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Author Topic: On the importance of being Earnest
foundling
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So, have any of you ever wondered what you would be like if you were given a different name at birth? Say, instead of Julie, you were named Rebecca. Julies' are often outgoing, talkative, and openly creative. Rebeccas' are more often introverted, empathetic, and quietly creative. How much do you think your name has influenced who you are? And, is there a name you feel would suit you better?

[ February 14, 2005, 01:21 AM: Message edited by: foundling ]

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Boon
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As a child, my name was the source of considerable embarrassment and ridicule.

As a teen, I used my initials. Since I'm a girl from a small town, this caused quite a bit of teasing, though not as much as my first name caused.

As an adult, I use my middle name, and I've made peace with it.

Which name should I analyze?

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Alcon
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What is your first name Boon? Why did it cuase you so much trouble?
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Ryuko
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Was it Adolph? Man, I keep telling people not to name their kids Adolph!!
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foundling
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I guess you should analyze the name you feel has most effected who you are. Probably your first name, as it seems to have caused some trauma in your early years, which generally has some effect on later personality.
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Alcon
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I don't think I was really affected by my name. Its just... my name, its not something I really think about. My name is Daniel, thats what its always been, what it always will be. *shrug* Just kinda, is.
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foundling
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Ah, but maybe the fact that you have such a mellow name contributes to your lack of analyzing:). Have you ever met a Daniel, after all, who wasnt pretty pragmatic and down to earth? But, what if you were named Cory?
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Alcon
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Who knows. I'm not named Cory so I have no idea [Razz]
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mackillian
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So what are Jamies like?
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rivka
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Well, for one thing, they never sleep.
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Corwin
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quote:
How much do you think your name has influenced who you are?
Not a bit. [Razz]
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Strider
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I think my last name was the one that did me in. My first name never had a chance.
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Theca
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I thought Julie suited me pretty well until I read this thread. [Cry]
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quidscribis
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quote:
So, have any of you ever wondered what you would be like if you were given a different name at birth? <snip> How much do you think your name has influenced who you are? And, is there a name you feel would suit you better
The name I was given at birth affected me a lot, but I suspect it was more the tone that was used with me when my full name was used. Plus my last name, as short as it was, was difficult to spell and/or pronounce. Oh, how I hate thee, let me count the ways.

Well, as it turned out, I legally changed my name - middle and last - about six years ago. Kept my first name because it actually does suit me. Ditched the rest. I came up with two middle names I loved and a last name I equally loved. And that is who I became. [Big Grin]

So. Do I totally skew the results?

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TomDavidson
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I'm pretty much a quintessential Tom.
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Megan
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While our names influence how we think of ourselves, I do not think that certain names bear certain personality characteristics. I think it is possible to think that because you've met a lot of outgoing Julies, or a lot of introverted Rebeccas, that all Julies are this way and all Rebeccas are that way. It's also possible to have very negative name associations (there was a thread on it a while back)...but that doesn't mean that those negative impressions of a new person with that name are going to be accurate.

If I had a different name, my personality would not be any different; my genes would be the same, and my home environment growing up would be the same. "A rose by any other name," you know.

Still, this reminds me of an Isaac Asimov short story, "Spell My Name With an S," about a man whose life is altered drastically by the change of a single letter in his name. Anyone familiar with it?

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TomDavidson
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"If I had a different name, my personality would not be any different...."

Is this provable? I actually think one's name does to some extent shape one's future, in that a) people will react differently to you and b) you will be exposed to different namesakes as potential role models.

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Ralphie
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I have a masculine nickname. I was a total tomboy as a kid. I've often thought in my adult angst there was some correlation.

(I hate my nickname.)

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rivka
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You hate your nickname, but you chose an even more masculine SN?

Have a seat on the couch. The doctor will be right with you.

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Ralphie
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I don't hate all masculine monikers, just mine. [Smile]
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rivka
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*resists singing*
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Elizabeth
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My name, which really is Elizabeth, is conducive to a host of nicknames. Yo my family, I am Elizabeth. Period. My mean stepmother used to call me home from play like this:

"EEEEEEEEEE LIZ abeth!!!!!!!!!!"

It still gives me the whim-whams remembering it.

I chose Liz as my nickname. I am a Liz. Not a Beth, or Eliza. I love those names, but I am just a Liz. Whatever that means.

