What is in a baby name?Jason Firmager
When it comes to choosing a name for your child, well, it is never easy. There are so many choices out there too – the sentimental ones, the kooky names, unusual, or traditional… but it always has to be remembered that a child has to grow and live with that name forever…
Can a name influence a child’s future? Can a name have an impact on somebody’s character? Do they have an impact on how we are perceived? To a great extend our name is our first label in life – other than the obvious ones… of gender or physical characteristics. Rightly or wrongly so, the name we ‘wear’ portrays something about our class, our intellect or education, and often ethnicity… our names allow others to form an opinion of us… not necessarily for judgement just as categorization – and most of these however are based on pre-conceived ideas about what a name means.
Some studies have been carried out which tell us that we do judge people on their names, perhaps as surface as thinking a ‘James’, ‘Kelly’ or ‘Jordan’ is a boy… when these three names are unisex – and more acceptable in some cultures or parts of the world than others. Assuming perhaps that a ‘Sky/e’ or ‘Star’ was the result of two ‘hippy’ names, or ‘Noah’ or ‘Muhammad’ are names based on religion or faith. These examples are stereotypes yes.. but somehow we cannot stop ourselves from forming them based purely on a name.
Can a name have some kind of subconscious influence on the path we take? Some research shows it can… saying that there are a lot of dentists call Dennis, for example. And how about the celebrity chefs out there like Tom Kitchen, or athletes that somehow describe their ability with their names, such as Usain Bolt. Are you a therapist that has a name that suits your modality?
Some people believe that interviewees can often get to the next stage of interviews based on their name too! Names may not entirely create our destiny, but there is no doubt they have a strong influence over how we perceive ourselves and others… and it is not just the name, or the sound of the name but also the history, our modern social perception, and the meanings too.
Her are three top baby naming websites:
… And for a little fun, here are some celebrity names
- Starting with father to two of Katie Price’s children, Junior and Princess; Peter Andre’s daughter with Emily MacDonagh was born in January of this year, and the couple opted for a relatively ‘normal’ name compared with some celebs: Amelia Andre does have a ring to it though, and she’ll always come up first on alphabetised lists!
- Is Kate Middleton with-child again? The media speculates – What will she call her next child we wonder? What we do know, is it is not likely to be anything other than a traditional name, after-all the future king, third in the line for the throne and only just turned 1-year-old, was named Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge – which is not at all quirky or rock n roll, but it is certainly a mouthful.
- From real royalty to celebrity royalty – David and Victoria Beckham have four children, all with interesting names, and it is also rumoured in the celeb-media world that they are expecting baby number five. In the Beckham brood so far there is Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven. Victoria reveals in her autobiography the reasons behind her first son’s name choice: “I had always liked the name Brooke and then we suddenly thought about Brooklyn. I’d always like it as a place – it’s very multi-cultural, very grounded. And it was only afterward that I realized how appropriate it was because it was in New York that I found out I was pregnant and where David came after the World Cup.”When it comes to Romeo, apparently the couple just “loved” the name, which can be linked to Shakespeare, the city of Rome, or even the rapper perhaps? The third boy, Cruz is apparently a name choice based on the couple liking Cruise, as in Tom Cruise, and the “different” Spanish spelling. Lastly, Harper Seven, the longed-for Beckham girl; it has been reported that her three older brothers chose Harper, naming their new sister after a Disney character from their favourite series, Wizards Of Waverly Place. It is also half of the name of a fashion mag; Harper Bazaar, and so has that connection with Victoria, and of course seven is David Beckham’s lucky number.So the David and Victoria do have that fifth child, they will be the lucky seven Beckham bunch. It is likely the brood’s surname will have more of an influence on their futures.
- Another Katie now, and the original Cruise! Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise named their daughter Suri, which means ‘princess’ in Hebrew and ‘red rose’ in Persian.
- Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban named their daughters Sunday and Faith; names with a biblical connection. Faith was born from a surrogate mother, and the couple has said that the name seemed apt, as “[it took] a lot of Faith”.
- Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple – At the time of naming their first born, the Iron Man actress said -“Apples are so sweet, they’re wholesome and it’s biblical.” Their son’s name, Moses is also another biblical choice from the celebs.
- Moving on to the X-Factor of all daddies, Mr Simon Cowell; he and Lauren Silverman decided to go traditional when naming their son Eric, after Simon’s father – a strong name, and lovely sentiment.
- Another productive pair are Mr and Mrs Oliver; Jamie Oliver and wife Jools went for flowers, not food as we may have predicted, when naming their three girls: Petal Blossom, Poppy Honey Rosie, and Daisy. Their son missed out on a floral title and was named Buddy Bear.
- From a bear to a teddy – with Robbie Williams’, and Ayda Field’s chosen name for their daughter being Teddy, which is short for Theodora.
- One of the old-school celebrity couples that went all out on unusual names was Bob Geldoff and the late Paula Yates naming their children Fifi Trixibelle, Pixie, and of course the eldest of the three daughters, who sadly died earlier this year (April 7), Peaches Geldof.
What are your thoughts on these names? Do you think celebrities feel like they have to be different? Do you have an unusual name and a story to share?