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January 18th, 2013 12:48 PM #21Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
I don't mind made-up names as long as they work. Often times, they don't. But you know, many established names don't work either, or once worked but now don't. People mispronounce traditional names almost as often as historical ones. I'd love to name a kid Eurydice, for example, but I doubt it'd play. Unless the name is Da'Krackalaya or whatever, I tend to assume unfamiliar names are foreign, rather than made-up.
But you know, I'm black and am used to all this noise, and I have a baby cousin (my first cousin's daughter) named Ja'Lia. Their mother chose the "Ja" prefix in order to honour the father (Jamaal), and used the apostrophe (albeit incorrectly) and capital letter to help with pronunciation. Ja'Lia is very clearly juh-LEE-ya, as opposed Jalia, which could be pronounced JAL-ee-ya. So, yes, it might seem tacky to middle and upper-class white people, but she thought about it and that was her choice.
It's almost as if people here assume people think up the ugliest, most ridiculous thing that they can, and then name their child that. The reality is, they love their children just as much as anyone else, and want to choose names that they find beautiful. Coming from a different cultural context means that there are often different concerns. I know for a lot of black people specifically, there's much trauma associated with white/European names. They don't belong to us, and were often handed/forced onto us through violence and coercion.
I do think made-up names can be a hindrance, but for the most part, I have an entire generation of family and friends with made-up names, and in the world they live in, those names are normal and fine. Looking at a lot of the comments in this thread, I'd much rather be a person name Braelyn or whatever than a person who automatically seems the name Braelyn and has a bunch classist reactions.
Mary | Elsbeth | Clotilde | Everild | Beatrix | Junia | Tabitha | Gwendolen | Octavia | Eve | March | Edwen
Simeon | Lionel | Barnabus | Ezekiel | Hector | Ignatius | August | Jove | Sayer | Booker | Mariner | Cecil | Godfrey
January 18th, 2013 12:56 PM #23Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
- South Carolina
Cosmonaut--you have a wonderful point. I think that a lot of people in the 'naming community' (not just this forum, but all of them) tend to have very strict taste in names, and if you've got something that they don't like, you're suddenly poor and tacky and wrong. I'll admit that I'm not a fan of a lot of the 'made up' names, but I do like a good portion of them. And, in the end, it's the parents choice to name their child, whether it's a 'bad' name or not. I think that seeing a trendy name and immediately thinking that this person is poor or less than you is incredibly offensive.
January 18th, 2013 01:30 PM #25Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
There is a huge difference between legit ethnic names stemming from someones culture and just random made-up nonsense, though. I am VERY pro-ethnic names, especially in the US, we're such a melting pot of people and I think that having such a variety of culture is awesome! My own family is very, very mixed - I've said it before on here, but I'll say it again - my family reunions look like meetings of the United Nations, we have white, black, Hispanic, Native American, Jewish, Asian all coming together in one family and I wouldn't have it any other way and I think that using names that are culturally and ethnically significant to you is a really meaningful and beautiful thing to do for your child.
January 18th, 2013 02:04 PM #27Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Very interesting, cosmonaut! Thank you so much for posting that! To be perfectly honest, I have definitely rolled my eyes at names like Ja'Lia in the past, thinking the mom just put sounds together that she liked, but I will see them in a totally different light now. Sort of similar to the European tradition of the father's name as the middle (or first) name. I really appreciate you sharing that because it allows me to be slightly less ignorant in the future.
Like most others on here, I have a very strict naming style -- mine happens to be traditional, classic -- and when I hear names like Brayden, I absolutely roll my eyes and even have trouble saying them. I'm sure that says more (mostly negative) about me than about the mom who named her kid that, but I can't help it. I just don't understand making up a name like that (especially one that is SO trendy!) when there are so many more respectable names out there. I'm also a big fan of family names, so to me, it just seems very sad that this mother and father's ancestors' names were overthrown for some new made-up name trend that will die out before the kid is 5. Although, I do have to say that, to me, the practice that cosmonaut mentioned seems very different from this -- it seems more like a cultural tradition of naming, which I am totally on board with.
I have learned on NB that there are SO many names out there and just because I haven't seen a name before, doesn't mean it's made up. I've been horribly embarrassed by referring to a name as made up only to be faced with its history to do this again, namely Noa (a Hebrew girls' name) and Macsen (a Welsh(?) boys' name). So when I see a new name I've never heard of before, I assume it's from another culture and I look it up. I have learned so many great new names here, which only solidifies my feeling about made up ones.
January 18th, 2013 02:04 PM #29Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
Majority of real names have history and meaning, they aren't just plucked from the sky.
In terms of made up names I would agree to some extent that the majority of made up names are seen in low socio-economic areas, obviously not all because that would be a massive generalisation but as a teacher I've worked in many schools and the difference between names is incredible. I've seen Tay'vahn, Kam'ron, A'marni, and Ka'Leese but it's no wonder people think these parents are uneducated. It's awful when you have to try and explain to a four year old what an apostrophe is when they ask what letter sound it makes and apart from in Kam'ron's case, the use of an apostrophe is completely wrong. I'm not saying these parents don't love their children or the name they have chosen, but I think they need to think beyond their child being a baby/child because we spend a lot longer as adults.