What does your name say about who you are?
Jessica Simpson recently named her daughter Maxwell Drew -- names traditionally given to boys.
May 2nd, 2012
12:04 PM ET

What does your name say about who you are?

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?

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Filed under: Family • Gender • History • Race • Who we are
soundoff (561 Responses)
  1. jj

    We (meaning mostly me, her mom) name my daughter a name we did not see a lot at the time and that she could grow into as an adult and gave her a middle name she could resort to if she didn't like her first name. She was born in 2000. Who knew there would be so many Madeline's named around then!? But at least her middle name, Hope, is not as popular. I would love to see a study that looks at this phenomenon – how so many people unknowingly choose the same name!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lothar

    I was born in Germany where Lothar was a good name. I came to the USA at age 5 and children can be very cruel if you have an "unusual" name. I got used to it, the taunting stopped as I reached adulthood. Now I can look at my name with pride.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. boarddog

    I also used to know a girl named "Candice Ripple" (maiden name). She married a guy with the last name of "Kane". She became "Candy Kane". No lie...

    May 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatecrasher1

      There is also an actress born Candice Cook...and she married a guy with the last name Cain... yep, Candy Cain...

      Look her up on IMDB to prove it. I knew her years ago as Candice Cook.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Charity

    My name is what it says above. I like it and somehow have developed a personality fit for it. I love my husband's name, but he's not so fond of it. He is always having to spell it for people, or they just think he's supposed to be a girl. But he has a very strong personality and makes his own "name" (so to speak). His first name is Brinton.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. maxine

    my name is also considered an old lady name, which I like now but hated as a kid.
    I was named after a dead sibling!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Margie Sr.

      you were named after your brother Maximus?

      May 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Yuck

    Someone I went to school with as a kid has two children now. A boy and a girl. The girl is named "Serenity Firefly" after the TV show and movie. Her son is named "Anakin Skywalker" and she calls him "Annie" just like in the movie. I feel for those kids.
    A woman I met in college went by the name "Cat" short for "Catherine". Only her last name was "Skinner"...

    May 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Docny420

      I like the Serenity but not the firefly part. If I ever had a son Id definitely consider Anakin as a name but would never call him Annie for short.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        The problem with parents who name their children after obvious popular TV/movie charaters is that people reading the names automatically feel sorry for the child. Because it's obvious that the parents were mindless TV/movie addicts and didn't consider the importance of naming their child.

        I love the Lord of the Ring movies. But I'd never name my child Arwen or Aragorn because it would put them at a disadvantage throughout life.

        May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Docny420

        I guess but I've also seen the opposite I guess it all depends on the individual. Ive known people named after their grandfathers with names like Inglebert, Clarence or Bernard and they've gotten more grief than people named after fictional characters.

        May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        I'lll bet. Those names fall at the "outdated" side of the spectrum. Where the employers who don't want to hire elderly people would drop their resumes assuming they're 2 generations older.

        Thus the whole point that what you name your child is important...and I assume parents want to set their kids up for success.

        May 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Some people are a few cans short of a sixpack, even with a college education. By the way, I honestly have had a student whose name is "Page." Her last name is "Turner." Now, what can one deduce about her parents?

      May 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Candy

    I'm all for giving a child a name that he/she will want to wear as an adult. Some names, while cutsey for little girls, seem to suggest pole-swinger as an adult female. Also, why would you give a child a name with such a unique pronunciation that you know everyone will get it wrong, and then jump all over anyone who does? I've had Tiara's as students(in the same school year) who insisted it was pronounced "Tee-ar-ah", and others who insisted it is "Tee-air-uh". That's only the tip of the iceberg. Also, beware of the child named "Precious, Princess, or Queen." Their parents have put them up on such a pedestal that you as a teacher would just waste your time calling home to report a misbehavior. And, do they ever misbehave because of this! (reposted, due to wrong one being posted before)

    May 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jj

      I once worked at a college where there was a student with the first name of Rapunzel – I always wanted to see her and see how long her hair was!

