Editor's note: What does your name say about you? Tell us on iReport how you think people see you based on your name and upload a photo of yourself. The best responses could be featured on CNN.com.
By Sarah Springer, CNN
(CNN) - Francine Rosemarie Davis comes from a family filled with traditional names. Her grandparents, Richard and Evelyn, named her mother Jill, who later named her children James and Francine. Her father? Charles.
But for years, she got strange looks from kids and adults when she was introduced. She went to school with girls named Star, Diamond and Magnificent – “perfectly acceptable names for black children,” in a way Francine or even Emily and Sarah weren’t, said Davis, who is black. When Davis moved to suburban Cleveland school, the comments kept coming.
“‘That’s an old lady’s name!’” she remembers her peers and their parents saying. “‘The only people left with that name are older ladies.’"
Perceptions about her based on her name followed her into adulthood, too - she’s 30, but people often assume she's older, and maybe white, she said.
“Now that we’re older and looking to get a career, you’ll send out a resume and when you walk through the door you’ll get a strange look because you’re not the person they expected to see,” said Davis, who works as a chemical engineer.
Researchers say our names have long affected how people perceive us, but trends and traditions around names - and what they say about our gender, age, race and ethnicity - are changing.
Jessica Simpson announced yesterday the birth of her new little one, Maxwell Drew – a 9 pound 13 ounce girl. She’s not the first to grab headlines with a nontraditional name: Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes have a daughter, Suri, Jay Z and Beyonce have their Blue Ivy bundle of joy and there’s no forgetting Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, Apple. Celeb chef Jamie Oliver has four little ones: Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear Maurice.
During the last half-century, parents from all racial and ethnic backgrounds have turned to less popular or traditional names and more believe it’s important to find distinctive names for their children, said Hannah Emery, a sociology doctoral student at University of California Berkeley, who spent years researching naming practices.
“The parents I spoke to didn't want an ‘Apple,’ but they didn't want an Isabella or Jacob, either,” she said, referencing the most popular names for girls and boys in 2010. “In the few cases where parents I spoke to had inadvertently chosen a Top 10 name and found out about it after the fact, they were almost apologetic, as if they thought they had somehow done a disservice to their child by choosing a common name.”
iReport: What's in a name? More than you might think
Different race and ethnicity groups have different traditions, too. African-American parents are more likely to choose unique or invented names, Emery said, while Asian immigrant parents are likely to choose names already popular among white American parents.
In the last 40 years, parents stretched the boundaries of how names are tied to gender, especially by naming more little girls with what used to be the domain of boys, like little Maxwell Drew. (CNN's Marquee blog reports that Maxwell is said to be father Eric Johnson’s middle name, and his grandmother’s maiden name. Drew is said to be maternal grandma Tina Simpson’s maiden name.)
Despite the naming shifts, people still make assumptions about others based on them, Emery said.
“People can make educated guesses about your gender, possibly your race or religion, maybe the era in which you were born and in some cases those educated guesses can lead to judgments being made about you, sight-unseen,” Emery said.
Davis said her traditional name only allowed for her personality to shine.
“A lot of people want to live with their name remembered, but who is the person behind the name?” Davis said. “I’d rather have people know me personally than remember me for what my name is.”
Tell us in the comments or on iReport: What does your name say about who you are and how has it affected how people perceive you?
Knew a kid named Stuart Pyndus. Went by Stu...Stu Pyndus.
Also heard of a kid named Major Persons. Love it!
I am an ex-teacher and have seen many unusual names, but the one that tops them all was a boy that I knew in college. His name was Pleasant Word. Everyone called him Rusty.
My name is Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. Now you can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me Junie, or you can call me Junior; now you can call me Ray J, or you can call me RJ, or you can call me RJJ, or you can call me RJJ Jr., but you doesn't hasta call me Johnson!
This is getting ridiculous. I can see it now; "Hi Joe, good to see you again, let me introduce you to my daughters; Urethra, and her sister, Areola."
This is a great question for Mr. "World Peace".
My husband and I named our daughter, Sydney Fred. And 13 years later, we still love it! She loves her middle name and the unconvention of it. She is affectionately known as 'SydFred'. Fred is her dad's childhood nickname, my grandfather's first name and it also comes from a commercial I saw while pregnant. It had a line in it ".. and I can name my daughter Fred" – now if I could remember what the commercial was for, I'd like her to see it. Our son, Cooper, has what we thought was a fairly unique name – but we've discovered a few more in our smallish community... who knew?
There's an urologist in my town named Richard Chopp. He goes by the nickname Dick. His partner is Dr. Wang. It's absolutely hilarious when you hear them called together.
Hey – you're from Austin! I can verify that this is absolutely true. My friend's husband went to Dr. Chopp for his vasectomy. I remember finding that absolutely hilarious when I heard about it.
I have an ethnic last name that has a different pronunciation and meaning in English than in "the old country". None of us has first names from that ethnicity. We all have common English names, like John, Joseph, Mary etc. When my daughter was pregnant with her second child, a girl, I suggested naming her after one of my maternal great grandmothers, Vidoszava. I said, "Trust me, she'd be the only Vidoszava in her class!" My daughter, whose married surname is English, settled on naming the girl Evangeline Grace.
See! another Grace!
Had a Heidi Ho and a Robin Hood I spoke to recently. Cute. Also an Optimus Prime.
Have also seen Lamonjelo (Lemon Jello) and Orangelo (Orange Jello). The plethora of people who name their kids Shaniqua and Lacristala, Placenta (Yes, have seen that too) etc. are subjecting their kids to a lifetime of being pre-judged by whomever sees their name before meeting them. Think about it...It's a hole you can't dig out of.
What nobody has seemed to point out is that you can change your name... If you are unhappy with your name as an adult, why suffer? JUST CHANGE IT!
I think it's ridiculous that the Asians who just arrived in the U.S. are so quick to change their names, and they really picked some old names or very common names such as Jennifer, Kathy, Tommy or Tony. I think that for those who quickly changed their names are ashamed of their heritage. I even know some who have also changed their last names. It's pretty pitiful they want to be white so badly.
