How has your name influenced your life?
If you’re on Nameberry, whether you’re looking for baby names or are simply a name lover, you probably think a name has quite a lot of influence, at least in theory.
But how has that played out with your own name, in your own life?
How has your name influenced your life? And how does that make you feel about naming in general, and the names you have or may choose for your own children?
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on October 22nd, 2013 at 11:41 pm
I laughed for a good five minutes at that picture. Thank you for that.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 3:56 am
I think my name was very important part of my life. My name (Erin) is instantly recognisable but i never had someone else called Erin in my class, so I think with all the Kates, Rachels, Melissas and Rebeccas in my class I was always just Erin. Never needed a nickname (though it didn’t stop people!). I love my name!
on October 23rd, 2013 at 7:26 am
Having an uncommon name has made me stand out from the crowd – I am the only Petrea in my school and I only know of one other person with my name (though it’s spelt differently). I feel my name has definitely influenced who I am – it’s very girly, yet it means ‘rock’ (as its a variation of Petra). I love how my name has such a strong meaning, but it’s still pretty and feminine, and most of all, it’s memorable. All in all, I love my name and I do feel it has helped shape who I am.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:12 am
Only in the last few years of working with older people (retirees) has my name been much of a focus in my mind. The older people FREQUENTLY hear my (good old catholic irish) full name and see my auburn hair and fair skin and chuckle something about me being ‘maybe a bit’ Scotch – irish… There was a few month long phase when I’d get that comment almost every day without fail!
I do think that it’s nice that my first and last name kind of fit together. Also, I do love my name and don’t easily picture myself with something very different in style (even though I may love different names, just not as names for me). But specifically Katherine? I dunno, I don’t think I’d be much different at all if I were an Elizabeth (or similar genre of name). I do think if I were given a really different name I might have had different reactions from people (and those reactions may have shaped me a bit) but probably only if the name was very unusual.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am
I personally think it’s harder for a male to wear an uncommon name, but females can be given much more latitude. Unusual names are considered creative, interesting, and cute when given to females, on the contrary. For boys, it’s best to stick with something with historical appeal, in my opinion. Maybe it affects resume perception.
I like classics because they don’t anchor you to an era. Think Shirley or Jami, for example. I have a ‘Lu’ name (not my screen name) which was not fashionable in recent decades. But now that ‘Lou/Lu’ names are in, I’m embracing my name in a new light.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am
My unusual name has been a great icebreaker, and I appreciate unusual names because of it. I never felt that it was a burden to live up to because it is a virtue name; rather, I like the meaning and love the idea of giving a synonym of it to a future child as a middle. It is fun to find it used in literature and to come across people who are familiar with its meaning. People sometimes have difficulty with pronunciation, but I tell them that it does not bother me if they mess it up while trying to pronounce it, so they eventually learn.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:17 am
October 23rd, 2013 at 9:14 am
“I like classics because they don’t anchor you to an era. Think Shirley or Jami, for example.”
I mean Shirley and Jami are examples of trendy names, not classics like Anne or Elizabeth.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:25 am
My unusual name is an icebreaker, not just to women even men stop shaking my hand and compliment my name.I love it because I feel apart from the Sea of Amber’s,Brittany’s Alicia’s & Samantha’s. It’s part of me. Some people call me all but my name. I get Machonda,Mashauna, michelle…so on. but i do find it beautiful. People are hearing it more now because of a T.V. show The walking dead. But it doesn’t bother me.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:27 am
I’m not sure how much my name has shaped my life but it has certainly influenced my naming style. I grew up with a VERY common name. I wasn’t just one of many Lauren’s in my class, I was one of three Lauren Elizabeth’s. I hated this as a child because I wanted to feel like more of an “individual” not just one of three Lauren Elizabeth’s. In college I was known primarily by my last name. When I got married my last name became my middle name and now I love my name! I joke with my husband that I only married him because his last name sounded so good with my first name. All that being said, I wanted to try to give my son a name that wouldn’t put him in the “one of many” category at school but also sounds familiar and is instantly recognizable as a boy’s name.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 9:59 am
My maiden name being Rachel Wolf, I have learned that people can butcher the spelling of ANYTHING. I don’t like creative spellings, but I figure my kids will have to spell their names even if they are the most common spelling. I also disliked being one of several Rachels in school. I was extremely shy, and I cannot count how many times I had to ask “Which one?” or get up to return homework to the correct Rachel. From a young age, I vowed to name my children something less popular. Bonuses to my name, I always paid attention in math class when the teacher was talking about ratios, and I was forced to interact with others who shared my name. I think having such a popular name may have influenced my obsession with names.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 10:31 am
At the time of my birth Millie really wasn’t all that popular and I have gone through life never meeting a “just Millie” that is close in age to me. I have always loved having an uncommon name, it is reasonably easy to spell and pronounce too which is a bonus. However I have always been asked “is that short for anything” to the point where it sends me crazy! With that in mind I don’t think I would opt for a nickname-y name for my own child because hearing that question everywhere you go is stressful! If you couldn’t tell by my username, my middle and surnames also begin with M, giving me a crazy alliterative name. I love alliteration and would like to reflect this in at least one of my future children’s names, I have always had compliments on my name and in my experience alliterative names are often the ones that are remembered because of their easy flow.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 11:56 am
I have a “unique” name. It’s Kaprice, yes with a K instead of a C. It was incredibly exasperating when people spelled my name wrong. I HATED it when I was a child. I got teased so much because of the Capri Sun drink. But now that I’m older people always tell me it’s pretty. I like it now too. When I have a baby, they’re not getting a common name either. But nothing too crazy.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 12:11 pm
I never considered this question until I began frequenting this site, but I have realized that my name probably did have a big impact on my life. My name is unusual — enough so that it usually requires saying it more than once and/or spelling it when I meet new people. But it’s also really pretty (thanks, parents!), and I almost always get positive feedback on it when I introduce myself.
