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Do you classify or label people by their name?

(197 Posts)
manicinsomniac Mon 27-Jul-15 17:28:27

And does it often turn out to be correct?

I have a shameful addiction to the baby names forum.

Recently I have noticed my oldest daughter's name getting rather a slamming. It has come up in the past and it has generally been agreed on as 'chavvy'. Recently is has been called 'truly awful' 'dreadful' and 'just no'.

Her name is Savannah. The names Susannah, Samantha, Sophia and Sylvia however, are almost always received positively. These names, especially the first two, are very similar. So what is it that makes Savannah 'truly awful'? I can only assume that people are basing their liking of the name on what they assume its owner or her parent/s to be like, rather than the actual sound of the name.

I've also seen that people 'hate' the names Charlize and Charmaine but really like Charlotte. That they think Jayden is an awful name but like Aiden and Hayden. Isabella and Annabella are lovely but Arabella is ridiculous.

Am I unreasonable to think that people pretend not to like names when the truth is that they just have a particular association with a name that they wouldn't want for their child? And, if so, do those associations bear out in real life? I'm getting worried that I've saddled my child with a name that will cause people to roll their eyes before they've even met her. Especially as comment about my other two daughters names tend to sum up as 'nice but dull' and 'nice but posh' as oppose to 'god-awful!'

TobleroneBoo Mon 27-Jul-15 17:33:04

I love Savannah. I had to speak with auditors once when very new and nervous at work.

I introduced myself with my quite rare name and he said " cor where are you from? *not very nice place?*"

I had to say " Yep I actually am from not very nice place"

Very awkward hmm

SwearyGodmother Mon 27-Jul-15 17:35:38

Isn't one of the Queen's great-grandchildren called Savannah?

Judgmental people will judge. If it's not her name it'll be her accent/hair/clothes/way she holds cutlery/choice of university/shoes etc. I'd leave them to their own devices and rise above it.

museumum Mon 27-Jul-15 17:36:46

In all your examples the not liked ones are "modern" or maybe new to the UK I'm not sure whereas the likes ones are traditional/British.
I think it's fair enough to like traditional names over modern ones.

ShipShapeAhoy Mon 27-Jul-15 17:38:35

I don't judge people on their names, although I probably would be a bit surprised to meet someone with one of the posh names I've seen on the boards here. I probably would think 'oh they're a bit posh' but only if they had the accent and demeanour to match. Tbh when I meet people I just accept their name as their name without giving it much thought beyond that

ShipShapeAhoy Mon 27-Jul-15 17:40:31

Although I used to work with a woman whose name rhymed with Tina, surname was Turner. I found that amusing in a 'what were the parents thinking' kind of way.

Boosiehs Mon 27-Jul-15 17:41:13

I think it's a case of "proper" names and "made-up" names or place names.

It is snobbery to an extent, but certain names are more associated with a "less educated" group i guess.

When I named my child I wanted to give him a name that would be as appropriate for an artist/banker/accountant/teacher/musician etc. We thought long and hard about what his name would sound like when announced!

I think that's what my parents did for me.

EatShitDerek Mon 27-Jul-15 17:41:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaidOfStars Mon 27-Jul-15 17:42:54

Names can look quite similar but feel very different or evoke different "visions" (for want of a better word).

I actually like Savannah more than I like Susannah. smile

Aiden (traditional) and Hayden (sounds quite posh) are better, IMO, than Jayden, which sounds contrived.

Isabella is better than Arabella is better than Annabella.

Charlotte is beautiful. Timelessly classic, elegant, regal, none of which could be applied to Charmaine or Charlize.

manicinsomniac Mon 27-Jul-15 17:45:32

haha, I'm intrigued EatShitDerek !

I know people will always find something to judge. I just think it's strange - Savannah and Susannah sound almost the same yet nearly everyone here seems to like Susannah. Definitely leads me to think that it's not the sound of the name that is the problem.

