People I Want to Punch in the Throat: People Who Do Studies About the Meanings of Kids' Names

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People Who Do Studies About the Meanings of Kids' Names


Today, this story caught my eye.  Kids with A and B names are better students than the rest of us.

My top of the class brother's name starts with A so I immediately started blaming my name for my lack of math skills.  Of course I've been average my entire life, I didn't have a chance!  I was doomed from the moment I was name Jenni.  Half-assed J - there you sit, right near the middle of the alphabet.  Damn my parents for not thinking harder about my name!  Imagine what I could have done if they'd just named me A.  No name, just the letter!  I could have been President or I could have cured cancer or something like that.  Instead, I'm just average Jenni.  Just living my average life because of my stupid name.  Don't try and convince me that it's not my name that makes me average.  I know what you'll say:  Jen, just look at your idol, Tina Fey.  Tina is a T name and she is above average.  That just shows what you know.  If you were a real fan like me, you'd know that Tina's real name is Elizabeth.  The fifth letter of the alphabet.  Pretty darn close to "A".



My brother, of course, is a high powered attorney living a jet-set lifestyle on the other side of the pond where he shops for fancy shoes like these for all of his upcoming formal events he's always being invited to.  (I haven't been to a formal event since Prom 1990.)

But instead of staying mad at my parents and their lack of originality (Jennifer was a top 5 girls' name for 20 years - way to think outside the box, folks), I decided to be mad at the people who conduct these asinine studies.

As parents, we've already got so much pressure on us not to screw up these little people and it all starts with the name we give them.  We think long and hard about what we're going to call these little wrinkled blobs (that all look alike to me).  How can we set our little wrinkled blob apart from the others in the nursery?  With a name.  The perfect name.

We've pored through the books and fought with our spouse for this one moment.  We've got our list and it was pretty hard to come up with.  Oh sure, there are some easy ones to avoid:  Adolf, Kathie Lee, Osama, Barney.  But, then you venture into odd ones like:  Fern, Winifred, Barry, and Fraser.  Are those strong and unusual names ripe for revival?  Will those names make the blob unique and help he/she to stand out from the sea of Aidens and Avas?

Will Humphrey be a successful businessman or will Alexander take the promotion because he's got an "A" name? What about Agnes?  She's got an A name, so she should be good in school, right?  But is Agnes a successful name?  Or a lucky name?  Arrgggghhhh!

Who is paying for these studies?  Who reads them (besides me)?  Do they mean anything?  Probably not...right??  Are we sure they don't??

All I know is my blob naming days are behind me and I'm glad that's over.  I named one kid an unpopular Old Testament name and the other one a family name that seems to remind most people of their dead dogs.  My kids are screwed.  What do you expect from a J name??

I'm going to say these studies are for entertainment only and have no scientific value.  I can't buy into this crap and start renaming my kids now!  Sure, my brother was a better student than I was, but it has nothing to do with his name starting with A.  I'm positive it's because he was tall and we all know tall people are more successful in life.

24 comments:

Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage said...

My mother actually did rename my brother when he was little because she read a similar study back in the 80s. Her experiment must've worked because my brother is very successful and quite wealthy, while I, at the end of the alphabet, have an unforgettable name and an empty pocket book. My own children's names are from family, but I didn't feel any pressure to "choose wisely" except to make the names relatively easy to spell. I did briefly consider naming them all Darryl, though.

Haven said...

Ugh. People that buy into this crap are looking for any excuse as to why their kids don't compete with the Jones'. Fail. I am an "A" named kid and yes, I'm quite successful. My brother however, is a boring bible named "M" kid. Smack in the alphabet middle. Does he fall below me on the success ladder? Well... he was the national champion in almost every sport he competed in. Went to Georgia Tech on scholarship. Is a Civil Engineer currently completing his M.B.A with a side job as a successful realty investor. So, I'm gonna go with horseshit on that one. Good parenting coupled with a motivated child are what's going to equal success. Because really, there's not much in a name.

Karen said...

So funny! I've often wondered why some people don't just name their kid "kickmyass" and get it over with. Because some names just beg for a good ass kicking.

Kim said...

I named one kid after a Monkees' song (Valerie) and the other after a favorite character on "LA Law" (Kelsey). Bwahahahahaha! My kids didn't have a chance!

Hilary said...

My name is always misspelled, so I thought about that when I chose names for my kids. In the end, my oldest got the easiest name to spell. My middle child goes by her middle name instead of her first name. My baby goes by the bajillion nicknames she acquired in the two short months she's been with us! Their names suit them, we've been happy with them and there's no chance there will be repeats in grade school where my kids are relegated to using their last initial as an identifier.
Sidenote: When our girls play dress-up, they rename themselves Crystal. The both of them -- Crystal.

kathy said...