      May 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Trigtard Sack-O-Puss Barndoor Palin

    Hey ! Wow ! I made it on CNN comments. I had no idea people knew I even exist. Thank you, Sharky. Shout out from Russia's neighbor and the most beautiful state in Canada !!!!!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeremy Johnson

    ^^ The most unimaginative name in the United States... And yes... I was born in 1976 if you seem to recall a certain Robert Redford movie coming out about the same year...

    May 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • boarddog

      I love that movie to this day!
      (Jeremiah Johnson)

      May 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Docny420

      Ahh your mom loved him as well I see. I'm similarly named Jeremy John.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. boarddog

    I know someone who named their daughters Calliope and Echo. They were "free spirits" according to themselves. Imagine what school will be like for those girls...

    May 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Unfortunately, you're probably correct.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Debbie

    I'm a child of the 80s and my mom thought Deborah (with the nickname Debbie) was a good idea. When meeting new people throughout my life, I was told "Oh, my mom's name is Debbie" after I told them my name. Even my husband's name is Debbie. I've always hated the name and wishes I could have been given a typicaly 80s name.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Oops, husband's MOMs name is Debbie.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • JaneDoe

      I'm sorry. Debbie IS the worst name ever.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. linda operle

    The problem is parents name their children based on what THEY want, with no thought to how the child will fit with or like the name they were given. If I was named Apple I'd legally change my name, it's a selfish act on the part of the parents.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jorie S.

    My first name is part of my mother's name...Marjorie. She hated her own name, and so decided to manipulate it a bit and stick me with this. I'm 60 years old now and am told by many people that they like my name. I never did and don't even now. I was teased in school by the Dorothys, Susans, Patricias, Anns, etc., all names popular in the 50's. Nobody knew how to spell it or even say it. Jodie, Jolie, Jordy, you name it (pardon the pun). So before any of you parents-to-be decide to pin a crazy name on your kid, please consider this email.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Candy

    I've in giving a child a name that they will want to wear as an adult. Some names names, cutsey for little girls, seem to suggest pole-swinger as an adult female. Also, why would you give a child a name with such a unique pronunciation that you know everyone will get it wrong, and then jump all over anyone who does. I've had Tiara's as students(in the same school year) who insisted it was pronounced "Tee-ar-ah", and others who insisted it is "Tee-air-uh". That's only the tip of the iceberg. Also, beware of the child called "Precious, Princess, and Queen." Their parents have put them up on such a pedestal that you as a teacher would just waste your time calling home to report a misbehavior. And, do they ever misbehave because of this!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Sorry, I cut part of the 1st sentence & forgot to replace it, leaving it garbled. I hope you get the gist.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bri

      Totally agree with you Candy! That is what my husband and I did, choosing Clarice for our daughter (which can be Clare when she is young) and William for our son (who could go later with Will, Bill or Billy).

      May 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Irene Done

    A friend of mine, a court reporter in Detroit, had a witness named Fe-ma-le because her mother said it was on her birth certificate "female".

    May 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Uneeque

    There are over 200 different ways to spell the (now common) name of Unique. The book "Freakanomis" discusses the relationship between modern names and obsticles that might arrise from a 'unique' name. Some people are commonly passed over for promotions or other advances, simply because their name is unconventional.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. CT

    hahahahahahhahaahahaha Barndoor hahahaha

    May 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Stephanie

    I grew up in the 70's and have the name Stephanie. Although where I grew up, I was the only one in my grade and there was one other Stephanie in a lower grade. We did have alot of Amys and Jennifers. I named my girls: Tarah and Kali. I wanted something that sort of unique but not too crazy. I do get the questions about adding an 'h' to Tarah but the name Sara can be spelled with it or with out so why can't Tarah. My husband's name is Joe, and we all know alot of Joes

    May 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Ladybird

    My observation from filling prescriptions for 30 years in a hospital: Alot of the psychiatric patients have unusual names. Almost all were given them at birth, not a result of a legal name change. I've seen first names of "Boy" and "Silly". I'm guessing that it leads to alot of teasing/bullying as kids and exacerbates problems into adulthood. Unusual spellings and pronunciations are also a pain for the kid that has to correct the name -and bring attention to themselves- every time it's said or spelled. Parents should think about the consequences of an unusual name. Being "Blue Banana" is fine if you're in a rich and glamorous circle where you're catered to, maybe not so good in the real world where it says, "your parents were flakes".