Someone I work with is from Thailand and she didn't change her name when her family moved here and I love her name: Nyla.
My name is ...unique! I love that nobody can spell it, and that my teachers accidentally call me "Kelly" my name is pronounced " K-ee-lee :D KEELY!!
That is just plain stupid. How could you blame anyone for mispronouncing it?
A relative named their daughter "Dalight"..I always thought that was precious..
Working in a department store myself and other employees met a tiny beautiful toddler and she said in a small voice her name was Heaven. We all melted.
I am named after my grandmothers and my aunt. I don't like either name but I love those I was named after. All six of my sibs got cool names. But I have always been "Charli" to my family and friends (nickname for my middle name, Charlene.) and I am definitely a "Charli"! But at school and work always go by my given name. Ugh.
I believe these famous celebrities give their kids odd names to keep the spotlight on themselves.. Each and every time their child's name is mentioned it brings up a conversation about them. And years from now, If the child becomes famous.. Everyone will know by association who their parent is.. Keeping them in the spotlight forever...
In another words..It;s all about their own ego's..
My mom's name is Beatriz. Growing up I thought it was so cool because she had a "Z" in her name.
Well put mate.
Ugh! My European mother named me after a "sweet girl" down the block and it's a horrible name that (a) sounds like a guy's name and (b) sounds like a barking dog. Needless to say, I go by my middle name and am too old to change the dadgum thing. Could be worse ... I overheard a lady back in the early 90s calling out to her child in the grocery store ..."Placenta". For real!!
I have also heard someone named Placenta! WEre you in DC?
My wife and I looked at names and then tried to imagine the name we were looking at on a 45 year old man or woman trying to make it in the professional world. We disgarded many because they were just too cute to be real. I have family members who have gone nuts with odd names only to have to console their children after the first day of school. Keep it simple and not too unique.
When I was growing up my best friend name was Carmen. I will never forget the time we were meeting a group to go to a theme park one guy ( who knew our names but had not meet us) says Maria? Carmen? But your not Mexican! By the wayy father wanted to name me Silver Springs no last name just Silver Springs
If I had been a boy, my dad wanted to name so my initials would have been BVD....
Went to high school with a man whose mother's name was David. Her parents wanted a boy and decided that whichever came out would get the name. She was born in the 1930s
She was married to a man named Lou (Louis) which caused no end of consternation to people who were expecting a different gender for each name.
While sailing around the world I spent six months at an uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean with several other boats. One was a family from South Africa with a young son named Brendon. He was always referred to as Little Brendon, as his father was also named Brendon. One day Little Brendon had a birthday – about 8 or 9 years – and his parents invited the others in the anchorage over for cake and coffee. Everyone scrambled to come up with gifts; not easy in the middle of nowhere. I put together a home-made card which read: "From this day forward, Little Brendon will be known as Young Brendon". When Young Brendon opened and read the card you could almost see him grow six inches in height. He was thrilled and his parents said they had never given a thought about the "Little" part, as it had been his name all his life.
The effect of names on perceptions is why some individuals from India or Persia or Pakistan give themselves "American Pie" names so that there won't be any prejudice against them. It takes very little communication with one however, to determine that "Mary Anne" is really from a foreign country and has no idea how American practices work regarding such things as customer service.
Choosing a name that is understandable in the dominant culture is not just to avoid discrimination. It is a way to avoid a name that others can not pronounce or spell. And, many hyphenated names, now popular with couples, makes it necessary at times to pull up an address book, or cut and paste, in order to get the name correct in correspondence. Also, what will two children with hyphenated names, who grow up and marry, call themselves? And, their children. In the end, our names are our calling card in the world. A lot of it is our culture and history. However, as the article points out, names sometimes have unintended consequences.
To avoid discrimination? Frankly Pakistanis and Iranians bring it on themselves.
Give your child a old first name but a totally unique middle name so they can choose what to be called when they are adults.
That is a great idea! Exactly what I did. Plain American first, two middle (use what you want) and our last name of course. It's hard with America not being used to two midddle names, but I couldn't make up my mind!
"Now I have a friend named Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla... Now Rufus has a sister named Rafaella Gabriela Sarsaparilla...."
I knew a girl whose last name is Ciancia, and her parents named her Nancy Ann.
Everyone always laughs at my name, and I have no idea why.
knew a girl named holly bishop. she was dating a guy named bob oliopolous. if they married, her name would have been holly oliopolous
I have also wondered how you are treated by people who react to your given name. I wonder at times what was going through some parents brains at the time they named their children.
I wanted a really unique name for my son (but not really crazy) as his last name is so common. I thought about last names of people to see if it might fit as a first name. I thought of 'Reiland' (pronounced Rye-land) and it totally fits him!
I, as ablack male, am extremely happy that my seven brothers and two sisters have traditional names. We do not have the extra aggravation of being instanly catergorized as someone named Da'Quah, Laqueedah, or Shannequah would.
What troubles me most with my culture is the almost cavalier manner in which names are bestowed on children. It is almost as if some of my people think a girl named Levitra or Chlymidia or a boy named Absorbine (Jr ) or Cirocwill ever be taken seriously later in life. Trust me they wont.
You are so right.
Ken, you need to stand up and say something. If it comes from a white man it will be viewed as less than helpful.
Ken M. Thanks for the comment and the laugh at the end. I agree, it is difficult to take some far-out names seriously, even when you know it was inflicted on the person. I swear, I am waiting to meet someone named "Latreena", and wonder how I will react if caught off guard.
Ken, You should make a video of your rant and post it on youtube. It's a message that needs to be heard!
You are so right. Parents do their children a huge disservice by making up weird names for their children like Latreecia, Natrone or Tyjuan.
My uncle says that names are irrelevant. His name is Les.
What does my name say about me? Nothing. But it shows that my mom was a Mac Davis fan.
I agree... names say more about the parents than the children than anything else.
WHite eyes never really happy. I like my name.
How can you like a name like "RedFeather", and be happy? :)
Acclaimed.....First, it's one word not two. Ted and Dan, Frank and Joe are always jealous.
