Social Question

Sunny2's avatar

Has the name you were given at birth been an asset or a detriment?

Asked by Sunny2 (18758points) August 7th, 2012

Some names are difficult to live with. I think the well known Ima Hogg of Louisiana (I think), for instance must have found her name an embarrassment. How did yours work out for you?

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52 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I have been neutral about mine but would have preferred Abigail for the extra two syllables. “Gail” sounds harsh to me.

Sunny2's avatar

Then you’d probably be called Abby. Would you like that?

gailcalled's avatar

I would have been fine. However, there are many people who keep their names and avoid nicknames by being firm.

In my family, Benjamin, David, Daniel, Donald, Susan, Alison, Leslie, Peter and John have managed (for the most part).

jca's avatar

Mine, I think, is an asset because it’s not that common, so I like having an uncommon name. I like being able to call someone, work related, and just say my first name without having to say my last name. I like that I am usually the only person that people know that have my name. However, my first name is becoming more popular, and is moving up on the popularity list (Social Security). I am going to check it now and see how it’s trended.

athenasgriffin's avatar

My mother was kind enough to put a lot of thought into my name, and it has quite a nice ring to it, first and last together. She thought about it because her mother gave her a name that does not suit her and sounded a bit childish, due to the alliteration. She always felt like it was a detriment to her in job searches, because it did not sound like the name of a distinguished person, and was happy to change her last name through marriage.

I personally like my name so much that I highly doubt I will be changing it when I get married.

zenvelo's avatar

I think my name has been neutral as far as affecting my life. I use both Pete and Peter, it depends on whether it is used in conjunction with my last name. My last name starts with “Ar-” so if my last name is used I use Pete, but everyone that only calls me by my first name uses Peter.

gailcalled's avatar

^^M step-son formerly known as Peter has changed his name to Max. Those of us who have known him for 48 years call him Peter Max.

DominicX's avatar

“Dominic” is a name that a lot of people seem to like. It’s purely masculine, unlike many guys’ names nowadays, plus its resemblance to “dominate” makes it sound powerful, at least in my opinion :)

gailcalled's avatar

@DominicX: Domenica is a common name for a woman, not to detract from Dominic. Does anyone call you Dom?

DominicX's avatar

Yeah, they do. I mostly prefer to be called by “Dominic”, but my parents and some close friends will sometimes call me “Dom”.

marinelife's avatar

Neither of my parents wanted o name what they did. They chose my name as a compromise. I never liked it. I legally changed it when I was an adult. I am so much happier.

ucme's avatar

Neither really, it’s just a name. Although I was named after my dad, which wasn’t without it’s foibles.

harple's avatar

My name is considered a little old fashioned over here (though interestingly not so in the US) so it gives slight connotations that I’m a fuddy-duddy. People who get to know me learn I’m far from it!

El_Cadejo's avatar

Helped a lot. I have a really unique name and I think that helped shape me into the person I am today.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I guess I’m with those who feel their name has been a neutral one. It doesn’t seem like it’s been either an asset, or a detriment, just my name.

@gailcalled I’m sorry, but you can’t have my name!

JLeslie's avatar

I think my name is an asset. My first name is a very popular name, especially when I was young. I always knew other girls with my same first name and I never thought much about it, and as an adult I like it. I like being one of the many in that way, feel connected to them, even though it isn’t really a meaningful connection of any sort. When I meet older people they almost always say, “oh, that will be easy, that is my daughter’s/neices/granddaughter’s name.

My maiden last name is extremely uncommon, and I liked that too. People find me when they look for me, because there are so few with my last name. Especially now with facebook, there is one other girl with my first and last name, and that is probably in the world. She happens to live in Chicago. My maiden name is a little tricky to spell and pronounce for most people at first, which never bothered me. I don’t mind if they say it incorrectly, or ask me where it is from, etc. I dropped my maiden name when I married, but I still use it in facebook and when I get in touch with people from the past.

flutherother's avatar

My first name is simple and ordinary and I like it. It is my grandfather’s name. My surname is an unusual one and I like it even better because it is rare. No one has ever spelled it correctly, though the spelling is not difficult.

AshLeigh's avatar

I’ve been called many things, but none of them really bothered me. Trashley, is a common one.
People have switched my last name around a lot.
Pin me in the grass.
Pound her ass.
Things along those lines. It amuses me, mainly. I like my name. I don’t know anyone else with a hyphen in their first name. Ash-Leigh, FTW!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Trashley Poundherass? Ouch.

If it’s makes you feel any better, I’ve gotten Crabby (But I admit to this, duh!), Crabby (NOT meaning “grouchy”), Flabby, Gabby, Nappy (because of my curly hair), and Scabby.

My maiden last name used to get a lot of jokes also, but mainly because it was very German, and very hard to pronounce. A drill sergeant took one look at the name when my uncle joined the army and said, “Hell, I ain’t even tryin’ that one. I’ll just call you Boggenheimer.” And so, my uncle was Larry Boggenheimer for the rest of his army days. :D

downtide's avatar

My original name was a boring, run-of-the-mill kind of name. It would have been fine, if I’d been happy to be a girl.

