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?
I was named after my immigrant grandmother from Italy, as a kid I hated my name but now Im ok with it (perhaps I grew into it. I have a daughter who was born in the 5th month weighing 1lb 10 oz and she was a surviver and now has a family of her own, I named her Melody(a song) Grace( by the grace of God did she survive ). I think a name should have meaning but in the end its not about what you are called but what you answer to.
Try being an Alfred....who names their kid that. You know who? My parents. I go by Al, but it isn't much better...I got picked on as a kid and it affected my self esteem. I stll hate my name...but the funny thing is about a month ago some oen mistakenly thought Al sounded like Rocco and it stuck...Only took 40 years to get a name that I could live with!!! LOL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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?
same goes for an obese person
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!
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?
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's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
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
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?
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
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.
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".
Our names are cool and so are we.
My name is Levaughn, it shocks people when they meet me and I'm not african american. I am often called lavaughn, even though my name is supposed to have a strong e sound like the song "levon": by elton john
I know a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but names do have a subtle influence on perception. A prime example is the Democratic strategist seen often on MSNBC- I just can't take anyone named Krystal Ball seriously even though she appears poised, intelligent, and articulate.
Cybil Shepherd named her daughter, Clementine. Yuck. And I absolutely refuse to call anyone Sissy/Cissy (short for sister). I'm not your sister and I'm an adult. What is your real adult name?
Knew one lady whose younger brother was named Raymond. Being a child, she couldn't pronounce it correctly and she called him Rim. It stuck, but it's not too bad. I remember one poor girl from school, Nargii (pronounced Nar-guy). She hated the beginning of school & semester changes. One lady actually named her daughter Cobra. Long since hit maximum on Josh, Jeremy, Jason, Jake and its ilk.
For all those freaky spellings of names, those poor kids have to go through their lives spelling the name for everyone.
In kindergarten, my parents taught me to say, "I don't have a nickname," after I came home the first day asking what the word meant. They gave me my Latin name, with the myth attached as an explanation, along with the line, "That's where the word cereal comes from." I have repeated that story and line for the last 55 years. It's always a conversation starter.
Having a classical name and having lived all around the country, I estimate that an average one percent of people recognize it as the goddess of grain and harvest right away; 10 percent recognize it as a goddess but can't pin it down; 79 percent just ask how to spell it and what it means; while the remainder say things like, "Like World Series?" while believing they're the first ones who has ever said it to me. " Geographically, Californians must have a wonderful mythology unit in middle school, because everyone from the used car salesman to the check-out attendant at the grocery store recognized it. But folks in North Carolina and Virgnia were not only skeptical of my name, but of my "mysterious" background (Born in Philadelphia to parents who can trace their British families back to Colonial days.). All in all, I've loved my name and I believe it's helped make me who I am, but I am very grateful that it's short, because I have to spelled it for people all of the time. Thanks mom and dad!
Her name was McGill, and she called herself Lill, but everyone knew her as Nancy.
My name says Catholic
What ever happened to parents researching the origin and meaning of their children's name? I mean come on, "Crystal, Bliss, Apple, Share? What was Candy taken? How do you explain that to you kid. "Well, we wern't sure what to name you and we were just lazy so we just grabbed something that made us laugh." Oh, and for those of you with "special" names HR does laugh behind your back and tends to kick your resume to the circular file.
we have atleast from the black perspective loss touch with how much meaning and importance that come with a child's name . I named my children Daniel, Caleb, and Faith. I couldnt bring myself to make up a name. A name that has meaning is important.
My birth name was Desiree and in the 60s ppl didn't know how to pronounce or spell it. If ppl asked the origin of the name I told them: it was the name of a French queen in Sweden. In the early 19th C the Swedish royal line was going "mad", so they adopted one of Napoleon's Marshalls, Bernadotte. My name is relatively popular in Scandinavian Minnesota now. Ppl treated me like I was exotic & resilient, having been saddled with a pretty but incomprehensible name. Could been Ingaborg, though. Yikes.
My name is Dubs Jackson – bet you won't guess my race, you racist mofo's! And yes I watch Dolemite!
I love when parents think they found a unique name and it turns out to be super popular. Friends of mine insisted Aidan was an unusual Irish name not used in the US. Yep. Their unique little Aidan is in school with 3 other Aidans, along with Jayden, Kayden, Hayden, Brayden and Payten. All so unique.
I got Fo Daughters by Three different baby deddies,.
The name thing has been done to death, no new research has revealed anything new for years. How is this news? Because another celebrity named their kid something kind of dumb you just republish the same stuff. How sad.
