CurlTalk

"Black" names and double standards

yossarianyossarian Posts: 967Registered Users
I found this very thought-provoking:

/home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailybeast.com%2Farticles%2F2013%2F09%2F13%2Fare-blacks-names-weird-or-are-you-just-racist.print.html" class="Popup

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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Comments

  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yes, definitely a double standard. I roll my eyes equally at silly names on both "sides.":drunken: (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.

  • AabidaAabida Posts: 55Registered Users
    Very interesting article. Aaliya, Jamal and Maalik are actually Arabic names.

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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    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.
  • yossarianyossarian Posts: 967Registered Users
    chupie wrote: »

    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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  • yossarianyossarian Posts: 967Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    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.

    Yes, excellent point. I also feel sorry for the teachers who have to say those names without embarrassing the child.

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  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,270Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    My favorite part is the part about abusing the letter Y.
  • DedachanDedachan Posts: 1,644Registered Users
    I say just be sensible and stick to traditional names like Chester, Gertrude, Clement, Cedric, Prudence, Millicent or Gwendolyn.
  • gagirl09gagirl09 Posts: 2,316Registered Users
    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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  • LuuuuucyLuuuuucy Posts: 146Registered Users
    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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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    yossarian wrote: »
    chupie wrote: »

    ROTFL! This was great. Shoulda known Penn Jillette would follow Frank Zappa's lead (Dweezil? Moon Unit?) in linguistically abusing his children.

    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??

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  • CurlyInTheFogCurlyInTheFog Posts: 876Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    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.

    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? :laughing5:
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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    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.

    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? :laughing5:


    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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  • ConverseInkConverseInk Posts: 30Registered Users
    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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  • CurlyInTheFogCurlyInTheFog Posts: 876Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    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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    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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  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    Of course it's racist to say "black" names are weird, because they're only "weird" if white names are the standard.
  • darkqueenedarkqueene Posts: 86Registered Users
    Luuuuucy wrote: »
    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.

    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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  • anonymous_133347anonymous_133347 Posts: 1,426Registered Users
    Josephine wrote: »
    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.

    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. :confused:

    Anyways, reading this I automatically thought of this website:

    The Utah Baby Namer
    :laughing5:

    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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  • Always@nightAlways@night Posts: 566Registered Users
    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.
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    dusalocks wrote: »
    Josephine wrote: »
    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.

    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. :confused:

    Anyways, reading this I automatically thought of this website:

    The Utah Baby Namer
    :laughing5:

    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.

    I have only looked at the A's & B's in girl names so far, but there are some rather unusual ones. Some are rather pretty, but I would mad if my parents named me Apathy.


    People shouldn't be refused jobs, etc, based on their given name. You can't help what your parents named you. I have still found some ridiculous over the years. I know there has been a thread or two about unusual names here. My 7th grade teacher once taught a boy names Harry Nipples. Why on earth would his parents do that? With that said, I see no point in acting like it's something only specific people do. It's universal.

    At one point hospitals could refuse to put names on birth certificates, if found too different or unusual. My mom's middle name is Darcus, which I love and it is a family name, but they asked her parents to put a different name on her bc. They had to, but her father/family still called her Darcus.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

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  • bobbybobby Posts: 669Registered Users
    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.

    Regardless of race, I thinking it's all in the generational trend. I'm first generation American (both parents from Italy) but do not speak Italian because in that era, the immigrant philosophy was to "leave your culture behind and assimilate to where you are going." That has had a trickle down effect with naming kids. My parent's era gave their kids the Americanized version of names whereas today's parents are going more the ethic route, such as Stefano instead of Steven or Giuseppe instead of Joseph. I can think of hundreds of examples but that's just a couple.
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  • LayaliLayali Posts: 561Registered Users
    This is always an interesting conversation. Mostly because I don't think people realize their privilege in labeling which names are "weird" and which are "acceptable." When you think about it, most names sound weird but we don't label them as such because they are rooted in some sort of meaning and we are used to hearing them. I mean, is there a huge difference in the sounds between Alicia/Alisha and Talisha, for example? Not really.

    My name, Layali, is pronounced like Layli and is a derivative from the word meaning night in arabic. Another more "acceptable" version of my name is Layla. You won't believe how many people have asked me if my parents made my name up. Nope.

    I always cringe when people play "the-weird-name-I-heard-lately" game. It always smacks of labeling someone as "other," because in most cases that person is an "other" (celebrities, not included, of course).