Bellatrix's avatar

I like my name. It is often shortened and this is especially true in Australia where all names seem to be shortened or they add an O on the end (Jonno, Stevo). When I was a child my father was adamant nobody should shorten my name. If a friend telephoned me and asked for me using the shortened version he would say “her name is xxx”. He even did this to a senior member of my school’s teaching staff. Very embarrassing then but I understand his point now.

I prefer my full name to be used on official or work related documents. I don’t mind if people call me by the shortened version if they know me and we are having a general conversation but I would prefer to be introduced by my full name. Rarely happens. People have even been known to say “who is that?’ when they look at my initials on a document because they don’t recognise that my real name is not the shortened version. It does irritate me a bit.

AshLeigh's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I don’t see the big deal with people making fun of my name. My last name is freaking awesome. Haha. It just makes me laugh, but I guess I’m not insecure about my name.

stardust's avatar

When I was a kid, “ah ha, roots from the ground” taunts from other kids made me dislike my name for a while.
I love my name now. I’m Ruthie to close friends and family, Ruth to everyone else.

Berserker's avatar

@DominicX In French speaking places, Dominic has a female equivalent; Dominique. This may apply to English places too, not entirely sure.

I’m pretty neutral about my name, it’s fairly normal. Never got me a high paying job, but it never landed me in some badass Mexican prison, either haha. The worse I get is people calling me ’‘gazelle’’, or English folk who think it’s funny to call me ’‘jizz’’. There’s one person who always says that, but from them I don’t mind. Pisses me off from everyone else though. XD

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Giselle? I love that name.

Berserker's avatar

I’m missing an L and have a lame accent on the first E; Gisèle.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline Your name is beautiful. I love it.

Bellatrix's avatar

You do have a beautiful name @Symbeline, regardless of accents or missing ls.

gailcalled's avatar

Oh, le célébré accent lamé?

augustlan's avatar

@Symbeline I love your name, too.

I’m Lisa, which was the most popular girls name the year I was born. Unlike @JLeslie, I hated being one of many, and really wished for a less common, more exotic name. I don’t mind it now, though. It’s a neutral name, so I don’t think it’s harmed or helped me in any way.

Berserker's avatar

@gailcalled Le satané accent que je n’aime pas, plutôt. XD

@augustlan @gailcalled @Bellatrix @Adirondackwannabe Thanks yall. :) I really wish I was named Gabrielle instead, though haha.

gailcalled's avatar

Vous êtes enragé à cause d’un accent? Quelle vie ennuyeuse.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan When I was younger I did care about having my own style, and being unique in other ways, but my name was different. Kind of odd when I think about it.

Berserker's avatar

Je suis née enragée, c’est pas ma faute haha.

gailcalled's avatar

C’est toujours ta faute.

gailcalled's avatar

I forgot that étre needs agreement.

Tu es enragée? That is correct?

Linda_Owl's avatar

Well, when I was a very skinny teenager I had the same name as a very voluptuous movie star & I used to get quite a lot of teasing about it – even the (male) teachers would make remarks about it.

Gabby101's avatar

I legally changed my name so, there’s my answer!

If you read the obits, you will see a ton of nice ladies with my previous first name AND people always mistook it for another horrible first name, so it was a loser any way you looked at it. Ever since I was about five, my name made me feel uncomfortable. I used to tell people my name was “Wanda” – uggh!

Berserker's avatar

@gailcalled Unless you’re making an accusation or a statement, it needs agreement or confirmation indeed. Or so I believe, French is a lot more complicated than English, and neither were ever my best subjects, haha. You’re the one who’s supposed to enlighten me about this, here. :p Et je ne suis pas enragée avec l’accent, je ne fait que dire des conneries lol

Bellatrix's avatar

It is interesting how some very old fashioned names are coming back into fashion. I met a Daphne the other day (no offence to our Daphne intended but this was a very young woman and the first I have met in her age group). Bruce Willlis just called his baby Mabel too.

gailcalled's avatar

^^I have a barely-new beautiful little niece named Vivian.

Bellatrix's avatar

Vivian is such a pretty name. I like it. I know a Vivienne and she insists on people using her full name.

gailcalled's avatar

I have also three little grand-nephews named Milo (mine came first), Julian and Leo.

Supacase's avatar

These threads make me insanely curious to know all of your names!

Mine is ok. It is a nickname for a couple of lovely traditional names. I would have preferred the ‘real’ name with the option of a nickname.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey, I’m Bob. Robert if you want.

Bellatrix's avatar


Yeah @Nullo… Elizabeth! I’m a nice Elizabeth though…really!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m Abby, but a few people here still call me Nina, which was the name I used on another Q&A site that crashed and burned. So Abby or Nina, whichever you prefer, LOL.

Berserker's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I loooove the name Nina. :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I considered legally changing my name to Nina, but too many people got upset over it, LOL.

snapdragon24's avatar

I was Gabrielle for the first four days of my existence and then it was changed to Sharon. I love the sound of my name in French… and is a name with alot of significance…but I’d say its a pretty common name. I also have countless nicknames… Shaza, Sha Sha, Sherry, Ronny, Sharbear, shakaking, Shakakon etc etc. I like it :)

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