Post # 1
I’ve noticed a few threads recently on naming kids ridiculous names just to be cute or different (Nevaeh, Donathan) and how it’s a bad idea and the name could cause them a lot of grief. But what do people think about naming a child an unusual name for cultural reasons? Like the name is part of their heritage. For those of you who have uncommon names that represent your culture, do you love it? Hate it? Found it difficult in substantial ways?
I ask this because S/O and I really want to name future LOs from his culture but we also don’t want to screw up their chances of getting jobs when they are adults. One solution we’ve talked about is giving them the unusual first name and a common middle name (ie UnusualEthnicName Jessica) so if they hated having an unusual name, they could just go by their middle-what about that idea?
Post # 3
This is 2013, not 1898. All the big companies have diversity policies and you’d be amazed at how many big name American companies have been sold to Chinese and Indian megacorps.
Ask yourself this-if a company were to discriminate against your kid 20 years into the future from today, where things have changed so radically, and it’s all because of the ethnic heritage of their name, would you REALLY even want them working there?
My parents, my sister and I have all kept our ethnic names-just because I’m American it doesn’t mean I am going to bow down and give up my cultural identity. I’m a JD/MBA and my sister is a physician. If someone made a comment about my ethnic name I’d tell them to GTFO of my corner office.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I think there is a difference between respecting one’s heritage and being off the wall different just for the sake of being different. I also like the idea of giving the kid options with their name by pairing something “different” with something more “traditional.”
Post # 5
Agree with PP. There is a difference between throwing some random letters into a name to be different and to have a cultural name. I say 100% cultural name. I actually got a job w/ my ethnic name, as an ex-employeer saw my Spanish last time and assumed I spoke it- I don’t, but I was able to impress them with other skills and landed a job with a significant pay increase (and yes I realize what they did was discrimination.)
Post # 6
@lovekiss: This 100%
There is a big difference in using a name from your heritage and naming your child a “normal” name backwards just to be unique.
Post # 7
I don’t think we’d give our kids cultural first names. It’d be easier to give them a common first name and unique middle name. That way if they wish, they can go by their middle name. I had a cultural name growing, it is hard as a kid but I loved my name and learned to accept it. I started using a common “American” after high school and go by that now, it’s much easier professionally.
I am Chinese, DH is half Japanese… I’d love to give our kids a Japanese middle name and Chinese nickname but they’ll probably have common first names. I find it is the people who grew up with “common” first names are the ones wanting unique names. Hardly I find anyone with a unique first name wishing to give their kids an unique name as they know how difficult it is growing up this way. But that has sort of changed with the trend of naming kids unique names.
Post # 8
This is something I think about a lot. If we eventually have a daughter, do we name her something like Chihiro, which would be strange for English speakers in the US, or do we name her something like Evangeline, which would be weird in Japan? Or do we limit ourselves to names like Erika and Hana, because they’re similar to English names, even though I don’t like them as much? I’m pretty sure any option could land us on some version of a “why would you give your child such a horrible name” thread somewhere.
Post # 9
Well I guess it’s not super weird but my brothers name is Carmen. We’re Italian and he’s named after my Nono (Carmine) becsuse of family tradition. As a boys name, the name Carmen is really unusual where we live. No one ever bugged him about it growing up, though. (Except excessively singing “where in the world is Carmen San Diego” haha).
The way I look at it is people grow into and ‘become’ their names. I can think of a lot of names that I thought were really strange/unusual when I first heard them, but after getting to know the person their name seems normal to me.
Post # 10
I think you should do what you want to do. I never buy that whole “they’ll have a hard time getting a job” line, The CEO of my last companys first name was Hoots. I’ve also had bosses named Manose, Loki, and Jennison.
There’s a local judge here named Jax.
People can like traditional names, and people can like unusual names. What’s unusual today might be normal in 10-20 years and traditional names are going to be tsked at. I’m sure the first Mabel caused an uproar.
I’ve done hiring and I can say I’ve hired all kinds of different names, I look at their resume not their dumb name.
And I think that whole arugment is really white-america anyway, what about all the native american names, AA names, Chinese names, Indian names, etc that are less common than Tom,Henry, and Johnny? They get hired too, they are CEOs, Bosses, Judges, Doctors, and successful also.
Okay I’m over it. Still, do what the two of YOU want.
Post # 11
@angela85: Completely agree!
Post # 12
DH has a very ethnic first and last name and I have a somewhat old-fashioned first name with an ethic (but easy) last name. We are planning to give our children “normal” Western/American names that are spelled in the most popular/accepted way. It gets really old, really fast having to repeat your name a dozen times and correct people on the spelling and pronunciation. In addition, kids are cruel and will find any excuse to make fun of someone. We may give them ethnic middle names since those aren’t used all that often. Despite what people say about it being a melting pot, people still judge you based on your name. DH’s name is Middle Eastern in origin and with the tension between the US and the Middle East, you can bet he has been insulted and discriminated against. He is very successful now, but getting started was a bumpy road because people automatically judged him based on the name on his resume.
Post # 13
I’m tired of expectant parents guarding their Baby Names like the recipe for Coca-Cola…there’s nothing new under the sun and if you actually stumble upon a name you’re pretty sure no one’s used before…think REALLY hard about how that name is going to work for your child throughout their life and what it says about them.
Post # 14
I think it depends. If you had asked me this a couple of years ago I’d say do it. Its 2013 for crap’s sake and if you have the credentials who cares what your name is? But I work with a girl named Shaniequa and she said that her named really hindered her career. Of course there is no concrete proof that her name is what prevented her from getting an interview, but she told me that as soon as she changed her resume to read Shan instead of Shaniequa the calls started rolling in.
Yes, its illegal to discriminate but it can also be difficult to prove that a specific, discriminatory reason is why they didn’t hire you.
Post # 15
Statistically, and sadly, it is names generally associated with African Americans and to a lesser degree hispanics that are most discriminated against. There have been a lot of studies to that effect. I would personally steer clear of those (pretty obvious) names just so that my child isn’t given an automatic step down in job and school competitiveness.
Post # 16
@PixelMePretty: Being names Jax, Hooter, etc (especially if one is a man, and not a woman), is very different than being named Yolanda or Nevaeh, or Shaneiqua, etc. Your evidence is anecdotal, not statistical. Studies (done within the last 5 years) have proved this over and over again.