Friday, March 20, 2009


Title Art to Come Later <--Must get home to the wife! :)

What's in a name? What is the significance of them these days? It is rare that I find a person who's name I think really FITS with who they are and what they look like.

So often I think of those names that carry so much baggage with them. Names like Bertha. When I think of Bertha I have a pretty clear picture of what kind of person to expect. If I meet them and they don't fit that classification it is odd and I am thrown off. I can't help but think of my imaginary Bertha and say the name in a deep voice. No disrespect intended to the great person that may have been given that name.

This got me thinking. Back in the day, when our ancestors first began using names to differentiate amongst themselves, names had meaning. They identified us as individuals. Now, you are looked down upon if you don't use a name that millions of other people use.

"You mean you're not going with John or William or Cindy?"

You could go a little celebrity crazy and use a verb or an inanimate object as a name.

"I would like to introduce my newborn daughter, Jump."

TANGENT: Anyone else noticed that taggers and celebrities have a lot in common? I may jot down a short blurb/blog someday about this if anyone is interested.

The way names used to be created in the old civilizations had something to it that I respect and feel like I miss a little.

"Son of Riley...Of Riley...O'Riley..."

Even the native Americans with their observations of the world at the time when the child is born. Though Prancing Mare would never hear the end of it from his buddies, the name held meaning.

These days we have so many different titles.

Our names. Sometimes we have 3 or 4 of them. Not including variations on pronunciation and spelling. Even still it isn't odd for us to find someone with exactly the same name, even if we have a really, "weird" one.

Our #'s. These numbers can and are used to identify is. Phone numbers, security numbers, addresses ID numbers. You name it, some company somewhere has a number for you.

Our job titles. A verbal representation of what we are responsible for. Though I'm sure many of you know that RARELY ever encompasses EVERYTHING you do. The way I see it, you usually do what your bosses title says he does but you get paid the equivalent of what your subordinate should be earning.

None of these identification tags though even combined can really define what you've accomplished and let alone who you are as a person to distinguish you from the billions of other people on this planet.

So what do I propose? A little of it all.

We use different names and languages combined to summarize what and who we are. Take a little of the old and mix it with the new.

Reinvent the middle name.

Say you have a man named Richard Ramirez who fathers a son named Daniel Marx Ramirez. Marx serves no purpose so it would be eradicated. The first and last would have to be left alone for a while. At least through a few transitional generations.

Daniel Ramirez becomes a father. The prefix "Pa" (as in pater) is added to his name. Let us assume he is married before having a child so he already has "Ma" (from maritus) in his name. College graduate? "Co" (as in colligo) is added.

Any major accomplishments the individual or his/her immediate family deems worthy of noting would be added or compressed into the middle designation. Whether it be educational or religious in nature. Perhaps even financial?

You want variety and individuality? This will give it to you. Latin is not the default tag. Any family group or culture would choose their heritages native language of origin to create and/or combine their family names.

"Son of" could also be applied using the direct first names or titles of the parents. This new naming convention would be so malleable it would define the title of convention. Sure it would make paperwork a nightmare for the first few decades but it would also make identity theft a tiny bit more difficult to maintain for a long period.

Most identity theft situations are discovered years of not decades later. Within that amount of time you would have probably already changed your title. By then, any sort of credit check requests would be flagged because someone would be trying to access or request it with an outdated name.

Not an ideal solution for that problem I know but I didn't intend it to be as such. That was just a fortunate, if temporary, side effect.

A name like Daniel Pamaco-Ri Ramirez (or Pahuma-Ri Father-Husband-Masters of Richard) might become common. Some may sound stupid like that example but others may sound nice. A mother and wife would have a prefix of Mowi which sounds very nice and motherly like Maui. :)

What would your name be?


Douglas said...

I'd rather we provide temporary names for our children until they are old enough to choose their own. My brother hated his nickname ("Sonny") so he changed it at age 11 to "Skip". Now he has returned to his given name of "Wilson". It took me many years, decades actually, to come to grips with my name. I would prefer we also return to single names and, if asked, "of the [whatever] clan".

HektikLyfe said...

It would be the ultimate intention to go to one singular name but the transition would be drastic and difficult. This is why I mentioned the first and last names would be left alone for the first few generations while society became acclimated to the variable name.

Once that middle title grows in significance the other two would be dropped off.

The "of the whatever clan" is essentially the spirit of the last name which we could incorporate, at least in part, into the singular modular name.

Even the region of residence could be added with the state or country acronym included if one were so inclined. Or the addition could be implied whenever referred to from out of state or country.

You would essentially be adding "Of America" to someone's name with the addition of "-us" in their description when speaking of them from another country. A slight inclusion of address when referring to people who live far away.

Douglas said...

Too many rules. Names, like language and desserts, should evolve on their own. The suggestions for naming conventions to further identify the person (by nation, region, city, family, etc) are good, though. The move to singular names may already be happening. Think about it. Here are some names, see if you can identify them:


Nana Net said...

LOL about the name Bertha. Of course no disrespect to whoever is named that! Still though like you said I can imagine the person named that!
As for names, well I never cared for my first name. But yet it appears to be a very popular one now! As to what it is....well "Emma" is it. Yeah, I know what ya are thinking. ROFL Still though I honestly never thought people would find it appealing in these days. But to each their own!
Take care and you and your wife enjoy the nice weather!

Marcy said...

I live among Native Americans. While their first names are "white," it's the last names that take a bit to get used to -- like Sam Medicine Bull (example).

I like my name for the most part because there aren't too many Marcy's around..

Vivienne said...

excellent post!
I always used to hate my name as when you pronounce it in Spanish - Viviana - it kinda sounds quite butch I find.
(Would've probably been much worse if my dad had gotten his way and called me Amparo!)
Kinda quite like it now as it's different and I don't know many people with my same name.

How about Mia Isabel (mine isabel?)

Toray Ines

This could go on for a while!

Apple Satsuma?

My friend just had a baby and called her Naima Malia - that's quite nice no?

jewlover2 said...

Interesting! I personally love the old fashioned names and feel that babies will ultimately grow into what they're given. I mean, you name a kid Bertha or Cecil, you are kinda asking for it, but there are lots of lovely Anglo and Latin based names that I just love. My kids are Johnson, Nathan and Victor...strong male names w/ lots of initiative behind them. They all fit their names well...and will continue to do so no matter what they become.