The Backcut

11 February 2:55 pm

An 1870 oil painting by Ford Madox Brown
depicting Romeo and Juliet's famous balcony scene
Wikipedia

Editor's Note: As the hashtag evolved, it turned out it also held multiple meanings across the globe. In the Philippines, the word "baon" also referred to a style of lunch popular with school kids. It also came under use in Russia with other awkward meanings. As such, the Rose City Riveters decided that beginning with the 2014 season, the hashtag would alter slightly to #BAONPDX. It still remains its excellent theatrical, literate and rose-infused core.

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#BAON. You may have seen the hashtag pop up recently in regards to Thorns FC tweets. What does it stand for? What does it represent?

Much like #RCTID, #BAON has taken on an organic, fan-driven evolution. It grew out of a desire to sometimes separate fans’ Thorns Twitter conversations from their Timbers ones. They can certainly overlap and intersect, but on occasion, one is one and one is the other.

But back to #BAON, what’s in a name?

Exactly. For sharp-eyed literate Shakespeare academics, #BAON stands for “By Any Other Name” and is a snippet of a monologue from Romeo and Juliet’s Act II, Scene 2. Romeo, scion of the Montague family has fallen for Juliet, maiden of the sworn enemy Capulets. The famous scene is set is the evening when Romeo comes upon Juliet high atop her balcony. Hidden from her view, he speaks his famous “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks,” monologue singing the praises of her beauty. Her response, which he listens to, laments the fate that should see them be from separated warring families. Were Romeo not a Montague in name, she figures, all her problems would be solved.

What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O! Be some other name:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

In essence, she’s saying, “It’s not the name that should matter, it’s what’s inside that counts.” Juliet is pining for the man, not the name—a romantic wish to be sure.

But for Portland Thorns FC, with their intertwining language and identity with roses and the Rose City being key, the meaning is expanded to become less about the name on the back of the shirt, and more about all being what’s inside the player—the quality of the play and the drive to win.

So be it #BAON #BAONPDX or #RCTID, now you'll know where to track your Portland soccer teams' online chatter and discussion.