What’s in a name? I mean, what’s really in a name?

June 2, 2013

Bits and Pieces

One of the first gifts a parent bestows upon their child is a name. I really do think some parents are much better at this than others. I believe the naming process is a huge responsibility and one to be taken seriously. It’s not easy to give that sweet, wrinkly newborn a label that they will (a) need to grow into and (b) carry with them for the remainder of their days (or until they are legally able to submit a deed poll form!)

Is this a topic I’m judgemental about? Probably. I’ve taught thousands of students in my career and sometimes marking the class roll is harder than it ever should be.

Good morning class ….. do we have Bonita here today? Benita? Benyta? Bon-ita? Bonnyta? Bonneeta? Beneeta? Bo-neta? Is Chrystal in class? Or Kristal? Crystal? Krystle? Krys-tal? ….. I possibly could go on …..

Please don’t think for a minute that I’m anti-Bonita, it’s a perfectly lovely name and the nickname Bonnie is so super cute. And there’s nothing wrong with Crystal either, but I am anti taking a perfectly good name and confusing the crappers out of it with spelling that will ensure it is some poor kid’s daily nightmare to spell for others. F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

Years ago I taught Dustin Hauffman, Paul Newman, and even a girl named Pleasure, but really these are oh-so-so-tame compared to many of the names seen now. There is a family local to my area with the surname of Hopper, who have children named Rescue C, Rascal and Cheeky 1. Yes, yep, aha, true story, google it! These kids could be Hollywood bound on their name alone – they’d be absolutely perfect playmates for Bluebell Halliwell, Blanket Jackson and Pilot Inspektor. And Gwynnie, what were you thinking … Apple??

At the risk of giving away a trade secret … shhhh ….. you could possibly find that in the teachers’ staffroom scrabble-bag-names are often a point of discussion and also merriment. Sorry. There are times when we really do think the kiddie is gorgeous, but their name, mmmm not so much. In all honestly, if some of the names encountered were characters in a sci-fi or fantasty film, then for sure, awesome choice …. but for a 13 year old freckled face darling with a real job to get one day ….. WTF? I sometimes wonder what parents are actually thinking when those very important forms are being filled in but I truly often wonder what the staff at the Birth Certificate factory think when they receive such interesting paperwork!

I will honestly confess that, as a teacher, it was incredibly difficult to decide upon a name for each of my three. Many times a name would be suggested and then frightening visions of a little turd I may have taught a few years prior would see it crossed off the list quick smart. There was no way I was going to jinx myself like that. As a result each of my children have traditionally spelt and pronounced names but all are ones which are not heard so often. In the way my own name, Shari, is one that is different enough to be unewwwsual but not cray-cray spaceship out there.

Some countries in the world enforce Baby Naming Guidelines and even publish registers of approved names, possibly not such a bad idea in some cases. I could be a fan of this strategy, what do you think? Are you going to confess that you like a child’s name to be unique and different? Or do you have a seat on the conservative naming committee, like me? There really are no rights and wrongs just lots of opinions and many shades of Benita, Bonyta, Beneeta ….. Please, do share your views!

I love this topic and can’t wait to read the Baby Naming secrets others confess to over at Kirsty’s link up this week at her place - My Home Truths. See you there!

photo credit: Sergiu Bacioiu via photopin cc
photo credit: Raphael Goetter via photopin cc

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6 Responses to “What’s in a name? I mean, what’s really in a name?”

  1. Tegan Says:

    I don’t understand what crosses peoples minds when they name their kids. Maybe it’s hormones that makes them think *burger* is oh so cute (actual name on worst names of 2012). I have a pretty common name and have to spell it all the time so I think that regardless of how you spell your kids name, they will always have to spell it.

    Reply

  2. Ness Says:

    It really would be SO hard naming your children if you were a teacher. I see some of the names on my boys school photos and think I’d hate to be a teacher and have tor read them out. I have no idea how to pronounce a lot of them. Occupational hazard, I guess. My boys all have boring, traditionally spelt names.

    Reply

  3. Zita Says:

    I totally get this post and have even written some of the same things on mine! As a teacher as well I get how hard it is and I don’t even have kids yet! And the spelling and pronunciation is just out of control!!! My sisters youngest is Jorja! I cringed when she told me, while I love the name I told her the poor thing will go through her life with her name being spelt wrong!

    Reply

  4. Jen B Hale Says:

    Oh…I do like an original name. I know….I don’t have kids yet…so hopefully if I ever get there, I will consider all the things you have mentioned. I with you on Gywnnie and Apple. That’s just ridiculous!!

    Reply

  5. Kirsty @ My Home Truths Says:

    At least I now understand why my husband was so deadset against certain names when we were considering them. But geez it was frustrating having name after name discounted because of some “little turd” he had taught at school! Thanks so much for linking up Shari!

    Reply

  6. Mystery Case Says:

    Finally catching up with blog reading and sharing some social media love! Love this post, you really have to wonder with some of the names people choose. We went down the fairly traditional road naming our three girls.

    Reply

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