Birth order and now alphabet order and what about astrological and numerology and then also some "scientific" study that hit the news couple weeks ago specific for boys is Jan to may birth as apposed to Sept to Dec. Apparently boys are screwed if not born first third of the year.more successful better at sports blah blah blah....some parents actually hold back their late year births a year before enrolling in kindergarten..
My poor g'son is screwed his name starts with an "X" and his b'day is end of November and he's only 3

hip-hopopotamus said...

My kids are screwed - both are Z names. My husband is a Z name, too, we thought we'd be annoyingly cute that way - yep, that deserves a throat punch.

I am not too worried about it. My husband's brother's name begins with an E. According to the study, my BIL should be more successful and my husband should be living in a gutter somewhere. But BIL is 40 and lives with his mom.

Siobhan said...

There was a "freakanomics" study about names and how they affect a child's success etc... but at the end they were like yeah, you can name a kid "Winner" and they will still suck if they don't have the right parenting/ environment, and you can name a kid "Loser" and they can be tops in everything. Though I can't imagine a President Loser Jones.

lovetoread600 said...

Hilarious!! And so true. Our neighbors named their kid "Surf". Made even more ridiculous by the fact that we live in CO! Their younger one is named "Scout". I had one too many drinks one night and blurted out that my dad calls them "Surf and Turf" because he never can remember the younger one's name. When will I ever learn...

Ali said...

I have an A name. i'm not "successful". that's probably more because i'm lazy, and less because of my name. i'm successful at being lazy though, so that has to count for something. but, honestly - what did my parents expect? my dad liked the way Elvis Costello said "AAAAAAAAAAlison", which is a song about the kind of girl you're supposed to raise your daughter NOT to be. thanks, dad. really. oh, and you're welcome for having that song stuck in your head now.

Lisa said...

But Tina Fey's real name is Elizabeth - this throws your entire theory into a tailspin...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tina_Fey

Tiffany said...

Score one for me! I picked an A name for my little peanut. Alexandria! Double score because her middle name is Anne! ANOTHER A. Lol. She goes by Ally tho. Oh, wait! ANOTHER A. Lol

neal said...

The Freakonomics portion on child names and success was really interesting, and it gets into some of the complexity of racial and class stereotyping. Definitely thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

I knew my brother was the favorite… the first born, the boy to carry on the name, has an A name… while I am much lower on the alphabet. At least my kids, A and C, beat his kids, who are L and I.

Meredith said...

Go you for going with Gomer and Adolpha for the blog--wise choice and you've got it cornered on the unique factor ;)

Anonymous said...

We thought briefly about naming our daughter after that song. It was slightly ahead of Veronica, but that would have made her Veronica Vaughan. We named her Lucie instead.

Kathi G. said...

What will they come up with next? Maybe I should be a little worried...one of my sons shares his name with the little boy in The Omen...but his middle name is the same as an archangel...wonder if that balances out...hmmm ;)

Truthfully, in my family (and hubby's as well), the most successful ones have names that are in the middle of the alphabet. I don't know how many were part of this study but it couldn't have been a very large number.

Kristel said...

please tell me you were kidding about the shoes!

Allison said...

Totally off topic... I am all for ads and Mama making money. But really an ad for FilipinoCupid.com with pics of really hot really young looking girls??? Maybe if it was an ad promising secrets on how to look like those girls then yes target market achieved!

Kim at Let Me Start By Saying said...

This is good. I'm right after you in the alphabet with K, but I'm tall...so it all evens out to something closer to an E/F...right??

Anonymous said...

My kids are Riley and Memphis... and Riley is very smart and Memphis is as well. My sister and I are both A names... Hers Au... Mine Ap... and she is the star of the family while I am just kinda skidding on by... her daughter is a T name and she is extremely smart... So NO there is nothing in a name.

Leslie said...

Does your brother really have those shoes? Cause they're awful. My boys names are W and Z. Apparently, they're screwed.

Mrs. Yoy said...

My husband and I battled over our kids' names. It was UGLY. And now, I've said them so many times (usually while yelling) that what I once thought was the most wonderful, beautiful name ever, ellicits no gut response from me.

Truthfully, I should have named them both Damien and been done with it.

Cabin77 said...

Ahhh. Names. My name is Milaka. My dad took it from a freaky, LSD-inspired vampire flick from the 60s. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-yGTLJwZ28 Fast forward to 3:25 to hear the pronunciation.) However, the way it's pronounced is shockingly similar to the way you pronounce a very derogatory term in Greek. Yay. So all my life I've been asked, "Do you know what your name means in Greek?" The next person who asks me that will get a punch in the throat.