As a child I was precocious and overly eager to talk to others, to the point of being odd; I didn’t have an easy time making friends with my peers. But my self esteem was always great. I attribute at this part of this to the fact that every interaction I had with a new person — even if it was a stranger I decided to make “friends” with in the grocery line — started out positively. FOUR-YEAR-OLD ME: “Hi! I’m ________! (Often followed by my address and phone number, allinonebreath. Like I said, odd.)” STRANGER IN GROCERY LINE: “__________, was it? What a pretty name!”
Positive reactions to my name definitely helped me build a positive self image. This is something I’m tremendously aware of as I ponder names for my own hypothetical someday children; if a name elicits a spontaneous positive response, it’s a keeper in my book.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 3:26 pm
My name is one of the “old lady” names. I was named after my great-aunt Irene. Growing up, it never bothered me. I was the only Irene in my classes. When I got into my preteen and teenage years, when all you want to do is fit in, I did get bothered by the fact that it was such a “grandma” name. I was soothed by the fact that I started to hear more people my age with the name though. I had friends that used to call me “urinator”, “Irene the rhino” or some other lame teasing nickname.
As I got older, I started to appreciate that I wasn’t named something trendy like Hailey or Lauren or Ashley just because it was the “in” name, but I was named for a reason, as a way of my mom honoring her favorite aunt. And I have since become this particular aunt’s favorite great-niece, which says a lot because she’s got so many of them! This deep appreciation for being named after a member in my family that meant something to my mom, despite my not always loving my name, has actually been the reason I chose to name my future hypothetical children after members of my family that mean something special to me, my grandfather and my mother. The sequence changes with the gender of the child but the one thing that has remained is the fact that naming any children I will have after someone special in my life (or the potential hypothetical father) is the only way I plan to do it.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 8:34 pm
My maiden name is a very old Czech, difficult-to-pronounce three-syllable moniker that begins with “P.” That is fine.
However, my parents almost named me … Carma Renee. Carma? As in, a misspelling of Karma? That doesn’t jive with a complex Czech surname. And, growing up in the Midwest, I fear I would have become a meth dealer with Carma as a first name!
I was born on Dec. 22. My parents said I “just didn’t look like a Carma” when I came into the world. (What DOES a Carma look like, anyway?) Since my birthday was so close to Christmas (and it was the 80s), I was named Nicole instead. I grew up and became a journalist.
I disliked “Nicole” as a child because it was so common. There were three Nicoles in my class of 65.
However, the older I get, the more I realize how well Nicole fits me. I’m a Christmas nut who gives loads of gifts to children who aren’t related to me. I get far more enjoyment out of it than they do. I am no saint. However, I think naming me after Saint Nicholas was perfect. (Yay, Catholic parents!)
I prefer traditional, old names that are spelled correctly. I dislike trendy names and generally all kreatif spellings.
I think names have a huge influence on a child’s life and an adult’s life. My ultimate test: How would this baby name look on a resume?
Nicole is acceptable. Carma? Not so much.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 8:54 pm
My mother was planning on naming me Rebecca before I was born. She had always wanted a little Rebecca and I was her first girl. But when I was born it was an extremely long and complicated delivery delivery and after I was born the nurse told my mother than I should be called Amanda, which means she who deserves to be loved because I pulled through and survived the delivery ( even though my mom did all the work). It has helped me remember that I have some value throughout really hard stretches in my life and I don’t know what I would have done with another name because this one really fits. I want to have some ideas what to name my kids but I don’t want to give them their name until I hold them in my arms for the first time so I really know them before I give them their name.
on October 23rd, 2013 at 10:04 pm
I’ve always been so honored to have my name, almost to the extent of royalty because of the liniage and tradition of it in my family. The name Francine has been a part of the women’s name line-up in my family for eight generations. It’s considered aristocratic in my community. All of the women on my mother’s side have it somewhere in their name to show the strength, honor and pride of how hard the women worked to earn their status, education, wealth and constant respect in the community. (My full name is Francine Anne Whilhelmina Rose) All with family connections but my first name is the most influential in my family. I have a lot of jealous cousins that have it as a mn, or third mn….lol.
