27 August 2014

The Seriously Silly Name of Nominative Determinism

Academic words often make interesting subjects sound dull.  Nominative determinism itself sounds like a very serious subject.  Who would believe it is about something humorous?  I think it should be called Funnynameology.

Our given names are rarely a matter of our own choice.  I have never met anyone possessing the ability to choose their own name at or before birth or soon afterwards.  If you managed to tell your parents of your preferred name, prior to them putting something on your birth certificate, please let me know!

The funny subject of funny names is not usually referred to by most people by the mouthful of nominative determinism, but it is useful to know that term when doing a web search of the subject. If you do not yet know anything about it, then you might like to do a web search yourself for a few insights into the topic. 

Here are just a few links I found very quickly some time ago:


Wikipedia - Nominative determinism

Mental Floss - Nominative determinism

SciLogs - Nominative determinism

Crikey - Nominative determinism

BBC - Nominative determinism

London Evening Standard - Nominative determinism



09 April 2014

Inconsistent Names

Do you have a name that has been given to you but it is inconsistent with your current sense of identity?

When I lived and worked in London, I had a friend whose parents were originally from India.  My friend was even more English than me in her attitudes, speech and manners.  She had lived in the south of England all her life.  She had never been to India.  All her friends and work colleagues were of Anglo-Saxon origin.  All the activities and events we shared were very English indeed.

I now have an Italian surname.  I am not Italian.  My husband is not Italian.  He has been an Australian all his life.  Both his parents were born in Australia.  Our culture is mainly that of educated, socially aware, environmentally conscious, well-travelled, reasonably well-informed, English-speaking people.

If your name is inconsistent with your social identity, you may feel as if you are a blue rose even though everyone says you are a pink one!

25 January 2014

Identity Through Nicknames

Part of my identity derives from a name given to me by a neighbour when we were both four years of age.  She had a speech impediment causing her to say my name in a way my parents had never intended. The name has stuck - though I have long lost track of that little girl.  She moved away from where we lived sometime around the age of seven.

Odd pronunciations of names, as well as nicknames and diminutive terms of affection can linger long after our personal sense of identity has gone through many changes. How many aspects of your life are the same now as they were when you were four years old?