In our global society, choosing a name for your product, your company or your child can be a minefield of nasty surprises and ‘double entendres’. As the dog-food ‘Barf’ showed. Looking for an unusual name for a baby boy? Bent, a Danish name, means blessed. Sounds good? But wait.

In English, the literal meaning involves something that used to be straight changing by way of bending or stretching to become bent. As a noun, a bent is a piece of unenclosed grassland and Bent Grass is a particular kind of reedy grass.

If you’re bent on doing something, you’re determined to do it and if you’re hell-bent, you’ll manage it no matter what. You’re really angry? You’re bent out of shape. Bent also means dishonest or corrupt (as bent as a dog’s back leg) as in ‘bent cop’ (corrupt police officer). This also immediately explains the expression ‘going straight’ when a criminal gives up their life of crime. Bent is also a slang word for homosexual.

But we’re not done yet. You can have a bent, or bias, as in a religious bent. And a bent, or talent, as in a bent for music. And a bent (mainly US) is a transverse rigid frame between, for example, bridge spans. And especially for the Flat Earth Society: ‘As time and space are bent by gravity, so too is truth bent by power.’ – James Rozoff.😊