"Black" names and double standards

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I found this very thought-provoking:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ist.print.html

There's a thread over at CurlyNikki regarding so-called "ghetto names" which always made me feel uncomfortable, since it's not fair to ridicule people for the names their parents bestowed upon them. And I hadn't even realized how bizarre some white people's names are until the article pointed them out.

(Anyone who has read Freakonomics will recall the chapter addressing the same issue.)
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Last edited by yossarian; 09-13-2013 at 01:23 PM. Reason: fixed link name
Yes, definitely a double standard. I roll my eyes equally at silly names on both "sides." (But ethnic names =/= silly to me.)

eta - I have a gf w/ an unmistakably "Black name" who is really, really struggling w/ the job application rejection issue.

eta - it is a real pet peeve of mine when things associated w/ Blackness are immediately labeled "ghetto" or "hood." Ghetto booty, for instance.
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Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 09-13-2013 at 01:55 PM.
Very interesting article. Aaliya, Jamal and Maalik are actually Arabic names.

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Speaking of names, I think it's also important to consider the country your child is going to be raised in and realistically give your child a name that is at least 'pronounceable' and won't make his/her life a living hell.
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Originally Posted by chupie
ROTFL! This was great. Shoulda known Penn Jillette would follow Frank Zappa's lead (Dweezil? Moon Unit?) in linguistically abusing his children.

A few years back, Heath and Deborah Campbell decided it would be a fitting tribute to a mass murderer to name their child Adolf Hitler Campbell. For some odd reason, they didn't change their own names instead - morons.
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Speaking of names, I think it's also important to consider the country your child is going to be raised in and realistically give your child a name that is at least 'pronounceable' and won't make his/her life a living hell.
Originally Posted by Josephine
Yes, excellent point. I also feel sorry for the teachers who have to say those names without embarrassing the child.

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My favorite part is the part about abusing the letter Y.
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I say just be sensible and stick to traditional names like Chester, Gertrude, Clement, Cedric, Prudence, Millicent or Gwendolyn.
I had to give the Taiwanese children their English names (I know, I know and its uncomfortable) The craziest I got was naming one Shayla. Then there were twins at one school and I named them River and Brooke. However 2 students in one school at different grade levels named themselves Coco.
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It makes me sad to think that people would be turned down for an interview just because of their name. I am positive it happens, just saying its so, so sad.
My two daughters have somewhat unusual names. I don't consider them weird, but they aren't common. Well, my youngest's name is creeping up there. But anyway- my son is named Jackson (Jack), and one of my biggest pet peeves is weird spellings. I called the doctors office for him about a year ago and said "Jackson," and the nurse said, without prompt, "is that j a x o n?" I was so annoyed. Um, no it's not! I don't hate the jaxon spelling (not for me but I don't hate it) but I was seriously annoyed that it had actually managed to overtake the classic spelling for some reason.

And for what it's worth, even as common as it is, my son has never had another Jack on his team or in class in nine years. But my daughter (Neely) has another in the same school! I always found that funny.
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Originally Posted by chupie
ROTFL! This was great. Shoulda known Penn Jillette would follow Frank Zappa's lead (Dweezil? Moon Unit?) in linguistically abusing his children.
Originally Posted by yossarian
Hey! Nothing wrong with Dweezil or Moon Unit Zappa. Perfectly common names. Just like Jason Lee's son Pilot Inspektor. ETA: and we should both be ashamed for leaving out Franks other daughter, "Diva Thin Muffin Zappa". Is that a child or the munchies? I would think the latter, if Frank did drugs. Or how about Shannyn Sossamon's child Audio Silence. There are far too many to pick from


I have a friend who is vowel crazy. One child is Allieyson. Did they not teach spelling in the suburbs of Ohio? Emmalyee. Who? Drives me nuts. I don't know why common spellings (which typically have a few variations) are no longer good enough. It is also making my job hard. You have to ask people to spell the most common names now.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??


Last edited by Fifi.G; 09-13-2013 at 05:13 PM.
Speaking of names, I think it's also important to consider the country your child is going to be raised in and realistically give your child a name that is at least 'pronounceable' and won't make his/her life a living hell.
Originally Posted by Josephine
People can't seem to pronounce anything, so I'm not sure that's much of a help. I have an Indian name (not that difficult; it's 5 letters), and went through adolescence in a community where we were the only minority (half Indian--yep), and while my name wasn't exactly a help, it was the whole package--name, skin, hair, shyness--more than anything that triggered problems. All us kids were bullied to some degree. Now I have an Indian first name and an Armenian last name, and as long as there's an effort at reasonable pronunciation I'll answer to it. The really ironic thing is that my old community is now stuffed with Indian professionals. Oh, well...