Oh, Acclaimed. You must have a beaut not having the nerve to post your real one. Now sit back and make up a good one.
Redfeather, I like your name too.
My mom named me after herself – Marjorie. For those who think a name is just a label, think again. Your name is an intrinsic part of who you are and defines your boundaries of self. For my entire life I was connected to my mother and her behavior by everyone who knew us. For much of my life I didn't know how to be ME! I finally broke free a few years ago by legally changing my name. It is incredible the joy it brings to be able to introduce myself to people with a name I like and that allows me to be an individual.
Your father and I can't wait until you change your address. I am tired of reading your delinquent credit card bills!!!
I think you are right, it does say a lot about your parents rather than who you are. But true that as a JR. you will always be tagged to the individual you are named after... All the more reason parents should be cognizant of their thoughts, words and behaviors.
Complex, invented names would doom the child to constantly having to spell it out for people. Further, those names likely would not show up as an executive position on company letterhead. Not being mean, just perception and matter-of-fact in the business community.
I've always loved my name – Rita Cruz. The first thing I love about it is that my first and last name have only four letters. I first began to appreciate this when I was a child and had to take those standardized tests. The ones where you have to write your name is those little boxes at the top. My name would always fit. Whereas, other kids with longer names would run out of boxes. This would tickle me as a kid. I think my first name fits me to a "T." I have loved reading since the moment I learned to read. I always have a book in my bag. I pull it out whenever I have to sit and wait anywhere. I have read thousands of books over the years and have an extensive personal library. My last name Cruz always reminds me of cruise. I've never been on a cruise, but it is definately a goal of mine as I cruise along in life. BON VOYAGE!.
Funny thing about a name's spelling ability: even the most common name goes misspelled constantly. My sir name is from Ireland, is very prominent on the U.S. east coast and is the same as a famous Sinatra-era singer's stage name (so sad that people still can't spell it after that name drop!). No one on the U.S. west coast can spell it without being prompted, nor pronounce it correctly without help. It drives me crazy! Add to that my first full legal name was the most popular the year I was born and 3 out of 5 people spell it wrong to this day. The only people who can seem to spell it right before I can finish it for them are those on the east cost or in Europe. If hindsight could be a option here, I wouldn't mind spelling out a unique name vs two of the most common ones.
Meh, what's in a name anyway right?
Little Maxwell Drew will grow up into a cute little girl and all her classmates will affectionatly call her "Maxie Pad". Poor kid.
Do you know what grief I get?
Hope they Don't call you Stroker!
How about Richard Head?
I love it. If you don't you can always change it. You always know you're good for a laugh.
My parents torchured me with my name since its normal in Egypt but not here..everyone says it wrong; its supposed to be Yusra but its always either Yoosra or Oosra or Asra or Uhsra or Ushra or Ursa or Ursala........ my brother and siter are named Yasmin and Omar ITS NOT FAIR. I'm gonna name my daughter like Justin Bieber Ahmed just so she can be tortured ^^
You want your child to suffer as you have. Shame on you. That's what nick name are for. You want to hear a bad name my cousin named here daughter Greece. I told her it was a bad idea but she wouldn't listen to me. Well, after years of being laughed at as a kid. Greece changed her name to Grace.
I have a friend who changed her name on her 50th birthday, she had hated her name her whole life but didn't want to hurt her mom's feelings. When she finally asked her mom about it, she just laughed and said your grandmother named you and I named your twin sister, you can do what you want, I have never liked your name either! Trust me, it was horrible.
It's really harder as you get older, because, all of a sudden you don't know or like your name, but you look in the mirror and say "who in the heck is this person"?
As a teacher, i have seen just about all spellings, pronunciations, etc. The best names I ever heard, though is a comment made by one of my sister's students. They were studying the capitals and countries of Africa, and came to the city of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This 7th grader asked my sister "wouldn't that make a pretty name for a baby?" I will say, my sister replied, without missing a beat "Only if you hate your child."
I once worked in paternity analysis. No lie, we performed a parentage test on Immaculata Concepcion (Immaculate Conception) and Misty Blue Waters.
I worked in paternity analysis as well. The insertion of apostrophes was very popular in the African-American community. Examples are Ny'shivah, Da'Quajia & Ty'driqueze. Boy, I could go on and on......
Gee, wow...with a name like Susan, you must be so exciting....I bet your parents just love you to pieces.
We named our son uniquely as possible- Grendel- which is a historical, literary name- monster tho it may be. It suits him well and he loves it- As a female, I have been lucky enough to reinvent my last name several times- and taking a family name as a middle name was a good choice. In teaching, I have seen everything under the sun and then some- in a few years I will be expecting a host of 'Hunger Game' names (right after all the Jacobs, Edwards and Bellas- we are already getting our share of Harry's, Ron's...but not so many Hermonies, probably because it is appearing as a host of 'harmonies')
Grendel. Really. You're fortunate that he likes it. He could easily have hated it and you and resented both his life long.
Really, really~ and if he didn't like it later, we would of changed it- but as an adult now it is distinctive, memorable (he has a very very common last name) and fitting for his profession. Things work out for the best-
Before a few years ago I was the only Grace that was not Asian or old. I'm an 80's baby. Every Grace I met in school from kindergarten to high school was Asian. When I was 17 I remember meeting a man that told me his mother and grandmother were Grace, that it was an old name he loved, but never saw anymore. It became popular a few years back ranking in the top 15. Now I meet tons of lil Graces at play dates with my girls. I have twin girls and I named them Sol and Luna. I get a lot of "awes" from people especially in the Latino community. The names actually came from family. My aunts are also identical twins named Sol and Perla (Pearl) I thought since I got handed down the "twin torch" I'd play on their names. Luna just goes perfect with Sol. Their full names are Sol Phoenix Dawson and Luna Sky Dawson. So they will either be super heroes or actresses. They are pretty dramatic...but what 2 year olds aren't.
Those are kinda pretty names. I named my daughter Lachelle after friends daughter. She has turned out to be a beautiful young woman, and the name fits her well. I think you can go too far though. A unique name is one thing (Like Keanu Reeves), but you can go too far as other postings here have shown. So parents, try the name on before you give it to your kids – think of what they will be called.
