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Do you think first names can reflect your personality?

(133 Posts)
nanna8 Wed 09-Jun-21 07:55:08

Sometimes that seems to be the case. Susans always seem to be sensible and reliable, for example. Pauls seem to be meticulous and thoughtful. A load of old rubbish probably but maybe not?

LauraNorder Thu 17-Jun-21 10:14:30

I think both first and surname together make a difference. My married name is alliterative, think Laura Love, which sounds light and friendly whereas my maiden name was more formal sounding such as Laura Rossiter. For this reason I kept my maiden name during my professional life. It worked well too because it separated my professional and private life.
Does ‘maiden’ name now sound rather odd? I hadn’t noticed until now.

Nana3 Thu 17-Jun-21 10:02:42

I have 2 names and my parents called me by the 2nd one. So when my first name is called out, at the hospital for example, I have strange feeling of being a different person.

nanna8 Thu 17-Jun-21 09:31:42

That got me thinking, kittylester. What if someone called Honesty was a thief? Or someone called Faith had none ? One of my middle names is Diana but it doesn’t feel right, I don’t feel like a Diana. However, when she heard it a friend said, ‘that’d be right,’ so maybe she sees something I don’t!

kittylester Sun 13-Jun-21 19:56:04

My friend and I both have virtue names but neither of them match our personalities.

Frogsinmygarden Sun 13-Jun-21 18:16:35

Never met a Zoe that I’ve liked. And Olivia has always seemed an unlucky name to me. Julie’s never seem to have much luck in relationships, in my experience. All nonsense of course!

Doodledog Fri 11-Jun-21 08:57:03

I don’t know about within families (although presumably your parents had affection for the relative?) but I do think that names can sometimes influence how people turn out, in a ‘Boy Named Sue’ kind of way.

We have seen how (some) teachers allow names to influence their feelings towards children, and that could very easily cause them to do less well in those teachers’ classes. If others also make assumptions based on names, the cumulative effect could shape children’s behaviour and life chances.

I think that the choices parents make are likely to be indicative of their general attitudes too, and this is likely to transfer to their child-rearing. So someone who likes to think that they are ‘unusual’ or ‘different’ will give their child an unusual name (or an unusual spelling of a more conventional name), and go on to bring up the child to see themselves as free-spirited or unconventional, whereas a more conforming parent might choose a more traditional name and bring up their child accordingly.

Nine of this allows for differences in personality though, and won’t apply to everyone.

Sara1954 Fri 11-Jun-21 08:28:41

I agree with Canadiangran, I think we often become who we are because of our names.
I have a fairly common name, but oddly, until I went away to college, I never knew another one.
I was apparently named after a long dead relative, who was ‘no better than she should be’ and comparisons were always been drawn by my gran, had I been named after a more loved dead relative, I may have developed a different personality, a more nice one.
Or is that just a load of rubbish?

Lexisgranny Fri 11-Jun-21 06:39:56

Both DH and I have always been known by our second names because they ‘flowed’ better with our surnames. His were fine, mine (those of now deceased authors) not so much. Much the same experiences as Oofy and several puzzled faces when we were married.

grandMattie Fri 11-Jun-21 06:10:07

My grandparents seventh son was called Septimus. And, no, they didn’t call the other eighth child Octopus. She was called Gillian.
In English, one is asked “what are you called ?”, passive phrase. In French and Spanish, the question is “what do you call yourself”, active phrase.
My first name is the French version of an old Norman name. As a child, I loathed it as it reminded me of fusty great aunts or donkeys. Has become popular recently.
Curiously, I am often complimented on it.

Kim19 Fri 11-Jun-21 05:38:19

My Uncle was called Theo. Most people assumed it was short for Theodore. Actually Theophilus!

