Home Featured Your Name Is What? That’s a Fail.

Your Name Is What? That’s a Fail.

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***** Admin Note *****
As a few of you know, I am currently attempting to rent out a Condo in the Maryland Suburbs of DC (Largo/Upper Marlboro). It’s a 2 bed/ 2 bath and I need $1600.  Walking distance to the metro, and gated community.  If you are seriously interested, or know someone who is, email me: [email protected]

Now onto the good stuff …

– SBM
********************************

Guy: Hey, I saw you from across the room and had to come over and introduce myself.
Girl: Aww, that’s so sweet! (In her mind she’s thinking about how hot he is.)
Guy: My name is Gargamel.
Girl: Boooo! Hissssss! *Walks away*

Every now and then I have the conversation with someone about names. Not nicknames, but government names. Slim Jackson is an alias. If you knew my real name, you’d expect me to perhaps be a preppy white guy that wears polo shirts and khaki shorts. Well, you’d be fairly accurate except for the fact I’m a light-skinned and clean shaven black dude that only intimidates the most suburban and rural. When I was younger and in the inner city public school system, I was often teased for how well I spoke and my name. I sometimes had to break my English and listen in for the coolest slang to be accepted within certain circles. I often wished my name was Ramel, Jamar, Lamar, Jalah, Tayshaun, or some type of material status symbol. That was “cool”. At some point, black parents began to move away from “slave” names like Michael, Jeffrey, and Thomas so that they could differentiate their children from their SPF-needing counterparts. I spent time angry at my folks for naming me something so simple and well…white.

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But now that I’m a miserable office dweller corporate professional and handsome broad-shouldered beast (No Dwight Howard), I couldn’t be more thankful to have an Anglo name. In my current gig, I look at a lot of resumes for job candidates and I notice the names. I anticipate an accent when I see certain names on paper. For others, I wonder what their parents were thinking. I make that phone call and sometimes I’m actually surprised by how well the person speaks. I know. That’s awful. I shouldn’t stereotype people from other cultures, countries, and continents, but it almost happens naturally. Now if I, as an Educated Black Male (EBM. That new sh*t), still fall victim to the innate urge to stereotype based on name, I’d figure that it has to be even more elevated for people in the majority. What do you think a corporate recruiter envisions when he or she sees Funqueefa Taneesha Jenkins or Tang Too Pac on a job application? Rap, 40s, attitude, computers, sweatshops, bad driving? You probably thought a few things yourself when you saw this. No offense if you actually happen to have either one of those ficticious names and visit this site.

For employers trying to add “diversity” to their companies, the distinct names probably make their jobs a lot easier when they are looking for some pigmentation. For others, who aren’t so fortunate, their names can quickly have them filtered into the unqualified file. I sometimes wonder if my life would be any different if my name were something more “ethnic”. A lot of folks will argue life is what you make of it. To a certain extent, that’s correct. But in 2009, these names are still in the minority and belong to minorities. Job hunting aside, I know a lot of people who won’t date certain folks within their own race because of their names. They don’t want to bring one of these Afro-American-Centric names home to meet the family. Your boy Slim doesn’t go that far, but it does happen.

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So what does everyone else think about this issue of names? What are some of the craziest ones you’ve encountered? Did you change how you sign your name or present your name on paper? Have you went from Shimeek Smith to S. Charles Smith? Do you rock a traditional name like Jeffrey Adams? Would you not date someone based on what their name is? Do you even think the name is important in 2009? Answer one or answer them all. The choice is yours!

What If My Name Really Was,

slim jackson

Comment(121)

  1. I'm not going to lie … I can't remember the name … or the situation … but I remember knocking at least 10 points off a girls score because her name was something I didn't want to say at the Company holiday party.

