Popularity: a seven-year-old's perceptions

My daughter came home from first grade with a (finished) assignment that's right up my alley: "My name is ___. I like my name because ___."

With her help, I deciphered what she wrote as: "My name is Julianna. I like my name because [it's] long and lots of people have the same name. It has eight letters."

She has never actually met anyone with exactly the same name. She had a classmate Julia and a schoolmate Juliana (one 'n') in pre-K. Juliana is still a schoolmate but not a classmate, but there's a boy named Julian in her class this year. As the regulars around here know, she is descended from three generations of Julias, plus two Juliannas in the generation before that.

(I don't count Juliana as having the same name as my daughter because her family uses and enforces the /Julie-on-a/ pronunciation, whereas we use and prefer /Julie-an-a/, although I don't try to enforce it.)

All that to say: I really don't know where she got the idea that lots of people share her name. However, she seems to be quite happy with her (mis-?)perception, so I'm not going to quibble.

So, from this seven-year-old's perspective, a few facts about names:

- Long names are good; 8 letters is long

- It's good to have a name that lots of people have

- If they start the same way, they're basically the same name

Replies

1
September 7, 2017 5:43 PM

That's so fun! It puts an interesting light on our modern obsession with not giving kids a "common" name (whatever that means to individual parents).

Did you actually ask her who the "lots of people" are, or are you guessing?

On the question of length, perhaps she is thinking of it more in terms of number of syllables? Four syllables seems to be at the upper limit of what is common (I can think of lots of names with 1-4 syllables, but very few with 5+).

2
September 8, 2017 8:30 AM

I'm guessing about the "lots of people" -- even just getting her help to decipher her writing was a Big Chore, and I didn't want to make that big a deal out of it.

4
September 8, 2017 7:39 AM

I love it! After Alex started kindergarten last week, one of the teachers notified me that he is calling himself Alexander. I asked him why and he said it's because there's another Alex in one of the other classes and he doesn't want anyone to get confused. This is quite a change from two years ago, when he learned that his name was Alexander and not Alex and threw a massive tantrum. I asked him what he didn't like about it and he said, "The -zander part." 

5
September 8, 2017 3:30 PM

I wonder whether "lots of people have the same name" is her interpretation/translation of the multiple-generations thing.

7
September 23, 2017 6:53 PM

I just asked my 1, 3 & 6th graders this question and 1st grader said "I like my name because it's popular" and 3rd grader said "I don't know why I like my name...I guess because it has a lot of letters and lots of nicknames" so 6 & 8 year old boys seem to share her perceptions!

8
September 25, 2018 1:37 AM

I just love kamilla so much for a girl. My real name is india danielle. My mom had ppl tell her  not to name me it but she did. Always do what you want 

9
October 7, 2018 10:18 PM

My name is Avery, and I’ve always disliked it. It’s extremely common. I’ve met 7 other Avery’s (that blows my mind) an Averi, and an Averie. It’s also too unisex for my taste. 3 of the Avery’s ive met are male. In ’Charlotte’s Web’, Fern’s brother is named Avery. My cousin’s friend has a male cousin named Avery. Avery just is so common that it feels worn out. To try to help fix both issue, I go by my first & middle name, Avery Grace. No one calls me Avery-Grace. People have literally told me “With purple eyes like yours, you have enough wrong with you. You don’t need two names, stop being special.” People call me Satan because my eyes are violet. I want to change my name, but my dad wouldn’t even allow my grandfather to call me Grace.