    May 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  20. 1212

    I knew a girl named Rainy. She had a sister named Wendy and a brother named Rosco. I always wondered why they didn't name him Sunny?

    May 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  21. G.

    @Ceres: Doubtful it's the middle school. Likely it's because the California economy is so bad that everyone working those "low-class" jobs actually has a college degree in liberal arts.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Laura

    Just remember – the name you give that cute little baby today is the name they have to live with when they are 50.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claudia

      Same goes for all the face piercings and tatoos people do at a young age....they'll have to live with THAT at 50, too!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  23. sharky

    My name was the only one my parents could agree upon. Being born a female, my dad wanted to at least have a name that could be shortened into a boy's name. My dad wanted Samantha for me so he could call me Sam, but I still was given a normal girl's name, that could be shortened to a boy's name. I like my name.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • BookEmDan0

      Your dad was born a female?

      May 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  24. isha

    Lets just say my name ends with isha and im not stating the full name just for privacy reasons. My aunt named me and I like that my name is different. Ive gotten mixed reviews with my name. Some automatically think its pretty and different and some think that its too ethnic. I am African American and I embrace the fact that my name may instantly identify my ethnicity/race. Besides if someone may be biased on their perception of me because of my name, they will surely do it anyway once they see me & my ethnicity/race is confirmed. Unfortunatley it has been mostly people outside of my race that have found the beauty in my name and those within my same race usually frown upon it. My view is that they feel that it is negative to have a name that may tell what your race may be before actually meeting you.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Diana

    Love my name and the Greek mythology behind it. Wasn't a huge fan of it when i was a kid. But hell did I dodge a bullet. My dad, a huge Boston Bruins fan, wanted to name me Derrick if I was a boy (after Derrick Sanderson). He tried to pin Derricka on me. Mom said, hells no!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  26. sharky

    I am sure one of those names is your own, but it is nice to see how utterly childish you are.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  27. leonhl

    People think I am about ten years younger than I actually am, partly due to good genes (my dad is 90 and no wrinkles!) but also because my name,Lisa, didn't become popular until Elvis named his daughter Lisa Marie about 10 years after I was born. Growing up, I knew no one that shared my name, but now there are many 40 somethings with the name. I was named after the villianess in the "As the World Turns" soap my mom watched, not after Lisa Marie!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. sarahh

    I wonder if the internet has now put a face to every name and that's why people are doing this.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Stephanie

    My name is normal and plain.. I know 5 others with the same exact first middle and last..so when I was picking out names for my boys, I chose Jeremiah Nikolai and Dominic Blaze. They respond to both their first and middle names so if "blaze" is what he wants to be called now, when he gets older "dominic" wont be foreign. Jeremiah is often thought to be black (which we are white and I had actually never heard of a black Jeremiah prior to me naming him) and Dominic often gets referred to as a girl (I thought DOMINIC was a masculine spelling and DOMINIQUE was feminine so I dont see the confusion).

    May 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatecrasher1

      Jeremiah was a bullfrog.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angel

        He was a good friend of mine...

        May 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Blaze.... seriously?