Widnesbabcia Fri 11-Jun-21 03:55:19

I'm Wanda but pronounced Vanda.. So confusing.. But love my name

Lauren59 Fri 11-Jun-21 03:12:56

More names to be avoided, from a retired teacher: Tristan and Roman. I had a student named Wonderful. He wasn’t. 😂

Oofy Fri 11-Jun-21 01:12:28

When I worked on a labour ward, I frequently had to bite my tongue at some if the names that I heard for the new baby. Quite often, my response had to be a non-committal, “How unusual”, or a Mrs Brown-like, “That’s nice”!
Ida Mary Rose, in Wales, Dylan is a highly respected, if somewhat frequently encountered, name (viz Dylan Thomas).
In our part of Wales, it was quite usual for girls to be given Grandma’s name as a first name, then be known by the second name. Otherwise, if turning up at a family gathering, all the girls would answer to the same name. I have 5 girl cousins, so you can just imagine. However, the concept of using your second name does cause hassle, especially when filling in forms asking for your first name, when my signature is my second name, or people calling the name you don’t answer to, eg when coming round from anaesthetic, or sitting in dentist’s waiting rooms. Compounded in my case by using my maiden name for most things, and my married name only for family things. I have been known to sit in doctor’s waiting rooms while the receptionist calls for me by by first name and married name, neither of which I respond to!

CanadianGran Thu 10-Jun-21 23:41:57

I think it is the other way around; the chosen name can affect the personality. There was a study done showing that the shorter or harder vowel sounding women's names were more prevalent in sciences in university, and more feminine/softer sounding were in arts.

So Catherine, Elizabeth and Jane may end up to be a doctor, Trisha or Daisy or Latoya not so much. People have ingrained biases based on financial status, culture. They may consider a Catherine more seriously right from the age of 5 and put her in charge of a group in a game, etc, therefore the child will grow into the name.

I would like to think this is not true, but i'm sure it is.

Redhead56 Thu 10-Jun-21 23:36:04

I had an uncle Septimus and an uncle Hector both salt of the earth. I did wonder where did their names come from. I didn't like my name and always considered it boring until I realised it was Welsh for river. I actually wanted to be called Heather when I was young. I don't think a name represents a personality.

mokryna Thu 10-Jun-21 23:34:55

lizzypopbottle^I'm sure medical staff believe they're being friendly but calling someone by the wrong name is disrespectful^
My daughter accompanied me to a walk in centre on one of my visits to the UK because I was not at all well. When my turn came to see a doctor, I was called by my first name. I did feel peculiar hearing a stranger call me by my first name as in France I am Madame or Mrs ... She is an NHS worker and she sensed I had been shocked and told me that in future she was going to ask her patients how they would like to be called.

Elvis58 Thu 10-Jun-21 23:00:29


Hellogirl1 Thu 10-Jun-21 22:09:27

Lizzy, I prefer to be called by my Christian name if in hospital, I think it sounds more friendly, less formal.
I was meant to be called May, as I was due in May, but was born on June 1st, so got June instead, thankfully, then my middle name is the female version of my father`s name, he was killed 6 months before I was born, in WW2.

Lesley60 Thu 10-Jun-21 21:03:17

How can your name reflect your personality it was your parents who chose your chose it not you

Torbroud Thu 10-Jun-21 21:02:15

You are what you are

Saggi Thu 10-Jun-21 20:25:38

How can names have any bearing on you they are given to you by someone else...and usually thought of before you are born

Rowantree Thu 10-Jun-21 19:56:28

I used to teach too and avoided names I associated with some of the children.
My own first name is Judith. I used to hate it but I quite like it now. Can't recall what it means. Friends used to shorten it to Judy, which my mother said sounded like a dog's name, or Jude (cue the song)

lizzypopbottle Thu 10-Jun-21 19:46:22

Hellogirl1 One of our students is Anthony James and answers to James. It's annoying for people who don't know him well to search for James on the register and not find him.

My mother-in-law was Mary Lilian but was always known as Lilian. When she was in hospital, the whiteboard behind her bed had Mary as the name to be used. No one asked if she had a preferred name, so they addressed her as Mary until I corrected them. I believe they should have addressed her respectfully as Mrs Jones until she said to call her Lilian. It was the same with my father-in-law, 'Henry', who was always called Harry.

People like them, who served in WWII, worked all their lives, paid tax, NI and brought up families, deserve their respectful titles, Mr, Mrs and Miss. I'm sure medical staff believe they're being friendly but calling someone by the wrong name is disrespectful.

Hellogirl1 Thu 10-Jun-21 18:31:37

My first name is June, but I`ve always been called by my middle name. Whenever anything official or medical is concerned, I`m obviously June, but hardly ever answer to it when spoken to.

Yammy Thu 10-Jun-21 18:09:55

Not always but in my case and my cousins give our ages away.1940 to 1960. One does, unfortunately, rhyme with moan.
As a teacher, I would never have had a Shane or a Wayne and all the girls names that stop at a certain date no more Traceys or Sharons.