Monday, June 13, 2011

What's in a name?

What is a name?

A name is a word or term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. A personal name identifies a specific unique and identifiable individual person, and may or may not include a middle name. The name of a specific entity is sometimes called a proper name (although that term has a philosophical meaning also) and is a proper noun. Other nouns are sometimes, more loosely, called names; an older term for them, now obsolete, is "general names".

The word "name" comes from Old English nama; akin to Old High German (OHG) and Sanskrit namo, Latin nomen, and Greek ὄνομα (onoma), possibly from the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE): *nomn

Given name or First name

A given name is a personal name that specifies and differentiates between members of a group of individuals, especially in a family, all of whose members usually share the same family name (surname). A given name is purposefully given, usually by a child's parents at or near birth, in contrast to an inherited one such as a family name. Given names are often used in a familiar and friendly manner in informal situations. In more formal situations the surname is used instead, unless it is necessary to distinguish between people with the same surname.

Surname or Last name

A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name; the family-name meaning of "surname" first appeared in the west in 1375.Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name". In most Western countries, it is commonly called "last name", with the notable exception of Hungary, where, just like in Japan, Sri Lanka and in many other East Asian countries, the family name is placed before a person's given name

Names for names

Body of water- Hydronym
Ethnic group-Ethnonym
Item named after a person-Eponym
False name- pseudonym

There are many types of names , but I would like to talk about Human names for themselves.

So who was the first to have a name?

Well most people would answer Adam, it depends on who you ask now days. That would make Eve the first female name.Some say it is Gilgamesh from the epic of Gilgamesh, a giant from Mesopotamia. It is uncertain what the first name was most likely due to the fact that it was in oral traditions and not written. I believe it is Adam, so that's what I am going with today.

Why have a name?

People use names to call out someone specific. We have names to hold records of our deeds good and bad. Some people use it to show commitment to a person as in marriage. Religion plays a part in names quite a bit. To show ethnicity is another reason we have names, we like to show our heritage and places we are from and still live today.  We name our children to show our likeness through the child by giving them a name they can be proud of, but sometimes this is not the case. Many people change change their name they are given. It is also used to show gender from a distance, example people will assume Jennifer is a female on a resume. 

Is it illegal to have no name at all?

In the United States, going without a name is not inherently illegal. Police won't arrest you for not having a name. But you can't legally identify yourself without one, which would make things difficult for you. For instance, you need a legal name on a birth certificate or social security card to obtain a driver's license or passport, open a bank account and get a job.

This is not the same for children...

In the United States, no matter where a woman gives birth, she is legally obligated at some point to report it to the appropriate government entity, usually a department of health and human services or vital records. That entails filling out a first and last name for the child. How long the mother has to fill out that birth certificate varies by state. The law does not necessarily require them to complete that information at the time of birth. In fact, the parents of U.S. Olympic gold medalist skier Picabo Street didn't name her at all. She simply chose it herself when she was 3 years old, having been called Baby Girl until then. Although naming customs for babies differ across the world, all countries have some sort of vital records collection, whether centrally or locally controlled. In fact, Article 7 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child states that all children have a "right from birth to a name" .

Can I name my kid whatever I want?

 New Zealand government revoked Pat and Sheena Watson's name selection for their son. The offender? 4Real. Like the United States, Australia does not allow the presence of numerals in legal names. German parents must follow stricter standards enforced by the local registration office, called the Standesamt. They must select a moniker that reflects the baby's sex and will not incite ridicule for the child. In Zambia, boys and girls are expected to change their names at puberty and may go through several names during their lives. I went to school with a girl who had to have an American last name even though she was Native American, her mother had to give her a surname. Thus Native Americans having very common last names or surnames that resemble a first name or very popular surname at the time. The number one surname for Native Americans today is Smith.

So does a Crazy name affect my child later on in life?

In spite of customs and regulations, research has shown that baby's names do not dramatically affect their success as adults. Instead, according to a study published in the book "Freakonomics," name choices reflect more on the parents than on the children . For example, in the U.S., Misty and Joey correlated to parents with lower education levels while Dov and Lucienne came from more educated groups. Likewise, a socially undesirable name does not foreshadow a lackluster future for the person.
Nevertheless, for the three babies reportedly named ESPN after the sports television

