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To not understand the big fuss about names?

31 replies

Laquitar · 24/05/2011 09:02

Chav names, 'middle class' names, feminist names, girly names 'in fashion' names.... 'if i name my dc x he/she will become an austronaut, a strong person' etc.

Is it because the name is the only thing we can control? Everybody says 'i accept my dcs for what they are and what personality they have' but then all this agony over names hoping that she/he become what the parents want?

It makes me a bit Hmm. AIBU?

OP posts:

BornInAfrica · 24/05/2011 09:03

Gosh. And there was me thinking people just chose a name they liked. Unreal.


Laquitar · 24/05/2011 09:06

Born have you never heard/read this? I don't imagine it, honestly Grin

OP posts:

Hullygully · 24/05/2011 09:12

My children are called Filthea-Riche and Orphlee-Brainea.

Original and charming and not easily categorised.


Punkatheart · 24/05/2011 09:14

I have Willdefinitelymarryabillionaire and Stunninglybeautifulwithanenormousbrain.

Don't know what the fuss is about?


lesley33 · 24/05/2011 09:25

There is research to show that names do have an impact on people's lives. Not surprising really as they are part of the first impressions people make. So people with a Black sounding name will be assumed by people recruiting employees to be black at the shortlisting stage, which can mean racism comes into play. People with popular names in general tend to have more friends than people with unpopular names, etc.

My OH did a psychology PHD - many moons ago now - on names and the impact they have. There was already at that time lots of research to demonstrate this impact. I believe there is even more research on this now.

Ples no-one wants to unwittingly burden their child with a name that could lead to much playground bullying.

Names are important.


Laquitar · 24/05/2011 09:38

Grin Hully and punk.

I understand that lesley33. But looks are also first impressions. Would you dye your dd's hair black because some people think that blondes are dim?

And if i had a black child i would give him a black name.

OP posts:

Hullygully · 24/05/2011 09:39

Like Noire or Duskee-Hugh?


Laquitar · 24/05/2011 09:41

black sounding name i meant Grin

OP posts:

Hullygully · 24/05/2011 09:45

Give us an example


QualiaQuale · 24/05/2011 09:47

actual lol @ "duskee-hugh" Grin


snailoon · 24/05/2011 09:53

There's a family in the US who named their kids Adolph Hitler Campbell and Aryian Nation Campbell. That's going to have an impact on their lives--


emptyshell · 24/05/2011 09:55

Names carry certain assumptions with them - you can stack the odds in your kid's favour, or stack them against. The "unique" name fad's gone so far in certain parts of town that the kid with a conventional name is actually the unique one. I've got a name that's the less common of two spelling variants and it's annoying as fuck to have it constantly misspelt to be honest - yeah mum, it was cute when you picked it out of the book and tweaked it about a bit - it's not bloody cute when you're in your 30s and still smiling politely and ignoring the spelling errors on it!

I mean who the fuckedy fuck wants their kid to go through life having to say "Hi, my name's BJ" (no word of a lie, not an abbreviation or nickname - actual name I've come across recently)


lesley33 · 24/05/2011 09:57

When I talked about a black sounding name I was thinking of white people with a black sounding name. I worked with a white man with a black sounding name. When I mentioned X who I work with, everyone assumed he was black. I am sure he experienced racism by people who had never seen him e.g. employers short listing.

Whether you choose to give a name knowing that people may have stereotypes associated with it, is ultimately your choice. But it is because names do affect how people respond to us, that parents agonise over names.


Laquitar · 24/05/2011 10:12

I agree lesley but i think by doing this we -in some way- encourage or support stereotypes.

OP posts:

MamaLazarou · 24/05/2011 10:53

YANBU, just call them Jack or Emily and get on with the rest of your life.


lesley33 · 24/05/2011 11:10

Yes we may encourage or support stereotypes, but sorry I would put my own kids first rather than challenging stereotypes first.


MamaLazarou · 24/05/2011 11:21

And I am sure that little Honky and White-Ass are very grateful to you for it.


MamaLazarou · 24/05/2011 11:22

Hang on... what if a black person gives their child a 'white' name? Is that allowed? I used to work with a black woman named Ruth. People she spoke to on the phone might have assumed she was white!


Hullygully · 24/05/2011 11:30

white and black names should be kept that way. There are Lists, you know.

Where would you put Tomahawk?


SnuffleTurtle153 · 24/05/2011 11:36

'And if i had a black child i would give him a black name.'

Now this is intersting. DS has a very old, traditional English name not much heard these days but which has appeared as a character name in some films, and each time the character playing them has been black (I've not seen any of them, and didn't know this when we chose the name. Not that it would have made a blind bit of difference to us). When we told people what we were planning to call him we kept having people say 'But that's a black person's name' which I found to be an incredibly weird and quite an offensive thing to say. Recently, out of curiosity, I put his first name into Facebook and searched. There were a number of people on there with the same name, all black. I thought 'Meh, apparently it is so'. I still feel 'meh' about it now. I just don't understand what the hell is meant by a 'black' or a 'white' name. It's just a name. Being more prevalent in a particular culture doesn't mean anything and doesn't reflect at all on the person who's name it is.

Oh, and if DS ever applies for a job and the person sifting through the applications dismisses it because they think he's black, then good. I would hate for him to have to work for some foul minded bigot who would dismiss someone on the grounds of their race.


EricNorthmansMistress · 24/05/2011 11:40

and if DS ever applies for a job and the person sifting through the applications dismisses it because they think he's black, then good. I would hate for him to have to work for some foul minded bigot who would dismiss someone on the grounds of their race

Exactly. I feel the same. DS has an arab name and an african surname because his father named him. He'll grow up here and sound English, and by a quirk of genetics looks completely caucasian. If people assume things about him before meeting him based on his name then they don't deserve to know my son. I'm pretty sure that he'll do just fine in life through hard work and natural talent and will hopefully be proud of his dual heritage and how that's reflected in his name.


Punkatheart · 24/05/2011 11:41

Good post Snuffle.


Laquitar · 24/05/2011 11:49

I totally agree with your last sentence snuffle.

People on many threads here go on and on about 'strong' names and how they like for their child a name that represents and encourages strength or indepedence or free thinking . And i'm thinking , well if you are a confident person you dont need to spend your life researching names on internet, surely it will be better to encourage your child to not give a fuck. Otherwise you will have to do the same with his looks, his clothes etc. Why care about people's silly stereotypes?

OP posts:

Hullygully · 24/05/2011 11:51

Being pragmatic, if I wanted a job and suspected that my name would count against me, I would put a different one and then reveal my real one once firmly ensconced.


Minorroad · 24/05/2011 12:10

I think the surname is more important and few parents have the foresight to choose that one in time for the birth certificates. Mine are John and Catherine Guiness-Rockefeller.

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