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WDYT about names?


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#1 BadCat

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

I've been dipping in to the Baby Names forum a bit lately, which is firghtening in itself, and I have a question about unusual names, unusual spellings, top 10 names and what have you.

With the vast array of unusual names now in use including names from non-anglo cultures, unusual spellings, made up names etc, are those who suggest that children with unusual names will be unemployable bogans actually just behind the times?  After all, there are so many unusual names being used now that they aren't really unusual as a whole any more.

This is not about what sort of names you prefer but about recognising that your preferences are but a tiny subset of possible names.  People will continue to name their children in both traditional and unusual ways.  Surely this is a good thing?  Surely an ever expanding variety of naming options is a wonderful thing?  You don't have to like all the names but really how is naming your child Jack and different than naming your child Skate?  They are both just words that the child will answer to throughout life.  

So, what do you think?  Time to get over your pre-conceived notions of what is appropriate in a name and accept diversity? Or time for a national register of approved names to prevent people naming their child Ellexah?


I think the diversity of names is wonderful and I think that increasingly, employers and such will not bat an eyelid at someone named Glacier or Mage.  And I think that is as it should be.

#2 Wahwah

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:48 AM

I say each to their own but don't complain when people judge because it has always happened and always will. I have a common name that had no negative connotations when I was born but now is judged as being boganic.

I don't have an issue at all with the proliferation of new names but because people will judge I feel parents do have to consider how resilient their child will need to be in order to cope with any likely teasing or endless comments. It takes a long time for society to change overall so for every Ellexah there will be 100 Alexa's.

I personally think alternative spelling is a bit pointless if the pronunciation is the same as the conventional name. Why bother?

#3 LookMumNoHands

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

I'm in total agreeable with you on this one Badcat.

When Mr Leong Phat Kok joins this forum and agrees that he finds it hard to gain employment because of his name, I may change my opinion.

#4 chickendrumstick

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

I think that at the end of the day, a person's name isn't a true judge of their character. I wouldn't have a problem hiring an Ellexah or an Alexa, as long as she was a decent employee.

Unfortunately it would seem that there are a reasonable number of people with terribly spelt or made up names that are a part of the group in society that doesn't value hard work and being a decent employee.

Edited by chickendrumstick, 10 November 2012 - 11:11 AM.


#5 PurpleWitch

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

I cant stomach made up names.

My boys have Irish names because, well, we're Irish. I wanted to spell my second sons name the traditional way but my ex wouldn't have a bar of it. We compromised. His name gets misspelled all the time.

My "boyfriend" is Anglo Indian. If we have a child? He wants the child to have an Indian name. I wonder how the child will be judged for having an ethnic name.

I cant stomach made up names.

My boys have Irish names because, well, we're Irish. I wanted to spell my second sons name the traditional way but my ex wouldn't have a bar of it. We compromised. His name gets misspelled all the time.

My "boyfriend" is Anglo Indian. If we have a child? He wants the child to have an Indian name. I wonder how the child will be judged for having an ethnic name.

#6 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:19 AM

Dunno. I don't judge people by their given name but I might harbour some unsavoury thoughts about their parent's creative spelling ideas. Poor baby Daisie will spend her life going "That's Daisie with an ie."
If you want to name your child Skate Stormtrooper that's fine; just don't spell it Skayte Stawmtroupah.



#7 casime

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:23 AM

Like it or not, there will always be people, particularly employers, that judge people based on their names.  Particularly in some industries.   Little Jypzy-Rhose is going to have to work a lot harder to be taken seriously than Joanne will.   That's just how it is.  I have worked in Job Services and I have seen it happen many many times.  There's a reason why many immigrants to this country prefer to use a name that is westernised, rather than their own, when it comes to interacting with potential employers.  Whether it's right or wrong, first impressions do matter, and since I can't change the way people perceive someone based on their name, I made sure that I gave my child a name that wasn't going to make life harder for him as he grows up.

#8 red_squirrel

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

Names carry connotations. They may be foreign, made-up or traditional.

In some industries you don't get a look in if you went to the wrong school, unniversity or live in the wrong area. Turn up with a made-up name and they'll have a good laugh.
Like it or not, it indicates you come from an uneducated or bogan background. You may not be yourself but it says your parents were.
If they were educated and wanted a unique name they would have opted for something from the classics or mythologies not made one up themselves.

#9 HRH Countrymel

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

My nephew got beaten up at school the other day - when recounting the horrible experience for me, my sister said "It was a *insert name* and unfortunately due only to the first name I was able to get an idea of the kind of child it would be, and the kind of SE, and educational level background this poor messed up violent kid had emerged from.