      May 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  30. elle

    When I was growing up, Annette Funicello was the teen ideal. I always associated the name "Annette" with popularity, prettiness, social poise and talent. Actually, it intimidated me a little. My husband's name was Ralph, which he thought was insufferably old-fashioned and uncool. And his middle name was Walter - another "square" name. But I think his names gave him credibility in the world of business law. I don't now that they would have been a fit for a motorcyclist or a dancer. But we're always free to create a new image for our names based on our own unique talents and style.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  31. mark

    She went to school with girls named Star, Diamond and Magnificent – “perfectly acceptable names for black children,”
    Methinks I see part of a larger issue here.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      What your is doesn't say much about you but speaks volumes of your parents.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Cynthia

    I started going by my middle name (Meade) in high school after finding three other Cindys in one class alone. Nobody goes by "Cynthia" in high school! Jessica Simpson's kid can always use "Drew" – it's been done before.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Tiffany

    Most people assume i'm white given my name – doesnt bother me or matter really. Although, I chose to give all my kids unique names of various ethnic influence. Kinda cool while they are kids, although if we still have racists or bigots around when they start looking for work, it will surely create a mark against them. How unfortunate...names should be as unique as the person it was given to...

    Thank goodness more people are following suit – dont need a million more sarah, jennifers, michael and johns running around. No offense if thats your name – just making a point.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahh

      I think Tiffany is a pretty name.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      I know some people are throwing the race card here. But I don't look at it from that perspective. It's not a unique or ethnically influenced name that has a negative connotation to me. It's the purposely outlandish ones. That to me reflects on the parents not understanding that a child's name is nothing to take lightly....which in turn may mean the child has flaws from a poor upbringing. It may not be true, but that alone puts the child at a disadvantage.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  34. gatecrasher1

    I feel bad for all those people who were named Osama before 2001 (though bin Laden was notorious before then). The real question is how many were named AFTER 2001. If you can't call your kid Adolf Hitler (at least not in NJ), is Osama banned too?

    Personally, I am a fan of traditional names for both boys and girls, but that is just me. Trendy names may or may not stand the test of time, especially if they are unusual, and derived from a celebrity or TV/film character.

    You want your name to identify your child, but at the same time, you want to minimize confusion in spelling and pronunciation. Even with a traditional name, the child can eventually develop a nickname to be unique.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Will S

    So Francine is a civil engineer...I wonder what Star and Diamond turned out to be.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      ...correction...*chemical* engineer.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatecrasher1

      I heard they polish brass poles with the inside of their knees.

      And of which company is Sho'quan the CEO? Will Anfroné become a top cardiologist, or a street baller? I just read about a guy named Genghis Khan who was arrested for dealing drugs. He isn't Chinese or Mongolian.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  36. SuZieCoyote

    I named my daughter "Shawn." A) I liked the name and B) I figured it would help her get interviews. Sadly, many HR people judge resumes with female names much more harshly than those with male names – same resume, different gender, different rates of call-back. This has been studied over and over again. HR folks think and say they don't do this, then turn around and do it. So, my daughter doesn't automatically get thrown out in the first pass. I hate that things work like this....but they do.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • TenshiHime13

      My older brother is a chemical engineer and had a roommate named Sam who worked with him. She was named "Sam" legally but when younger she went by Samantha then back to "Sam" for that very same reason. Her older sister is named "Alex" as well. Clearly her parents thought ahead.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • nightnurse007

        I'm named Cole and I'm a girl. My sister's name is Temple, after Temple Houston, Sam Houston's son. We both have female middle names as an afterthought. I used to hate my name since kids made fun of me so much. I wished I had been named something common. But now that I'm an adult, I love being a woman named Cole.

        May 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Buckwheat

    Call me anything you want, just dont call me collect or late for supper.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  38. M.E.

    It does hit a point where normal becomes difficult. There's so many Roberts in my finacee's family I've declared none of our kids will have that first name as they're out of nicknames. The perfectly normal James from my side still has plenty of versions left. As for girls, I'm set on Rio, Duranie that I am.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Karen Neff

    I was given my name because it was the only K name my dad could think of that couldn't be shortened. He hated nicknames, especially girls names. It had to be a K name because he loved airplanes and especially KLM airlines. Something about them having the best on-time or safety record in 1957. He couldn't change the last name so he made sure my initials were KLN which would have to be close enough. I liked this story so much that when I got married, it never occurred to me to take my new husband's last name. Forever KLN!

