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Category: Name Image

Does This Name Make Me Look Old?

ireenjone

by Joan Lebow

There’s always something that rudely awakens us to the reality of age. The blank stare of the 30-something at the office when I mentioned “fiddling while Rome burns.” The moment I hesitated to use the words “pay phone” to describe a telecom job on my resume. Or simply that slightly panicky feeling I’ve felt when I’ve left home without even a tiny tube of concealer in my makeup bag.

But now the veracity of my age is starkly clear to me each day in black and white. With green trim. It comes in the Sharpie scrawl on my daily cup of Starbucks.

Wherever I go and give my name, Joan, to the cashier I almost always get back “Jone” hastily written on the side. That’s J-O-N-E. Sometimes it’s Joe, or JoAne, or Joni. Always the four letter, Mitchell version. (No flower to dot the i, like the one I added in junior high.) I’ve had Jen, Jodi, Juan and John. It happens at counters near home, in Penn Station, by my Brooklyn office, in airports and far away cities.

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posted by: IsadoraVega View all posts by this author
growth

By Isadora Vega of  Bewitching Names

One bit of naming advice that I see thrown around a lot is that once the baby is born no one will be able to imagine him or her with any other name than the one that was given to him. That children will always “grow” into their names even if there are times when they dislike it.

Yeah, well, that didn’t happen with me. And it wasn’t a disaster.

You’ve probably guessed that Isadora Vega is not my given name. I’ve been going by nicknames and aliases all my life, so that at one point or another my friends will ask me what my full name is. I remember when I told one of my best friends my real name, and her reaction was similar to everyone else’s:

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Name Stereotyping: Are you guilty?

naughtykid

Is Jesse a “bad boy name“?, a visitor to our message boards asked.

She wanted to know because she loved the name Jesse but was afraid that any boy named Jesse would be stereotyped as wild, naughty, rebellious — a bad kid.

That question summoned up an issue that simmers beneath many discussions on names: What’s the image that name conveys, and do we want to take that on for our child?

To put it more plainly, do some names carry stereotypes, positive or negative, that go beyond our individual expectations and experiences?  Are you guilty of stereotyping people based on their names, and what names carry the strongest stereotypes for you?

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disapprov2

Today’s Question of the Week was inspired by a suggestion from anniebee:

What iffy reactions have some of your choices gotten from non-name fans?

Have you ever gotten a quizzical look, a raised eyebrow—or worse—in response to one of your faves, a name known and loved on Nameberry, but which others out there in the nonberry world might never have even heard before—or else find hopelessly old-fashioned?

What is the most extreme reaction you’ve received to your name choice either while you were still considering it or after you had already used it for your child?

What was your response to their response?

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Shakespeare names

One of the most basic yet most essential of questions this week: How important is a name?

Is a name central to one’s identity and destiny? Does a buttoned-up William have a better chance at a bank presidency than a free-wheeling Wylie? Are you making an important difference to your child’s future when you choose his or her name?

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