Do you think if you really are something you don't need to prove it by name choice?

(77 Posts)
atthewelles Wed 16-Jan-13 15:56:21

I have a really edgy, creative friend who is also married to a very quirky artistic guy. Their kids are called Edward (after his grandfather), Laura and Hugo.
I also know another couple - she is a designer, he is a composer - and their dd is called Alice.
All lovely names but quite ordinary.

On the other hand I know people who are not particularly arty but have bent over backwards to find 'creative' or 'different' names for their DC.

I was just wondering if people sometimes try to compensate for something they lack but would like to have when choosing their DCs names??

No. I decided on a name because i liked it. If it some something I lack he would have been called "Singer" or "Small Arse"

atthewelles Wed 16-Jan-13 16:01:27

LOL. I would call mine 'Organised' or 'Goodatmaths'.

Sabriel Wed 16-Jan-13 16:03:15

This seems to be becoming a regular weekly thread.

My children all have unusual/ uncommon names. 2 reasons for this - 1) I like those names and (2) I had a top 100 name growing up and didn't want my children to be one of 6 in the class with the same name.

As it turns out 2 of them are arty/creative but not my doing.

Hes siblings if had any would be "height" "attention span" and "common sense"

shockers Wed 16-Jan-13 16:07:51

This is funny!

Mine would be called Willpower, Patience and Sense of humour at certain times of the month.

DS1 and DD don't come out of that one too badly, but DS2 would be gutted grin

atthewelles Wed 16-Jan-13 16:11:20

Would 'knowsoneendofahammerfromtheother' be a bit of a mouthful do you think?

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Wed 16-Jan-13 16:30:39

Mine would be named for all the things I fear they will never get from their genes. "Grace" "poise" and their little brother "alwaysfirstintheeggandspoonrace".

shoobidoo Wed 16-Jan-13 17:14:35

What a ridiculous question!

We chose names for our children that we love, that sound good with our surname, that work in the necessary languages (in our case anyway) and, most imporantly, that IDENTIFY them, which is more easily achieved if the name isn't already used by thousands others.

We are not 'proving' anything. We are simply choosing names that work well for us!

sunnysunnyshine Wed 16-Jan-13 17:18:33

Surely people just choose names that they love??

WizardofOs Wed 16-Jan-13 17:18:54

Mine has biblical names because my DH and I are evil in human form.

rachel234 Wed 16-Jan-13 17:19:05

Strange question, op. Do you mean I should call my dd 'bemoreorganised' and my son 'commonsense'...? Or do you mean names like 'Grace' or 'Constance' or other virtue names?

rachel234 Wed 16-Jan-13 17:20:31

And, by the way, we too chose names that we loved and that aren't overused. I had never considered that there was anything 'lacking' in me or dh?!

Onlyconnect Wed 16-Jan-13 17:20:57

You might not be proving anything shoobidoo but I am sure some people are.

usualsuspect Wed 16-Jan-13 17:21:10

People call their children names they like.

rachel234 Wed 16-Jan-13 17:21:43

But, on further reflection, my name ought to be 'bemorepatient'?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Wed 16-Jan-13 17:43:39

Mine have names that I like.

I do not think that people who name their children John and people who name their children Atticus have different reasons for doing so.

It is generally the people who name their children John who insist that people who name their children Atticus are doing it for attention etc.

I wonder why the John. Sophie, Harry, Olivia etc owners feel the need to prove that the Atticus, Levi, Pheonix, Liberty etc owners are selfish/attention seeking/insecure blah blah.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

CastingNasturtiums Wed 16-Jan-13 17:50:00

But what about all the obviously creative but batty people who call their kids things like Moonunit and Blue Ivy? That does not fit with your thesis OP!

I chose my kids names so that it would be perfectly clear that they came from a middle class, trying too hard, poncetastic, attention seeking.... family without having to speak to people.

I think it makes me and my kids easier to judge.

Of course once the hoiked judgy pants realise I am a principal lecturer and my DH is an artist they can then feel vindicated in their snap judgement, so in essence I'm a people pleaser. Folks enjoy judging me almost as much as they enjoy being right wink

Am I the only one who thinks 'Hugo' sounds a bit Hooray Henry, not actually at all 'ordinary'?

