Unusual names

Right on the Left Coast points to Get Lost, Mr. Chips! post on stupid kid names. Fascinating stuff.

I commented, way down the list, that:

This isn’t new. I’m in my 40s. When I was in junior high (way back in the 70s), my teachers were naming their kids Sunshine, Rain, Day Sky. I went to class with Stormy and Storm and Cloudy. (They’d been named in the 60s.) And I now have a 3 year old at my church named River. Her last name relates to water as well.

When my parents were naming us, my grandmother, a teacher, pointed to a study that said that students with unusual names did poorly in school. (My folks still gave 3 of the 4 of us unusual names.) My mother says the reason that the unusual names did poorly in school were that they came from poor minorities. We were poor white folks. We did okay in school.

Although my poor brother, named Carroll, which he said was pronounced Carl, should have told me to use that pronounciation. He got picked on a lot for that.

I was luckier. My unusual name was my middle one. That is the one I went by, though, and folks still have trouble with it. It’s not too common. In real life, stories, and internet checks I’ve found six women with the same name in the US. That’s not a whole lot.

The worst one of the bunch, if you haven’t clicked over there yet, was Kotex, pronounced Ko-tay, for a boy.

I’ve heard/went to school with a MaitreD and a Concierge. That was before I knew what those were, though. So they weren’t too odd to me at the time.

I did go to college with a guy whose name meant waiter in French, I think it was. I thought that was odd. He said his mother said it sounded pretty.

The things we do to our kids.

My husband and I gave each of our kids one odd name and one “normal” name. Though the second son’s name is about 60% odd (first) and 40% odd (middle).

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