[ February 14, 2005, 09:59 AM: Message edited by: Elizabeth ]

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mackillian
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You do that a lot, rivka.
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Lady Jane
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I have always loved my name. I can't imagine a more perfect one. I think it did affect my personality as a kid anyway, along with being the only girl. It was the name of a queen, and also has a thousand possible nicknames, so if I ever wanted to change what I was called, it was easy to do so and have it still be my name.
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rivka
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Do what? Resist? Sing? Or announce my resistance?

Yes. I do.

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mackillian
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Your name is Jamie? What's it short for?

It isn't short for anything.

Are you sure?

...
...

Why do people ask you if you're SURE your own name isn't short for anything?

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Elizabeth
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They should have said, with a haughty tone and nose in the air: Are you QUITE sure?"
(You would have to read my Lion King post to understand how I am all shaky now.)

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Lady Jane
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Because it's traditionally a nickname. It's like being named Davey - that's a nickname.
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mackillian
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LOL

Yes, I got it. I also just give them the Look. The raised eyebrow so they think they're being insulted and start questioning themselves Look.

I'm quite good at it.

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Narnia
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Speaking of the Importance of Being Earnest...

I like my first name. [Smile] When people can pronounce it correctly, it's even better. Would you believe that people stare at the correct spelling of my name, which is C-E-C-I-L-Y, and they still manage to pronounce it "Sicily" or even "Cecelia." ?? I'm always amazed.

But I have a great first name. My last name on the other hand...well. We won't discuss it. [Wink]

[ February 14, 2005, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: Narnia ]

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Bella Bee
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I have three names that no-one can ever spell correctly. When I was younger, I was practically dyslexic. I sense a pattern emerging.
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MaydayDesiax
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I can't even spell my middle name... ::points to SN::

Everyone always misspells my first name: Maribeth. I've had Marybeth, Mary Beth, Mar Ibeth (?!), and occassionally Mary Ann (which happens to be my mother's name... Although that spelling is wrong too).

My middle name is said DEE-say. SO many people say "Dee-SAIX". It's French, gosh darnit.

Oh, and my last name is NOT spelled "Wallis". I always want to go "Wallace, as in William Wallace." Maybe people will spell it right then...

All in all, though, I wouldn't change my name for the world... Except maybe to take Bernard's.

Bernard gets quite a few double takes with 'Yu' too.

[ February 14, 2005, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: MaydayDesiax ]

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Space Opera
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Cool question. I think it's totally a matter of self-perception. As someone has pointed out, not all Julies are outgoing, etc., and not all Marthas are boring ugly women.

As for my name, I think it's had zero affect on me. It's a fine name, not too usual or unusual.

space opera

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Goody Scrivener
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I always disliked my name. Full first name is Jennifer, I don't like it but it's not terrible anymore. Most people call me Jenn, I can deal with that. My family, however, insists on calling me Jenny, which I just cannot stand!

Family legend has it that my mother wanted to name me Heather (which I liked enough to have inflicted on my daughter LOL) but my grandmother stepped in and refused to allow her first grandchild to be named after "that ugly purple plant". (by the way, I was apparently quite bruised looking at birth).

When I was younger, I dreamed of changing my name to Stephanie. Would have been a bit confusing since my brother is Steven, but that was the name I liked. And yes I was a Full House fan LOL

[edit: check out that postcount, dude!!!]

[ February 14, 2005, 11:22 PM: Message edited by: Goody Scrivener ]

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Dan_raven
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My name is kind of common, so it hasn't effected me (though I like its biblical meaning, and as a kid I thoughty I was named after Daniel Boone).

However, I once met a pre-teen girl named Heather, who was chubby. Some how having that name and being overweight struck me as a sad thing. I wonder if it influenced her.

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foundling
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I totally agree with everyone who has said that names dont define who we are. However, they do, to a certain extent, define how people view us, which can shape our personalities, especially when young.

Now, every Jamie I have ever met has been rebellious and prone to flipping me the bird. I dont find this a coincidence. The name Jamie in a girl is often looked at askance, since it's "supposed" to be a guys name, and when it is a guys name people tend to think of it as a little feminine. As such, some people who have this name are taught from a young age that they are a little different from the status quo. This can lead to rebelliousness and a great sense of humor. Who knows why.

