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do names shape who your child becomes?

(16 Posts)
alita7 Tue 11-Mar-14 18:45:40

Most of the people I meet suit their name... are we just generally good at picking a name or dies it actually influence how they turn out? Obviously genetics and environmental factors must play a bigger part but if you, for example, call your child a name that makes you think of a boring person, might they turn out boring?

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 11-Mar-14 18:51:38

I sometimes wonder this.

NewtRipley Tue 11-Mar-14 18:54:28

I don't think it works like that. I think names can change how people perceive you, and in extreme example, they can alter your chances of being called for an interview ( there's some evidence of bias against Asian and African names when identical CV s were sent to large companies under different names ).

I think names generally suit people because we know them and can't inmagine them being called anything else.

tammytoby Tue 11-Mar-14 18:57:50

It goes the other way round: you start to associate a name with a person and that person then 'becomes' his/her name.

tammytoby Tue 11-Mar-14 18:59:32

There is no such thing as a 'boring' name either! A person might be dull but not his/her name. I know dull people and interesting people with all sorts of names.

alita7 Tue 11-Mar-14 19:01:24

But what about people who you haven't met before? Like when I was at school there were 3 very similar ginger hannahs.

DailyBread Tue 11-Mar-14 20:28:32

No, I don't think they do. Although it must be tough at times if your parents have you a fabulously unusual name and your life turned out not to be.

Rtfairy Tue 11-Mar-14 21:22:12

No I don't think this is true at all. I have a very popular 'boring' name doesn't mean I'm like every other person with that name (I hope). A name is just a name and we put too much emphasis on names on forums like this.

tammytoby Tue 11-Mar-14 22:04:03

Having a fabulously unusual name helps identify you better (after all, that's we name things and people) but it has no effect on how boring or exciting your life turns out... !

Nataleejah Wed 12-Mar-14 08:10:46

According to his name, my DS1 should join the navy or become a fisherman.

ExcuseTypos Wed 12-Mar-14 08:19:04

Op there must be thousands of Hannah's in the world. They can't all be gingergrin.

I know so many Sue's I've lost count. I like all of them but they are all different, personality wise.

Chacha23 Wed 12-Mar-14 08:37:29

I think this has been studied somewhat scientifically in Freakonomics, and the conclusion is that names do not generally shape what the child becomes. But it often looks that way, because:

the parents' socio-economic-cultural identity shapes the name
the parents' socio-economic-cultural identity shapes the child's personality

so it looks like name and personality are linked, but actually it's the parents and the child's personality that are linked.

or something like that!

Burren Wed 12-Mar-14 10:14:36

What Chacha said, kind of.

DH and I are from very poor, working class backgrounds in our home country, now both highly qualified and working in overwhelmingly middle-class professions in the UK. Do we choose the kind of baby name our families would consider 'normal', or try to integrate our son into a middle-class environment in this country by giving him a name the English middle classes would consider 'normal', but which his extended family would consider alien and pretentious? The two types of name do not overlap at all. Either choice would 'define' our child for other people.

(We chose an unusual Biblical name which is considered equally unusual by both groups, partly in order not to Devine our boy.)

elQuintoConyo Wed 12-Mar-14 10:25:41

I don't think so - but we were planning on calling ds, who at two yo is a giggling duracell bunny mainlining redbull, Barny. I think that would have been too much grin benefit of hindsight.

His name isn't everyone's brew some have said, on mn, that it's a dog's name. Well, ds isn't a dog, and his name suits him just fine.

Chacha23 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:19:56

that's really interesting Burren, because what the studies show (from my vague memories) is that baby names don't actually reflect the parents' own identity, they reflect the identity they aspire to for themselves and their children (subtle difference, I admit). So it makes sense you would pick a name that won't have your boy pigeonholed in either social categories. I would have done the same in your situation, I think.

Artandco Wed 12-Mar-14 11:45:18

I think it can change people's perspectives and therefore how far they get

Ie ( no offence)

A child called cy'moen ( pronounced Simon). I'm sure many teachers might have opinions and many employers might not choose to interview

A child called Simon is likely to be perceived as regular family upbringing, etc etc

All wrong of course but its what some might see

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