<common as muck emoticon>

BadTaste I haven't seen you around here in a while!

Hugo isn't a "ordinary" name to me but then again my sons name wont be "ordinary" to others

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Been too busy trying to make a decent snowman Fanjo grin And failing dismally sad

harryhausen Wed 16-Jan-13 18:39:46

Me and my DH are both have creative careers. My two dcs have very 'normal' names. When I named my first dd, I had plenty of comments that they were surprised that our choice wasn't more 'imaginative' (re, we were choosing a boring classic name). When I named our second ds, again there were comments about 'normal' names.

I don't really get the whole name thing. We simply chose names we liked. My dd is currently the only one with her name in her school (although its a very normal/classic name). My ds is one of plenty with his name. It matters not one bit to me either way.

I did feel with my peers that there was a underlying urge to find the most unusual name so their dc would stand out or be individual....people soon discover that their dc is an individual anyway.

Heavywheezing Wed 16-Jan-13 18:51:07

Are you writing about me?

Op, you have two of my ordinary children's names in your post.

I have a degree in art and also did fashion in college so come from an artsy background. My husband from a science background. He wanted less artsy names.

I think I' m getting what you are trying to say.

Do you mean the life they would like to have? Choosing arty names or you saying people are pretentious?

I think there is an element of that in names. Surely names can be aspirational.

UnrequitedSkink Wed 16-Jan-13 19:14:37

I do think that people with more unusual or imaginative names tend to lead more creative and interesting lives. My two DSs have names that I really like, but that I also hope will be useful to them when they're older, if only by making them more memorable. They're not massively 'out there' names, just not quite run-of-the-mill either.

TillyTommyTootToot Wed 16-Jan-13 20:14:16

Just because a child has an unusual name it does not mean the parent picked it to say something about themselves. Personally I think each to their own and it really and truly is absolutely none of your business why or what anybody chooses for their child's name!!

rachel234 Wed 16-Jan-13 22:31:38

"I do not think that people who name their children John and people who name their children Atticus have different reasons for doing so.
It is generally the people who name their children John who insist that people who name their children Atticus are doing it for attention etc.
I wonder why the John. Sophie, Harry, Olivia etc owners feel the need to prove that the Atticus, Levi, Pheonix, Liberty etc owners are selfish/attention seeking/insecure blah blah."

Absolutely. Our kids have names that some mumsnetters describe 'poncy' or 'pretentious'..... We chose the names simply because we love them and because they sound great with our short common surname! Why are others so bothered about this? Why are they implying that we had any ulterior motives?

poppydaisy Wed 16-Jan-13 22:40:33

Why are people so obsessed with reading so much into other peoples' name choices? Surely most people choose a name because they like the sound of it and they think it will identify the child.

echidnakid Thu 17-Jan-13 03:00:42

MrsDeVere you make a good point but the same goes for the "not in the top 100!!" people who insist that any name that IS is dull and unimaginative. I have read many posts where people have said they would consider the parents to be dull and unimaginative based on their use of reasonably popular names. Why don't they just assume that those parents just loved Harry as much as they themselves love Otis or whatever?!

Booyhoo Thu 17-Jan-13 03:05:41

way to out yourself OP! name all your friend's DCs!
grin

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 17-Jan-13 08:42:42

I work in the film industry and DH is a creative director. DS has a name that is 'different' - its been recently used by a well known musician but otherwise is rare these days.

I'm confused by your post - were we supposed to call him James?

Personally I like top 10 and classic boys and girls names. Elizabeth, Olivia, Michael and Jack are among my favourites. But there are personal and family resonances in his name that made it right for him.

poppydaisy Thu 17-Jan-13 09:21:53

"MrsDeVere you make a good point but the same goes for the "not in the top 100" people who insist that any name that IS is dull and unimaginative. I have read many posts where people have said they would consider the parents to be dull and unimaginative"

But finding a name dull and unimaginative is not the same as saying the parents are dull and unimaginative. The OP, though, is impying that the parents who choose less common names 'have something to prove'!

