What is in a name?

I have never met…

A Laura I didn’t like,

A James who couldn’t make me laugh,

A Sophie who wasn’t Beautiful,

A Peter that couldn’t hold a conversation,

A Georgia without strong self-confidence, 

A Tom who wasn’t sweet and kind hearted. 

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Is our fate decided the second our birth certificates are signed? Is in not nature vs. nurture but in fact nature vs. naming? Am I look for truth where in fact coincidence lies (probably, but that would be a very dull and short post so we will ignore that one for now). 

Sure there are exceptions to these rules, some where there is a shy girl called Georgia sat next to a serial killer called Tom who are thinking to themselves what a twat I am. But for the most part I think a name can say a lot about a person, which is foolish really because for most of us we have no say at all as to what we will be called in life. 

Judgements based on appearance and intelligence are one thing, but is it fair to base opinions of a person on something they had nothing to do with. Think about getting married . You meet the guy/girl/animal (I’m not judging …. well…. ) of your dreams, they are perfect. But their name is Barnical Whimply (I don’t even know, it was the first thing that popped in to my head). Are you going to end up together, will you grow old and have little Whimplys together? Or from the moment they introduced themselves did you not think ‘How the hell do I get away from this nutter?!?’ 

I think naming is one of the biggest responsibilities a parent has. Choosing the right name for a person you don’t really even know yet. There are such things as power names, or names of status. So is it right to think that by naming your child ‘correctly’ you could potentially be setting them up for life.

I read freakanomics over the summer and it pointed out that although names do go in and out of fashion, there is a also a name cycle which can be used to predict which will be power names of the future. Names such as Victoria and Edward were very common among the upper classes and so the most successful people of that generation were named accordingly, this was followed by families of the lower classes naming their children in this fashion to try are give them the power position, thus Victoria became a lower class name and new upper class names were introduced on to the social spectrum. Yet still the cycle continues. 

By  this logic, one could argue that it is not the name that determines the characteristics but coincidental that people of the same class and upbringing tend to name their children similar things, hence many smart Emmas and Sporty Joshuas. 

I wonder what people think when I introduce myself, what snap judgments are made by seeing only my name?

 

Caitriona Clare O’Connor

 

Who knows? 

Catty x

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