Sad but true.







#10 #YKG

Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

TBH where I work there are many many a Dr with unique or unsusual names and they get along just fine. TBH in 10-20 years no one will longer care that the name is unique or unusual because it will no longer be they will get along in their careers just fine.

#11 Ianthe

Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE (BadCat @ 10/11/2012, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You don't have to like all the names but really how is naming your child Jack and different than naming your child Skate?  They are both just words that the child will answer to throughout life.


I love history and etymology. So Jake has a 'story' behind it. Skate does not.

If you name your child a name that doesn't make any sense in terms of how it is spelled and pronounced then it does point to someone being uneducated and oblivious to naming practices. Because I cannot understand how you could butcher the language we speak.

I am not weighing in on the professional debate because I do think that your name will be pretty irrelevant in years to come. And I would never judge someone with a certain name. I may however judge their parents.

I am someone that still refuses to use text speak though so I may just be an old fashioned dinosaur.

#12 BadCat

Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

I understand that Ianthe.  But back in the dim dark past when I was a child, people who named their children Sky were considered a bit odd, and Rain and River were sheer insanity.  Now nobody would even look twice at these names.  I think it will be the same with most of today's unusual names.

#13 MintyBiscuit

Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

I think it's an interesting take on it. I find it funny when people call names made-up - weren't all names made-up at some point?

I think it's almost impossible to predict what sort of reaction a name will get in years to came, and I think it changes constantly. When I was younger I loathed my name, mainly because of all the hilarious people who made the "oh, deck the halls?" jokes and constantly asked if I was born around christmas. I didn't even meet another person with my name until I was about 10, and to this day I've only met a handful. It is a name that is becoming more common though, and as it becomes more popular and people hear it more often I find that I'm getting fewer jokes.

I imagine this will be the same with loads of names. Years ago I was working and living in an area with a lot of intergenerational welfare and unemployment, and every second boy was named Jaidyn. You could tell by the ages of these kids that the name was inspired by the Jaidyn Leskie case, and it made it seem horribly bogan. But I'm sure in years to come, and particularly outside of Australia, people won't even think twice about it

#14 Ianthe

Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:52 PM

QUOTE (HollyOllyOxenfree @ 10/11/2012, 02:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's an interesting take on it. I find it funny when people call names made-up - weren't all names made-up at some point?


"Made up" based on naming rules. Based on meanings of words. Based on development of language.

Not " I am going to call my kid Pshiyzillah. Because it just sounds so pretty. The P at the front is silent because I once met someone who's name started with P and they lent me a ciggy so I want to honour them when I name my kid"

That's a bit different from Felicity which is (from Behind the Name) From the English word felicity meaning "happiness", which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas "good luck".



#15 la di dah

Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:06 PM

I tend to seperate "strange" names into a few categories (this hierarchy is admittedly all in my head so I'm not presenting it as natural truths) but "names from language/culture I didn't grow up with or isn't dominant in this country" is not the same to me as "random noun without much history of being used as a name" (though I LIKE some noun names) which is also different from "this is a fascinating new spelling of Emily, therefore it as pretty as Emily sounds anyway and ALSO very special and unique and not at all just a derivitive of one of the top ten most popular names in the country."

I don't think anyone owes society naming their kid James or Elizabeth just to stay within the least eyebrow-raising zone of normal.

#16 Soontobegran

Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

In my work I have seen and heard some most unusual names. From my experience there is very little negativity from anyone when the name is a family name or a name specific to a certain language or culture but this is different when the name has been invented to get attention for the parents without the slightest thought for the back lash for the child in the future.



#17 BadCat

Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

OK, so what about names from books?  Movies?  

I notice there are some Anakins around,  And more than a handful of Arwens.  Made up names but now listed in Behind the Name.  When does a made up name achieve acceptability?  Is it a numbers game or is it more a case of a name sounding acceptable?  I mean there are Anakins around but I've not heard of an Obi-wan, and there are Arwens but I've not heard of any Frodos.

#18 LoudMuffin

Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

QUOTE
I think it's an interesting take on it. I find it funny when people call  names made-up - weren't all names made-up at some point?


I'm the same, where do people think names come from?


QUOTE (Ianthe @ 10/11/2012, 01:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"Made up" based on naming rules. Based on meanings of words. Based on development of language.



My bold, who made the rules? If it was someone on EB there would be a very limited list of what is acceptable huh.gif

#19 MintyBiscuit

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 10/11/2012, 02:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"Made up" based on naming rules. Based on meanings of words. Based on development of language.

