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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Alexandria, Va, USA
    Posts
    119

    What's in a name? Does a name's meaning really affect a person's life?

    So the question is: do you think that the meaning given to a name will shape the kid's life? And, if your kid grows up knowing what his/her name means to you, do you think that would help the negativity of society? I saw once that kids even made fun of the (fairly established) name Elizabeth--calling the girl a Liz-bian when she was small.

    It's my opinion that kids/society can and will be cruel no matter what. So, does the name meaning and/or the story behind a name taint it forever?

    Some people really feel that one of our top name choices for a boy (if that's what baby is--we'll find out soon)--Job--is a terrible name for a child. Nameberry even mentions it as "the afflicted" (I mostly hear "persecuted"). And Nameberry even said they thought most parents wouldn't want to lay the trials of Job on their kid!!! LOL.

    That seems to be the general sentiment we get. But, that doesn't really phase us, because the way we see it, a name is more than just an arbitrary meaning that someone along the way gave it--Job became "persecuted" most likely, because that is all people could see when they read his story. To my husband and I, the name means far more than that--it means a man who was considered SO faithful and so upstanding that God Himself bragged on him and pointed him out-- "have you considered my servant Job?". Then, God trusted that Job would trust Him no matter what. Although it's tragic what happened to Job in the interim, God did restore his life--and Job came out victorious and showing himself trustworthy. The rain "falls" on the just and the unjust--meaning, those who follow God and those who don't--the difference is, how people get through tough times. That's why we admire Job.

    In Ezekiel, there are 3 prophets/men mentioned who were considered righteous to God over the years (righteous enough to save themselves---something no one else has really been credited with doing in the Old Testament)....and all 3 were men who didn't care what those around them said/thought--Job, Noah, and Daniel. (Ezekial 14:14).

    Anyways! So we think of the name Job as a man of righteousness, faithfulness, etc, but all most people see by skimming the highlights of the story is: persecuted.

    We also love the nickname Joby.

    Our top contenders for a boy are: 1) Job Marcellus (nn Joby) 2) Caius Marcel (nn Cai). I love Caius, but I agree with my husband that Job is just such a powerful name/meaning due to the true story behind him.

    I would understand Judas being a drawback--but the story of Judas (from start to finish) has nothing redeeming--he damned himself to suicide and was handpicked to be Jesus' betrayer. I would understand Hitler being a dire choice--but again--nothing good came out of a man who set out to kill millions of people.

    Job was just a man who was faithful during hard times. Is that really in the same category as these type of names? And, in my opinion, it's mostly based on his story not being fully read/understood.

    What are your thoughts, 'Berries?
    Last edited by rebekah83; May 30th, 2013 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Xi'An, China
    Posts
    2,696
    Yes, I think a name can impact a child's life, and it does make a difference. I normally reserve this for misspelled names, obviously made up names, names that rhyme with bad words, and names given to the wrong gender. I have seen a girl mocked by employers from MNCs (multi-national corporations) at Career Day for having a clearly masculine name. I've also seen my brother made fun of for having a girl's name. And my name became quite the stripper name (paired with a highly feminine surname F***asia... a Disney movie), which I never heard the end of through high school... and even at work in the U.S. I think a name can be an obstacle to overcome in some instances (think of naming your kid Beavis), and while your parents' reactions matter a bit, I think it has more to do with the child's personality. For example, I was very shy in high school, and having a stripper name did NOT help. My brother was much more confident, and while he did not like winning prom queen (some boys entered him with his femmy name), he still got over that much quicker than I would've. Names are always changing meanings and connotations... my husband's name, Javad, was associated with a market that sold cheap, knock-off products when he was in high school in Iran... now that connotation is gone. So you never know what meaning or connotation a name will have in a few years, BUT I think you can do certain things to reduce the problems, i.e. pairing a unique name with a traditional middle, choosing a common or logical spelling, not applying a boys name to a girl or vice versa, etc. I have often reflected on how narcissistic naming can be, as people (myself included) often just think about the names they like, and not names that the child would actually like to have...

    That being said, Job is a traditional name. While I do think of the persecution of Job (one of the more surreal Biblical stories to me), I could completely respect this choice. The fact that it's meaningful to you does go a long way. He probably will have the problem of people pronouncing it as job (like work or a career), but it only takes one time to correct them. If you are at all concerned, you might want to consider pairing Job with a relatively common name, so that he has something to fall back on if he doesn't like it.
    Emiliana Pari Debuts July 2014
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    Camellia, Valentina

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,898
    My own name doesn't mean anything particularly bad, but it doesn't have a wonderful meaning either like say, Noemi or Zoe. I got over it. Is it annoying? Yes. Do I/did I sometimes wish my name was Bella or something with a pretty meaning? Yes. I think it's more important to have a name that is obviously masculine/feminine (I know people will disagree with me here, but that is my opinion... I do like some unisex names (Lior) but I would never use them in a fn spot...), and a name that is easy to pronounce. Most importantly, remember that it is your child that will have to answer to the name for the rest of their lives... and most of the time, when you are NOT around to defend it, explain it, and correct it, if necessary. I'm not the biggest fan of giving a more "normal" middle name either, as it is very hard, IMO, to continuously enforce being called by your mn. My father has a very biblical (but masculine) name that gets mistaken for Hazel ALL THE TIME! I cannot begin to explain how much he hates it. His biggest complaint in life has been how NO ONE calls him by his name... his family has an affectionate nn for him, my mom lovingly calls him "fatty" or Papi, obviously my brother and I call him some variation of Dad, and everyone else has shortened his name to something easier for THEM to say.

    Job will have some pronunciation issues, but I think it will be fine after the first correction. Name meanings are not commonly known outside of the name-nerd world. Will your child possibly look up the meaning of his name one day? Yes. But when I did and found the "blah" meaning, I went home and asked my parents why they gave me the name. When they told me the story, I began to see my name the way they see it and started to love it.

    Sorry for the epically long post. Good luck!
    My Zoe ... My life
    9/12/14

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    139
    I think that the meaning you bring to a naming decision is far more important than whatever meaning society imparts; is it feminine, pretty, common, unusual, masculine, ect. Choosing a name for a reason, and your love for that story, becomes part of a child's understanding of themselves and their history. Not so much their name in its superficial nature (I love my unusual name's story and I appreciate the time and care my parent's have choosing it, but for a long time I abhorred the sound and tried on a variety of aliases in my teenage years. I'm totally over it now.), but in the depth of it's meaning.

    If you love Job, go for it. Kids will make fun of ANY name, though some common sense is appreciated. Dorcas is, perhaps, not a wise choice. But even young Dorcas could weather many a storm knowing the reasons behind her name. I often have to correct prn or spelling of my name, and I am often assumed male until corrected (often more than once). But it's ok. It's part of the game. It's never bothered me. And I ALWAYS know when it's a telemarketer calling.

    Picking a name because it has less chance of inflicting teasing over a name with as much depth and history as Job has for you, I feel, would be disappointing in the long run.

    And dont forget that Nameberry prides itself on its unique stance on giving opinions of name. Its not the be-all-end-all of opinion, but in many cases just that of Pam and/or Linda. There will always be someone displeased by whatever name you pick -- but it shouldnt be you! Good luck.
    Mama to Belle & Pip
    Wife, mother, farmer, friend and doula.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    161
    I don't think most people know what names mean so I wouldn't worry about teasing. I like the name Job. My name means little and I'm 5'10. Name meanings are silly.

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