I did give my kids American names. My oldest's name is Riley, and he got a card once addressed to Ryliee. WTF?
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Speaking of names, I think it's also important to consider the country your child is going to be raised in and realistically give your child a name that is at least 'pronounceable' and won't make his/her life a living hell.
Originally Posted by Josephine
People can't seem to pronounce anything, so I'm not sure that's much of a help. I have an Indian name (not that difficult; it's 5 letters), and went through adolescence in a community where we were the only minority (half Indian--yep), and while my name wasn't exactly a help, it was the whole package--name, skin, hair, shyness--more than anything that triggered problems. All us kids were bullied to some degree. Now I have an Indian first name and an Armenian last name, and as long as there's an effort at reasonable pronunciation I'll answer to it. The really ironic thing is that my old community is now stuffed with Indian professionals. Oh, well...

I did give my kids American names. My oldest's name is Riley, and he got a card once addressed to Ryliee. WTF?
Originally Posted by CurlyInTheFog

I was actually thinking of Indian names when I posted. They are usually hard to pronounce and dont translate well. My coworker just named his son a very traditional difficult name. My ex legally changed his name when he was 18(it was laknaut). I thought it was weird at first but I get it.


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Let's not forget the twins! It really bothers me that parents want to give twins names so similar they are almost the same. Especially, identical twins. I think parents of twins must remember that no matter how identical they are still two different people and most importantly they need to develope identities outside of one another and it starts with their names.

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I was actually thinking of Indian names when I posted. They are usually hard to pronounce and dont translate well. My coworker just named his son a very traditional difficult name. My ex legally changed his name when he was 18(it was laknaut). I thought it was weird at first but I get it.


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Originally Posted by Josephine
I guess most of the Indians I know don't have terribly difficult names. I think some of the problem with ethnic names is that people just freeze up when they see something unfamiliar and don't make an attempt at pronunciation, even when it's a name that's not all that difficult.
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Of course it's racist to say "black" names are weird, because they're only "weird" if white names are the standard.
But anyway- my son is named Jackson (Jack), and one of my biggest pet peeves is weird spellings. I called the doctors office for him about a year ago and said "Jackson," and the nurse said, without prompt, "is that j a x o n?" I was so annoyed. Um, no it's not! I don't hate the jaxon spelling (not for me but I don't hate it) but I was seriously annoyed that it had actually managed to overtake the classic spelling for some reason.
Originally Posted by Luuuuucy
My son's doctor always tried to correct my spelling of Sean. Uh, no, Shaun is perfectly acceptable, but not how my son's name is spelled. My other son's middle name is Reilly, which is a family name, but as part of his adoption (by a family member!) it was changed to Riley. My own name has the shortest, simplest spelling possible, as well as the most widely used, and people still try to spell it differently.



It's sad that people are getting turned down for jobs based on their names. I shake my head a lot at the names people give their children, and I feel sorry for the kids, but really, it's a very rare occurrence for a person to choose his or her own name, so why should they be judged for what their parents chose? Eeeeesh. Keep it simple, people.


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Speaking of names, I think it's also important to consider the country your child is going to be raised in and realistically give your child a name that is at least 'pronounceable' and won't make his/her life a living hell.
Originally Posted by Josephine
I second this but at the same time, I don't know why nobody ever gets the pronunciation of my name right. It's not that difficult or that ethnic. I also once had a tattoo artist say that my name (first and middle) sounded like a stripper's.

Anyways, reading this I automatically thought of this website:

The Utah Baby Namer


Mormons give their kids some pretty funny names and I actually found my name on here so I don't know what that says about me. I wonder if any Utah Mormons have a hard time finding a job should they venture out of state.

Oh and Freakonomics is such a great book. There's also a fantastic film and podcast people might want to check out.
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I do think "black " names have double standards, but not every black person likes "black" names. I think its silly to judge someone by their name because they did not name themselves. I feel my name is very common, I have met many people with the same name black and white. "Alexis". My younger sister on the other hand, who I named (first and middle) is usually expected to be white because of her name, which I think is silly in itself. In most of her modeling try outs, they are usually surprised they she is a dark skinned black girl with beautiful long hair. They always ask if it's "all hers", but they do not question the caucasian girls long hair. Sometimes they say her name twice to make sure they have the right person. I think its ridiculous, I named her Brittney.
As far as names that are considered "black" i don't see anything wrong with them, although I like names like Naomi, Ethan, Elizabeth, Anastasia, Alejandra etc. It doesn't have anything to do with race, i like the way they sound.
Some of my friends have "typically black" names, and they hate them. I think its sad we live in a world were people hate their own names because they are constantly judged on something they had no control over.
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