Trotters are animals that compete against each other and their names are the primary instrument for the players to distinguish between them. Different countries all have limits of about 20 years before a name can be reused. Beyond this limit names are reused to a certain degree. This creates a situation of forced creativity when it comes to naming. In Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) as a whole there is a demand for more than 100Â 000 different names within a period of 20 years.
Consequently, both the use of stereotyped names and of names that characterize the individual horse, are more or less precluded. There is rarely any direct connection between the name and the horse denoted and different horses are given the same name at different times with, presumably, very different motivations.
Building on a previous paper the author uses the hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur and Roman Jakobson's theory of communication functions to argue that horse names like Yellow Submarine, Revolution, Patron, and Aura are best understood as texts in miniature or utterances within a poetic function of language. The motivation resulting in the name cannot decide its signification. On the contrary this will be decided by each individual reading of the name, and this reading is in its turn based on the traces of meaning given in the name within the changing framework of the total corpus of the names given to the trotters. The name Aura can be read as a girl's name, as the name of a river, as a goddess in Greek mythology, as relating to migraine, as a halo or as an extinct language. The name Revolution can be read as a piece of music by The Beatles, just as much as Yellow Submarine, Lucy in the Sky or Octopus's Garden. It is significant, however, that some of these names are more open to interpretation than others.