Growing up with my name was such a pleasure, I think mostly because it wasn’t very common, especially in the 80’s. I had one second cousin on my mother’s side of the family with my first name who was 3 years younger than me. I’m sure we were the only 2 girls at school with the name, Francine, and being 3 years apart we had a different circle of friends, but everyone knew who we were because of our name. I always got compliments on my name growing up and people always commented on the “French” connected reference. (great conversation starter..ooo…la…la…!) As a matter of fact, that’s how I met my German husband….lol. He was intriged by my name! I’ve always been very self sufficient, independent, full of self-esteem and yes, even a bit vain because of my name. I can’t help but love my name!
on October 24th, 2013 at 12:25 pm
My maiden name was Laura Thomas. INCREDIBLY common name. When I was young, I could never understand why my parents didn’t at least get a little saucy with the middle name (also very common), and I remember wishing I had a name like Penelope or Josephine, different but not unknown. But as I’ve grown, I’ve embraced my name. I’ve always loved my first name, but hated the “plain jane” aspect of having a names that literally THOUSANDS of people had. As an adult, I find I can never get enough of the SSA annual list of baby names, and I scour through names that I could give my own children. I’d have to have a dozen to ever satisfy all my favorites 😉
on October 24th, 2013 at 9:53 pm
My name is Emma which these days is an extremely popular name but, believe it or not, when my parents were naming me they had people from almost every side telling her it was too “old-fashioned” and “old lady-like”. That being said, for the first half of elementary school I had never met another Emma near to my age but by they time I hit 5th grade or so, the name was catching on big time. I even had a teacher tell me to stay after class one day so she could tell me she was naming her daughter Emma (she was 8 months pregnant at the time) and wanted to make sure I was okay with it. I can’t tell you how many time I introduced myself to a young adult and I would get something along the lines of “ooh I love that name”. Overall I wouldn’t say my name affected my life in any major way, but it did make for some rather uncomfortable circumstances for preteen me.
on October 26th, 2013 at 12:11 am
I’ve never thought about this until reading this.
However, growing up, I felt like my name (Dana) was kind of plain and boring. I guess that explains why I like long, flowery names for girls and bold, strong names for boys.
on October 26th, 2013 at 6:13 pm
My name is Samantha. I was born in Australia in 1985 and I was the only one in my class from beginning to end. There was one the year below me and two years below me, there were a couple. I always felt that my Mum was just slightly ahead of the eight ball with my name and I loved it.
I love my name. I always have. Especially with my middle name Erin. Erin wasn’t heard much either.
on October 29th, 2013 at 1:53 am
My name gives me lots of attention, most of it I’m thankful for. People are quick to learn my name, Xanthe, and I’ve gotten much positive responses. I hope it has helped me stand out in the world, or be memorable during that awkward moment when people don’t know you, they just know of you. Occasionally that little spice of having a unique name can be enough so that you will stand out among applicants, but all and all a name is a name and wont shape your future extensively. It can match the cool person you already are, but it most generally wont hinder you.
on October 29th, 2013 at 11:24 am
I’m an Emily born in the mid-80s, before the name really took off, so I’ve almost always been the only Emily I know. I love my name. I was named after my great-grandmother, so I feel connected to my family history, and really, I just feel like an Emily. It doesn’t bother me too much that there are thousands of girls 10 or 15 years younger than me who share my name – I don’t often run into them, so I’m never one of many Emilys in a group.
on December 14th, 2013 at 8:55 pm
My name’s Leah. It’s a fairly uncommon name, but it ALWAYS gets mispronounced! I’m constantly saying “Lee-yah, not like Leia” and my P.E. teacher has asked me “Where’s Luke?” which earned him an eye roll. I love my name though! My middle name, Christine, makes Leah a little more interesting, which I also love! There’s a Leah three grades below me, and whenever someone says “Leah!” I turn around, which gets annoying. But I love my name! I just wish people knew how to pronounce/spell it.
on January 8th, 2014 at 1:48 am
I once got a job because the person interviewing me had never met a Winter before and HAD to just meet me and hire me.
People were always curious about me. So you become accustom to people curiosity, and being in the public’s eye. A unique name aids an individual with developing skills early on such as: public speaking, articulation, conversation skills, speech- posture- eye contact, to not shy away from the spot light and to be comfortable being different and more tolerant. Even to be kind and carry in a deeper understanding because they are able to see the bigger picture by always being set apart themselves. They learn discern in judgement and carry a favorable temperament , when others make snide remarks, allowing them to learn how to rise above it. They learn to be respectful. Tons of things can help a child achieve good character but a name helps. Many people told me experience build good character, but I vouch that my name alone brought life experiences to my doorstep. My unique name helped build me into the person I am today.
I am older now and work in customer services and sales, and I think it has benefit me because I’m not afraid to work with the public everyday. I was able to work on my skills and character qualities early on. I’m thankful for it now that I am older. I think age helped me see why my parents made their choices for us kids.
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