    Oh yes, Mr. Gates, this is my girlfriend Sha-Nay-Nay

  2. Having spent more years than I will admit in HR/Recruiting I can assure all that there are still plenty of folks in Corporate America who will judge a candidate (and exclude them) based on name alone. I teach a diversity class where I give the same resumes to people. One with the name D'Aundre Johnson on the top and one with DJ Smith. They decided DJ was a more viable candidate. Look at how much heat the President is taking for Barack Hussein? I'm sure there were days he longed to be Bob Henry Owens.

    My parents gave me a generic name but sometimes when bidding on contracts, I go with MC instead of Michele so they won't know if I'm male or female on paper. I did give an Ivory Nairobi the boot once. His game wasn't tight and the name didn't help.

    My father used to deliver babies and people would come up with some doozies. The worst one ever was Perk Ocet Parker. The woman named her child after the drug they gave her when she came out of labor: Percocet. Almost as bad as Fahmalley. Yep, woman saw Female on her daughter's wrist band and decided to class it up. SMH

      1. marijana [mah-ree-yah-nah] is a beautiful name where i come from. and if i choose to name my daughter, if i have a daughter, 'marijana' that will be that. and by the time she is of primary school age it is quite likely that the sticky will be a bit more legal and a bit more accepted among the adults and parents who will, like me, be born in the mid-80s and a bit partial toward the regular, safe use of certain non-prescription substance.

  3. LOL i love the fact my name is greek..and white ppl seem to get a kick outta it too…but some go too far… im not greek, jus light bright, so ur joke isnt funny. all aside, stereotyping is hard to get away from n damn near impossible to prevent. but i do wonder what johneka's mom or dad was thinkin when she named her. did they even consider that the name may leave her broke as hell cuz she cant get a job? guess ill never know! and slim…lemme find out ur name is larry , bob or some *ish smh! but to anyone that knows bein a chamelion (however thats spelled) helps ppl be sucessful…good job. some are niave and dont think so.

    1. there are several studies that explain how one's name affects the way they are treated during the course of young and adolescent years. washington, napoleon, caesar, george, louis, johnathan, etc. elizabeth, jane, mary/marie/maria, julia, catherine, etc. a lot of names sound presidential. some may get made fun of, but is quite likely that parents who know this secret reinforce the power of such names to their children. it is all about the power of mob democracy and group thought. one can have high self esteem and find success with good parenting, despite an ethnic/odd name. my resume says 'vesh t….' the abbreviation of my 8-letter, three-syllable name has become my name as a young adult.

  4. Well as an offspring of two African parents…well my name ain't bad lol. I love my name and wouldn't change it to anything else, EVER! Mariama is fine by me, idc how many damn syllables it has (4), I tell people to pronounce the WHOLE DAMN NAME lol! No! You CAN'T call me Mary or Mari, it's not my name (I only have MariCay on here bc it's my dang alias lol). But usually the most I have to deal w is repeating my name once or twice (yea I kno life would've been easier if my name was Sarah, but I'll deal). Normally, when people see my name on paper they have no trouble pronouncing it. It's not as complicated as ppl make it out to be, but for those extra "Negrodian" names i.e Roniqua, LaQuasia, Shantiqua, Shaneekwa (and these are real folks names that I KNEW (dontjudgeme) and have seen) those are the folks I'd say need to worry. Oh yea, let me not forget when I was walking down the street with my little sister & she said hello to one girl she knew… "Hiiii Tazmania!" I said "Taz-who?!? How does her mother expect her to make it with that name??" SMH. God help these poor children of America *sigh*

    1. I know a real life Cleopatra Jones. She was my roommate freshman year of college and when I got that letter with my roommate assignment, you best believe I thought it was a joke.

      She just got married & refuses to take her husband's last name actually.

      1. That name is getting kinda popular (my mother has a student with that name). I was going to add it but someone already beat me to it.

  5. I have an African first name and a Scandinavian last name, so people are usually intrigued (I'm half Liberian – check your history and it will make sense). People usually find some way to ask what ethnicity I am, some more polite than others.

