Tiffany Gee Lewis: The name game: Can our name determine our destiny?

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  • Scott H Ogden, UT
    April 21, 2017 11:38 a.m.

    I'm not fond of the idea of giving kids iconic names. I'm sure that some 'live up to' their name. But I've seen many that don't. Their name seems to hang on them like an albatross around their neck. Maybe it would be better to minimize attempts to manipulate our children in that manner.

    I once worked at a job where I was exposed to lots of data that showed the names of children in families. The penchant for some parents to seek bizarre names for their kids in the pursuit of uniqueness often seemed more like a form of child abuse. Also, some names that might seem cute for a baby come across as much less suitable if you can envision the child later in life, say in middle age.

    My children have relatively boring traditional names. Oddly, some of those names have ended up being somewhat unique among their contemporaries. Maybe because so many parents are into giving their kids weird names.

  • Pelukas Bingham, UT
    April 21, 2017 9:35 a.m.

    I still do not see the relation between names and faith? What is it? What am I missing?

  • Snark Provo, UT
    April 21, 2017 9:18 a.m.

    My dad always hated his first name but loved those who gave it to him. He said he understood Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue". But like that familiar song, my dad grew up to be a Marine, fought on Iwo Jima, was shot up pretty bad, but survived, went to law school, had a successful professional and personal life, served in the community and his church and was loved by his wife and children dearly. The song has the father figure say, "you otta thank me before I die for the gravel in your gut and the spit in your eye." While dad used his middle name and tried to keep his first name a guarded secret, the name helped make him strong. But also like the end of the song he carefully chose his children's names ("Bill, George, anything but Sue; I still hate that name")! Thanks Johnny and thanks Dad! I really like my name.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    April 20, 2017 4:08 p.m.

    Being named "Sasha," (and having no middle name) I kept asking my parents why I didn't have a "normal" name like all the other kids in my neighborhood. Finally, after i pestered them enough, they gave me a middle name (William). I promptly forgot about Sasha, and didn't use it regularly again until my 30s. Now there are Sashas all over the place; even former President Obama has a daughter named Sasha.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    April 20, 2017 12:33 p.m.

    you always select great subjects to write on thank you I enjoy my name as long as it did not include get in here right now on the back side or the tail end or somewhere in between

  • Talltexasgal Plano, TX
    April 20, 2017 11:10 a.m.

    My dog and I did therapy work at a VA hospital. As I was once leaving, I passed a man in a wheelchair, a double leg amputee, sitting by himself in the shade of the entrance porch. I felt impressed to stop and talk to him, staying another hour and a half. He had lost both of his legs the week before from an infection he got while in the hospital for minor surgery. His told me about his struggles with the abrupt loss.

    He felt that he could never succeed because of his name, which was Melvin. I remember his words, "How can you succeed with a name like Melvin? Why would your parents name you Melvin?" I didn't have an answer for him but I saw how stuck he felt with the name. It is too bad he didn't think to ask his parents about his name. He might have been named for someone they admired. Perhaps the answer would have made him feel differently.

    I understood. I had changed my name because of its similarity to another name which I was always mistakenly being called. Even people I'd known for 30 years often said my birth name wasn't worth learning to say correctly--so I made my name simpler. Now I try to learn to pronounce others names correctly because they are worth it!

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    April 20, 2017 8:03 a.m.

    So, I have a weird name. It's uncommon enough that people ask for clarification but common enough that people know it IS a name. I also don't have a middle name. I have a middle initial because my Dad thought it would be cooler.

    Honestly my fondness of my names has waxed and waned over the years. When I applied for grad school the application website wouldn't let me sign up because it would accept no middle name or a multi letter last name but couldn't accept an initial as a full middle name. It's been a hassle. I almost changed my middle name to a full name when my wife and I got married but I decided to just keep it as is.

    That said, when our son was born my wife and I gave him a name that is common enough people will know how to spell it and it translates easily into a number of languages.