    May 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLM

      LOL! My initials are KLM for the exactly same reason!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Artistique Jewelry

    I went to school with a girl named Dae Ann Knight and another named Sunshine. Really? sometimes what parents think is cute really saddles their kids for the rest of their lives.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahh

      I always wondered why they don't make the middle name the strange one.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  41. rdstrahs

    My wife and I thought of all types of names to name our daughter last year, and when it came down to it my wife came up with the name. My wife said, why don't we name her after you? So, we did. We named our daughter Ryan after me, with her middle name Jessica after my wifes best friend. Now I believe Ryan Jessica sounds like a pretty normal name, and then we decided we would call her RJ and let her decide when she is older if she wants to be called Ryan or Jessica. I have heard many people say that nicknames are weird, or innapropriate, but I feel that I love my baby RJ and I would not want her name to be anything different. Now as for her grandparents, that is another story. Ever since RJ was born, my mother has called her Jessica. Which, is not her first name or her nickname? I don't really like Jessica as her first name, but if she wants to be called Jessica when she is older, I will abide by her wishes. We announced her to the world as RJ, so why do people keep calling her Jessica? How do you think the name RJ would shape the outcome of her future?

    May 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brianna

      @ rdstrahs ... sorry to break it to you, but the reason people that do that is because RJ doesn't sound like a name ... it sounds like a cola or a chemical element or an industrial solvent.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      People call your daughter "Jessica" instead of "RJ" because they're trying to give her the normalcy that her parents forgot to do.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • CT

      I grew up with a girl named Ryann (two "N"s). Now my brother-in-law is named Ryan and his wife is Jessica. haha

      May 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  42. curlean

    Curlean – I'm a male. Now the suffix "Lean" is masculine, while every name using it is feminine (Ar/Dar/Char/Car/Mar, etc) So naturally I was asked over and over 'Isn't that a girl's name?" Cause serious growth problems! I tried giving myself a nickname, but, Mom wouldn't go for it. A few year ago someone noticed "Ceurlean"(A Spanish word for the color Blue) on the largest Crayola Crayon box and thought that might be the origin of the name. I thought being born in the south that might be correct. I mean dropping the first "E" and you have it. Mom did recall where the name came from, Just that Dad couldn't name me Jr cause I have an older brother. I tried "Lean" early, but, there was a friend of my mother, Her name was just Lean. I tried to use the first half "Curls" similar to "James" didn't quite "grow-up". When I joined the Navy I just used my last name. Some of my friends to this day never new my first name. Now a days I use Curlean or Lean. Just about three years ago I was working for a call center and introed myself as "Curlean" and the lady on the other end said "Isn't that a girl's name?" I thought to myself "If I could be sure they weren't monitoring this call I'd give that lady a huge piece of my mind" lol

    May 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  43. honey

    This country is becoming a major joke....why does race have to be an issue about everything....Dont you all realize that other countries look at us all as americans... Remember 911...they didn't care what color we were or what names we had....they killed just.... AMERICANS

    May 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen

      very well said!

      May 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Absolutely right. Stop separating black and white. We need to all unite against those damn arabs!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • gman

      That seems to be the major problem with everyone. You can't just be an American, we all have to be _____-Americans.
      I understand and encourage people to learn about where their parents, grand-parents, ancestors came from, its important; but if you are born in this country, YOUR AN AMERICAN. Your skin color does not make you anything else....until we get over _____-American, race will continue to be an issue, because we make it so.

      Posted by a middle-age, WHITE, Male. To be PC, I would be a Scotch-German-American.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • reality check

      You're obviously unaware of the serious racial disparities in this country. As this article suggests, and numerous other scholarly articles support, race has a very big influence in our every day lives. Minorities are at a legitimate disadvantage - more likely to be incarcerated, poor, and unable to find work than White Americans. People are discriminated against based on the color of their skin and are not given equal opportunities. As a result of this, race DOES continue to play an important factor in our society. This issue is perpetuated by people who make comments claiming that race is of no importance, because they're likely the same people discriminating in the hiring practices (unfortunately).

