How powerful would you imagine a Superman to be if his nom-de-Earth was Cyril Floss rather than Clark Kent? The leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) who trashed the UK by misleading people into believing there was a viable EU-exit strategy, is called Nigel Farage. He pronounces his surname as in 'large', but I have it on good authority his father pronounced it as in 'marriage'. Nigel changed his name from Farige to Fararge, presumably not to sound more French, but to convey strength and breeding.
So what to make of a man called Donald Trump, and how might his name have influenced how people voted?
The Donald every American knows is MacDonald. A huge corporation who keeps many Americans alive (in the short-term), but is responsible for killing them (and the planet) longer term. America's favourite food, mashed cow and sugar, is plied from under golden arches (how trump-like is that - and as American as apple pie?). Spot on US voter split. Love and hate. One type of observer sees nothing but good things, the other nothing but bad. One is blinkered by short-term attitudes, the other recognises deeper meaning and consequences.
The word 'trump' originates in 16th century UK. It is a form of the word 'triumph' - to win. In cards, you use the trump card to win a trick. To trump someone is to go one better. Clearly Trump used his accidental family name to good advantage, especially all over his casino buildings with tastefully modest signs and subtle branding. Perhaps he believed from the cradle that his destiny was to trump others. To people who believe in their god having a plan, how many Trump voters saw his name as a divine sign?
So around 50% of a highly superstitious America must have picked up some flavours of him being a natural born winner from that version of his name. But there is an incredible paradox. His name also means exactly the opposite. It means to lie, cheat or deceive. Here's a definition I found:
Trump: "fabricate, devise," 1690s, from trump "deceive, cheat" (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de "to mock," from Old French tromper "to blow a trumpet." Brachet explains this as "to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ...." The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe "blow the trumpet" as "act the fool," and Donkin connects it rather to trombe "waterspout," on the notion of turning (someone) around. Related: Trumped; trumping. Trumped up "false, concocted" first recorded 1728.Which works perfectly for the other half of the US electorate who believe their country will shortly be in the hands of a megalomaniac nutter who simply said whatever it took to gain power whether he had a clue what he was saying or not, or whether it was true or not.
And so they divide. One half sees Trump the winner, the other sees Trump the deceiver.
If you want my prediction about how this will play out, I believe he will begin to hate every second of his presidency. The media will continue to mock and vilify him - which hurts a narcissist. The establishment will universally deride and frustrate his attempts to do anything bonkers. And his attempts at restoring jobs to America will have exactly the opposite effect as he breaks the budget trying to turn back the tide of a global economy.
He will also fall out with his wife as he already has with several previous versions. In fact she will make his life hell when she realises the FLOTUS has duties other than spas and shopping. In short, the whole of America will rapidly get sick of his incompetence, and will want to quickly find a way to make him resign, or impeach him. Perhaps the stress will put him in an early grave (he doesn't look too fit). In the meantime, let's hope they've taken the batteries out of the button!
In the end, it will turn out that Trump is just a name. Not good, not bad in itself, but loaded with emotion, hope, expectation... and terror.