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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Please keep this website away from the suethors.

Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing

What is wrong with having a common name? It hasn't hurt anyone I know.

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And it keeps you from being easily googled! (although my job's website is the first thing that comes up when you google my name. Yippee)

http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/15.html includes "Lourdes Solange" I would swear I got a spam from that name last week. [I had a former manager named Lourdes, so it stood out.]

Then again, I just checked my inbox and found a spam from Jenna Bush.
They sure grow up quickly, don't they?

Maybe it's some sort of PC hive mind thing, where this new generation of parents is under the illusion that their kids won't be teased if everyone has a funny name.

There is common and common. I'm an Elizabeth. It's a nice neutral name with 1000's of nicknames. It tells you nothing about my parents or my back ground. It's just a name.

I think there is a point to avoiding _too_ common. I know roughly 1 million Jennifers in my age bracket.

But especially for boys names? You can't go wrong naming a kid John or Robert or James or William or something. A nick name will arise.

And baby Jimmy will be so happy not to be named Denim.

Of course with that voice of reason, I'm considering in all seriousness naming a future son Tucker after the dog. Or perhaps Lennie Briscoe.

But both names are fine on the face of it.

My name *is* Debra, you know. The "Jennifer" of my generation, as it were.
I don't remember minding terribly. Of course, now it's becoming a fiesty middle aged lady name (Debbie on QAF, Debbie on West Wing) and, well. *Sigh*. I knew it was going to happen.

But my parents deliberately chose a common name to balance the uncommon last name, for which I thank them.

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You hava legit name.

I see no reason to complain unless they named you Mau'rn'a

I'm cool with most thngs, but very very messed up spellings- see Madison, Mikala and the like get old.

My friend named her baby Katelynn.

Caitlin is a fine name. But she should have picked a simpler spelling.

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I hate odd names with a passion.
I have a common name with an uncommon spelling: Angelia. (Angela)
I have been misspelled, mispronounced and annoyed for 37 years.

I gave all my children common names:
Victoria, Christopher, Jonathan and Olivia
They still get misspelled by creative spellers. (Jonathon is most common)

We have a stuffy British surname. Nonsense names don't fit well.

Besides, made-up names and spellings are pure torture for teachers, nurses and anyone else who will deal with your child. As is giving the wrong gender of name. A girl named Taurus (Bull) is just cruelty. Worse, the child was named for the car, and not the constellation.

Tell me about mispelling "Jonathan". My husband is very posessive about his name. I get all the rants. (Spelling my name "Deborah", otoh, or "Debby" bothers me very little. Unless you happen to my my inlaws, who should know better.)

The most egregious is "Johnathan." "John" comes from "Yochanon". "Jonathan" comes from Y'honatan or Yonatan. These are not the same name. Putting that "h" there makes very little sence.

Ahahahahahahahahahahahhaa!!!!

I always adore a good laugh from that site....

The responses on this have been very interesting - this seems to be a subject that more people care about more deeply than I, for one, ever realized.

What is wrong with having a common name? It hasn't hurt anyone I know.


I have a very common first name and married a man with an extremely common last name. I can't tell you how many times I've given my name over the phone or whatever and people have said, "Yeah, right," as if I were using an unimaginative alias. It can actually cause problems with restaurant reservations, when someone with the same last name shows up just before we do and snags the table... we use my maiden name for that sort of thing.

We gave our son an unusual first name and a common middle name, so he could choose when he got older, but he likes the first name and has kept it. It really did seem to help, when he was younger, that there were a lot of kids his age with unusual names.

Considering all the weird names in my biofather's family, I'm lucky my parents decided to name me after my father. He had a french last name, and they gave me french female versions of his first and middle names. Euphonious, and classy, and fairly spellable. Too bad I traded the last name for an unspellable German one.

My husband wanted to name my son a manly name...Roland. Instead of Thomas. *cough* I told him that it was bully bait, and would not sound well with Olson. We would have had our own Rolie-polie-Olie!

I had to threaten to name my son Uff-da Olson (Uff-da! is the Scan equivalent of Oy!) unless he seriously helped find a name, or just let me pick. He let me pick.

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

My son's name is Jacob. Simple, earnest, straightforward. Hebrew name is Ya'akov. None of this sekrit initial password crap. (Like his cousin named Benjamin whose Hebrew name is Baruch, or his other cousin Jordan whose Hebrew name is Yeheskel.)

But then on *my* side, my cousins named their kids stupid things. McKay. He's not named after anybody, his parents just liked the name. Another one is Kale. Like the cabbage. I call him Coleslaw.