      Posted by a white female.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  44. MaggieJS

    This topic reminds me of the story that went around so me time back – don't know if it's true or not, but it's funny...A little girl's mother went angrily to the school principal, complaining that no one was pronouncing her daughter's name correctly. The name was Le-a. People were pronouncing it Lee-ah, Lay-ah, Lee, etc.. What was correct? According to the mom, "Le DASHa – the dash don't be silent!"

    May 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Sal

    It's called the dumbing down of America! 

    May 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Blackened

    Tell me if you've heard this once before.. how would you pronounce the name La-a?

    La dash a. The dash dont be silent Yo.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • La-a

      MasterP was that you who gave my name away???
      If so, Why

      May 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • SG

      How does a poor child named La-a fill out a standardized form in life? Seriously, how do they fill out the form to take the SATs or get a driver's license? The "-" is not a standardized choice. It's one thing to choose something unique or with a personal story but it's quite another to name someone with a name just becuase you can.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  47. jazminashlee

    From the start, I've loved my name. It became annoying to meet a Jasmine (or any other spelling) almost every day in school, but that didn't keep me from disliking my name. Some people say Jasmine is an African American name, but I've seen Asians, Caucasians, Latinos, and African-Americans with the name Jasmine (spelled differently almost all of the time).

    On the phone I sound like I'm white. But my name gives off that I'm black. I know a large number of Jasmine's with different ethnicities. So, you tell me what race I am. I was named after Jasmine Guy and the spelling of my name is Persian.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Jerome Horowitz

    Watch "Freakenomics" to see the impact your name can have on your life.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatecrasher1

      With a name like that, you must be a law partner with Bernie Steinberg, Hyman Rabinowitz and Morrie Katzman.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jerome Horowitz

    You get a nickel if you know my stage name.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Ninón

    My name is Ninón. I was born in Argentina and it is not a popular name there. I looked it up and it's the French version of the name Ann? When I was born, my parents wanted to name me Yvonne, but that name was not in the 'book of names' which meant taking it to court to request it. Too much trouble. They opted for Ninón which WAS in the book of name (but nobody is called that). Growing up I hated it, always asking me for my 'real' name. Once I moved to the States and started working people assume I'm a 'boy" (I guess the 'o' ending?) so I love getting emails starting w/Dear Sir! Being older I love its uniqueness and as my mom always tells me "nobody will ever be able to guess your age by your name!"

    May 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Kari D

    My decision for naming my boys, Triston Thomas and Colin Patrick, was a mix of heritage, meaning and honoring their father. I put a lot of thought into how their names would affect their personalities and life. I think it is the small minority who pulls crazy names out of their rears.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      One of the ideas I'd had when putting names together was to honour the English kings; my boy came close to being Harald Alfred Canute, but family won out, and he's Ingval Lachlann.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave in Portland

        Ingval Lachlann......I mean no offense when I say this, but that name is grounds for patricide. Seriously man, did you even stop to consider what that kid was going to have to deal with growing up if you live in the US?

        I had a buddy who wanted to name his kid Arislan Mandragoran [lastname]. I looked at him and said "dude, if you do that to him, he's gonna come into your bedroom with a butcher knife some day".

        May 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Donna & Eric

    Our names are cool and so are we.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Levaughn

    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

    May 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • texan

      I'm African-American and I would have assumed you were too... Shame on me for stereotyping...

      May 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brodie

      Did you know that supposedly Elton John's song "Levon" was named after Mark Lavon Helm, professionally known as "Levon" Helm, the drummer from The Band who just passed away last month?

