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When does a name become a name?

(9 Posts)
HoratioNightboy Sat 13-Jan-18 21:13:44

No baby here - just looking for opinions really. How many times do you think a name should be used before it is accepted as a name?

Take "Nevaeh" as an example - the first time someone thought of this and used it for their child, it was a unique invention. Then someone copied the idea, then someone else, then someone else, and now there are hundreds of them.

So after how many uses would you consider it to be an actual name, rather than a one-off invention?

(I know many will never consider Nevaeh a 'proper' name, and I'm not really looking for opinions on whether it is or not. My question is how many uses of anything would it take for you to accept it as an actual name? 5? 10? 100? Asking for research purposes.)

CharlotteC77 Sat 13-Jan-18 21:32:27

Hmm, interesting. I would say that as soon as someone is given a name, it becomes a name. It's no less of a name just because some (of lots!) of people disagree with it; it's still someone's name.

Not sure what would qualify it to be included in baby name books though - it might be worth asking them as presumably they would have specific criteria for inclusion.

BabloHoney Sat 13-Jan-18 21:54:06

I think it can depend whose name it is too. The name Wendy came from Peter Pan.. so was famous and recognised before it took off as a mainstream name.

scotsmumof1 Sat 13-Jan-18 22:06:42

When I met little girl named Nevaeh for the first time, I guess I thought of it as a name, before that I would've just thought of it as heaven spelt backwards. I suppose you can't be named something and it not really be considered a name though, because it is your name? I've said name too many times now.. lost it's meaning haha.

SuperBeagle Sat 13-Jan-18 22:34:35

Shakespeare invented loads of names which are now considered "mainstream".

I wonder whether the origin of the name has more to do with its staying power or respectability than the name itself. So, because it was Shakespeare of JM Barry who "invented" the name, we are more likely to take it seriously than we are with the run of the mill American who first decided that Nevaeh was a name.

Similarly, names such as Renesmee from Twilight haven't caught on, whereas Arwen from Lord of the Rings has. I do think it comes down more to the person, or series, which is perceived to have created the name, than it does to the name itself.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 14-Jan-18 12:23:18

Wendy was not invented by JM Barry, it existed as a surname hundreds of years before he was even born. A doctor of Henry VIII was Thomas Wendy.

pipilangstrumpf Sun 14-Jan-18 15:40:47

As soon as someone is given a new name. It doesn't matter how many others use the same name.

All names were once made up. Names are meant to identify us so the more options there are, the better imo.

NewYearNiki Sun 14-Jan-18 18:27:44

Similarly, names such as Renesmee from Twilight haven't caught on, whereas Arwen from Lord of the Rings has.

Arwen isnt from the Lord of the Rings as in invented for it, it is an actual Welsh name that Tolkien used in his book. It hasn't caught on after LOTR it was always a name.

SuperBeagle Sun 14-Jan-18 20:23:11

Arwen isnt from the Lord of the Rings as in invented for it, it is an actual Welsh name that Tolkien used in his book. It hasn't caught on after LOTR it was always a name.

Eowyn, then. The point stands.

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