My aunt Sol said she had to spell her name a lot to people but she was happy it was so short. I recently found out its used in the Philippians with the same meaning of "sun" The worse tease I could think of was Sol Cerveza, use your cabeza...remember that slogan for the Mexican beer?
Sol is the Spanish word for sun, Grace.
A Friend and I have an OLD name and we joke about being the only people under 80 with the name. Then we meet a 10 year old with it. Got a laugh out of it....... Guess you had to be there.
Guess so, Doris.
My name is definitely" old lady". I always have in the back of my mind when sending out my resume, they'll think I'm an old lady staying at home and baking. Hated my name growing up. However, I've actually grown to like my name. Traveling has helped, met a lot of young Betty's in other countries, it's mostly an outdated name in the states. My name is boring but rather have my name as something trending for the moment. My name has become trendy in one way, slang. See my name on surfboards, skateboards, restaurants, bars,and even clothing lines & boutiques. Actually had great conversations regarding the slang use of my name. Even used as a compliment & a bad pick-up line "wow you really are a Betty". Bad pick up line but still makes me smile. Guess my name is still around its just used mostly as slang. So I may not be as interesting as a Jewell, Bella, or Sapphire but think I've actually got more attention with my old lady name.
Naming your own child is the first and last real control you have over this bundle of joy. From now on it is all compromise. I personally like the name she gave her baby. It is interesting without being vulgar or stupid.
No one can ever get my name right. Everyone (and I mean everyone) pronounces it Caitlin. If you look at the spelling you can clearly see Cat-Lin. i just don't understand how it can be that difficult. But I guess people just quick glance at it and assume it is Caitlin. I love my name but it gets tiresome to have to constantly correct people
Well look on the bright side. Due to the popularity of The Hunger Games you'll likely have more people catching on to the correct pronunciation. Especially once we see little girls with varying spellings of Katniss showing up in kindergarden.
How'd you like to live in Texas with my name. Constantly hearing "One a them New Yoak Jews."
About as nice as a Southern friend of mine living in New York with the name Bubba. All regional and cultural names are made fun of outside of their main usage areas. The exceptions are the stupid made-up names in my African-American community that are used throughout the U.S. (and no where else). I have a cousin who named her son Puffy Courvoisier Jackson. The only thing she could've done more stereotypical would've been to name him Glock Lotrimine Jackson or some such. And the jamming together of the mother & father's names? Names like An'Shanique, Barsharon, Shi'n'tommi? It's one thing to use traditional West African, Muslim or Christian names, but naming your kid after a jock itch treatment or a name that no one can pronounce or spell correctly? Just stupid.
You know it may be a good thing people naming their kids different and newer type names. We may eventually begin to stop having preconceived ideas before we meet people. That would only help us to become more unified and accepting in the long run. A more UNITED NATIION!
This was an interesting read. However it does not help with the name I have. My father gave me this odd ball name that hasn't been used since the late 1700's at best and I'm the only one the the family with a name that no one can pernounce and when I was going through shcool or even at work I have to tell people my name because it seems as though thay can not pernounce it to save their lives.
Is it Arlene? Because if it is, it's a popular French last name
I think it's very pretty. Nobody had ever heard of my name growing up and used to always call me "linda" or worse. I used to hate it, but when I got older and confident, I loved it because it was unique, and I was proud to have a unique name.
That was my sister's name and I have always liked it.
My mother had a friend named Arlette. Mother was born in 1924. She died in 1999. Arlette passed away in the early '90s.
Jessica looks so beautiful in this photograph. Parenthood is an enormous undertaking. I wish her well with raising Maxwell Drew. BTW, I love the name. Good for her for following her instincts!
I couldn't agree wtih you more. A name is what you make of it, not whether it's gender specific.
I have two nieces named Kendal and Ryan, while these would normally be looked at a 'boy' names, I love them as girl names.
Then there's numerology and names that help determine a person's path in life, if you can believe that! I've seen some really weird names at work too, like Silver Cowgirl, but who knows if that was a real name or a psuedonym. My name is not Hunter, but I love that name and if I were a boy or had a son, that's what the name would be, even though I am against hunting animals. Go figure!
How about the fact that Oprah's name was supposed to be "Ophelia" but her mother didn't know how to spell it, so she used her best guess.
Actually, Oprah's name came from Harpo spelled backwards, I heard.
Hi Hunter. I believe Fed Up is right on this one. But maybe not. It really doesn't matter because Oprah would still be the one and only!!!! Have a good evening. I'm ready to get off work!!!
It's the opposite. Her company name came from spelling her name backward.
You are both incorrect- Oprahs original name on her birth certificate is from the biblical character Orpah from the Book of Ruth. The family did not know how to say it or write it properly and transposed the letters and pronounced it Oprah,. so Oprah it became.
No, I read in an interview Oprah once gave tha t her name was supposed to be Orpah from the Bible, the book of Ruth, to be exact, but they misspelled it, and, voila, she was Oprah.
No, Harpo came from Oprah spelled backwards. Oprah was Oprah before Harpo came around.
Actually both of you are wrong. Oprah's name was supposed to be Orpah and the nurse transposed the R and P.
Oh, and my name is Barbara. I HATED it growing up because it sounded...old. Today I'm grateful for it; it's a normal, nonstereotypical, professional name.
No, it was Orpah (from the book of Ruth) and it got misspelled Oprah.
I think it was supposed to be Orpah...a Biblical name, but it was spelled wrong on the birth certificate. That's what I leard
That happens ALOT~~!!!
I truly love my name. It is a strong female name – not too crazy, but not a name you hear everyday. With the names of my sisters – Jamie, Heather, Stephanie, I really feel I lucked out!! :) I chose to name my kids with names that had positive meanings. I felt there is no greater gift that I could give my chidlren, than names that are easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and have a true meaning – Colin and Audrey.