    Although my name is phonetic in English, I have realized that many people are either to lazy to try to pronounce it, or functionally illiterate because they cannot even sound it out and pronounce it. Some foolish woman was actually surprised that I was born in the US and spoke English. Yeah I have a foreign name and could have given her the benefit of the doubt, but no. I made her feel even more stupid than she felt on her own. I recently had a funny incident with one of the Bureau Chiefs at my job who got too familiar with me and took it upon herself to shorten my name. After she pronounced my name correctly, she then said it had "too many syllables". I gave her the dirtiest look and she quickly corrected herself. Everyone in my training class was laughing afterwards.

    But with all that, I love my name, it has a beautiful meaning and it sounds nice with my last name. I used to want my name to be Latisha when I was little. LOL. I thought it sounded better, now I thank goodness that my parents gave me a name with a history and meaning.

    I despise made up ghetto names and average names with crazy spellings, and I don't know why anyone would want to set their child up like that . It drives me nuts. Having a different name is cool when it has a meaning and a history, but when it's made up, it just seems like your parents didn't put much thought into you or your future, which is probably an incorrect assumption, but I can't help thinking that.

  6. Some folk even take it too far with biblical names. I mean stick with Sarah or Ruth please don't have your child trying to spell Nebuchadnezzar (true story) until they are 45 and what's worse is they gave the name to their daughter!!!! Poor lady was signing her check and was still spelling her name out loud SMH.

    If you want to get inventive do it with a middle name…my mama did o_O, but my first name is simple and in the dictionary, lol.

  7. Names are so important… for the same reason, you stated (employment), I would love a more Anglo name. My name isn't the ghetto-is, although these bastards put it on the list.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCdmiZyyGjQ

    My homegirl dated a guy named 'GOLDIE." That was seriously, his Mama given name. I wouldn't date him. he sounds like a pimp.

    Anglo sounding names is exactly what I'm looking for when naming my children. I'm looking at their future.

  8. My favorite is when parents combine their names to make one. For example, my cousin's name is Curt + Wanda = Curtwand. My other cousin's name is Mike + Gail = Mikeayle. Hrmm…maybe that's just in my family? lol

    My mom has a friend whose siblings are all named after jewels: Diamond, Ruby, Topaz, Emerald, Onyx, and Sapphire. (No joke.)

    A few bonus names of people I know: Tarquisha and Lequanisha. smh

    1. I had a friend whose parents combined their names too; Tina + Marion = Tinarion.

      Oh and I had a childhood friend named Delicious (NO LIE…her mom must have been a stripper..or something else).

  9. When I was young I changed my name to AmyMichele. Seriously I was like 4 or 5 years old and I would not answer to Tiffany. If you wanted me you had to call me Amy Michele. My imagination was something wild! In my mind she had all the friends that TiffanyNicole didn't. But in hindsight they both are very similiar. I'm cool with being Tiffany now. I think I can grow old with the name. My guy and I had this conversation recently about baby names and I refuse to name my children names that will not "grow" with them. First impressions are important…sometimes your name is the only thing people see or hear. So no Shaqiya, Kewanna, Johnecia, or JaTodd, Kelone, Dajohn here!!!

  10. I have a very arabic first and middle name, so I'm sure I've been in the unqualified pile. Even though people rarely pronounce my name correctly, i get tons of compliments on my name. (I dont know if its a good thing for ppl to say I have a pretty name when I'm a dude) I only correct ppl that i plan on interacting on the pronunciation. I wish I had an anglo middle name. One of my good friends is Kamal and on resumes he sometimes go K. Steven instead of Kamal Steven.

    I know a Jzhontavia (the J is silent) and a Quintrecia who are sisters.

    I know an I-Perfection and I-Supreme who are brothers.

    I know ppl who first middle and last name makes one big palindrome.

    I know a Kroywen and Itiah (New York & Haiti)

  11. My mom got a tad creative and took three average names and messed with the spelling,

    Ashleigh (Ashley)

    Brienna (Brianna)

    Chrystin (Kristen)

    I don't mind that at all because we made out better than alot of my relatives….Vinicki, Quonita and etc.

