Thursday, March 23, 2006

What's in a name

21 March
Couples expecting a baby are, whether they admit or not, playing the naming game. If it is a boy...and if it is a girl...many of them who chose to find out the sex of their offspring before it is born are spared half the trouble. Regardless, they want their baby, (child, son, daughterlater)to have a very special name. Being theirs, he/she can only be unique in a good sense and his/her name should testify to the originality and sophistication of his/her parents. So the well meaning adults dig in their store of memories, school books, Greek mythology, Middle Ages histories, legends of Faraway Countries to discover that one very special word that will be appended to their child for life and come up with mind-boggling results.
Do they only stop to think about the look of horror that their child will be met with in kindergarten when he/she let it be known that they are called Aspasie or Ulysses? Sheba or Harun? I know a little girl whose school years turned to hell because of the name her parents were so proud of: offensive nicknames were devised at once all having to do with unpleasant objects or habits. She made no friends and shudders when she thinks back at those years. Even now, as an adult she hesitates to tell people her name. Yet it is beautiful and carries no ugly connotations. An original name to please adults. Still it managed to damage her spontaneity and joie de vivre. "I never felt self conscious about my name" declares another young woman who is blessed with an easy two syllables choice, "How could I, there were seven of us in my class." Needless to say she grew up to be happily well adjusted. To those who are expecting we appeal: Find an easy non-controversial name for your child no matter what. Keep your special creations for your dog or cat. They won't have to suffer from peer jeers... and if they do, at least you won't know it.


Blogger Aubrey Smith said...

I have grown up with several other people in my classes having similar names, and trust me, the teachers hate it.
So, don't go too far out, but make sure you're not naming all your boys Brian and all your girls Suzie.

5:06 AM  

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