Erica – I agree. I did the same with my kids – easy spelling, easy pronunciation (Aaron, Amy). However, with all the variated spellings used nowadays, I am asked "is that spelled with an A or an E?" (for Aaron) and "how do you spell that?" (for Amy) So even with your Colin, you probably even get asked whether there is one or two Ls in his name :-)
What's really chaffin' my hide lately though is not so much these lame attempts at being clever or unique, but what's with everyone trying to come up with different spelling for their kid's names? The kid's name is going to sound the same no matter how you spell it, so why go and confuse teachers, public workers, coaches, other parents when it's time to send out invites, etc. by changing the spelling? It still sounds the same! So why mess with it? If you didn't like the name, choose a different one! I guess it just goes to show were all the 'creativity' from our parents drug use has brought us.
I do somewhat agree, even though I named my daughter Aprell instead of April. I love the spelling but it has caused a lot of confusion and you can't buy anything with her name printed on it unless it's custom.
Yeah, my dad didn't know how to spell my name when they asked him to sign the birth certificate. So my whole life is this odd spelling, but I love it.
Two words, Ted Kaczynski.
My name is Alyssa Joy. My parents settled on my middle name first, and then chose my first name out a baby book because they liked the way the two names went together. Growing up, my name was constantly being mispronounced and misspelled by others. I didn't know of anyone else with the same name – until Alyssa Milano came along. The name Alyssa grew in popularity because of her, so today, while I meet lots of other Alyssas, most of them are Caucasian and 15 years younger – I'm African-American. When I have face-to-face meetings with people whom I've only spoken to by phone, they are usually surprised to see an almost 40-year-old, black woman looking back at them.
My name is Lisabell I have always loved it and have yet to meet another Lisabell, My name represents me to a T... Unique and unforgettable. My son's name is Tobias Midnight Walker, and it suits him perfectly.
I work at bank and we have two twins that come in every once in a while named O'rangejello and L'emonjello... I have also met sisters Tutoria and Mentoria... Sometimes it makes me wonder what some people where thinking when they pick names for their children....
My first name is very common but I have never met another person with my middle name .. Caron.. not Karen but Car-On. I named my daughter .. Lyric.
I know a little girl named Lyric and I think that's a gorgeous name!
It's not a name that defines an individual, but their actions and persona. If your offspring distinguishes themselves later in life it won't be because you gave them a "special" name. I'm sure "lyric" will thank you later. As soon as "lyric" becomes self aware and realizes the absurdity and irrelevance of their name, they will choose another moniker from which to operate. You can keep on thinking that my Lyric is special though if it makes you feel good about yourself.
Hmmmm I guess I failed to mention that my Lyric is a Neurosurgeon....I guess she has done OK ?
In the 1990's I worked in a law firm in SW Atlanta. I had two clients whose first names stuck with me to this day: one was Itifiquanda. The other was Celery. I did wonder if the latter had a brother named Radish!
I interviewed a girl for a job some time ago whose first name way Tarantula..... She pronounced it as Taran-TULA.......
I am a bit mystified by the trend of giving girls names that are traditionally boys' names, as mentioned in the story (Maxwell Drew). Rightly or wrongly, once a certain threshold number of girls have a name, the parents of boys become reluctant to use it. How many boys named Carroll or Marion have you met lately?
(My name, by the way, is a family surname, not a creative variant of Michael.)
I saw a "Maike" the other day – a woman's name, but prounounced, "Mikey" and I thought it was very nice!
I have a traditional name and my parents purposely didn't name me after anyone they knew or a relative of a reference from a movie or book or anything else. As with everyone, I have gone through periods of liking it and hating it but mostly, at almost 40, I've just come to terms with it.
When I was pregnant, my husband and I talked about names and had one for a girl (Jade Marie) and one for a boy (Connor James) that were a mix of our heritages and just names we liked and sounded good together but nothing that was named after anyone.
I really loved Jade Marie but, when I would tell people what we had on the table (we didn't know what it was until it was born), everyone thought I said "Jane" so that was a red mark for that name in my book. Turns out I didn't have to worry about it because I had a Connor James ;-D
I had a boyfriend from years ago and all first born males on his dad's side were to have BBB initials... they had some creative names to fit that formula.
I deal with gender confusion over my name all the time. I am a woman, and I was named after my great-grandfather, Aaron. My parents wanted to keep the "A," so instead of Erin, Arin was born (literally!) Now I am in a management position and I have job applicants who email me resumes addressed to Mr.... all the time. I love correcting them. I can only imagine how mortified they are on the other end, particularly when they realize they might have just lost a job opportunity. But one should confirm before making assumptions, or choose a non-gender specific greeting, and if you don't, well egg on your face!!
Parents make think it is really "cool" to name their children with exotic unpronounceable names, but then the children have toi live with it.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Yes, I agree with your, (Shakespeare's), statement. It is unfortunate that we, as a human race, are so shallow in our thinking. It doesn't matter what one's name is – his/her essence is the same.
my full name is Kathryn Margaret! I hate my middle name! I go by Katie. I have a lot of people tell me "oh that is a very Irish, catholic name"....which is true i guess, my dad is catholic and Irish! lol! i just don't like my middle name. My name's came from my mom and grandparents.
My name is Greek and means "Truth". I got teased about it a lot growing up, but now I get compliments on how unique it is. The only down side, is that most people don't pronounce it correctly, and misspell it all the time. I still like it though.
I always thought my name sounded like a little kids name. So when my husband and I picked our girls names (Allesia & Sadiah) we did not want them to be too common and wanted to make sure they could shorten them if THEY wanted to later in life (maybe to Allie and Sadie). Most people mis-pronounce their names (pronounced A-Leece-E-A and Sa-Dee-Ah) it really has not bothered them or me. There are enough Alexis, Courtney, and Gabriellas in their classes–I am glad they get to be different. Most people tell me how pretty and unique their names are and I couldn't agree more.
I like the name Kerri
Mine is spelled Cari. I have always loved my name.
When I was a little girl, there were hardly any Carrie's around, and no one spelled it the way my parents did. Both of my parents had long, old-fashioned names and they had named my sister Lisa. My Dad chose the spelling of my name so that it would be four letters like my sister.
These days you see Carrie spelled several ways: Cari, Carri, Carey, Keri, Kerri, Kerry, Kari - I like the name.
