it.

Nickie
01-22-2014, 05:34 PM
Kyle, I'm very sorry for your loss. I guess a uke could be "sexed" by knowing if the tree it came from was female or male...some employees of an ALF named my fave "Dreammaker" because it put a very anguished resident to sleep, when nothing else was working. I changed the name to "Ativan" cause I like that better...I haven't named any of my other ukes....both are concerts, and both are Kalas, so it's easier for my GF to know which one to grab if I ask her to meet me and bring one of my ukes to a jam session.....

Edgeguy
01-22-2014, 06:28 PM
No, but my girls might if they at all get interested in them.

hucklelele
01-22-2014, 07:20 PM
Maybe I'll call them all "KITTY"
They're just wild things,
like the poor old no name slobs the dogs have been known to eat.....
63221

consitter
01-22-2014, 07:57 PM
Yes. I named mine Lokahi. And for those of you who make fun of those who name their ukes (and those who don't as well), below is a link to a story that tells why my ukulele is named.

http://koalohastory.com/koaloha-talkulele-story-collection/kentucky-koaloha-story-scott-webb/

The Old Gig Bag
01-23-2014, 03:52 PM
Although I don't feel genders with them. I call one "My Beater" cause it was not very expensive and I wale on it a lot. My BanjoUke or Banjolele is called the "Old Man" as my dad had a similar one and another is called "Pricey" because it was pricey for me. The last one is just called Pineapple cuz thats what it is.

frankie981
01-23-2014, 05:12 PM
I called my uke : Lili.
It is because her full name is ukulele, (is it too lazy to think of a name? ;) )

Meljoe
01-24-2014, 12:45 AM
Nope.. I'm not good at naming.. :D :p

hilot.h.
01-24-2014, 08:12 AM
No.i don't do that.i named my cat though.

Shady Wilbury
01-25-2014, 05:49 AM
The ukuleles I play most frequently now have names. My concert is called 'Paloma', and my soprano 'Pajaro'. This continues a tradition born with my 1996 Guild guitar Mariposa. Naming instruments strengthens the bond, to me, anyway.

Kala-Phoebe
01-25-2014, 05:56 AM
i named mine after their brands, so i refer to them as kala, oscar schmidt, and domino. i collectively call them "my babies", though. c:

cua94
01-25-2014, 07:45 AM
I have Lana which means beautiful woman in Hawaiian and Honu which means green turtle in Hawaiian.

Lani is a red Mahalo soprano and Honu is a green Kala exotic Concert. I guess Lani is female and Honu is male. I name my cars too. :-)

Kem
01-25-2014, 11:18 AM
I haven't named any of my ukes on purpose. However, someone named one of them by accident.

I was with some musicians, one of whose tongue got a bit tangled when she asked me if I was going to play something on my ukulele; it came out as "your lukulele." It was inevitable that the uke be dubbed Luke. Normally, I am not made happy by cutesy names such as "Luke the Uke," but sometimes, these things happen. Besides, I have a song about Luke Skywalker. It's all good.

Spanalier
01-25-2014, 12:53 PM
Felix, Luke, Charlie, and Eloise.

I don't really use their names though. The only one that gets used on a semi-regular basis is Eloise, and only because the uke in question is a vintage (circa 1920's) one that I inherited from a great aunt named, you guessed it, Eloise (:

My guitar and banjo also have names, Dexter and Mr. Declan Banjo, but like most of the ukes, I never really refer to them by name.

My upright bass doesn't have a name.

For me, some of the names are natural, and some are forced. But I like giving them names regardless.

Radio Flyer
01-25-2014, 03:10 PM
I'm a little embarrassed sniffing the hole of my uke as is, naming it would make that an impossibility in any kind of public environ.

BigMamaJ40
01-26-2014, 03:50 PM
One of my ukes was just named today! This is my first instrument with a name beyond the model designation. I have always felt a name should come about organically, like a nickname does (e.g., refer to Howard's astronaut nickname on "The Big Bang Theory").

I was playing the Grateful Dead song, "Ripple", with a group of friends, and one of the guys said: "Ripple, just like on your ukulele", referring to the curly koa on my Kanile'a tenor. So, "Ripple" it is :)

Kayouker
01-27-2014, 11:57 AM
I much prefer to get ukulaid anonymously...

HBolte
01-28-2014, 12:30 AM
I don't name ukes or cars, or much of anything.

I don't. Don't call my cars or ukes "her" either.

janeray1940
01-28-2014, 04:53 AM
It happened again last night - uke group member referred to her uke by name (with no reference to it being a ukulele) and I had NO IDEA what she was talking about. Sheesh! It's hard enough to keep HUMAN uke group members names sorted out.

OldePhart
01-28-2014, 07:47 AM
It happened again last night - uke group member referred to her uke by name (with no reference to it being a ukulele) and I had NO IDEA what she was talking about. Sheesh! It's hard enough to keep HUMAN uke group members names sorted out.

Exactly!

John

aquadan
01-28-2014, 04:05 PM
I don't name my ukes, but I name my computers after uke brands. So I have pono, kamaka, bettah, koolau, and koaloha right now. And no I don't own most of those makers sadly.

Uke-Conn
02-16-2014, 10:34 AM
I don't generally name my inanimate objects, but I'm seriously considering calling my new KPK concert Johnny B. Good because it plays just like a ringin' a bell . . . .

bborzell
02-16-2014, 12:18 PM
No, no, and no.

actadh
02-16-2014, 06:43 PM
I am not particularly original as my ukuleles are referred to by their characteristics. My little soprano has Aloha written on it and has a happy sound when I strum it, so that is the name I call it. My concert has dragonflies around the sound hole, so I call it the Dragonfly.

coolkayaker1
02-16-2014, 10:21 PM
I am not particularly original as my ukuleles are referred to by their characteristics.
I, too, name ukes by characteristics. My Martin 3 is the "expensive" one. My Mya Moe concert is my "blue grassy" one. And my Silvercreek Koloa is my "shitbox".

consitter
02-16-2014, 10:40 PM
I, too, name ukes by characteristics. My Martin 3 is the "expensive" one. My Mya Moe concert is my "blue grassy" one. And my Silvercreek Koloa is my "shitbox".

I take it you don't make a recommendation for a Silvercreek Koloa then?

coolkayaker1
02-16-2014, 10:48 PM
I take it you don't make a recommendation for a Silvercreek Koloa then?

It's for #2 only.

consitter
02-16-2014, 11:15 PM
It's for #2 only.

So, a 'just in case' thing if you're too far from the crapper...

Kevin B
02-17-2014, 03:52 AM
63926I named the concert banjo uke I built the "Diamond King." It has diamond fret markers and a Les Paul Crown on the peghead.