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  1. #46
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by daisy451 View Post
    ... when I hear them used a part of my brain rolls its eyes and thinks, "yes, I read those books in 8th grade too. You're not especially cultured for knowing them."
    This is EXACTLY my reaction... but the real kicker is that I fell in love with Edmund because of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which we read in grade THREE, so I have no basis in my negative reactions to Atticus (as a particular example). I don't know if it's because the book didn't get my attention at all, or if it's because it's an uncommonly used, and literary but not actually obscure type of name.
    Marius is my other favourite boy name, which I know is in Les Misérables, another story which is not my cup of tea (though I've never read the book). I got it from a play called "Fanny" by Marcel Pagnol, and I guess (luckily?) it doesn't seem to be picked up by the Les Mis crowd who swoon over Eponine, Cosette, and Fantine.

    I actually find my brain really frustrating when it comes to some pop-culture names. I love some, and don't want to hear others, and there isn't much rhyme or reason to it.
    Last edited by lucialucentum; May 9th, 2013 at 01:52 PM.
    Name aficionada, traveller, teacher, wonderfully enamoured
    EDD: 4/14/2018 It's a girl!

  2. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    There's something about names that are inexorably tied to literature that make them different for me (Lewis and Edmund are not that closely tied to the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- I'm talking more names like Gulliver and Bronte.) I get that parents pick them because they like them, because they're meaningful to those parents. But with these names, for me, it goes beyond style- it's like the difference between wearing a nice dress and heels because you like them and wearing head-to-toe Prada and Versace into a working-class neighborhood because you like them. Yes, you may genuinely like those things, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that there's something I find uncomfortable about them, like a proclamation of status that comes along with that particular taste. That's why I don't wear those brands and also why I'm hesitant to use those names, even though I love them.

    I want to stress again that I have nothing against parents who use these names- I don't mean to call them pretentious or elitist, and I completely understand that there are a great many excellent reasons to use very literary names. I'm simply trying to make the point that I personally would feel uncomfortable actually using the non-subtle literary names that are among my favorite names because I would feel as if I'm "showing off" to an extent.

  3. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Actually, I disagree. Of course everyone has read those books - To Kill Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre - but they have to be a special part of their life to actually name their kids after them. I don't think people name their kids Harper, Atticus, or Jane to feel "cultured", but rather to signify that they absolutely love To Kill and Mockingbird or Jane Eyre. If you have To Kill a Mockingbird a hundred times, know the story by heart, and it is your favorite book on earth by far, then that is a good reason to name your child Harper. I think having a literary name is a good thing, because it means your parents have named you after something that means a lot to them, as opposed to a name that they just liked. (Not that I have anything against those names, of course)

  4. #52
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Copenhagen, Denmark


    Quote Originally Posted by daisy451 View Post
    @shvibziks I don't think there's anything pretentious about naming your child after a book that you LOVE- really, truly love. But how is it possible that so many people's favorite characters or favorite books are TKAM and Catcher in the Rye? With the entirety of literature, THOSE are the two everyone on earth seems to love. And I think there's a big difference between Atticus/Holden/Keats and Lee/Ray/Juliet (As in Harper, Bradbury, and Romeo &.) With the latter, the names pay homage to the books/authors, but they're common enough that they aren't exclusively associated with those authors.

    You can name your children exclusively Shakespearean names and not come off as pretentious- a sibset of Adam, Michael, Oliver, Helena, Beatrice, and Celia doesn't seem at all pretentious, but Romeo seems to get really, really close to over the line and Macbeth stampedes right over it. Now, I don't see many parents considering Macbeth, but it's the best example for Shakespeare. It's the difference between Hugo and Eponine- Hugo is a sweet and subtle tribute to a great author, Eponine is advertising the fact that you've never read the book (if you had, you'd know that it was invented to be a "trashy" name, and Hugo says so in the book.)

    As I said, I think a lot of these names are really great names on their own- if I had an Auden or Keats in my family tree, I'd use it in a heartbeat. But I pause at using them because the authors aren't THAT special to me- I like them enough, I love books and poetry, but I haven't read them hundreds of times like I have with some of my favorite, less-awesomely named authors Bradbury and Silverstein. I still read Auden, but I don't even particularly like Keats. I just can't justify how pretentious and elitist it would feel to actually use those names.

    However, I do tend towards very homey, unpretentious names as a general style- I like Cal and Jack and Anna, pretty simple and comfy-feeling.
    I presume the reason why so many people love TKAM (haven't read Catcher in the Rye *hides self in shame*, so obviously I can't speak for that) is because it's a very iconic and inspirational book. Atticus Finch basically is the image of justice and fairness, who don't want their child to be associated with a name like that?

    I can understand how not having read the book and naming your child Atticus can be pretentious, but at the same time I still don't think you can (or should) tar everyone with the same brush here. Just because some decide they wanna be artsy-fartsy and "hip" by naming their child after someone they've heard is inspirational, people who actually love that book/author/character and name their child after him/her shouldn't be judged because of it.

    What bothered me in the first place about this whole thread was "yes, I read those books in 8th grade too. You're not especially cultured for knowing them." Because it just really had me thinking that if I named my child after a literate character or my favourite author and people went around thinking that about me or saying that behind my back, I just be so upset. Like sure, we might all have read that book but you have no idea if that book meant something special to me. Personally, I would use Fyodor in the blink of an eye because of Fyodor Dostoevsky, who is my favourite author, has meant so much to me (obviously I can't compare Dostoevsky to a cult book like TKAM, but I am just saying), and I would be so hurt if someone told me I was just being pretentious for using it.

    But I do think that I understand what you're saying because I feel the same way about people who talk about classic films and the mention that they absolutely idolise someone like Audrey Hepburn and think that they're all "vintage" for doing so (just saying, there were greater actresses than her), so yeah, I understand what y'all are saying
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  5. #54
    renrose Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by shvibziks View Post
    I can understand how not having read the book and naming your child Atticus can be pretentious.
    But why? I haven't read the book so I like Atticus purely for liking the sound. It's a genuine first name, Harper Lee didn't make it up and I don't know anything about the character. If I named a child Atticus and someone said 'Oh like TKAM?' I'd say 'no, I just liked it.' So... not pretentious surely?

    It's only really poets/authors surnames-as-first names that bother me. A surname is a surname so if you've gone out of your way to use it as first name, I imagine research has gone into it and there's a reason you picked it other than just 'it sounded nice'. If that reason turns out to be solely: 'it's the name of an author/poet whose name I found randomly and liked' then yeah, that's a bit daft.
    Last edited by renrose; May 10th, 2013 at 06:34 AM.

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