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?

Posted by
Filed under: Family • Gender • History • Race • Who we are
soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Frances

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Terrible name

    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

    May 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Erica

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lumps

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Micah

    Two words, Ted Kaczynski.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Alyssa

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lisabell

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JCK

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paralegal

    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!

    May 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mikel

    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.)

    May 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Arin

    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!!

    May 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimb

      Parents make think it is really "cool" to name their children with exotic unpronounceable names, but then the children have toi live with it.

      May 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jj

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. katie

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Young Lady Lib

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kerri

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agrav8td

      I like the name Kerri

      May 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Sixx

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. JuanCarlos

    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).

    May 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  17. fearless freep

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKNatural1913

      So that's against the law, and very racist....I guess Barack Obama's name would be discarded

      May 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKNatural1913

      So Apple Paltrow would get her resume thrown out and Tipper Gore?

      May 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • bspurloc

      same goes for an obese person

      May 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mick.

      These people think you're serious. Wake up gang. He's a troll just in to rile you.

      May 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Highly professional . . .

      You mean like the U.S. Secret Service has been lately???

      May 3, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  18. Juliette

    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)

    May 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • fearless freep

      Now that is a beautiful name, Juliette.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redfeather

      See how her hand touches her cheek, Would that I could be a glove on that hand that I might touch that cheek.

      May 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  19. thoughtful

    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

    May 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • CAM

      That is a beautiful name! I named my daughter that – Kathleen Elizabeth – and her initials are KEM as well.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Fawn

    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"

    May 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKNatural1913

      It's funny because my name is like that...most people can't tell my race from my name

      May 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Parnecia

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Kylah

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • SophyB

      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?

      May 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Margo

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  24. camai

    I once knew a girl named Hannah Banana Anderson in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have often wondered about that name.. and how she made out.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Eugenia

    i would love to know

    May 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Kia

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      I made a snap judgement about you. You're named after a car.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Motley

    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,...

    May 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Motley

      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

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

      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.)

      May 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbcal

      Since the parents are the ones who come up with the name, it seems that the name says more about them than the child.

      May 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  28. RichardHurtz

    Try being handled with Richard Hurtz!!!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Motley

      better not handle me

      May 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Mari

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Motley

      not only that,.. but even strangers can call him by name!!!

      Hey guy,.. comon over here,...
      "Bud" works well like this too

      May 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • TR

      I actually knew someone named Guy. Very uncommon!

      May 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Kudzu

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michaela

      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?

      May 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  31. nina

    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!!

    May 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Marita

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Chris from Iowa

    Hi. I'm Chris from Iowa. Don't hate.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Motley

    What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lumps

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lumps

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Angela

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Kevin

    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..

    May 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kia

      definitely within the top ten list of the best J.Cash songs!

      May 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Audrey

    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"!).

    May 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • KKNatural1913

      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

      May 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbcal

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Thom

    I hate my last name. Have thought about changing it. It belongs to a bunch of child abusers.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      Your last name is Priest? Or Catholic?

      May 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Usra

      I read ur name while saying the th sound..HA

      May 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Dana

    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

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

      How is Dana unusual?

      May 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Raeann

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jack Murray

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Aw, too bad, Caius sounds awesome. Kind of distinguished and impressive.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  42. kittan40

    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:):)

    May 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  43. maryannelanders

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  44. JusDav

    David Leo
    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.


    May 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Motley

      I was named after a God,... and now I am godlike,... imagine that

      May 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Marc

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rowens

      love the name Finnegan.

      May 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Ray

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Motley

      Can I call you Ray,.. or can I call you,.. or can I call you,...

      May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Jewell Kutzer

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • batgirl0564

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Southern_Belle

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • samanthahowsare

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Southern_Belle

        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.

        May 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      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...

      May 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • bmsvds

        Yeah, that remark was made by a photog on TMZ a few months ago.

        May 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      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.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • lawgirl

      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!

      May 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Rachel

    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.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • bmsvds

      You are blessed! Every woman I have ever known named Rachel has been ridiculously beautiful.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  50. texan

    I've learned to avoid girls that go by one name.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  51. mark

    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".

    May 2, 2012 at 3:59 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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
  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 |
    • 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 |
    • 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 |
      • 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 |
1 2