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Jeruba's avatar

Have you ever been prejudiced against something (or someone) entirely because of its/their name?

Asked by Jeruba (47743points) February 17th, 2018

When I was a kid, I wouldn’t have anything to do with mushrooms. I figured that if they were any good, they wouldn’t have a name like that.

My mother never tried calling them something else, which might have worked. Instead she tried to reason with me: “How do you know you don’t like them if you’ve never tried them?” Ha. Couldn’t catch me that way.

I’m not a whole lot better as an adult (although I do love mushrooms). There are books I won’t read because I don’t like the author’s name or the name of a main character. It’s not as if I were going to run out of reading matter without them.

For years I wouldn’t shop at Smart & Final because I thought the store name was so dumb. Then, to my surprise, I found out it was named for Mr. Smart and Mr. Final, and after that it was all right to go there.

These seem like harmless prejudices to me. I don’t mind indulging a few of those where it doesn’t hurt anyone. I just usually don’t mention them out loud.

Anything like that in your scheme of things?


Tags as I wrote them: names, labels, nomenclature, prejudices, words.

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22 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I did not like to try the poo pu plater.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I see an article about a house burning down with several children killed, I always suspect they are black.

ragingloli's avatar

“I always suspect they are black.” It is called “charring”. Fire tends to have that effect.

I distrust anyone named “Adolf”.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I never wanted Arby’s. Their fast food slogan “WE HAVE THE MEATS” grosses me out. Not sure why….

Zaku's avatar

Yes. I swore to never give money to DirecTV when I saw that terrible name. How Direc is the TV? Or is it DirecT V? Did they think I wouldn’t notice? That I’d see that and just think “clever!” or “yep, I don’t think that’s stupid, or I do, but I’ll just say nothing and give them money?” Nope.

@SergeantQueen You know it’s a pun anagram name, too? R.B.s – roast beef sandwiches. I tried eating some of their food once, despite the frighteningly off customers I saw, and it was sickening – not like any roast beef I’d encountered before.

filmfann's avatar

I avoided the movie True Romance for years, because I thought it would be a gushy romance movie. When I did finally see it, I really enjoyed it.

Soubresaut's avatar

Artichokes. I didn’t even know what they were. I was just young, and had heard the name used by adults to describe “adult” food. Based entirely on the name, I mentally grouped artichokes with other horseradish (which took the spicy “villain” role in a funny story I grew up hearing, so I disliked as well solely based on name), and okra (which will forever be associated with slime and goop for me, thanks to vivid descriptions of poorly cooked okra seared into my mind… My mind has also associated a distinctive and off-putting smell with the word).

Well, the first time I had artichoke was also the first time I saw it. And the first time I found out how it was eaten—decadently leaf by leaf, dipped into butter. It quickly and easily became a favorite of mine.

I’ve since made my peace with horseradish (though I do prefer peppers-based spiciness to horseradish-based).

I’ve never eaten okra, and I doubt I ever will.

Soubresaut's avatar

I mean, I’ve heard that gumbo’s supposed to be good, but I’m going to have to take people’s word for it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

The very first Cindy I ever knew was a bitch. She was’t pretty. She was less than average intellectually. She was bossy, evil, and she squinted when she was being mean. It made her downright ugly.
I tried not to hold the name against the next Cindy I met, but she was a stuck up, rotten piece of work too. After her, I gave up on Cindys. I never met one to change my mind.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I too have this odd aversion of/to? Arby’s. I’ve never been in one or eaten anything from an Arby’s (that I’m aware of). But for me it’s the perfect example of what I think Jeruba’s getting at— behavior that you know is irrational. Before they tore the building down, our monthly poker game was in this great office on Clay st in the financial district. The office was on the 2nd floor one flight above a golf equipment srore and an Arby’s restaurant, the only one I ever saw in this town. So I would be confronted with my irrationality on a monthly basis, but usually late arriving (traffic and parking) and thus equipped with a rational excuse to avoid confronting the issue. Anyway that great old building was destroyed in order to erect a pile of tacky ugly overpriced condos. Here’s a good one. In the process of excavating the foundation, a complete sailing ship was unearthed, proving that the bay was formerly at least half a mile inland of its current limit. It required better than a year to carefully remove the ship, and the city acquired a year reprieve on at least one ugly building.

cookieman's avatar

@Patty_Melt: I’ve had a similar experience with people named “Donna”. They’ve all been selfish, pushy, and mean. I finally met a Donna who seemed nice (a nurse no less) and I thought, “I bet she’s a nightmare if I got to know her.”

This is terrible of me, and more on names, but anyone with an overtly Southern US name gets the eyebrow from me. Folks named “Jethro” or “Billy Bob” I can’t help but assume are idiots.

Bobby Joe

imrainmaker's avatar

There have been some names associated with me in one way or another but I don’t like to speculate how a person would be on his / her name. After all it wasn’t their choice in the first place!! I like to deal with people based on their behavior.

janbb's avatar

Doogie Howser

Kardamom's avatar

Chick Fil a. Sounds like they are killing women.

I could never bring myself to order the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity pancakes at Denny’s. I don’t like to draw attention by saying something ridiculous like that in public.

I’m with you on the mushrooms. I refused to eat them when I was a kid, because they sounded mushy. Thank goodness I got over that problem in my early 20’s, because schrooms are wonderful.

I used to avoid chickpeas when I was a kid, for similar reasons, although calling them garbanzo beans didn’t help. Sounds like something a clown would eat to make him silly.

Why did they come up with the term “blue tooth”? That sounds like rotten, dead teeth.

Trump, sounds like rump.

Zaku's avatar

Oh, well maybe my DirecTV example wasn’t great because it’s a rational reason to boycott them. ;-)

@janbb @Kardamom I totally agree and share the aversion to Doogie Howser, Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity, and blue tooth, though those too seem to me like rational and/or moral arguments against them. ;-)

An example of an irrational aversion: I remember back in school, a few friends and I started to (jokingly) suspect that there was just something off about people named Jeff (or especially Geoff) because of a few examples we knew. Of course it didn’t pan out over time.

Aethelwine's avatar

I like this question @Jeruba. I do have a few and they are very silly.

Costco. I can’t really explain why. I have no desire or need to shop in bulk. I think they could have chosen a better name. Costco sounds so dull, like a warehouse. They could have made it sound a bit more inviting.

Trader Joes. I’ve never been to a Trader Joes but it sounds like a coffee shop to me. Not that I have an aversion to coffee shops, but I like my coffee black with no frills. I can grab a good cup of coffee to go at my local gas station. I know they are grocery but my mind goes to coffee when i hear the name.

Speaking of coffee. Starbucks. Stupid name and another place I have no desire to visit. My local gas station is a winner again.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Oreo sounds like the winged monkey chant in Wizard Of Oz. Maybe that’s why I don’t eat them.

RocketGuy's avatar

“Boiled kidney” and “beef intestine” as food. That’s where the toilet waste comes from.

(Credit Chinese restaurant menu makers to be so literal.)

And while we are at it: “Rocky Mountain Oysters” ...

Mariah's avatar

I refused to eat mushrooms until I was practically a legal adult because they were “fungus” and I couldn’t get over that.

I refused to eat squash as a child because of its name.

Glad I got over those hangups….I love so many foods now that I refused to eat when I was a child.

imrainmaker's avatar

^i don’t like and eat mushrooms…no prejudice here i must say..)

Mariah's avatar

^Haha nothing wrong with that, not liking the taste is a rational reason not to eat something – the name, not so much!

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