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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    California
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    My general rule is don't use anything that even people who like interesting names would look at your kid and think "Really? Where did that name come from? They don't look ________"

    I think there is a lot of wiggle room in popular names--there are very few names in the top 1000 even that I would be surprised to find on any race or religion.

    It's really only in less common names that I have a problem. It's not a gigantic issue, it's just a little weird. Meeting someone who looks Irish and is named Keiko throws you off a bit. Being introduced to a black guy who's name is Dmitri is a surprise. It's just a matter of expectations and understanding.

    To me it's the same issue as using male names on females. If you expect Hunter to be a boy and she shows up and she's a girl, it throws you off balance.
    Top Names: Benedict Zeal & Noelle Geneva
    Olivia/Livy : Darah/Bethel : Eve/Verity
    Eli/Calvin: Luke/Zane: Levi/Phineas
    TTC this year!!




  2. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2,298
    I have to laugh at assertions that India and Britain have a "great relationship". Just because you know Indian people who are totes fans of England does not erase the decades of brutal, bloody oppression that their country suffered at the hands of the Empire. There is a reason Gandhi was willing to literally starve himself to further the cause of independence. India, like the Africas, is still dealing with the cultural and economic fallout from imperialism. Please do not name your white child India. It's truly the worst kind of arrogance.

    And yes, Cohen, Bodhi, Krishna, Asia, et al, are totally off limits.
    Simon, Eloise/Louise/Louisa, Faye, Judah, Thea, Felix, Iris, Cordelia, Roscoe, Lydia, Jasper, Phaedra, Adrian, Lucinda, Jane, Wallace, Finnegan, Sylvie, Charlie, Dashiell, Juniper, Atlas, Matilda, Julian, Alice, Marlowe, Octavia, Jack, Marigold, Archer, Gabriel, Persephone, Raphael, Dov

    Just a grad student, dreaming ahead...

  3. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,022
    So I'm going to ask a totally off the wall question, my cousin can name her 1/2 Chinese son Tao or Jun because his father speaks fluent Mandarin but if I wanted to name my 1/2 Italian son Dante because neither SO or I speak Italian?
    And as to "cultural" names, I'm saddened because being 1/2 German I love learning about the language and culture and I love some more Germanic sounding names but I'm afraid to give my child a stereotypical German name because I worry about how it will reflect on me (I already get called a Nazi because I'm interested in Germany) and my child. The last thing I want is my child to suffer because of their name.
    If I had a baby right now they'd be:
    Isaac
    or
    Blaire

  4. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    2,298
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuturemrsb View Post
    So I'm going to ask a totally off the wall question, my cousin can name her 1/2 Chinese son Tao or Jun because his father speaks fluent Mandarin but if I wanted to name my 1/2 Italian son Dante because neither SO or I speak Italian?
    And as to "cultural" names, I'm saddened because being 1/2 German I love learning about the language and culture and I love some more Germanic sounding names but I'm afraid to give my child a stereotypical German name because I worry about how it will reflect on me (I already get called a Nazi because I'm interested in Germany) and my child. The last thing I want is my child to suffer because of their name.
    The most important thing to take into account is the historic and contemporary power differentials between your culture and the culture you are choosing a name from. China has an extremely fraught history with the West, one that includes racism, commercial extortion and cultural appropriation (see 'Orientalism'), not to mention incursion by "Christian" missionaries that continue to this day. Italy and the US, on the other hand, do not have such a difficult past, and people of Italian descent are not subject to racism in the US. Ditto Germany. I'd say using a name from either of these cultures is fine.
    Simon, Eloise/Louise/Louisa, Faye, Judah, Thea, Felix, Iris, Cordelia, Roscoe, Lydia, Jasper, Phaedra, Adrian, Lucinda, Jane, Wallace, Finnegan, Sylvie, Charlie, Dashiell, Juniper, Atlas, Matilda, Julian, Alice, Marlowe, Octavia, Jack, Marigold, Archer, Gabriel, Persephone, Raphael, Dov

    Just a grad student, dreaming ahead...

  5. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    8,096
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuturemrsb View Post
    So I'm going to ask a totally off the wall question, my cousin can name her 1/2 Chinese son Tao or Jun because his father speaks fluent Mandarin but if I wanted to name my 1/2 Italian son Dante because neither SO or I speak Italian?
    And as to "cultural" names, I'm saddened because being 1/2 German I love learning about the language and culture and I love some more Germanic sounding names but I'm afraid to give my child a stereotypical German name because I worry about how it will reflect on me (I already get called a Nazi because I'm interested in Germany) and my child. The last thing I want is my child to suffer because of their name.
    I don't think it's ever a matter of "can't". Of course you can. You can name your kid anything you want.
    But like with any name you choose, you just have to be prepared for the kind of reactions you might get. The same way Jayden's mom will have her son's name called trendy, and Hazel's mom might have her daughter's name called frumpy, and Henri's mom might have her daughter's name called too boyish.
    If you love the name enough to deal with any reactions, then go with what inspires you. Regarding your specific examples, I think Dante is widely used enough that no one would expect him to speak Italian (it's in the 300's).
    Regarding German names, it would depend on the name, but I think some are usable--especially if you enjoy that culture and have some connection to it. A Japanese guy named Ulrich might be a tad strange, but a kid named Wolf.....I doubt people would make a fuss.
    Top Names: Benedict Zeal & Noelle Geneva
    Olivia/Livy : Darah/Bethel : Eve/Verity
    Eli/Calvin: Luke/Zane: Levi/Phineas
    TTC this year!!




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