In reality many people are prejudice of names. Resumes will get thrown in the trash for having heavily ethnic names. It is really sad and is not fair, but it happens all the time. People will judge the type of person and decisions that person makes by their name.  Historically, individuals possessing a Hispanic sounding surname could subject them to different treatment and more recently, after 9/11, having a middle-eastern sounding name can raise an eyebrow.  But a recent study out of the University of Florida demonstrated that black students with certain exotic sounding names are often overlooked by gifted school programs because of their names. Whether this is an issue of racial prejudice or socio-economic class bias, the actual impacts of this cultural phenomenon as stated in the research are very real.  David Figlio went on to say, "Such boys and girls suffer in terms of the quality of attention and instruction they get in the classroom because teachers expect less from children with names that sound like they were given by parents with lower education levels, and these lower expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy." Is it right , absolutely not, but it has been going on since Biblical times. For example, The prayer of Jabez states " that I may not cause pain" his name means pain and he was associated with it. Moses' name means plucked form the river, and later on in his life he parted a sea, not exactly prejudice for Moses but some people believe in a destiny shaped by a name. People judging you before they know you in life can certainly shape your life , as in a job you miss or someone you might have otherwise fell in love with one day. In the Book of Proverbs, 22:1, it states that “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.” What does this mean? Many biblical names have both literal and spiritual meanings, and for many parents, a biblical baby name is believed to bestow the spiritual gifts on a baby, for their entire life.

Can my name shape my destiny?  

Since ancient times, people have believed that your name can shape your destiny. But can it? And if so, can knowing the hidden power of a name help parents pick a “better” name for their baby?
Several distinct schools of thought hold strong beliefs about the significance, and power, behind your name. There is the “psychological” camp, the “religious/spiritual” camp, the “sound” camp, and the “mystical” camp. All four overlap in many ways, but there are real differences between them.
The psychological school, which has some interesting research to back up its claims, holds that your name subtly influences how people see you, and this affects how they treat you. In turn, this influences your self-image and self-esteem, starting as a small child. In its simplest form, a child with a “weird’ name, such as Elmer, may be continuously teased in school, and this will hurt Elmer’s self-image and future development. By contrast, “Alexander,” named after the great emperor, may be empowered by his name, because other people unconsciously respond to him with a certain level of respect.
 Robert Needlman, MD, has written an interesting discussion of this psychological approach. The research implies that boys with unusual first names tend to display more emotional disturbances than boys with more traditional names. But, as Dr. Needlman points out, it is important not to overstate the case. Are the boys in question more troubled because of their names, or because of the parental support structure which gave them strange names in the first place? Nonetheless, there are many instances where “desirable” names are shown to lead to greater success. A recent report from the School of Business at Arizona State University shows that the names of top CEOs in Phoenix come from a disproportionately small group of  names, implying that certain names are more likely to lead to greater success. The three most successful names in the study group were Robert, John, and Steve. The big question, of course, is why?

Is having a popular name bad?

First, the advantages of having a common name. In the Internet age, we can, for the first time, be "Googled." That is to say, that other people, including potential employers, can simply type your name into a search engine and potential he find information about us. Of course the information they find could be good, but it could be embarrassing to. For example, you really want a future employer to see the blog posts in which you discuss how much you hate working? Or what about the picture someone posts on Facebook that makes you look drunk? All of these risks are diminished if you have a common name. Just try searching online for a person named John Smith. Good luck finding the exact individual you are looking for. People with very common names are insulated from the risks of being found online. Basically, a common name makes you anonymous in today's tech world. That anonymity can be valuable. But of course it also has its downside. People with common names, while difficult to find, are also easily confused with others. It might be difficult for a potential employer to find you with a search engine. But it is possible for them to find someone else and think that it is you. That type of mistake would be okay if the person sharing your name or Nobel laureates, but not okay if he or she were a convicted felon. 

An author with a common name writes this:

A while back, when crossing an international border, I had a

bizarre experience due to my common name. I was trying to reenter the United States by car. At the border a federal agent swept my passport and then asked me to step out of my vehicle. He had me put my hands in the air, and when I turned around I saw that there were numerous security agents with guns pointed at me. After spending some time handcuffed in a cell, I learned that I had been confused with another person of the same name who robbed a bank recently. "It's a common name," they explained. Although the mistake was obviously rectified, all of this happened in front of my family, and was traumatic for us all.- Tapscott ( pen name)

Random Fact:

The use of personal names is not unique to humans.
Dolphins also use symbolic names, as has been shown by recent research. Individual dolphins have individual whistles, to which they will respond even when there is no other information to clarify which dolphin is being referred to at the moment.

name as destiny
common_name, tapscott
name prejudice
Native surnames

So do you hate your name or love it?  Pro and cons?

Random bookmark:
one-loom-mitten knitting

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