Monday, July 30, 2012

What's In A Name?

What’s in a name? Where did your name come from? What is it’s meaning? Are you satisfied with your name or do cringe every time you hear it? A name is a very personal thing. It identifies us, and it’s what we respond  to. People don’t generally think about this, but a name could make or break you. Naming your child is a tedious (and sometimes almost impossible) task, but it’s one of the most important things on your to-do list when you’re expecting. Name your kids something that you absolutely love, but be aware of the possible ramifications later in life.

What you name your child will definitely affect their future. A lot of parents don’t want their kid to have a common name, so they name their child something weird and don’t think about how that is going to affect the child down the road. Kids can be mean and their words can be brutal. For example: the easiest thing kids at school can pick on somebody about is their name. If you name your kid something strange like Apple or Zephyr, you can be assured that they will be teased.

A name can prevent you from getting a job. It sounds crazy but the name you put on an an application could sway an employer’s decision to call you for an interview (or not!). The first thing a potential employer sees on your resume is your name. If you have a name like Mabel, Howie, or Piper, you may not be considered as seriously as other candidates. Simon Fraser University in Canada did a study and found that applicants with ethnic-sounding names are less likely to get a call back from a potential employer.  The study sent out thousands of applications to Canadian employers, and found that people with more “basic” sounding names received interview callbacks 40% more often.

 When someone can’t pronounce your name, they will more than likely avoid talking to you. Ethnic names (like Habib, Chiara, Nadezda, Vaclav, etc.) can be very difficult to pronounce and I know that I personally would be very frustrated if people constantly pronounced my name wrong.

Why did your parents choose the name they did? Does your name have anything to do with your faith or religion? Are you named after a relative or celebrity? Did your parents make up the name themselves so it would be considered “unique”? I know people that resent their parents because of their name. Of course you have the option to change your name if you dislike it that much, but changing your name is a long, tiring process.

A recent British study shows that 1 in 5 parents regret the name they chose for their child. Some tried to name their child a unique name and found later that it wasn’t as unique as they thought. Others dislike the way they spelled their child’s name. I'm all for being original and showing your individuality, but make sure you consider all of the options before deciding on a name for your child. With that being said, I’ll leave you with one question. What’s in a name?

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