Do you think it’s weird that something that is a choice made by one or two human beings becomes possibly the most important aspect of another human being?

I am talking about a person’s first name. What if a woman gets pregnant and she chooses not to think of a name for the child? A person’s name is so connected with that person by society that you’d think it was their genetics that decided what their name was. But it wasn’t. It was a couple of people.

I am not one hundred percent happy with the name I was given - Peter, but I am so used to it by now that I cannot imagine myself with a different name.

I don’t like my name either, but I wouldn’t consider names to be “the most important aspect of another human being”. It’s just a name and doesn’t have any bearing on who you are or what others think of you (usually). Two people who have the same names can have completely different personalities, goals, etc.

I think it’s so weird that women change (or used to/can change) their last names when they get married. You spend your whole life being Sue Smith. That’s your name, the set of words that describes you… and then you just wake up one day Sue Jones? But Bill Jones doesn’t become Bill Smith? It’s weird - to me it kind of seems like those people who get radical facial plastic surgery - the kind that changes your bone structure.

Of course, I might jump ship if I get married just because my name is often misspelled and mispronounced, and the current alternative option is Johnson. Wouldn’t it be great to just walk up to the hostess and say “We have a reservation, for Johnson?” No spelling it, no wondering if they’re actually calling me or some kind of sea creature…

That’s exactly why I changed my name when I got married. I went from being one of maybe nine of me, to one of thousands. You CANNOT find me by Googling. That having been said, once we were waiting in line for a restaurant and they called for our party…and someone else with the same last name beat us to the hostess stand!

My husband and I spent a very long time coming up with baby names–we actually had the names before we had the baby, because I had the opportunity to help name a cousin (somehow I’ve named about half of my cousins–I guess I’m good at it) and we started talking about names. And when we started talking, we realized that we should probably continue, because while we had the same fundamental ideas on what should make a good name, the practice of that theory did not come out on the same page at all. It took us about two years to come up with a pair of names that worked, and then one of HIS cousins unknowingly took one, so we were back to square one with the boy’s name.

I have one rule of naming. If you can’t put “Supreme Court Justice” in front of without it sounding ridiculous, it’s out.

I think it’s weird that all three of my sons are exactly the person that their name suggests. Scott is such a Scott, Jamie is totally a Jamie, and Nathan couldn’t have been anything but a Nathan. How did I know they were going to be them? Psychic, I guess!

I started a thread about this phenomenon once, and somebody said those names didn’t produce those images for them, but that just for me, they’d start thinking of my sons as the only true Scott, Jamie, and Nathans, and I thought that was very nice.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Bill S.

Alice, what do you mean by that?

I have no idea what those names would stereotypically say about people with them. My first name is Daniel, by the way. I’m perfectly happy with it, although I have no idea what a “Daniel” supposedly acts like.

I tend to naturally respect names with at least some tradition behind them more than names simply made up by the parents—whether it is a “black” name or a “white” name. But I cannot stand the idiotic parents who intentionally misspell the child’s name to be “individualistic”. If you want to be creative, then be creative and choose a rare and beautiful name, but don’t inconvenience the child and create a negative first impression for the rest of his life with ridiculous spellings of common names.

Vox Imperatoris

I don’t believe in the total subjective view of language, that names are meaningless and that words are completely dependent on context. A rose by any other name would not be just as sweet, chemically it would be but not in the mind.

Names have power. In the Old Testament (or at least magick books of that era) knowing somebody’s true name meant having power over them. I imagine that somewhere out there is a true language, where the words for an object mean conjuring up the essence of that object, granting power over it. If that sounds weird, then oh well :stuck_out_tongue:

With that said, it’s not the most important aspect of another human being, but it is pretty damn important. With that that said, I am a John… but John can be anything right?

I think children should be given a “temporary” name, and when they become of age, they should choose their own. :cool: Then, you might actually be able to tell something about the person, based on their choice. Traditional, old-fashioned name? Edgy and contemporary? “Unique” and weird?

To be fair some of those idiots chose to do that to themselves. My sister was born Erin but now that’s not trendy enough for her and she just changed her name to Erynn, still pronounced the same way. I don’t get it but since the change I’ve always written her name Aaron.

I think we’ve all had that thought, but it’s not possibly the most important aspect of a person at all. It’s an identifier that may have some effect on a person’s character, but it doesn’t determine it. And that’s coming from somebody who thinks names are important, since I’ve gone through life with an unusual one that I’m proud of.

That reminds me vaguely of Plato’s ideas about forms, but I thought his idea was nonsense and so is this. :wink:

When my daughter was about four years old she told me that she was changing her name to “Crystal Diamond”. I think I’m glad we stuck with Michelle.

There is a famous Olympic athlete whose parents apparently let her do this. But I think most of us regard Picabo Street as a risible choice of name.

Some comedic routines have revolved around names.

What if Walt Disney was named… Joe Schwartz? “Hey, I’m going to Schwartzland!”

And if Alexander Graham Bell was Alexander Graham Siren?

She chose that as an adult? And is it her legal name?

That’s why I said when they come of age.:wink:

It’s her legal name. On further review it looks like her parents picked it when she was two because they needed to put a name on her passport. Since people get used to identifying with their names by, what, preschool, I’m not seeing this as such a cool idea.

There was a name in the local paper the other day for a newborn. drumroll please…Tifny.

I can just imagine the conversation that went into that choice of spelling.

Parent 1: What do you think about Tifny if its a girl and Aaryn if its a boy?

Parent 2: How do you spell Tifny?

Parent 1: I don’t know, just like it sounds I guess.

Parent 2: Should we look it up?

Parent 1: We don’t need nobody else telling us how to spell our baby’s name.

Parent 2: Ok, ok…sorry I asked. So how we gonna spell it?

Parent 1: T I P H…

Parent 2: Oh no, not a P H, I don’t want no trendy spelling.

Parent 1: Fine…T I F K N E E

Parent 2: Can we shorten that a little.

Parent 1: T I F N Y

Parent 2: Perfect. I’ll fill out her job application for the strip club now to save time.

I kept my maiden name because I just cannot imagine myself by another name. I was just somewhere where they were positively blown away that I was married and didn’t change my name. I had to look around to make sure I wasn’t stuck in an episode of Leave It to Beaver.

I’ve changed my last name twice and was surprised each time at how easily I could let it go. It’s like there were phases in my life when I was a different person, and that was her name.

My name is Rose. And I love it!