In my country, Spanish speaking Honduras, names usually tell about the economic, social and educational status of the person in the sense that usually people from the less educated lower classes tend to name their children with misspelled American English names such as “Jayson”, "Brayan", "Susan", "Greisy", "Franklin"... I even once met a "Jon F. Kenedy López" and a "Stalin Lenin". On the other hand, the evangelical bible religions are also popular among the lower classes, so it is in this segment of the population where biblical names of the Old Testament are common such as "Josiel", “Jair” or "Jireh".
The Upper more educated classes prefer more conservative old Spanish catholic names such as "Marco Tulio", "Lucrecia", "Diego", "José María" or "Juan Pablo".. There is also a region in our country where the tradition is to take any common word in English and if it sounds good, they use it as a name. This happens among the Miskito Indigenous group, and there we hear of such names like “Usmaíl” (US Mail) or “Usnavi” (US Navy).
As a manager in a high tech company, we discarded resume's with names that were way out of the mainstream or one of the made up African names.
We insisted that our staff present a highly professional persona, and someone named Bamma Whamma Doo Dap, didn't fit the bill.
So that's against the law, and very racist....I guess Barack Obama's name would be discarded
So Apple Paltrow would get her resume thrown out and Tipper Gore?
Yep. And, you need to understand something. Hiring decisions are always made through the eyes of prejudiced interviewers. Age discrimination is cloaked as "over qualified". "Not a good fit" is another catch all cloak for everything else. What I'm saying is that, in a professional world a mainstream name will get you through the door. And, yes Barack is somewhat out of the mainstream, but it is a REAL African name of Swahili origin. It means blessing and we are blessed to have him as our president.
same goes for an obese person
The only difference being that an obese person with a more mainstream name would make it through to the interview stage. That at least gives them the chance to impress the interviewer with their charm, skills, etc. And some people, if they are duely impressed, would overlook obesity and hire the person.
The outlandish name on the resume can take away a person's only chance to impress a potential boss. The key is getting to the interview stage.
I am guessing nobody would want to work at such an ignorant closed minding company anyway, and that you will probably be bankrupt in no time. After all, what does a name say about intelligence? If you are that ignorant, you won't last long in life.
These people think you're serious. Wake up gang. He's a troll just in to rile you.
Highly professional . . .
You mean like the U.S. Secret Service has been lately???
I love my name. I think it suits me well. I guess you could say I have exotic looks and that's how I would imagine a Juliette. I was going to be named Olivia which I think would have suit me as well. I like Juliette better though. I used to be the only Juliette. I have never met another Juliette my age ( I am 30), but it is becoming more popular now. I only see it with little girls now. When I do see it with little girls, I always wonder why though. I met a little 6 year old with the name Juliette and she was an ugly little red head girl. It did not suit her at all. (Sorry i'm not trying to be mean, she can't help it. It's just the truth o_o)
Now that is a beautiful name, Juliette.
See how her hand touches her cheek, Would that I could be a glove on that hand that I might touch that cheek.
My initials are my nickname and I love it....KEM, just imagine, I'm named for both my Grandmothers and I have never heard of anyone having that as a nickname. KEM plactic playing cards??? I heard of a lot of Kims, but no Kems.....it fits my personality, just a little different and fun loving.....Kathleen Elizabeth
That is a beautiful name! I named my daughter that – Kathleen Elizabeth – and her initials are KEM as well.
It seems theres a little truth in what lots of you are saying, I am a black woman, and when I was looking for a job, it was pretty obvious a lot of employers assumed i was white!! One interviewer came out and said my name looking directly at a white woman! Her face was literally ashen when I said "Over here"
It's funny because my name is like that...most people can't tell my race from my name
I was named by an Uncle who paid the hospital bill for my birth for my parents in order to name me after his Grandmother, Parnecia. It is an American Indian name, I'm the only one that comes up if you type it in google. It has provided me with a "hook" as an introduction all of my life, people are curious. I wish I knew more about it's origin. It makes me unique.....it's a good thing.
I'm curious what people think of my name: Kylah. NOT Kayla. The y is pronounced like the i in kite. I also have a (super) unique somewhat German looking last name. I love my unique name, but I always hate when people mix it up with Kayla (the ugliest name ever – although I'm biased) and I've always wondered how it's stereotyped.
Your name must be growing in popularity. I know three little girls named "Kylah" and about five named "Kyla". All under 10 – funny how that happens. Does everyone get the same thought or what?
Can u imagine going through life with the name Margaret Jeanne...my mother was going to name me Veronica, and I sure wish she would of but caved when pressured...got my grandmother's name.
Wether as a child or today on the job, I'm a Margaret, not a Maggie, not a Margo, not a Peggy, Peg or Meg . . . Once the start of a meeting was delayed waiting on the arrival of a salesman who we had yet to meet face-to-face. Arriving late, the salesman rushed across the room to a much older, plumber, grayer, colleague cloaked in a knit shawl to ward-off the chill of the AC. Thrusting his hand out to shake hers, he blurted, "You must be Margaret! You look like a Margaret!"
Sue, our 60+ bookkeeper, blushed, pushed her glasses up to the bridge of her nose and pointed to me. I watched his eyes widen and jaw drop as I rose to the full length of my 6-foot long and lean frame and greeted him with a face 25 years younger than the one he expected. I firmly shook his hand and took conrol of the meeting–assuring him he didn't need to apologize. After all, I've been a Margaret from Day 1 - my name always seeming to be older than me. My mother always told me that one day I would grown into my name and she was right.
P.S. - I got "Margaret" the same way - it was my grandmother's name. And, I only use Maggie when ordering at Starbucks - Barrista's can spell any contemporary name, but my name usually leaves them struggling - Ooops!
With the non-traditional spelling of my name, I tend to tell peopel to spell it any way they want.
I once knew a girl named Hannah Banana Anderson in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have often wondered about that name.. and how she made out.
i would love to know
My name, like me, is ethnic & gender ambiguous. I prefer someone not making a snap decision about me because of what my name is. In short, my parents were super smart.
