Your name has an impact on your life

People spend an overwhelming amount of time stressing over what to name their child. First names, middle names, possibly even last names are all analyzed and thoroughly thought over. The perfect name needs to be chosen. It’s our names that determine our future, right?  

   Names commonly reflect the culture and ideas of the time period. A lot of babies are named after famous celebrities and icons, like the wave of  over 500 girls that have been named Hermione since the first Harry Potter movie release in 2001, compared to previous years, which was zero.

   What impacts the names that we are given? If you hear a name, not having seen who belongs to it, you might have a stereotyped image in your head. People who read have an image of the characters in their heads, and when a movie comes out based on the book, the actor might not exactly represent their imagined fantasies.

   Some names have severe stereotypes. Some names are labeled as names exclusively for those who participate in sports. Others are more nerdy names. All names have connotations attached to them.

   Names determine what feelings and vibes are sent to the owner of the name. H. Edward Deluzain said, “A person’s name has an impact on the process of building a self-concept because the name helps determine the messages other people send the child. It has been well established through research that certain names are generally considered desirable in our culture and have positive feelings associated with them. It is also well established that other names are looked upon as being undesirable and carry negative associations. […] Because of this, people unconsciously, but nevertheless effectively, send positive and negative messages in keeping with positive and negative images.”

In some classes in school, there are many students who share the same name, and that is because names like Sarah and Luke are a more socially positive name to have, and they carry positive meanings. The name Sarah comes from the Bible, and in some translations it means Princess. Luke means ‘light- giving’, which is also a positive definition.

“Our Puritan ancestors certainly believed this,” said Deluzain. “They chose names for their children like […] Steadfast-on-high, and Obedience (Smith) in the hope that the children would learn from their names and grow up to be perfect examples of virtue.”

People are constantly drawing unconscious conclusions about others based on their names before they even meet them. Sometimes a person knew someone that hurt them, so automatically they have an unconscious dislike for anyone who shares that name. “Just because someone has a name corresponding with a person that hurt you that doesn’t mean that the someone is a bad person for having the same name as the person that hurt you,” said Sophomore Karlee Forsyth. “I think that sometimes the stereotypes are true and somethings they are completely wrong.”

All names will carry some sort of undertone and aura that will never entirely disappear. All the owners of the names can do is prove that they are more than the name that they were given and more than the stereotypes that they have to drag along with them.