Tom, as he said, seems to be the quintiscential Tom. Most Toms I've met have been a little sarcastic, a little introverted, and a whole lot of argumenative when it comes to things they value. I dont know TomD well enough to discuss his personality, but he seems to me to have been a little shaped by his name, just because he resembles other Toms I know.

Ralphie, your real name is Antonia, but you go by Toni, right? I've seen that posted here before, but I hope I'm not giving anything away:). Anyways, from your posts, the name suits you perfectly. You have an undercurrent of extremely feminine personality (your advice is usual spot on and extremely empathetic and intuitive), with a masculine sense of humor(spanking and such) over the surface.

Elizabeth, you have always seemed like someone who could deal with ANYTHING. You seem to have this practical strength that is supplemented by a layer of gooey emotionalism. When you were so sick, your real strength became more and more obvious. To me, anyways. And the fact that you call yourself Liz doesnt surprise me in the least. My first boss was named Liz, and she amazed me. She ran the only restaraunt in town, helped her husband run a farm, and dealt with 3 needy grownup kids at the same time. And yet, she would sit there and talk to me about my problems as if they were the most fascinating thing in the world to her, all the time. I dont know. I've always associated Liz with enduring strength.

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Teshi
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I am Victoria.

Of course, for a long time, this name gave my dillusions of grandeur. 'I am a princess!'

But then I got over it. My last name brought me down to earth [Smile] .

People call me Vic, Vicky, Vicki, Tory, and I constantly tell them, 'I am Victoria'. Sometimes I wonder if four syllables are just too many to handle for some people!

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foundling
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I love the name Victoria. I always wanted to be named somthing like that when I was a kid.

I dont have a name that lends itself to any nicknames, and that always made me sad. My best friends name was Jeanine, and she had at least 5 cool nicknames throughout our school experiance.

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Ryuko
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I dislike being called by my full name. Abigaiiil... It's an old-person name. Abby is a little more me.
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mackillian
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--I--
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Elizabeth
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Foundling, that was just the sweetest thing ever, and I am all tingly and teary now. Thank you.
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rivka
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*points out that Rivka is the Hebrew of Rebbecca*
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Megan
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quote:
Your name is Jamie? What's it short for?

It isn't short for anything.

Are you sure?

Why do people ask you if you're SURE your own name isn't short for anything?

I get asked all the time if I'm pronouncing my name wrong. My own name. I think I know how it's pronounced, thanks.
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Dan_raven
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I have a friend born in Poland who goes by the name Andy.

When I first met him I tried being all official when I called him. "Andrew!" I called. "No" I was confused.

His real first name is Andrej. Everyone does it and he has learned to laugh over their assumptions.

[ February 15, 2005, 10:35 AM: Message edited by: Dan_raven ]

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Ralphie
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quote:
Sometimes I wonder if four syllables are just too many to handle for some people!
It is. And it's hard for some people to wrap their mouths around them. I'm an "Antonia" and I don't think anyone has successfully made the "a" sound at the end when first pronouncing my name. It used to drive me crazy having to correct people from calling me "Antonio".

Then I realized that with "Antonio", while you start in the middle of the mouth, the rest of the syllables are all at the front of the mouth. With "Antonia" you have the first syllable in the middle, the next two in the front, and then you have to travel back to the middle of the mouth to finish out the name. It makes sense that a person would naturally want to stay at one part of the mouth for simplicity's sake when pronouncing an unfamiliar word.

"Toni" is the nickname I hate, but it's simple and easy and at this point undeniably me, and so I force very few people to have to attempt "Antonia".

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Belle
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quote:
dislike being called by my full name. Abigaiiil... It's an old-person name. Abby is a little more me.
I beg to differ!

:points to her four year old daughter Abigail, even though no one can see her do so:

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Teshi
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Yeah, Abigail for me has never been associated with Old People ( [Wink] ) the way Bertha, Betty or Faith has, for example.
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Alcon
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If I was effected by a name it was probably my last name. People don't do much with Daniel. I mean, Dan, Danny... and thats about it. But with my last name oh good lord. They do all sorts of stuff. Nearly all my nicknames come from my last name. Save for the nickname my scottish friends call me by, which is Dan. Everyone else just calls me Daniel, which I prefer.

But I don't really mind most of the nicknames that spawned from my last name. I sorta like most of them. Except for Big Ham, which I don't know what to make of, or The Bing, which is my dads nickname and not mine at all.

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