What’s in a name?

Whether you jot it haphazardly in your day planner or use it to sign-off on important life-or-death-style documents, your name has a way of following you. Many of us dislike it. And why not? What a large part of our world, I feel, to be handed over some descriptor without choice. Imagine if it were a practical adjective or title that followed us our whole lives:

Oh, you know Rambunctious, she is always causing a riot!

or

Hey, Awkwardly Poetic, can you start speaking in a language I can understand?

I’m just saying.

If you are happy with your name, carry on. Read this in some sort of forced sympathy. I’ll take it. Still, I wonder—if you do enjoy your name, are content at the very least, do you feel as though it may have shaped your persona at all? Stereotypes are heavy; as much as we all try to refute them, equate them to ignorance or some sort of class issue, they exist. Everywhere. And who doesn’t hear the name of his or her ex and cringe. If you don’t believe that names carry their own social stereotype, type your tag into Urban Dictionary and see what happens. For instance:

1. Meghan 238 up96 down
Meghan is a talented and outgoing individual and is very charismatic. But be careful; she’s smarter than she seems! She’s great at listening and even better at giving advise. Plus, a Meghan’s always good for when you just need her to call someone a bitch. She’s a beautiful person inside and out & is NOT afraid to call someone out if they’re on her bad side.
Meghans are generally brunet with cute freckles
(Thanks to www.urbandictionary.com.)

Without editing this for spelling errors, I’d have to say this is pretty damn accurate. Down to the freckles. HA!

While the second definition reads:

2. Meghan 2235 up1696 down
Meghan is the name for a skanky slutty ho born to backwoods retard parents who cannot spell correctly.
You know that girl Meghan that lives in the trailer park? She’s a total skank.

OMG, did you hear?! Meghan once got eiffel towered at a party! hahaha.

i wish i were as great a whore as Meghan. it’d help if i had her tits.

(Thanks to www.urbandictionary.com.)

Well, I rest my case. And let me also take this moment to assure you that I do not condone any of the hateful, politically incorrect vomit above, but am using it to make my point. Perhaps the author of Definition #2 should channel her explosive passive-aggressive Internet Rage into more thoughtful facets of life—like her own damned writing issues.

Anyhow, back to my bigger point. Some of us refuse our names socially, keeping it tucked in-secret between the tight folds of our wallets, while some go a step further and have it changed altogether. But then there is that middle ground—the one I’m toeing, for instance. I do not consider it awful enough to change; in fact, I don’t even know to what I would change it! But I do know that it’s hard for me to identify with it. And the older I get, the less it means something to me. (Unless, of course, you pair it with my middle name and loudly yell it at an unbearable octave. You’ll certainly get my attention.)

Meghan is too girly, as it has always been for what I feel to be a pretty androgynous being. But now, it is young. Too young. More like that snap I have (somewhere) of a little girl in an Easter dress with white tights and a ribbon on her hat. Or the only snap I could find in a jiff (below.)

I was such an ugly shit. And probably cooking up some horrific plan for world domination. [;

So I’m asking—how many of you feel defined by your name? How many of you don’t associate with it completely? Tell me your name stories! Now! Comment!

2 comments

  1. honeydunce says:

    Oh boy I can relate to this discussion. At birth I was named Tiffany (middle name Nicole), but no one really called me that even as a toddler. I was always called Nikki. I am more of a Nikki than a Tiffany that's for sure. But there it is on my driver's license and on my doctor's appointment book. There it is on the first day of school. I'm usually prepared for instances where I might be called Tiffany instead of Nikki, but it's still surprising to find myself reacting to it. If I'm not ready for it, I won't respond at all. It's funny…some people, when finding out my real name, respond with, “you certainly don't look like a Tiffany. You're definitely a Nikki.” Which is a statement that kinda blows my mind.

    Fun fact: for the entire 4th grade school year, my teacher misspelled my name because I was too shy to tell her and correct her. I've seen some very creative spellings of my name that's for sure.

    I don't feel defined by my name, but I couldn't really see myself being another one.

  2. 1flychicken says:

    AHHH!… Tiffany? Really? Geez. They are right. You do not seem like one at all.

    Tiffany seems too flaky. (No offense to the Tiffany's of the world… maybe.)

    I can't see myself as being another name either. I don't know. I'd have to try one on for a min…

    (:
    mt

    PS: QUIT BEING SHY IN 4TH GRAD! d:

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