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 09:48:43

echid on MN (which is the only place I have ever seen people ask for names that go with/is ths name chavvy/would you all hate me and shun me if I called my child this...) it really is usually those who prefer 'normal' names who obsess about others naming their child D'ante.

And they go on to justify their gross prejudice with 'well it may not be fair but it's reality'. Throwing in fucking Freakanomics while they are at it.

Something they would never dare do about any other prejudice.

It is utterly bizarre confused

Dinglebert Thu 17-Jan-13 09:51:41

I think you have a point OP. I know people who I would probably describe as 'aspirational' who have some comical very unusual names for their children.

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 11:08:14

I think some people are instinctively drawn to names that are unusual or different.

But some people turn it into a task; 'do you think this name is a bit ordinary' or 'we want a name that is really different and are looking for suggestions'. I just don't think someone who is genuinely 'different' or 'creative' would bother pondering so much over a name that would stand out; they would either choose one instinctively or just not worry about it.

Some people do choose names that have a certain image attached to them, in my opinion.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 17-Jan-13 11:55:39

I like unusual names. Not trying to prove anything if and when I do use them. I just like them.

For example, Olivia is absolutely lovely but I infinitely prefer Aurelia. What does that prove? Not much beyond I prefer one to the other!

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 12:44:15

But that's my point Alisvolatpropils. You instinctively are attracted to unusual names - fine. But some people come on here specifically asking posters to suggest names that are 'different' or 'cool' or 'unusual' so that they can use them for their child. They're basically not choosing a name they instinctively like, but are asking other people to suggest a name based on an 'image' they want to portray.
Fair enough if people want to do that, but I was just pondering if it is a way of trying to portray themselves in a way that is contrary to what they are. I'm not judging, just wondering. We all do it in different ways - choice of clothes, furniture etc. I don't know why a couple of people are getting so stroppy about it.

Arcticwaffle Thu 17-Jan-13 12:48:33

My dc have unusual names - there's never been anyone else in their schools with the same name. Because we have boring names the same as billions of other people of our age group, and I didn't much like always being one of many with the name, always having to use the surname as a distinguisher. My dc don't have to always be known as "name surname" or "the other dc" or "fat name" etc. It's about being a unique identifier. Not about our aspirations for them.

Anonymumous Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:21

OP, you are right - when I named my three children, I was definitely trying to compensate for something I lack but would like to have. And that something is... an interesting, unusual name with a lovely meaning!

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 14:26:47

I did say 'sometimes' in my OP. I wasn't making a sweeping statement about all people.
But it is something I sometimes notice on here. The 'image' of the name seems to be more important to some people than whether its actually one of their favourite names.

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 14:33:38

I have been on here for about 6 years. I haven't noticed that trend at all.

I find its far more in the other direction. Aspirational meaning wanting to fit in, not put their child at perceived disadvantage in case others judge them as being a bit, well...you know.

Cant remember ever seeing a 'help me chose a cool name for my baby. I am sure there has been the odd one but definitely not in the majority.

hellokitty123 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:44:11

Our son has a name often described as 'pretentious' on mumsnet (in real life most people love it, as do we!), but when we chose the name we did so simply because we love it, partly due to the fact that it isn't overused already, and it sounds great with our surname.

I am getting a little tired of hearing (on here) that we 'have something to prove' or had some ulterior motive in choosing his name..... Why is it necessary to make those 'accusations' at all?

hellokitty123 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:45:58

"The 'image' of the name seems to be more important to some people than whether its actually one of their favourite names. "

Actually, the opposite is true. We chose a name (before I joined mumsnet) we loved and only afterwards did I realise that some mumsnetters find our choice 'pretentious'....!

hellokitty123 Thu 17-Jan-13 14:46:42

And op, if you were my friend I wouldn't really like it if you posted all three of my kids names on here!

TheSecondComing Thu 17-Jan-13 14:54:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 14:56:07

i suspect that these views are deeply entrenched and it will be hard to dissuade anyone who believes it, that it isn't so.