I made a snap judgement about you. You're named after a car.
A name does NOT make a person,.. the person is the same regardless of name, how a person reacts to their given name is another matter,...
What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Never truer words,... a reason why this has simple line from hundreds of years ago is among one of the most known
But a child's self-image is somewhat formed over time by how people outside respond to him or her based on their pre-conceptions. My father did not give me a powerful, more dignified name as he later gave his son. He gave me a little southern girl type of "cutesy" two-word names. I legally changed it, which was easy to do and very worth it. I told him what a lousy job he and my mother did in choosing my name, and I make them call me by my new name. It's hard to imagine some of our biggest movie stars ever reaching the heights they did with just their birth names, including John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, and Cary Grant. (By the way, "Moonbeam" is not my given or legal name - just a posting name.)
Since the parents are the ones who come up with the name, it seems that the name says more about them than the child.
Try being handled with Richard Hurtz!!!
better not handle me
I personally don't like common names. I named my son Guy. Not weird or made up, but uncommon enough to stand out. He loves it and that's all that matters. Everyone loves it when they hear it.
not only that,.. but even strangers can call him by name!!!
Hey guy,.. comon over here,...
"Bud" works well like this too
I actually knew someone named Guy. Very uncommon!
I worked in a college admissions office a few years ago and making fun of the ridiculous names coming in on applications was a big highlight of the job. These names are not creative; they're a form of abuse.
Kudzu: Of course...because of "people" like YOU, who laugh at them. A name doesn't make a person. So what gives YOU the right to go laughing at them?
Actually, there have been studies done proving that a name does, in fact, tend to affect the person and their lot in life. Purely looking at statistics, people with made-up and outlandish names account for a larger percentage of the poor, unemployed and even mentally unstable. The "why" is what I'm interested in. Is it genetics that favors this? Or does a strange name actually drag down the individual?
I was born in the late 50's and my Mom wanted to name me Mary Lynn....like Marilyn Monroe, but my Dad saved me by coming up with the name Nina (a variation of Anna, my fraternal grandmother's name). My maternal grandmother thought my name was "cute and small", said in her Polish accent. To my knowledge it has never become an overused name and I am very happy to have it. Thanx Dad!!
My name is most definitely not common. It lies somewhere in the 900s on the list of the 1000 most common names for girls. Growing up, I wasn't a fan of it and often preferred to go by just Rita. I have two sisters and a brother with relatively common names (Miranda, Marissa and Patrick) and, while nobody questioned their names, I was ALWAYS asked where my parents came up with my name. To this day, I can't get a straight answer from them, so I don't know. However, at 26, I love my name. I love that I don't know anyone else with it and I don't mind so much when people ask me about it. The truth is, parents do REALLY need to think about the names they are giving their children. I was teased a bit as a kid for my name, but as an adult, I think I grew into it. I go by Marita almost exclusively now. I think that's what's most important. Obviously, try to choose something that isn't going to garner a ton of teasing from kids, but it's more important that a name be something a child can live with as an adult.
Hi. I'm Chris from Iowa. Don't hate.
What is in a name? Would you ever want to 'osculate' your children or your loved ones in public? What if someone else osculated you? Did you know that osculating is a serious crime in some countries? Some victims of osculation have even ended up in hospitals, and cary the scars for life!
Osculate is another name for a kiss! Sure sounds horrible when you say it that way, don't it! Think about it parents! Your kid will have to live with the stink of whatever brain fart you bestow on them for a very long time. Leave the creative names for your pets and automobiles!
Sorry Motley, (great name, by the way!) My reply wasn't directed at you. I just rode your message. It was for all those parents (and you know who you are) that give their kids these gawdawful names in anyone's book!
My name is Angela Melissa ... I love my first name but do not like the flow of it with my middle name. Most ladies I know named Angela were born in the mid-late 70's or early 80's and so I tend to assume that if their name is Angela that they were born around the same time frame as me. My name crosses cultural boundaries. I have met Angelas who are black, white, and Hispanic. I like that my name is a bit ambiguous in that way. Melissa is pretty and has been used for many generations and among different groups, so again that name is a bit ambiguous.
Johnny Cash's song about "A Boy Named Sue" said it all about how the child has to live with the sometimes silly and even irresponsible names given to some children..
definitely within the top ten list of the best J.Cash songs!
I think by "made up/invented" names the writer means names composed of pleasing syllables that don't have any particular meaning, such as "La Toya." Most "traditional" names originally had some meaning attached to them...for example, the Irish given name "Sorcha" comes from an old Irish Gaelic word for "light" (BTW, it is NOT, as baby name books would have you believe, the Irish form of "Sarah"!).
First of all many names are the mixture of other names and are also derived from different names...This is perfectly acceptable, as a name is the choice of a parent. Not everyone has to name their children Caucasian names
Caucasian names??? Who's racist now? Really? A baby naming discussion gets hijacked by racism? So done with this agenda. Get a life! Guess what I am? drop the e and 300,000 African -American men are named Andre, add an s and 300,000 European men are named Andreas. Aundrea, Andrea' and more...seriously....
Andreas...........love people like you. A guy makes a simple comment and you go off and start with the racist crap. He said nothing racist. You did.
Meanings to the names? My guess is that the "writer" wouldn't know the meanings of 99% of the names that come across his desk.
I hate my last name. Have thought about changing it. It belongs to a bunch of child abusers.
Your last name is Priest? Or Catholic?
I read ur name while saying the th sound..HA
I have lived with unusal name all my life Dana – I married a women whose name was Toby. Wherever we went they would just look at us tring to figure who was who
How is Dana unusual?
never mind. i should have read your post more carefully. whoops.
My name was made up by my mom using my uncle's name and a dear friend of my mom's. I've heard of less than a dozen women named this over the years and none were spelled the same as mine. I like my name because it's not "odd", but it's unique to me. However, when we named our two daughters, we gave them very traditional names; not because they were traditional, but because of their meaning. The meaning of their name was very important to me.
