Posted by: Andy | August 29, 2007

fun with names & crazy spider shit

So we were in the grocery store tonight, and I was looking for something or another, and came across a young child (I *think* it was a girl, it had long hair in two braids, so we’ll call her a she, but I could be wrong, no offense meant) and her mother. The little girl was cute, and the mother was very nice, nothing trashy or whatever about her, she just seemed like a normal lady. Buuuuuuuuuut, the girls name was, as near as I can tell “Teh-fah-see-yay”, that’s how she was saying it at least and she said it several times.

As we were walking out and I was telling Jen she said “courvoisier?” and I was like “No it was Te-…..shit!” I REALLY hope it wasn’t “courvoisier”and I wasn’t mishearing.  Because Tehfaseeyay (or whatever) > courvoisier. It really is.  Seemed like a nice kid, but what a name.  I have to wonder what kind of effect that name will have on her life.   Will she be treated in such a way, based on presumptions about her social class due to her name that she will be adversely effected?

Should we name our children based on the effect we think that name could have on them?  Should someone use a name if they know could negatively impact the child’s chances?  (Not render anything impossible, just less likely).  You got me, worth thinking about though.  Personally, I wouldn’t do it.  I mean, we’re giving our nonstandard names, but we’re not just making shit up up, or calling him Satan or Adolf or Mucketywacket or something.

Oh, and just in case you wanted to vomit in your mouth (or any other available sinkhole), check this out (story courtesy of Pat).  What the holy fuck is wrong with Germans?  Did I already mention my theory about the national psyche of the Germans and the Japanese being somehow damaged by WWII and the fallout?  Well,  I haven’t really formulated it yet anyway, but it’s there, waiting to be birthed.



  1. Names are a wonder and a marvel and a snare for the unsuspecting. I am a native of wht-trsh Nation. Life is a ballancing act here–you don’t want to get too close to middle ground, so you stick with boring names or go way out left field. It is tough to write realistic fiction about the area–character names sound like parodies.

  2. you should read freakonomics, at least the section on naming your kid. it’s pretty interesting and I think the conclusion is worth it.

  3. It’s on my bookshelf already :). Did you miss my comment on your blog where I mentioned that I read it? I was debating bringing that up, but I was typing in a hurry while trying to watch Z, so you know, not always brilliance under pressure.

  4. If you ever doubt the influence of Satan, ask Auntie (on pretty much a biweekly basis) about the worst names she’s heard in the delivery room. Things I thought were urban legends that apparently aren’t: Female (feh-mall-ee)? Why? But there’s a thin line between understanding how flat out ridiculous names will not serve your child and being trapped by traditional names and placing greater value or trust in northern European names. I plan to use all Hebrew, which will be all the easier if Ezra’s an only child… but I really want my baby girl, Hadas, so…


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