It doesn't matter how many times you insist that you chose a name simply because you like it.

If it fits the image of a chav/show off/new money/wannabe/wag etc. nothing is going to shift some people.

Its what they want to believe.

I am just interested to understand why.

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 15:09:20

They're ordinary names HelloKitty, that have been mentioned on here loads of times. If you were my friend I would find it a bit precious if you threw a paddy because you're kids names (along with thousands of other kids) had been posted on a website in a totally innocuous, non critical name. In fact, I even said they were nice.

I honestly don't care what people call their children. There are children with all sorts of names near me.

People will judge my sons name but I couldn't give a fuck tbh. I'm not forcing them to name their children it so whats the issue

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 15:33:04

I have to say, I find the subject of baby names interesting.

Eskino Thu 17-Jan-13 15:36:28

Anyone who calls their child 'Grace' is setting themselves up for disappointment grin

nickelbabe Thu 17-Jan-13 15:38:15

I think I'm going to call my next one Graphene because that was lacking when I did my degree (fuckers - if I'd done my degree 10 years later, I could have been one of those "oh, I was at Manchester when they discovered graphene, you know! It was in my department" )

sad <sob>

nickelbabe Thu 17-Jan-13 15:39:08

Eskino - oy!

that actually is the name we've chosen for our next DD (if we have one)
'tis MIL's proper first name.

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 17-Jan-13 15:48:50

I think you have a point OP.

And since reading MN, I had no idea there were so many incredibly posh parents-to-be who had studied Classics living in the UK. They must have all been hiding when we lived there.

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 15:56:51

They were probably all in the library TheCat, while you were in the bar canteen.

Eskino Thu 17-Jan-13 16:09:34

nickel - come back in 5 years time with evidence your Grace is actually graceful and I will apologise unreservedly wink

5madthings Thu 17-Jan-13 16:19:23

What mrsdevere said.

We chose names we likes and that we agreed on!

My kids names have had a mix of reactions on mnet dd's name us generalky liked. Ds3 has a 'naughty boy' name and ds4 has a 'gangsta' name hmm

TheSecondComing Thu 17-Jan-13 18:18:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

comeonbishbosh Thu 17-Jan-13 20:17:49

I note the way that the OP titles someone 'who really is something' as someone creative /edgy. And implies that if you are not creative / edgy it's something you lack. Whole load of assumptions there.

For the record, I do what many people would consider a much more 'creative' job than my DH. But, you know what, he really is a something, much more than me. Reader, I married him.

So, before you get all hoity about judging people for the choice of names of their DC, maybe check out if you're not judging people full stop.

lockets Thu 17-Jan-13 21:00:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 21:04:06

I think people choose names for all different sorts of reasons and it's quite possible some people choose names to reflect who they'd like to be.

I think if you read these name threads it is quite clear that not everyone chooses a name on the basis of 'we like it'.

Some people follow a tradition of naming the child after a relative e.g. the father. So the child is named 'John IV' not because his parent really liked the name John, but simply because that's the tradition. There was a thread a couple of weeks ago where the OP was planning on naming the child after her father, but was trying to think of a good middle name as she didn't like her father's name and wasn't planning to actually use it.

The 'I really love Amelie, but is it too popular?' threads are common too.

Then there is the 'We'd planned to call DD Sally, but now SIL/cousin/friend/neighbour has used it, so we can't use it'.

Even if you're choosing a name just because you like it, there are about a million different reasons why you came to like that name in the first place. I think it's quite possible that people come to like a name because it represents who they wanted to be e.g. Dave in HR who has kids called Jagger and Bowie.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 17-Jan-13 22:37:59

i think there's an element of snobbery and 'know your place' on this thread.

How very dare people who live on a Barrett estate call their child Tristram? HOW DARE THEY?