I went to school with a girl whose last name was Easter. Yes- her first name was Bunny. Every time she had to fill out paper work, last name first/first name last, she had to write Easter Bunny. Teachers pegged her as a smart alec from the start, which made her have to work harder to change the perception. I also went to school with a Liberty Bell and a Holly Leaf. The 70's were seriously messed up!
There's a trend (I have no idea if it's bi-racial or not) these days to give children a first name after their mother's maiden name. For example, my mother's maiden name was Conner, so I could have been named Conner Smith. Granted that not every mother has a maiden name that is suitable for that purpose, but for those who do, it IS a trend.
Sounds like a variation of the Southern custom of using the mother's maiden name as the middle name of the first-born son.
People have the right to string some sounds together and assign the result to their child as a "name"; my personal opinion is that a child deserves to be given a lifelong label with as much careful research and loving thought as the parent is able to provide. But who am I but an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy? I even think parenting should be a commitment entered upon in a spirit of grave sobriety; and judging by the sorry state of the youngest generation, probably less than half of adults should even consider becoming parents in the first place.
Doesn't sound like the happy go lucky image that the name Jenny evokes
I am an black woman who has an archaic name that I have always disliked. When people ask my name I, jokingly reply that no one names their kid Virginia any more.. Most friends and acquaintances call me Gin, Ginny,Virge,V, MS, V, Vigi or other variations. People seem to perceive me as being serious and driven (which I am ) and I wonder if the name sub consciously defined me or vice-versa. Also, even though I share the puzzlement over the "created" names In the African American community such as shenika, lorimeka, etc. I am appalledl"Jenny" made that led at the statement that she belives that they will not be "productive" citizens. Blatent racism and pre-conception.
Virginia, I think you have a wonderful name. It is very classy!!
Unfortunately, that is the exact reason why those kids will face more challenges in life.
In Germany it is illegal to give a child certain names - names of places, any name is not a "real name" (like an object), last names, or any name that the child could be ridiculed for having. At least one of their names has to reflect their gender and I believe the name Adolf is banned as well.
What happened to Shiniqua, Tanika or Kaesha or even Tequila???
It doesn't matter what celebrites name their children because these kids will never have to enter the "real" world of creating a resume, going on job interviews, etc. They're famous the minute they're born and will inherit wealth so they'll never have to experience the stuff we regular people do.
Names really do give away the timeframe in which you were born, ie:
1930s: Marilyn, Maxine, Earl, Clarence, Ernest
1940s: Eugene, Leonard, Patsy, Martha
1950s: Mary, Linda, Carol, Roy, Albert
1960s: Karen, Jennifer, Susan, Michael, Andrew, David
1970s: Melissa, Kimberly, Stephanie, Christopher, Jason, Daniel
1980s: Jessica, Ashley, Tiffany, Joshua, Justin, Ryan
1990s: Emily, Brittany, Taylor, Megan, Nicholas, Tyler, Zachary
2000s: Madison, Emma, Olivia, Logan, Caleb, Cameron
2010s: Isabella, Ava, Madison, Chloe, Jacob, Ethan, Noah, Liam, Jayden
I kind of miss good old fashioned names that are timeless like Sam, Jack, Grace, Anne. The last 30 years sounds like most kids were named after soap operas.
The top girls names of the 1970s were Jennifer and Amy. I hate my name because it was so common. I had to learn NOT to respond to my name in school because there were so many of us. I made sure to name my little girl something that was not on the top 100 list because of it. It's a beautiful traditional name that is easy to pronounce and spell.
Love the name Grace -that's what I named my daughter. I'm very into timeless names and when i though of her name, I wasn't thinking about me. I was thinking about what can she comfortably grow up as. And we're african-american. Looking forward to naming any future kids: Julia & Christopher.
Jennifer was only really big because (back then) there was only one way to spell it. I was a "Chris" during the 70s. You won't find it really high on the popularity charts because there were about 20 different versions or spellings: Christy, Christy, Kristie, Kristy, Christa, Krista, Crystal, Krystal... ok, I'm already tired and I'm not even half way through. I played tennis and other than one Jennifer, the rest of the team was some sort of "Chris"... We all were girls and went by our last names like boys because everyone had the same name.
Don't forget Alexander/Alexandria in the 1990s. My son was born in 1993 and I named him Alexander James, Thought it was a lovely, respectable name, not too common. Alexander because I liked it and James because it was my brother's name. By the time he started school, there were so many with the names Alexander/Alexandria, he had to give up his first name and go by his last name.
Myself, Eugene, 1946.
My wife, Mary, 1955.
Even these are close.
Children: Jared, 1983; Trevor, 1991; Brianna, 1993.