I know people will always find something to judge though. I'm not upset especially (a little worried DD1 will blame me for her name in the future perhaps) but I'm interested.

ollieplimsoles Mon 27-Jul-15 17:45:45

I find the baby name forum baffling for the reasons you said op!
Its amazing what names get a roasting and what names are lovely!
I saw the girls name we are choosing get a very positive reception on the baby name forum, but would never let on what our boys name is because it would get flamed like there's no tomorrow! confused

ollieplimsoles Mon 27-Jul-15 17:46:37

And I wouldn't judge a person by name alone at all!

manicinsomniac Mon 27-Jul-15 17:49:04

Yeah, I guess all that makes sense MaidofStars

Perhaps I'm separating sound and association in a way that it just isn't possible to do

MaidOfStars Mon 27-Jul-15 17:49:11

Savannah and Susannah sound almost the same

I don't think they do (apart from the obvious).

"u" is, IMO, an ugly vowel (that's probably where the association comes from!). "a" is far superior! And I much prefer the softer "v" to a harder "z" sound.

Savannah is a buzzy warm feeling, Susannah is brittle.

I might not be explaining myself well hmm

Buzzybuzzybumblebees Mon 27-Jul-15 17:50:14

I get judged by my name hmm

maras2 Mon 27-Jul-15 17:50:21

Our extended family is huge and we have the entire gamut of what the oddballs on the baby names site would call chavvy.(in their heads if not out loud)I'm one of the older family members at 62 and my kids have fairly traditional names but the young ones ie.nieces,cousins great or great great have a mix of modern(made up) and old fashioned(sometimes also made up grin)No one judges,at least not out loud,and all of the littlies seem to fit into their names.I think that this is why we all get on so well by not criticising others choice of names.

usualsuspect333 Mon 27-Jul-15 17:50:30

The MN baby names topic is not a reflection of my real life.

The baby names topic is very middle England.

SacredHeart Mon 27-Jul-15 17:50:35

As much as people like to think it doesn't matter there have been many longditudinal studies about name selection and ultimate outcome.

Disclaimer - before anyone tells me of their friends daughter/son, they are the exception.

Statistically children with "traditional British" names grow up to have a higher income. Also those with (I can't think of a better way to describe it) "cutie" names (Millie, Kittie, Daisy, Talulah-belle) are less likely to become professionals.

The difficulty with this is the question of if it is predudice, cultural or demographic that affects this....

WorraLiberty Mon 27-Jul-15 17:51:04

I like Savannah.

The baby names topic bores the fuck out of me though.

Never in my wildest dreams would I ask a random bunch of strangers to help me name my baby, especially when so many people appear to hang out on that topic just to slag some names to shit.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 27-Jul-15 17:51:06

No, I don't think it's the sound, but it is traditional versus new, Charlotte is a nice, solid, traditional name in the UK, Savannah isn't, maybe it will change as the more modern names become better established, but I'm afraid I do judge the parents of children with certain names

MaidOfStars Mon 27-Jul-15 17:51:53

I am also obliged to mention the Freakanomics essay on baby names, which claims that 1. of course you are judged by your name, 2. if you are called Emma or Helen, you are almost certainly MC and white and 3. the future is Shakespearean.

usualsuspect333 Mon 27-Jul-15 17:55:13

Worra has it. The posters who sneer at names on the baby names threads need to get over themselves.

It's the people who judge a person by their name who have the problem, not the person with the name.

WoonerismSpit Mon 27-Jul-15 17:58:44

Go on ollie, tell us!

My DDs name almost always has positive reactions on the baby names board, and came up a few times in the 'what name do you wish you had named your child' thread.

OTOH, the name she very nearly was completely polarises opinion.

IMO, a name is a name is a name. I don't judge someone because of it.

manicinsomniac Mon 27-Jul-15 17:59:22


But my 3 children are likely to identical upbringing, education and everything else that determines likelihood of success of future life. The single fact that the youngest has what is seen as a very posh name, the oldest what is seen as the reverse and the middle child a middling name surely can't have any bearing on what happens to them? Or would you just call one or more them exceptions?

usual - I hope you're right. But if the judger is the future employer then I suppose it is the person with the name who has the problem.

Rainbunny Mon 27-Jul-15 17:59:54

I have to say, imo (which counts for nothing of course but since there's a thread...) I don't particularly care for names based on places; Savannah, Chelsea, India etc... My coworker has a young daughter they named Sierra, again can't say I care for it. As others have said, modern names just aren't as established and so don't sound as classic which in some peoples' minds translates to less classy.

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