All of these factors figure into the satisfaction rating you would give your name. So now that you’re going to name your own baby, you want to know how that happened. Why are some people so lah-de-dah happy with their names while others despise the names they were given at birth, even to the point of going to court and paying to have them changed?
Indeed, a name can affect the ebb and flow of your entire existence. That’s exactly why parents-to-be often give the baby-naming process numerous hours of list-perusing, head-scratching, and poll-taking.
Most people express satisfaction with their names if their names are mainstream, such as Michael, David, and Sam, or Lisa, Kathryn, and Christina. But it’s common to see huge drops in satisfaction when we enter the realm of unusual names. A third of those with odd names will say they hated the name during childhood, but later “grew into” the name and now enjoy it. Another third with odd names report that they enjoyed having a different kind of name. The final third hated their names while they were children and still hate their names years later in adulthood. The latter group often think of their names as the albatross around their necks-the miserable excuse for a name that caused them grief and pain.
One woman named Charmaine says she didn’t like her name because people always misspelled it and made fun of her. Every time she met someone, she heard, “Don’t squeeze the Charmin!” She also faced a common problem that people with unusual names encounter: you can’t ever buy personalized necklaces, key chains, or pens.
The irony is that some kids with plain names envy the girl or boy with the unusual name. (I remember knowing a girl in elementary school whose name was Romaine, and I thought she had the coolest name on earth.)
For a kid who feels “stuck” with an albatross name, however, life can be long and bumpy. While people with better names seem to glide through social encounters effort lessly, the name-challenged types are more likely to stumble and bumble their way through the jungle.
If you have any doubt, note the baby-naming efforts of a person who grew up as Nyleen or Hortense, Huelett or Drakeston: you’ll probably find that this individual will have offspring named John or Ann. One woman named Daphne-Jade says she wanted her daughter’s name to be beautiful and unique but not freakish . “I didn’t want her to have a lot of stress like I did with my name.”
Sure, you just want your child to love his or her name. You want the name to fall off everyone’s lips, making your kid happy and loved. You want that tot to grow up to excel in sports and academics and careers and relationships, and you want to see that name on a team roster, marquee) or at least an Academy Award or Pulitzer Prize.
So can a name pave the way to success and happiness? Psychologists tell us that having a name that’s a good fit can make a person feel more self-confident. Conversely, your child’s self-esteem may suffer if he winces every time someone laughs at his name.
What’s the significance of all this for you, the parent-in-waiting? You are dead-on right in thinking that finding the “right” name constitutes a major responsibility. This occa sion is momento us enough to merit lots of discussion and lots of thumbing through this book until you finally hit on it-The Right Name.
You’ re looking for a name that resonates, one that’s memorable and perfect-but not frighteningly memorable or overly perfect. You’re looking for a name that is absolutely sure to have a positive effect on your little tyke’s life.
ALL Baby Boy names.Are you more likely to trust a Michael or a Donovan? An Erica or a Mary? A Crash or a Blake? We know that most employers prefer middle-of-the-road names to crazy, quirky ones. Their bias tells them that maybe parents who give wild names to their babies don’t have the genetic poten...
OK, it is so easy! What kinds of names cause problems? Those that people can’t pronounce or spell, or those that resemble other, more familiar names. Many women in particular report that they dislike having a name that is often mistaken for something that sounds similar. For example, a girl named Callie says people always...
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