When I was a kid I always wanted a unique name but now that I'm grown I love it. No one forgets my name and even if they do, they have like a 1 in 3 chance of guessing it right.
People WILL judge you by your name so that's something to think about before you name your kid something ridiculous. Yeah, sure, I understand that people don't want to be mainstream, but sometimes kids are predestined for certain careers given their names. You just won't be taken seriously. Apple? Really? ;/
Well ... at least we all know that 'Apple' will have a good chance at being hired at Apple! xD
THIS was funny!
My name is Bliss and I loved it so much that it is my daughter's middle name and hopefully someday she will give it to her daughter. People always remember me.
honey they remember you for your t1ts not your name.
Christopher Scott Cook...also known as EPIC
I agree that employers make assumptions based off of the names they read on resumes. I think it's unfortunate, but true.
At this point the best thing a parent can do for their child (IMHO) is to aim for an interesting name that's not necessarily in the top ten most popular at the time. The parents who name their children outlandish, obviously made-up names are hurting their children's chances in the working world.
Completely agree. And also, if you plan on giving a 'regular' name, don't try to be funky and spell it differently. The poor kid will have to spell it out to people every time that it needs to be written down.
Yeah, people usually assume I am black because of the spelling of my name- or they pronounce it incorrectly. It's just JESSICA spelled differently, don't be fn ignorant.
However, my husband's name is John that is the "regular" spelling, but has to spell it out all the time because of the Jon's in this world.
I was originally Lisa for 1 day until my good old dad went out to party the night I was born and when his buddies asked him what he named the baby... he said... (stutter) A-A-Lisa. One buddy said, well, that is better than plain Lisa. So my dad went to the hospital in the morning and told my mom to put an A in front of Lisa because his girl is Alisa not just Lisa. Crazy but true!
My son is Jakob instead of Jacob too! I love the different spelling of names! sorry!!
I know one family growing up who named their kid Krysty, because they didn't know how to spell Kristie ... heh.
(Then again, after reading her name as a kid, I thought it was pronounced 'Cry-sty' ... yeah I was WAY off).
The best advice I've heard is if you want to give your child a unique (read: made up) name, use it as the middle name. Give them a "normal" first name to use on their resume and official forms, but family and friends can use the middle name.
Rosemary La-a Jones.....
I think it's best to name a child with something that will stand the test of time. I wanted a daughter's name that was beautiful, that couldn't be shortened to some a girly name ending in "y" and one that people would respect as an adult. Amelia is her name....fits her too!
Amy is short for Amelia.
I know two Amelias. They both go by Amy. 🙂
Why even post something so mean spirited?
... Really? I can understand females being given male names (or males being given female names, like Shannon), but names will let you know where you're from? ... I grew up with 5 different Sarah's in public school, all in the same class (sadly, all with blonde curly hair too - how do you explain that one?). 3 of us were spelt with an 'h', 1 was spelt as 'Sara' and the other was 'Cera'. Sara came from Germany, and I came from Scotland (we moved to Canada before grade 4). Two other Sarah's were born here, in Canada, but the last Cera came from Greece. Even though we're spelt similar, and pronounced the same way, we're not all from the same place (Considering 'Sarah' is actually HEBREW). People shouldn't judge others on their name. I'm just saying ... It's starting to get annoying anymore.
All I could think of while reading the article:
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Yeah, but that's like Joe Smith in Florin.
I think your response is slipping by some people, but I know the movie and had to laugh. Occasionally, I'll hear someone say RUS's. My favorite is 'have fun storming the castle' but most people haven't a clue. Too bad, it's a good movie
One of my favorite movies – probably watch it once a year. Aah – Florin, such a beautiful place.....
@ jenny bet you was voted the one most ignorent in your graduateing class.That is if you finished school.Well I will not make this long as you probably have the whole clan over tonight for a sleep over!And no Im not african american.
@Gung....I really hope that your atrocious butchering of the English language was intentional....if not, you shouldn't be talking about someone else being ignroent [sic]
Celebrities try to out-do each other with ridiculous names for their kids. It's their way of trying to garner more attention for themselves. Just ignore these emotionally stunted prima donnas. They don't deserve the ink.
My name is Shara. Said share-a (like you want to share a coke with me).
My boyfriends parents asked him if I was black before meeting me. I am white.
Before starting preschool, my mom signed me up. When we arrived the teacher thought it was a typo and changed it to Sarah.... she was of course corrected!
All people are valued by God. Things like names, skin color, or race are miniscule differences. Genetically we are all 99% identical to one another. We are foolish when we take something that is entirely superficial like a name or skin color and "see" that person only through that lens, or make fun of them because of a unique quality. Celebrate diversity!
I've always thought a person's name was one of the less important things to know about them.
