The article concerns some pragmatic features of proper names and their behaviour in communication. Its central aim is to develop a version of the historical theory of reference and to find a proper place for the main notions of the theory, such as naming, the first use and the communication chain. It is argued that the primary theoretical importance is to be attached to the act of naming, the act of name-introduction. Contrary to some wide-spread views, naming should be dissociated from the first use of a proper name; this step enables one to avoid some counter-arguments. Partial changes are suggested also with respect to the communication chain of name-uses. The final part is concerned with a discussion about criteria of identity of proper names; the best ones, to my mind, are those based on the notion of naming.