Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Your Name Says About You

I am not one for making broad generalizations or judging a person by their name...until now. Some names are highly stereotyped and I thought it might be fun to discuss them. I understand that there are always exceptions so if your parents named you Adolph it is possible that they still love you and you probably have a really cool uncle Adolph they named you after, but for the most part I think people will agree with me on these categories.

Age Specific Names-When I see some names I assume they don't have much longer to live. These include: Hazel, Delores, Mildred, Ethel, Lucille, Blanche, and Harriet. Men's names in this category are Delbert, Gene, Montgomery, Frank, Humphrey, Cecil, Stanley, and Herbert. It's rare to find people with these names today who are under 70. On the other end of the spectrum, if your name is Sonic, Gunner, Jax, Britney, Madison, Jessica, or Ashley, you are probably under 25 and your parents are under 40.

The Artsy Parent aka Child Abuse-If your name is Apple, Moon Unit, Fifi Trixibelle, or Jermajesty then you probably had a famous parent who was a musician or an actor who was so busy with their career they couldn't take the time to give you a decent name. For a while I was tempted to name a child Lazar Wolf from Fiddler on the Roof because I've always thought that was a cool name. I couldn't get my wife to go along with it, but I'm sure if I was a celebrity I could have pulled it off.

Ethnic Names-If you had a name like Shenequa, Ashanti, DeShawn, Tyrone, or Jamal many people would assume you were African American. Others would assume Hispanic descent with names like Jose, Jesus, Eduardo, or Guadalupe. Before anyone accuses me of being racist I'll have you know that I named one of my daughters Carmen.

Biblical Names-These are quite common. I named three of my boys Bible names. David, Joshua and Thomas. Some of the Old Testament names have more of a hard core staunch religious connotation associated with them like Isaiah, Obadiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. I have never come across a Jezebel or Bathsheba yet but I'm sure there are some out there.

The Unique Names-I've seen Shaunathon, Cobbart, Zarson, Tarek, Jypsie, Tahana, and Bluze. I'm kind of guilty with this one. I named my youngest daughter Chamane. Some people also get weird with the spelling of their name. I'm sorry but there should not be 9 different ways to spell Amy. Some people go nuts with adding extra E's and using silent letters just so their normal name can be different.

The Androgynous Names-Please don't take offense with this one. I know men and women who are respectively masculine or feminine but they have a unisex name. Some of these names are Chris, Robin, Cory, Jo, Pat, Jordan, Taylor, Terry, and Jamie. These names can be tricky when you are calling someone back who you have never met and are unsure of their gender.

The Changed Names-Many celebrities have changed their birth name. I can understand why Alphonso D'Abruzzo, Issur Danielovitch and Marion Mitchell Morrison changed their names to Alan Alda, Kirk Douglas and John Wayne. I guess when it comes to movie star names and syllables, less is more. It comforting to know that if your last name is Shue and your parents name you Jim you can always do something about it down the road. If you are unhappy with your name, you should just be grateful that your parents didn't name you Lazar Wolf.


Eric said...

Chaka was your given name, then?

Kelly said...

The day we were giving a name and a blessing to our son in church there were like 3 other babies being blessed that same day. I will never forget the baby girl who went before us. Poor thing was named Jasmine Cashmere. We felt as boring as paste when we went up there and all we had was Nathan Troy.

Then the next baby was named Rush! True story.

Gwen said...

Waaah! My name doesn't fit anywhere in there!

peewee said...


It's even worse when your friends name their kids weird names. Like my friend named her girl Natori Dior. I mean, what do you SAY to that?!?!

Also my gay neighbors went ahead and named their son Ledger...I guess "heath" was just too pretentious!

Retro Hound said...

I have a freind who wanted to name his boy Chaz. I barfed and I think that influenced him to give it up. Another friend named his boys Hunter and Talon.

I also know a male Chris and a female Cris and they got married to each other.

My 87 year old neighbor is named Gene, but I didn't think of that as an "old" name like most of the others.

We ended up using 3 biblical names out of 4 kids. (actually 5 biblical names if you cound middle names)

Roshni said...

my name, believe it or not, is sort of common in India!

Video Zeta One said...

The guy from the show "Emergency" has the coolest name in history .... I give you, Randolph Mantooth!

2nd coolest name: Ice-T. It's gangsta and a refreshing beverage at the same time!

Fancy Schmancy said...

My son's name is on that list somewhere, but I'm not telling where. Also, how many kids did you get to name?

Tom said...

Eric-I decided the stage name of Chaka would help my career.
Fancy-No need to worry about his name on the list. I named 9 kids. They would all have names like American Gladiators if it weren't for my wife.

Massage MAN said...

My wife told me I could name the last 3 of our kids. She told me I could name them Parker, Colin and Jake.

Jeanne Estridge said...

Geez, Chaka -- how many kids do you have?

Lisa Loo said...

Wow--I nailed 2 categories in one child with my daughter Taelor!

And what about the names of horror movie villians??!! Damien--for example---who names their child after a scary psycho child and doesn't see a lifetime of insanity ahead?!

Chantry Goodrich said...

My parents (whether due to lack of creativity or a fascination with westerns) named all three children of the family from Louis L'Amour's books:


My name especially causes confusion, because it's pronounced with a "SH" sound instead of the obvious "CH".

DiPaola Momma said...

Fifi Trixiebell.. oh Bob Geldoff.. WHY?!! WHY I ask you?! I mean you could save all the kids in freakin' Africa but you saddle your own kid with that one (btw, Chaka, it's WAY cool and ofcourse TOTALY telling of your age that you picked that one!)... Wait, it sort of works, now that she is a lingere designer. I think there is something to this. Maybe Apple will grow up to be the next.. well okay Mr. Cooper from Seasame Street but hey that geezer milked the gig until he croaked. Talk about job security.