Does the name make the person or vice versa?

Does the name make the person or the person make the name?

Being named Joan, I’ve discovered a certain amount of, shall we say, discrimination and biasedness ( new word :slight_smile: ) my entire life. Teachers were always friendly to the girls with cuter names ( or more noble names like Carolyn or Catherine) and so were the guys. I was the one people called to give them a ride home when they were drunk, yet I wasn’t invited to the party. My family says that having my name ( First and last) has given me my ( insert french accent now) rapier like wit, which I cannot deny. I’ve never met a girl with a cutesy name that can out joke me.

When I read in baby name books what the surveys say about the name of Joan, it’s pretty much across the board: reliable, hardworking, no nonsense, a name a girl grows into when she’s about 35. I swear on all that I hold dear that the name Joan is nearly the equivalent of meatloaf (and not the singer, either.) It is always in the same tone of voice. " Oh it’s meatloaf." Oh…it’s Joan."

We won’t even go into the evil Triumvirate:Heather, Tiffany and Brittany.

I could go to therapy over my name, but when a friend said, " Why don’t you just shut up about your name and pick one you do like and ask everyone to call you that" My response was, “Well, after nearly 33 years of hating my name, yet being the funniest Joan outside of Cusack, it’s a little to late to make a change so severe. Why didn’t you suggest it when I was a teenager?” ( Although if my husband died, I’m changing everything: first and last name, the drapes and the furniture.)

So, my burning question to everyone is: Did your name make you or did you make your name?

Have you noticed a discrimination or favoritism because of your name?

Yes. One or the other.

joan jett, joan of arc (noah’s wife), joan(ie) cunningham, all rocking babes. what are you talking about?

Well, my given name is Patricia but I was always called Patti growing up. I ALWAYS hated my name, rhymed with fatty, dad called me Pat the Rat, etc. I think it all gave me a complex. It also sounds like a cutesy name, so that combined with my blonde hair I felt caused people to not take me seriously. People seemed to be suprised that I was actually intelligent.

About 8 years ago I was complaining about how much I hate my name and a friend said, “well, isn’t your real name Patricia anyway and not Patti? Why don’t you go by Tricia??”. I have gone by Tricia ever since. I do feel that I am taken more seriously and I thing the name is much prettier and not cutesy at all.

The only weird part about my name now is that my married name is VERY Italian (I’m actually VERY Irish). I deal with a lot of people over the phone and they are very surprised when they meet me in person to see a very Irish looking, blonde, freckled woman and not a dark- Italian looking woman.

The only time I ever felt discriminated against (BTW, Shirley, er, Joan, it’s biasilositism, not biasedness) was when the English professor said the little boy in “The Rocking Horse Winner” had to be named Paul (my name IRL) because he was such a little wimp. Not only is the boy not a wimp (he’s the bravest person in the story), Paul is not a wimpy name. And don’t even ask abou this interpretation of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”!

However – I did see a little boy the other day named Percy, IMO the definitive please-beat-me-up name. He was very young (maybe 5 y.o.) and already looked like a Percy. My conclusion is that the fault lies with the parents. They name the child Percy and then they make him into a Percy. If you don’t fit your name it means you successfully overcame your parents (shudder!) best try at molding your little psyche.

BTW, Shirley, the noun you were looking for is simply bias. No suffix required. I asked my English professor.

“No wonder of it. Sheer plod makes plough down sillion shine.”
Gerard Manley Hopkins

My first name is Tracy. It seems like way too perky a name for me. Plus, it’s a name that instantly tells people how old you are, since it was pretty much only given during the late 60s/early 70s. One day it will be an old lady name like Betty or Ethel.

My husband’s name is Johnny. Not John or Jonathon, just plain Johnny. I have a theory that since he was not given a “serious” sort of name, he feels like he is not a “serious” sort of person and that is why he constantly, and I mean constantly, trys to make everything into a joke.

I do admit that I tend to form impressions of people based on their names. I know it’s not right, but I just can’t help myself. I have a huge list of names that I will never give to any of my children just because of the bad stereotypes I have of those names.

Of course, I am only talking of first impressions here. I know plenty of people with slut names or bitch names that are perfectly nice people.

BTW, I like the name Joan and I have only good thoughts about that name :slight_smile:

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Albert Einstein

My given name is Elizabeth. My mom was between that and Sarah, but she wanted something that would go well with my middle name (Leigh), so Elizabeth it is. It’s an okay name, I suppose. My mother told everyone that I was not to have a nickname. I would not be Beth, or Liz, or anything else. Just Elizabeth.

Problem is, have you ever tried getting a two-year-old to say “Elizabeth”? Not gonna happen, folks. What I said for my name sounded remarkably like “Libby,” so that’s what I eventually became. And it doesn’t suit me at all. Not only did I get the “Libby-Libby-Libby on the label-label-label” jingle all my life (and I’m too young to actually remember it, so these were ADULTS teasing me!), but Libby is way too much of a perky cheerleader name for me. Then again, neither Elizabeth or any of its variations fits me either. Mom should have just stuck with Sarah, and come up with a different middle name. It’s not like anyone ever uses it anyway.

If I ever have kids, they’re getting nice, tradional names…not too femmy for the girls, not too trendy for the boys. Nothing like Brittany or Tiffany. No names of cities, like London or Austin or Dallas or Seattle or Las Vegas or Timbuktu. Nothing that rhymes with any sort of body part. And most definitely nothing that can be shortened in any way, especially for the girls. If a boy’s name is inevitably shortened, at least it CAN be done without ending it in a Y or an I or an IE. My friend Chrissie has little sisters Vickie and Mandie. Gag me with a sugar cube.