      May 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  54. penguin

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahh

      and everyone takes penguins seriously! j/k

      May 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Nikki

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeDee

      A wacky lady in my town named her boys and girl Tara Part and Tyler Knot. Those poor children.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah

        My sister named her daughter 'Onya' ... her last name is Spear. On-ya-spear ... disgusting.

        May 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Ceres

    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!

    May 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      I think you have a wonderful name. Mind, I've always been partial to Greek mythology.

      I did some research into my boy's first name, particularly as I was naming him after my father's eldest brother. Couldn't find much, but Ing was the Norse god of war, and my uncle was shot down and killed in WWII. So, my boy is Ingval.

      And he is a warrior, at least on the soccer pitch.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Jim Brodie

    Her name was McGill, and she called herself Lill, but everyone knew her as Nancy.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  58. liz

    My name says Catholic

    May 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  59. DBSaint

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillB

      That part about HR is absolutely true. Whenever I see a resume with an odd name, my first thought it that based on genetics, this person is likely to be an idiot because both of his/her parents are idiots.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Name*von

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • prich

      Your childrens names are special to you, not anyone else. Who cares if you dont like what black people name their kids. Faith means beleiving something without evidence, which is pretty stupid if you ask me. Might as well named he guillible.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Amy

        ^This. I can't think of a name I'd rather give my child less than 'Faith'.

        May 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      I don't think any one race has a corner market on the crazy names some children are given these days.

      A few years ago a white couple in my home state made the papers because they decided to name their daughter after their 2 favorite things. Marijuana Pepsi. Mari for a nickname.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • sarahh

        Mari is ok. But the full name sounds cruel.

        May 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave in Portland

        Wow, I didn't know my ex-wife had another kid........

        May 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahh

      Don't worry about it. Faith is a pretty name. To me this implies that she will be a person you can believe in. Trustworthy. Goal-oriented. Confident. True.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  61. ChloeM.M.

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Nothing wrong with Ingaborg. I named my boy Ingval Lachlann after my father's eldest brother and because we are part Scottish.

      I think most people think I was looking for a unique name, but in this case it was to honour a family member shot down and killed in WWII.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Dubs Jackson

    My name is Dubs Jackson – bet you won't guess my race, you racist mofo's! And yes I watch Dolemite!

    May 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dubs Jackson

      And I think we all are missing the most important topic regarding this discussion. And that is, it doesn't matter what you decide to give your child for a first name; just make sure give them Danger for their middle name.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  63. chris

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Tasha

    I got Fo Daughters by Three different baby deddies,.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  65. thecastro

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Rebecca Sue - yes I was born in the South - lol

    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!

    May 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      AHAH, ahhh .... kinda reminds me of old friends that I don't speak to anymore; they had a boy and a girl. Their last name was 'VADER'. So, the girl was named 'Ella' (Elevator), and the boy was named Darth (Darth Vader) ... I mean, I couldn't help but love Darth, and feel sorry for him all at the same time. We ALL know who he's gonna dress up as on Halloween xD

      May 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaggieJS

      You must be from a small town in southeastern New Mexicio, or else there is another Bunny Easter somewhere – my kids went to school with her!

      At that time there were also a lot of Misty Dawns running around.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Yma Sumac

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brodie

      Sounds like a variation of the Southern custom of using the mother's maiden name as the middle name of the first-born son.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • gatecrasher1

        And the girls too, seems Midwestern also. Knew a guy from near Memphis and a girl from Illinois, both have Johnson as a middle name.

        May 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Tex71

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Virginia

    Doesn't sound like the happy go lucky image that the name Jenny evokes

    May 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Virginia

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joeazona@hotmail.com

      Virginia, I think you have a wonderful name. It is very classy!!

      May 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • drinker75

      Unfortunately, that is the exact reason why those kids will face more challenges in life.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Brittany

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Alex

    What happened to Shiniqua, Tanika or Kaesha or even Tequila???