    Personally, I believe as the U.S. becomes increasingly more multicultural and our culture changes, we have to drop the expectation that folks assimilate in "acceptable" ways.
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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    ^ You have a very pretty name.


    I think people are going to have different opinions of what they find unusual anyway.

    I think name trends are interesting. It's amazing how many people think they are naming their child something different or unusual, and it ends up being the most popular baby name that year. My SIL's son and daughter in law recently had a new 10 lb bundle of joy. They wanted to pick a name they had not heard/was not common. They went with Easton. One of my nephews googled the babies name later and saw it had been the #1 boys name for the past few months.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    darkqueene wrote: »
    Luuuuucy wrote: »
    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.

    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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    Because the employer is a racist and can tell the applicant is Black.

  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    darkqueene wrote: »
    Luuuuucy wrote: »
    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.

    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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    Because the employer is a racist and can tell the applicant is Black.

    I agree. I have noticed that "black" names usually associated with blackness or poverty are now being given to white girls, such as Kendra, Shantal and Trechelle. I wonder if that makes them more acceptable.

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  • Myradella3Myradella3 Posts: 2,481Registered Users
    I once saw Olivia (the most beautiful name in world) spelled: Alyvyah. Mom snaps when it's mispronounced.
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Names with an apostrophe? Silly, pretentious and pointless. So are names like Moon Unit, etc. Shouldn't affect a person's ability to get a job but of course, it will, sometimes.
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  • AjidahkAjidahk Posts: 1,212Registered Users
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    dusalocks wrote: »
    Josephine wrote: »
    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.

    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. :confused:

    Anyways, reading this I automatically thought of this website:

    The Utah Baby Namer
    :laughing5:

    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.

    I have only looked at the A's & B's in girl names so far, but there are some rather unusual ones. Some are rather pretty, but I would mad if my parents named me Apathy.


    People shouldn't be refused jobs, etc, based on their given name. You can't help what your parents named you. I have still found some ridiculous over the years. I know there has been a thread or two about unusual names here. My 7th grade teacher once taught a boy names Harry Nipples. Why on earth would his parents do that? With that said, I see no point in acting like it's something only specific people do. It's universal.

    At one point hospitals could refuse to put names on birth certificates, if found too different or unusual. My mom's middle name is Darcus, which I love and it is a family name, but they asked her parents to put a different name on her bc. They had to, but her father/family still called her Darcus.

    Darcus is my mother's name! Had to reply. I didn't know anyone else had that name. Cool!
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  • LayaliLayali Posts: 561Registered Users
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    ^ You have a very pretty name.


    I think people are going to have different opinions of what they find unusual anyway.

    I think name trends are interesting. It's amazing how many people think they are naming their child something different or unusual, and it ends up being the most popular baby name that year. My SIL's son and daughter in law recently had a new 10 lb bundle of joy. They wanted to pick a name they had not heard/was not common. They went with Easton. One of my nephews googled the babies name later and saw it had been the #1 boys name for the past few months.

    Thank you! I love my name.

    I think you're right...people do have different ideas of what is unusual, but I was just commenting on the trend of people finding names to be "weird" or "funny."
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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Ajidahk wrote: »
    Fifi.G wrote: »
    dusalocks wrote: »

    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. :confused:

    Anyways, reading this I automatically thought of this website:

    The Utah Baby Namer
    :laughing5:

    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.

    I have only looked at the A's & B's in girl names so far, but there are some rather unusual ones. Some are rather pretty, but I would mad if my parents named me Apathy.


    People shouldn't be refused jobs, etc, based on their given name. You can't help what your parents named you. I have still found some ridiculous over the years. I know there has been a thread or two about unusual names here. My 7th grade teacher once taught a boy names Harry Nipples. Why on earth would his parents do that? With that said, I see no point in acting like it's something only specific people do. It's universal.

    At one point hospitals could refuse to put names on birth certificates, if found too different or unusual. My mom's middle name is Darcus, which I love and it is a family name, but they asked her parents to put a different name on her bc. They had to, but her father/family still called her Darcus.

    Darcus is my mother's name! Had to reply. I didn't know anyone else had that name. Cool!

    Well, hello! That is very cool. I have never met anyone else with a family member who shares that name.

    I looked it up several years ago and saw it's sometimes a variation of Dorcus, which is a biblical name (Aramaic for Tabitha) of a disciple. It seems to be a name more common with men, though. Anyway, neat! And nice to meet you.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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