Oh yeah? Try being labelled Barbra… not only did my parents spell it like The Streisand, but they also decided it was smart to call me Barbi when I was a kid. I don’t even want to hear about other people getting teased. “Barbi” is just fodder for every name-mangling bully out there.

'course, that all stopped in middle school, when my friends all rallied around me and started calling me Barb or Barbra. My family, however, is a different story. I can’t get them to stop calling me Barbi. I’ll be Barbi until the day I die at family gatherings. I don’t even try to fight it anymore. I’m soon to be 30 years old, NOT blond, an engineer, a bookworm, and I’m still called Barbi.

Calm down Barbi. Go shopping. Buy some shoes. Call Ken.

“No wonder of it. Sheer plod makes plough down sillion shine.”
Gerard Manley Hopkins

My name is Suzette and my family calls me Suzy. Gag me. Throughout school I insisted on being called “Suzette”- never Sue or any other nickname. I do get lots of compliments on my name- I really don’t know what connotations people get from it (anyone?)
My nickname now is “Zette”, courtesy of my husband. Now that’s what everyone calls me, and my family is even picking it up.

PS- I got my name from a piece of Tupperware that was commonly available in the early 70’s . A Suzette- divided plastic dish to put your snacks in. Not glamerous, just true :slight_smile:

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

Well, in my case, I had one of those common names that everyone has (Jacques, common in french) so I don’t think my name had any influence on me.

I personally think that your name actually reflects more on what your parents are like, which I suppose could give you a guess as to how you’ve been raised. So in my opinion your name can definitely have an effect on your character.

Listen to Johnny Cash singing “A boy named Sue”.

J’ai assez vécu pour voir que différence engendre haine.
Henri B. Stendhal

So, the obvious answer is that everyone is called Kid. OK, maybe a few differeniators, like First Kid or Redheaded Kid. Actual names, however, are chosen by the individual, at age 35. (No, 16-year-olds aren’t ready to choose a name. Some 30-year-olds aren’t either; one of my favorite anecdotes, that I seldom tell because it requires the use of real names, concerns a woman who announced that she was going to name her as-yet-unborn son, I kid you not, Cosmo Orion).
At age 35, the individual picks a name, and presents her or his choice to a jury of at least thirty friends, who either say, “Way to go, Kid!” or “Ewww!”. The new individual then has the choice of picking a new name, or a new set of friends.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

My name is Michele. I’ve actually thanked my parents for naming me Michele, because I don’t particularly like any “cutesy” (no offense, if I’m talking about your name) names, often names ending with an “e” sound on the end (Tiffany, Britany, Stacy, Jenny, Ashley, etc.) Michele is a strong, yet feminine, name (feminine version of “Michael” which is my dad’s name) and with one “L” adds a little variety.

I think you can somewhat doom a child (during school-age, at least) by naming them a name that can obviously be ridiculed by mean children or is so plain or “old-sounding” that they have to work hard for people to notice them. I still remember a girl in grade school named “Nola.” Very easy to miss her. She even looked like a “Nola.” (No offense to the Nolas out there, I’m sure you grew up to be very dynamic people.)

But once they are adults, I think the person shows through, not their name, and things even out again.

What a great topic!

But I cant fathom what any of you are bitchin about.Except Tracy, her I understand.

You think it is rough being meatloaf-joan?
Try being Kelli! Not Kell**y*, oh no! That is a REAL name! They thought an ‘i’ at the end would be cute.CUTE!

No teenage girl wants to be cute- she wants to be sexy, mysterious, glamorous…like Elizabeth,
or Suzette* ‘Suze’*, now THOSE are sexy names! And JOAN, now that is a name that belongs to an executive, or a doctor,or lawyer. Would you go to a stockbroker named kelli?

Like Tracy, I got one of those bisexual late 60’s early 70’s names. There were 4 kelly’s in my class, How’s THAT for individuality?

My boys got good manly non-trendy names: Theodore ( Ted - for my dads dad) and Francis (Frankie/Frank -he was named for shitboys father )

I think you need to add Ashley to the sickening list. And the only Heather I ever knew was totally butch.

Very funny Scotty…
Now beam up my clothes!

my name is shane, and i live in texas.

what does it make you think of?

My first name is Eric. It seems pretty cool to me. I only get annoyed if somebody spellsit “Erik”.

It’s my last name that gave me grief through Elementary and Middle School. I’ve heard all the freakin’ seal jokes there are.

Once I found out the history of my name (it’s old English), I think it’s really cool.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

a friend of mine named his son Apollo. The problem is this guys is a very thin frail white man, and not too tall. I shudder th think the teasing his frail son Apollo will get.

“She’s nothin but a little lyin’ ass bitch… I know she says she loves you but you know she don’t care…”

And the penguin goes “No, it’s just ice cream”.

Umm… well at least having the name Konrad means that people always remember your name. Even if you don’t remember theirs, or their face or what they’re talking about… bunch of crazies.

But then maybe I’m just a memorable person.

Well, in my case it wasn’t a name that held me back, it was my initials.

Brian O’Neill. Yep, good ol’ BO!

Yer pal,

I was named after my mother, and (although I don’t personally see it) everyone who knows her thinks I’m SOOOO much like her… but that could be the name or the fact that she raised me. I like the name Valerie though, I think it suits me pretty well. I don’t like “Val” though - that’s what everyone calls Mom and I just can’t have that.

My last name, however, is Curley, and I think that’s the cause of more of my angst than the first name. Talk about getting mocked in grade school… Nothing’ll set you up for being bitter like sharing a name with a Stooge.

“You’re going to listen
to ME? To something I
said? Haven’t I made it
abundantly clear over the
tenure of our friendship
that I don’t know shit?”

  • Brodie, “Mallrats”