Twitter Reveals That All Kids Hate Their Names
The substitute teachers who mangle the pronunciation. The oh-so-obvious bit of wordplay you hear over and over. The last initial that seems glued to your too-popular first name. Do any of these name indignities sound familiar? Thanks to a trending Twitter tag, we now know they're part of growing up with a name -- any name.
The topic #growingupwithmyname has brought out a flood of reminiscences, most of them painful. Anyone with a super-popular name can relate to childhood experiences like these:
Everyday in class someone would say Jennifer and 4 of us would answer. #GrowingUpWithMyName
— RoseyJen (@6CentsRose) July 19, 2015
My name is so popular that i knew another girl with my first AND last name #GrowingUpWithMyName
— ✧☽ emily ☾✧ (@insomnicatt) July 20, 2015
And anyone with a super-unusual name knows feelings like these:
#growingupwithmyname never EVER finding a souvenir with your name on it from anywhere
— ❁Maryn (@MarynNason) January 24, 2016
Knowing you're next on roll call because the teacher stops & hesitates to say your name #growingupwithmyname
— Asj (@PRVFranchise) January 25, 2016
But those are just the tip of the iceberg. Dumb jokes, teasing rhymes, awkward initials, gender mixups…the list of potential problems is as long as the list of potential names:
when your name is mostly considered as a male name- so you can't even get a keychain without a football on it #growingupwithmyname
— taylor (@imactuallytay) January 24, 2016
#growingupwithmyname Gary without the r spells gay. Thank you childhood and thank you for pointing out the obvious. Idiots.
— Gizzy (@gizzy14gazza) January 24, 2016
#GrowingUpWithMyName YES I'M AWARE MY NAME IS SPELLED THE SAME FORWARDS AND BACKWARDS
— Hannah (@thats_groovy321) December 1, 2015
Teacher: Jemima Me: it's Jemma Teacher: Sorry Jenna Me: iT'S JEMMA Teacher: Oh sorry Emma lol Me: *cries* #growingupwithmyname
— jemma (@sippycupcaylen) January 24, 2016
#GrowingUpWithMyName "Hey, I'm Ryan." "Wait, really? I mean, that sounds awfully... white. Are you sure?"
— Obi-Huang Kenobi (@HuangAsian) July 20, 2015
I don't know where Toto is, and I will NEVER know where Toto is. #growingupwithmyname
— Dorothy S (@PicassoBlue) January 24, 2016
In other words, we're all part of the great fellowship of the frustrated. Name-based aggravation is just a part of life. Yet when we're choosing baby names, we like to think otherwise. Parents scrutinize names from every angle, hoping to weed out the slightest teasing potential.
The most common impulse is to shield our kids from the slings and arrows we suffered ourselves. "I don't want my kid to have to use her last initial to set her apart," says a Sarah. "I don't want my kid to have to constantly have her name misspelled and mispronounced," says an Aoibheann. They push their name choices in opposite directions and just end up swapping problems.
No name is tease-proof. No name is uncommon AND universally attractive AND easy to spell and pronounce AND free of awkward associations. (Or if it is, don't expect it to stay uncommon for long!) That's ok. It's just one more reason to focus on what you love about the baby names you're considering, rather than prodding them for flaws. Substitute teachers and name-alike classmates come and go, but a name's essential strength and beauty is forever.