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What’s in a name?


Before Kissen was built, she needed a name. Choosing a unique name for Part 3 registration is a non-trivial exercise.

The common way of generating a name that is unique is to use the “of” principle — as in Doodah of Whatsit. I had a boat like that once and it drove me mad, so we decided we wanted something that was simple single word, would sound clearly on the VHF, and was (obviously, because of Part 1) unique.

Well, most of the English words are already on the register unless you make something up, but that’s a recipe for confusion on the radio. Gaelic has some lovely words, but they’re all gone too.

So, we thought — the boats Swedish, let’s pick a Scandinavian word! The trouble is, many Swedish words are completely unpronounceable in English, and the sign writer would probably run out of Ks. German isn’t too bad, but with their habit of running words together, there wouldn’t be enough space on the boat.

After months of research, we decided on Kissen.It’s a Swedish word meaning loosely “pussycat”, based on Kisse, an endearment term for a child. We figured that the boat was going to be a pussycat, so it fitted.

Before you all write in and disillusion me about the accuracy of our interpretation — don’t — I really don’t want to know. We already know that it’s German for “pillow”

Oh, and on the VHF, everybody thinks it’s “Kitchen”.

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