Not " I am going to call my kid Pshiyzillah. Because it just sounds so pretty. The P at the front is silent because I once met someone who's name started with P and they lent me a ciggy so I want to honour them when I name my kid"

That's a bit different from Felicity which is (from Behind the Name) From the English word felicity meaning "happiness", which ultimately derives from Latin felicitas "good luck".


I understand that so called standard names come from naming rules and have evolved as language has developed, but at some point someone still made up the word felicitas IYKWIM.

I also don't think everyone who names their children conventional names does it because they're paying attention to naming conventions. DS has a name that is relatively traditional, but the only background I know is that it is hebrew in origin. We picked it because it sounds good, goes well with our surname and met our requirements for amount of syllables and possible nicknames. Beyond that, I have no idea what naming rules it conforms to. To be honest some of those who have chosen uneek names have probably put more thought into it than we did, but in some people's minds they're looked down upon for it.

#20 Luxe

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

I'm pretty open to all kinds of names, it's only the rare name like abcde or le-a that raise my eye brow. My name is unisex and not too common. I have no issue using unusual names if I have children.

I definitely wont be posting in the baby names section when the time comes to decide. It's so easy for someone else to tear strips off your selections and most of the time its due to personal preferences.

Edited to add..  In my industry (design/IT) your candidacy for a job comes down to your work and experience. I doubt names even come into it.

Edited by Luxe, 10 November 2012 - 04:24 PM.


#21 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

I'm kind of on the fence. I have always liked 'out there' names but not misspelled ones. Having said that I frequently enter into arguments with (English) Dh and his mates about the origins of English and how as a language it must continue to grow or die (see Latin).

Using the name Felicity - meaning happiness (from latin) shouldn't be seen as any different than actually naming a child "happiness" (which BTW I think is awesome) but it is.

I went to school in the 80's and in my class were males named Kelly, Jody, Errin and Sonny, I often wonder if people are still shocked to see them in interviews? I mean, they can't all be awesome surfers or actors.

Looking at DS's day care, there are not a lot of out there or made up spellings. There are quite a few girl 'sons and a couple of more out-there names (but still names). I can't speak for the Indian classmates as I have no idea if they are using the original/acceptable spelling but out of 40-50 kids in one little area, there aren't any "ledashah" or similar.

So if there are 50 Neaveh's born in Vic every year, that's still only 1 for every 50+ schools and a whole lot of people who wont come across the name until adulthood at which point they will be asking how to say it or spell it for the first time and Neaveh will be explaining it for the seventy-billionth time.

But some made up names should just win. There is a Fox at DS's day care and I don't care if he turns out to be the fattest, laziest man in Melbourne - his name wins laughing2.gif

#22 red_squirrel

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

QUOTE (Luxe @ 10/11/2012, 04:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.

Edited to add..  In my industry (design/IT) your candidacy for a job comes down to your work and experience. I doubt names even come into it.


That may be but as a parent you have no idea what your kid will be. If they have one of the creative crazy made up names I can't imagine them being taken seriously to join the police force for example.

Foreign names are different. They are real names, often with a long history, from elsewhere. Made up names show an ignorance of history.

#23 cinnabubble

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

People working in child protection see a lot of unique names, Freakonomics had a chapter on the socioeconomics of names and it was food for thought.

QUOTE
Foreign names are different. They are real names, often with a long history, from elsewhere. Made up names show an ignorance of history.

Precisely.

#24 BadCat

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (red_squirrel @ 10/11/2012, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Made up names show an ignorance of history.


Oh what rot.  Made up names show nothing but a preference for something other than what's currently available.


Edited by BadCat, 10 November 2012 - 04:48 PM.


#25 CourtesanNewton

Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:52 PM

I'm kind of on the fence. I agree with Ianthe about names having history, and there are so many fantastic names out there that no-one uses...if you want to be unique why not call your child Sif or Beowulf or Asherban or Ishtar or Odysseus? I personally have a name-crush on Loki...don't know if I'd have the guts to use it, but still love it.

The above are all different, and I can almost guarantee there won't be another one at school. I hate made-up spellings because the child still has the mainstream, boring sounding name while at the same time having trouble getting people to spell it correctly. If you don't mind a name that has to be spelled out, pick an interesting one, I'd much rather spell out Gilgamesh than Klaryssah.

I have no issues with using names from different cultures, I quite like some place names (India is lovely), there are a few "thing" names I like, like the above-mentioned Fox or Violet or Rain. I think for me I can live with naming children after things that exist in nature, but naming them after a fuel or weapon or car is just w**ky.




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