Caius. It exists only on my birth certificate and state ID. My father, a reader of Roman history, named me for Caesar, although a third of Rome had the name. In grade school, I picked a nickname and continued to use it, and only a few people know about Caius. My wife only learned about it a few days before our wedding because of the marriage certificate. My point is, you don't have to use the name you're given. Reinvent yourself.
Aw, too bad, Caius sounds awesome. Kind of distinguished and impressive.
i had my daughter when i was an older teen, and wanted to name her "Brandi".....the more i thought about it though, i tried to picture people going to a lawyer or a doctor named "Brandi"....i just couldn't see it. I was reading "Christine" by Stephen King during the last month of my pregnancy, so i decided to name her after a killer car:):)
My name is pretty bland. I doubt if anyone has made or can make assumptions about me based on simply seeing "Mary Anne Landers".
But for many years I had to put up with wisecracks stemming from the fact that my name is similar to that of a famous and now-deceased advice columnist. BTW, we weren't related. "Ann Landers" was her pen name. Her real one was Esther Lederer.
My folks named me after the king of men and the king of beasts. wow, I do not belive I can live up to those expectations. :-)
I was named after a God,... and now I am godlike,... imagine that
must be tough to be codlike. not sure, but can you please advise as to how you are codlike?
do you resemble a fish? or is it another type of cod that you are like?
or do you just move around opening your mouth a lot? that would be codlike I guess.
tough to imagine a person looking so much like a fish that they, themselves are considered codlike.
rough life I am sure
I think you need to keep in mind that kids born today are is an entirely different situation that those of us born in the 1980's or prior. I'm a 1971 baby and know a few Marc, Mark, Marcus and Marcos. Back then it was all about fitting in, being the norm. So to us then a odd name was just another way to make fun of a kid (whether good natured or not). I had 3 best friends in high school all named Mike.
Starting in the 90's a shift happened and blew wide open by the time 2000 got here – people are no longer naming thier kids to fit in, they are naming them to stand out. See all the Colts, Haydens, Emmersons...etc... So our kids have shifted to a whole different environament where unique names have to get pretty extreme to get the attention of the bully. With any luck this will cut out much of the teasing folks on here are talking about. Just look at the shift in the 100 most popular names over the past 2 decades, it's a major shift.
My last name is even more common than my first and my wife has a pretty popular name too. So we named our son Finnegan and call him that or Finn. We though it was fairly unique and low and behold in his 2 years we have met/heard of/heard on the playground about 10 other Finns (none Finnegan though)! In his daycare – Caden, Sky (boy), Mackenna, Mckinzie, Gwenneth, Diana and a few others I can;t recall but just as unique. Only Diana is a name of someone I ever went to school with. Times are a changing, may be Apple isn't so uncommon....wait no that one is still dumb.
love the name Finnegan.
People keep talking about made up names, but aren't all names made up. The names that are popular now were made up previously, although some may have been made up thousands of years ago. The name is just a label.
Can I call you Ray,.. or can I call you,.. or can I call you,...
My first name is Jewell and I have always loved it. Do my best to live up to it. My middle name is Alicia. A name you hear a good deal in these times – but when my mother gave it to me when I was born in a small North Carolina mountain town in 1936 – believe me – nobody had ever heard of it. Seem my mother had a friend that lived in New Orleans with a Hispanic background, who had that name. And since I lived in the South, when my grandmother called out "Jewell Alicia" I knew I'd better respond in a hurry – caused she meant business.
My Dad's name was Jewel and he lived up to his name. He was one of the most loving, caring, giving, compassionate, selfless men I have ever known and when he passed away it was standing room only, packed church, elbow-to-elbow at his funeral. He had reached out to more people than I could have imagined. Just a common, God-fearing man from a small mill village in SC he managed to touch lives from all over this country. It doesn't matter what your name is, your character is what matters in this life.
What a nice comment...sorry our Dads have to move on...
I work in a welfare office and see the most ridiculous names imaginable. Here are a few: Blue Jean, Orange Jello (pronounced O-ran-ja-lo), Lemon Jello (pronounced Le-man-ja-lo), Sony, Magnavox, Zenith, King Superior, Queen Ester, Morning Ski, Evening Sun, Rainy, JaLo Maluv, Quansheekie Maluv,Poster, Hoster, Roster and the list goes on. Needless to say, it seems that the kids given the worst names are life-long welfare babies. Parents, please think before you name your child. Give them a good strong name that will not bring them shame in their twilight years or heartache in their school years.
The Lemonjello and Orangejello story has been told for years ... pretty sure I've heard more than 10 people claim they saw someone with those names. Maybe it's true, but likely not. Same with the La-a (LaDASHa) story that is going around. I used to mentor teenagers and there were a set of identical twins named Leon and Leondre. C'mon!
Well, thank you smanatahoware, for calling me a liar. I stated, in my post, that I work in a welfare office! Meaning, I am currenly employed by a state government. An active employee,not retired or pretend. The Orange Jello and Lemon Jello twins are my clients! I do not lie ! Maybe you should have read the first part of my comment more closely before calling me a liar. Learn to read before you pass judgement.
I must admit, I saw a birth announcement my Aunt clipped in Baton Rouge.... pronounces "Sha-Dynasty" but move the cadence and it is "Shady-Nasty". Give the kid a chance...
Yeah, that remark was made by a photog on TMZ a few months ago.
As a state employee myself, I am pretty sure you are aware that by listing these names of clients, you are violating confidentiality policies and laws. It seems like your concerns about truthfulness are the least of your problems.
Apparently Lemonjello and Orangejello have been on welfare for quite some time because I heard of them about 20 years ago. And to use client names in a public means like this is illegal. You should be ashamed of yourself!
I was named after a character on a soap opera. I hated it as a kid, but in present day, with Jennifer Anniston's popular "Friends" character, I'm trendy now. Big whoop.
You are blessed! Every woman I have ever known named Rachel has been ridiculously beautiful.
I've learned to avoid girls that go by one name.
Almost 30 years ago I had a client who came to see me with a problem...I can't remember what it was, but I've never forgotten his distracting name. In fact, I couldn't stop wondering during our meeting why he wasn't talking to me about murdering his parents, after he introduced himself as "Dobie Buttlock".
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