Don't you know that if you live in social housing you can only use names that rhyme with 'aden' for a boy and hyphenated names for a girl? If you have a degree you are permitted to use Olivia and Oliver. If you own Berkshire or went to St Martin's you then can have free rein but you will probably choose Mary or John as you have nothing to prove.

atthewelles Fri 18-Jan-13 12:00:43

comeonbishbosh I think you've misinterpreted what I meant when I said 'something'. I didn't mean it as 'something important'. I meant it as an abstract 'something' ie some people like to be considered creative, some people like to be considered organised, some people like to be considered unusual or whatever.

atthewelles Fri 18-Jan-13 12:32:13

Where are you picking that up Tondelay. I haven't seen anyone say anything like that.

comeonbishbosh Fri 18-Jan-13 17:43:38

atthewellies fair enough.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Jan-13 18:34:42

Atthewelles It was the Cat In The Hairnet's comment combined with your use of the word 'something' which you now clarified. in hindsight may be I was seeing more than is there.

However as you have used the words Chav on another thread i suspect that I am not that far from the truth.

echidnakid Mon 21-Jan-13 00:54:59

Poppydaisy just to clarify: I didn't day finding names dull
/unimaginative meant that people thought the parents (and by extension the child perhaps) were dull and unimaginative. I said that I have read many posts where people have SAID they would consider the parents to be dull and unimaginative.

MrsDeVere I'm happy to take your word on the trend being the other way as I haven't been on MN long enough to form a proper judgement. My daughter has an unusual (though not creative I don't think) name which would probably be subject to try-hard type comments as I have seen names in a similar vein described as "pretentious." It seems like you can't win!

echidnakid Mon 21-Jan-13 00:55:38

say not day!

Piemother Mon 21-Jan-13 01:05:30

I gave my dc unusual/uncommon names because I'm v boring and wish I was much more cool and interesting.
K?


Ffs

evamummy Mon 21-Jan-13 11:42:13

In response to the op, yes I agree that 'if you really are something you don't need to prove it by name choice'
But, conversly, I don't believe that those who do choose a less widely used name 'are trying to prove something', which is what I think seems to be implied.

evamummy Mon 21-Jan-13 11:43:20

In other words, I think you may be reading too much into peoples' name choices!

atthewelles Mon 21-Jan-13 11:43:29

Nope. Tonedelay nothing to do with chavs.

By the way what context did I use it in on another thread?

bryte Tue 22-Jan-13 08:07:27

I don't think I agree with your conclusion as there are plenty of artsy types who do give their children very unusual names.

I am not sure I agree that everyone simply gives their child the name they love though. I think here are people out there who try very hard to give their child an unusual name that makes them stand out. Then there are people who like an array of names but shortlist the less common names to avoid the '10 children in the class called that' and then there are people who have always loved a certain name, and it just happens to be more unusual.

And then there are people (hmmm, I may or may not be pointing at me wink ) who ended up with a top 10 name because it was their first baby and they did not know it was becoming popular and it is the only name their DH (who was never going to agree to an unusual name) and they could agree on. These people get a little bit tired of hearing the '5 children with the same name in the class' line because their top 10 named child is the only one in their year group of 90 and they rarely hear anyone else called it. But they realise they have to be thankful that parents do now give children such varied names because it means the top ten names are shared with thousands of fewer babies, than top 10 names a few decades ago. smile

bigbluebump Tue 22-Jan-13 10:53:31

"I am not sure I agree that everyone simply gives their child the name they love though. I think here are people out there who try very hard to give their child an unusual name that makes them stand out. Then there are people who like an array of names but shortlist the less common names to avoid the '10 children in the class called that' and then there are people who have always loved a certain name, and it just happens to be more unusual."

But those ARE all reasons for liking of disliking a name. There are names that I have always liked but if they become overused they lose some of their beauty as well as purpose of identification.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 22-Jan-13 11:07:44

I think you may be onto something OP. I am a bit of a pushover, so I called DS Alexander as I hope that he will conquer a vast swathe of Asia Minor and make me, his mum, empress. I have always wanted to be Queen if the World, but know I don't have the necessary cut throat manner or militarily strategic brain.

Alexander is his middle name though as I thought it would be good to keep my his plans for world domination secret until it comes time for him to unleash his might and get me an empire.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 22-Jan-13 11:08:45

Queen of the world.blush

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