My name correctly identifies me as Irish. The African American name phenomenon always puzzled me. I know some real African people with funky names and some Caribbean blacks who have Americanized French or Spanish names, but the flat out "I made it up" thing is odd. Why do people do that? Anyone got an answer? It's just bizarre. Even "Zowie Bowie" had Duncan Jones on his birth certificate.
There is cultural value placed on unique names. It's as simple as that. In other cultures there is value placed on naming a child after ancestors or religious figures. It just happens that in some African American families there is a similar emphasis on choosing a name that hasn't been given before. The child is unique and so is the name. I'm not black (as you probably could tell from my name–ha!) but I grew up in a mostly-black town and had lots of friends with unique names or unusual spellings.
I agree it's cultural value. Unique African-American names took off during the civil rights movement in the 60s. Before that, a lot of Africian-American's had more traditional "white" names. Unique naming was a way for African-Americans to take pride in their culture and distance themselves from white Americans that were opressing them.
"My name is...Mayhem"
"My name is....Mayhem"
I do HR for a company in NYC & get resumes every week. The first thing a hiring manager sees when looking at a resume is a name & it's pretty easy to tell the candidates race by their name. Whether we're willing to admit it or not racism exists and not all hiring managers live by the EEO rule. I remember by grandmother, an Italian immigrant, telling me the difficulty her family, some of whom were college educated, had in the 1920's finding employment because both their first and last names ended in vowels.
Yep, I believe it. My name is quite "Mexican," so when I speak with people on the phone who hear me speak fluent English with no trace of an accent then give them my full name, it's usually followed by an awkward pause. Or , I'll get calls from vendors leaving me messages in Spanish, as if assuming I don't speak English (even though my outgoing voicemail is in English). Funny how a name can be fodder for pre-conceived notions. :o[
I have hated my name since I was a little kid. All the Maxines I knew were older and people called me Max, which I hated. I always wanted to be Katie because I felt like a Katie. My parents wouldn't let me change my name. I'm in my 60's now and I STILL hate my name. I have never felt comfortable with a name I hated and have never made peace with it.
What's your middle name, Maxine? Maybe you can go by that name. Or you can even ask people to call you Katie. You're in your 60s now. I think you should be able to do whatever you want.
I have a cousin named Bill – short for William – he much prefers to be called ALEX! My mother's younger sister was Eliza (she hated it), family called her Toots and her husband called her Marie!
I was given a very boring name, Andrew Smith, and I wondered if sometimes that made me a more boring person. Just a thought.
More boring than Andrew Smith.... Joshua Smith (born in the 80s of course)... talk about an overused name...
I can see five years down the road and CNN will be labeling people namists and they will be doing stories to reduce the discrimination that they say namism presents.
Parents who give children names like Petal Blossom Rainbow should be arrested for child abuse.
Agreed ... I mean, WTH?! 'Petal Blossom Rainbow' ... Really?!
She can't even just go by her initials, because then she'd be PBR, which is even worse. Poor thing.
Not as bad as the NJ couple who named their children Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation.
Look what Dweezel (??) Zappa named his 2 kids. He was around in the 60's and 70's, but still...Put the blunt down man the revolution is over.
It was Frank Zappa that named his kids... Ahmet, Dweezil, and... Moon Unit! Moon Unit being his daughter. Poor girl.
And he didn't even like drugs! Some people are just whacked.
My wife's name is Ryan, and my name is Patrick (Pat). When we got married, my east coast family thought it was a gay wedding and did not attend, but I made sure to send them wedding photo's.
Good for you! I hope they felt ashamed of themselves.
I am female but name after my Father whose middle name was Adrian. It's also spelled that way. All my life I have received mail to Mr. Adrian, When you apply for a job and walk in they expect a male. It has affected my life some.
I wonder why your parents didn't choose the feminine spelling "Adrienne"?
I worked with a lady named Adrian, I never thought about the spelling that much...it just seemed to fit her personality.
Most people think I'm a white woman after seeing my name and speaking to me on the phone without having met me in person first.
Kristen, I too have had the same problem. I'm a receptionist and my first name is Sharon. People always guess that I'm white when they speak to me over the phone, but of course when they meet me, I get the " that was you on the the phone?" look
Hello, my name is TROUBLE
These celebrities are ridiculous with these baby names. When I heard Simpson's choice for her baby's name, the Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" popped into my head.....a song about a serial killer.
LOL. ... maybe they'll call her "Bang Bang" for short.
Actually, it's loosely based on the murder of British playwright Joe Orton who was murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who beat him with a hammer.
My son's nick name is Boo – he gave it to himself at 6 mos. while trying to mimick Bruce