…by any other name, smells just as sweet…

naming a child is no simple task. everybody wants something unique, creative, special. but we can’t give free rein to our imaginations, given all the factors we have to take into consideration:

1. socio-cultural. i have to ensure that the name does not stand for nor represent anything that might create uncomfortable social situations for him/her. when i was still a preschool teacher, we had a student named Magnolia. i felt very sorry for her when she tearfully told us that her classmates make fun of her because her name is “magnolia chicken, magnolia ice cream, etc.” i really like that name, though…

2. etymology. for all we know, that adorable, fun, creative, unusual name means something vile, vulgar and derogatory in some dead foreign language. which reminds me of an ex-co-worker named Nemesis. i wonder what his parents were thinking? english isn’t even a dead language yet…

3. practicality. will the name give him/her a tough time learning how to spell it in preschool? is it so long, it would make accomplishing legal forms a very arduous process? when he/she calls with inquiries or complaints, will he/she have to spell the name out for the call center representative? will others be able to pronounce it correctly the first time?

4. significance. i would like a name reminiscent of something special to me. perhaps a memorable event, a profound story, an admired person.

if it’s a girl: Robyn

if it’s a boy: Jack

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11 Responses to “…by any other name, smells just as sweet…”


  1. 1 ofel808 July 4, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Tes.. i tagged you.. “6 Weird Things about me…”

  2. 2 CheR July 5, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    i like the name robyn. its one of those unisex names. 🙂

    oh and i enjoyed napa a great deal. will post pictures soon.

  3. 3 cornerseat July 6, 2007 at 12:53 am

    seems like unisex names are the trend these days…

    glad to know you had an enjoyable holiday 🙂

  4. 4 ton July 10, 2007 at 8:13 am

    yep, those sound special alright… hehe

    jack…. cool… hehehehe… watch out…

  5. 5 tessa July 10, 2007 at 8:47 am

    bleh 😛 jack, no matter what you affix to it, is cool indeed. all jacks on tv are cool: jack black, jack sparrow, jack of 30 rock, jack of 24, jack nicholson… whatever.

  6. 6 ton July 11, 2007 at 3:34 am

    jackcool… hehehe

  7. 7 cornerseat July 12, 2007 at 2:33 am

    yeah, i got that 😛 i bet i’ll get that every time…

  8. 8 ofel808 July 17, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    hahaha.. jack..cool! hahahaahaha.. sorry tess.. no pun intended! hahahaha

  9. 9 My Home August 17, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

  10. 10 tessa August 18, 2007 at 7:29 am

    thanks, by all means!


  1. 1 how to pronounce the name siobhan « The Cat with the Fiddle Trackback on March 26, 2009 at 12:25 am

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