    May 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Kristi

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Amy 2

        I'm an Amy from the late 60's – sister to a Jennifer from the 70's – and I can vouch for that! 10% of the girls in my graduating were named "Amy". I've always hated "Amy" as well, simply because it doesn't age well. I'm rapidly approaching my 50's and "Amy" is a name for a much younger person! I picked the name "Rachel" for my daughter which will suit her throughout her life. Now, it's sweet – in her 20s it will be sophisticated and in her 60's it will be dignified!

        May 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • sarahh

        It's ok. If everyone was named Amy at the same time, the name should age with them.

        May 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nichole

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jazmin Ashlee

        My mother's name is Grace Olivia. I love her name.

        May 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • You nailed it!

      Myself, Eugene, 1946.
      My wife, Mary, 1955.

      Even these are close.

      Children: Jared, 1983; Trevor, 1991; Brianna, 1993.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  74. mike

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  75. BosMonkey

    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? ;/

    May 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Well ... at least we all know that 'Apple' will have a good chance at being hired at Apple! xD

      May 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Inigo Montoya


    May 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ceci

      THIS was funny!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  77. bliss jones

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuneCleaversBeaver

      honey they remember you for your t1ts not your name.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Chris

    Christopher Scott Cook...also known as EPIC

    May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Ally

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • BosMonkey

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brittany

        But not too funky of a spelling.
        My name is Brittany, and I am fine with the spelling. However I have come into contact with atrocious spellings of the name:

        That's just absurd. I even know a family whose kids are named Brytni, Lyndsi, and Krysti just to be cutsie. Barf.

        May 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jessyka

        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.

        May 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alisa

        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!!

        May 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah

        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).

        May 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • texan

      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.....

      May 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Pam

    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!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Foot

      Amy is short for Amelia.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      I know two Amelias. They both go by Amy. 🙂

      May 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Keri

    Why even post something so mean spirited?

    May 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Sarah

    ... 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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Inigo Montoya

    All I could think of while reading the article:
    "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

    May 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Yeah, but that's like Joe Smith in Florin.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      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

      May 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cleo

        One of my favorite movies – probably watch it once a year. Aah – Florin, such a beautiful place.....

        May 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  84. gung hoe

    @ 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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garnet69

      @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]

      May 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  85. LarryB

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Shara

    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!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. Feagan

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  87. xeno

    I've always thought a person's name was one of the less important things to know about them.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Patrick from DC

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeattleLiz

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joan

        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.

        May 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  89. DTOR

    "My name is...Mayhem"

    May 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  90. DTOR

    "My name is....Mayhem"

    May 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  91. tribecagal

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malinche

      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[

      May 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Maxine

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • WRS

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cleo

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Andrew

    I was given a very boring name, Andrew Smith, and I wondered if sometimes that made me a more boring person. Just a thought.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      um...yep ha!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      More boring than Andrew Smith.... Joshua Smith (born in the 80s of course)... talk about an overused name...

      May 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Andrew

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  95. joe

    Parents who give children names like Petal Blossom Rainbow should be arrested for child abuse.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Agreed ... I mean, WTH?! 'Petal Blossom Rainbow' ... Really?!

      May 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeattleLiz

      She can't even just go by her initials, because then she'd be PBR, which is even worse. Poor thing.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatecrasher1

      Not as bad as the NJ couple who named their children Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • gman

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Scon

        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.

        May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  96. patrick

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • N. Feagan

      Good for you! I hope they felt ashamed of themselves.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  97. adrian1944

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meghan

      I wonder why your parents didn't choose the feminine spelling "Adrienne"?

      May 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • gman

      I worked with a lady named Adrian, I never thought about the spelling that much...it just seemed to fit her personality.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Kristen

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • sartois

      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

      May 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Mark

    Hello, my name is TROUBLE

    May 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Boo

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenkoosh

      LOL. ... maybe they'll call her "Bang Bang" for short.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tally

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • GailD

      My son's nick name is Boo – he gave it to himself at 6 mos. while trying to mimick Bruce

      May 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
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