I like to hit a happy medium. My RL name, Barbara, is one I don't like on aesthetic principles--in a Western New York accent, where r's are hit so hard that we sound like a reverberating gong when we talk, it comes out sounding like a kid pretending to bark, arr, arr--but I can't argue with my mom's reasoning. Not only is it a family name, grabbed from an immigrant ancestor, it's also uncommon enough in my age group that I never had to deal with a lot of other Barbaras, but not so weird that anyone ever said, "Your name is what?" No name prevents teasing, and you never know what it's going to be. My last name begins with Wa- (no, it's not actually "Walters"), and I spent a lot of time known to other students at school as Ba-ba Wa-Wa, after the SNL Barbara Walters take. And of course, one of my friends called me "Blarf." You can't prevent that.

That said, I do have a fondness for unusual names. Not flakey New Agey ones, but just kind of neat, different ones. I love going through old genealogies and finding family names that haven't been used for awhile. We had generations of Elhanans in the family, but it hasn't been used since the early 1800s. I probably couldn't get away with it as a first name--what on Earth would it nick' down to?--but I'm thinking it would make a fine middle name. Of course, we also haven't had a John in the family in Lord knows how long, and that was the first name in that branch of the family. And I like virtue names, as long they're words that can be nicked into more normal variants if the kid ends up not wanting to stick out. (Eg, a "Reconcile" could become "Connie" without much fuss.)

I have a name that is uncommon but not weird. That worked out ok. I don't think I would have minded being one of the many Jennifers or Loris, though of course I'll never know.

"Weird" names, into which category I lump all of the "creative" spellings as well as company/product names like Mercedes and Tiffany, are another matter. I don't know what possesses parents to saddle a kid with a handicap that just keeps on giving. I have enough trouble with people not being able to spell or pronounce my last name (only six letters, not some long tongue-twister); if I had to patiently explain that the first name was Katelynn (not Caitlin) or Jolaynne (what?) or something like that, it'd get annoying really quickly.

Real names from other cultures have the potential to be confusing too, of course, but at least there's some real origin and the person encountering the name for the first time may learn something. Some people might think Ranjani is weirder than Kellyna Nychole, but I disagree.

If someone wants to take a "creative" name as an adult (I know someone whose legal name is "Animal X"; no, I don't know how that's alphabetized), go for it. But I wish parents would show just a little restraint when naming children. Really, there's nothing wrong with Robert or Jacob or Susan or Rebecca. Nothing at all!

nothing wrong...

One of my cousins was named "Susan Rebecca" because her parents figured no one could possibly make fun of that name. In school she became "Sue R.", which, when said quickly, mutated into "sewer". So much for that idea.

I know another family with two kids with interesting middle names and more standard first names. As kids they were known by their middle names, Hickory (boy) and Willow (girl), and one still uses that while the other has since switched to using their first name.

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The geneologies in the Bible have all sorts of interesting names that, for some reason or another, nobody seems to use today. I'm still trying to sell my wife on "Chatzarmavet". :-)

My own name, "Seth", is not too uncommon, and it's straight outta the Bible. Unfortunately, the Hebrew equivalent, "Sheit", not only gave me no end of grief in Hebrew school, but in modern Hebrew, it means "rear end".

And then, of course, you could be given a nice mid-list name, rare enough that you rarely if ever run into someone else with the same name, but not especially weird — and then, sometime in your mid-20s, suddenly half the kids running around loose in the supermarket have the same name because a character with that name showed up on a soap opera or something. ("Brandon")

At which point I was heartily wishing I'd been given a rarer/weirder name. :/

Spencer and I were both named after someone. Talis is also named after someone. We *all* have unusual names; they are *always* commented on, and are very often misspelled, or mis-gendered. Our last names are all different, as I kept my maiden name, and Talis is a not hyphenated joint name, so we always know when a salesperson is calling when they ask for Mrs. Love or Mr. Thorndike. And I know it is either the school or the pesiatrician's office calling when they ask for Mrs. Thorndike Love.

I grew up with many *other* common names; Sarah, Elizabeth, Diane, Susan, Linda were some of the girl's names; I don't remember too many common boys names other that Michael and Robert.

I have a collection of Persis's that I have met or known of over the years; it numbers over 12. Persis is Greek, Persian, Hindu, and New Testament, but is not found in many of the baby name books.

Talis gets teased not only for her name, but for her other interests that are unusual; science, liking animals and insects, getting her hair cut (happened back in Kindergarten, and now she doesn't want to get her hair cut again...)

Your names are unusual, but I don't think they were chosen for the sake of being unusual. Persis, as you point out, has classical orgins (as well as being lovely and graceful.) It wasn't smushed together from two other names, nor is it a mispelling. Talis, of course, was named for someone you're close to and admire. Again, it's unusual, but it wasn't chosen for that reason.

And neither fail the Supreme Court Justice test. "Justice Talis Thorndike-Love" sounds rather nice, actually. :)

And tell Talis I quite agree about her hair. My own hair hasn't been cut since before she was born. :)

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