Shakespeare famously wrote:
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
in Romeo & Juliet. But would it? Do you think a name matters or has an effect on what you think of the object or person it is attached to?
Would a rose by any other name really smell as sweet?
No not really. If we grew up thinking that a Rose is really a Daisy, then we interpret that a Daisy has a sweet small. Association. If I think of a Rose I do think sweet, but if we called it something else I would not know the smell until I associate smell with name! So does a name make a difference or is it our association with that name?
I would smell just the same. The perception that has been caused by an ugly name would cause some hesitance if someone was to smell it. But once you smell the aroma of that flower, you will forget the name. I know of fruit with horrible name. Once you taste it, you'll forget the name.
I think a name makes an enormous difference. My character has definitely been formed in part by having an unusual name and all that went with that. Names can be used positively and negatively, there are certain words that carry a lot of power and when used as a name can cause huge upset and approbrium.
A rose might smell as sweet if called Stinky Fart Flower but would anyone bother getting close enough to find out?!
I think names do have some bearing on the way we perceive people or things. I saw the cutest little boy at the park once, but, when I heard his name, I thought, 'Crap. What have his parents done? Beautiful child. Terrible name. This could possibly disadvantage him later down the track." In any case, the kid was still cute as heck and a rose would probably still smell as sweet even if we recoil at their names.