    And some of the people I went to high school with like Lakeyonshay and Rodtinae….

    1. We spell our names the same way!!! I never meet another black girl with my spelling…lol!

      My brother's name is Alex, so my parents went pretty simple all the way around (with the exception of my creative spelling)…I consider myself lucky. My spelling throws people off sometimes, but once they figure out it's just "Ashley," I'm on the good foot.

      1. That's so cool!!

        I feel ya though. People get thrown off by the -leigh and reverse the i and the e or something even crazier. I've even had people disregard the Ash and call me Alicia! lol

  12. There's very few people who are going to be able to tell without a doubt my race by looking at my name. I think that I would prefer "non-ethnic" names verus saying Anglo sounding names. (@NickiSunshine)

    I mean to be perfectly honest, as long as your parents aren't giving you a hot mess name like Shequanditha, you should be happy that your name is unique. On the other hand, a name is one of those things you have for your whole life, so parents should be mindful.

    Being as though i'm a person who dates extensively international, i'd be lying if I said I dead someone over their name. I've dated all types of names, but I do stay away from ghetto ass names when someone tries to tell me that it's African.

    By the way… I know a bunch of white girls whose name is Tasha, Alexis, Crystal, etc. etc. etc. and sometimes Alize.

    1. "…a name is one of those things you have for your whole life, so parents should be mindful."

      In this great country we live in, once you turn 18 you can change your name. The down side is you have to live with the name and the teasing that comes along with it for 18 years (and no one will ever forget it). If my name was jacked up, I would surely change it.

      1. False. A lot of people think changing their name is easy. It's really not. You have to have a good reason to do so, or… you go through a lot of red tape. Also, after 18 years, you still have a good deal of people who will keep calling you your previous name. People thinking you can change your name drastically are living in TV Land, in reality they will only let you change one of your first or last names, and rarely will it be that drastic.

  13. I got teased a lot for having what people thought was a white person's name. I remember being interviewed for a scholarship at my alma mater and the interviewer suprised look as I approached.

    I've seen some pretty messed up names for children. Shithead (that's the way its spelled), Rogaine, and Lemon-Lime Jello and Lemon-Organe Jello (they are twins by the way) are just some examples. It makes want to be beat the hell out of the parents because they really haven't given their children a chance.

  14. I was looking through a friend's cell phone and reached the name "Chrisp." Of course I said who the he!! is "Crisp" and my friend said "that's my cousin. it's pronounced 'Chris' the 'p' is silent." I laughed hysterically until he said, "I'm serious." Then I laughed even harder.

  15. This is a great topic Slim!

    When my mother named me Streetz, she saw it in a dream. In this dream she said I would become a leader in the digital era, writing stories told all over electronic communities. I thought she was crazy at the time, but now, years later, she spoke prophetically!

    Seriously though, lol, I have one of the most common first name/last names in the history of the US, yet my first name legally is a "nickname" if you will. I hate the full version of my name, well not HATE but its not my name. Teachers lengthen my name, some coworkers, and random people. In school I wouldn't harp on it much, and if you are a beautiful women with a sexy accent, lengthen my name all you want! LOL.

    I look at my common name as a way to differentiate myself from all things common. Ordinary Name for an Extraordinary individual.(No Heroes). My name also helps a LOT with job searches because its a safe name that would 99% of the time deem me to be 2520, its easy to pronounce in any language too.

    I also despise made up names. Be creative, but dont brand your child for life with some nonsense.

    Knowshawn Moreno. Thats all I have to say. lmao

    1. One of my best friends' name is Charlie—not Charles, Charlie. He cringes every time someone "lengthens" his name, and he can't stand the name, Charles.lol So I feel where you're coming from.

  16. My first my is short & sweet and my last name is very common. When I go on job intereviews they are often surprised to see that I'm not white. I definitely thank my mom for thinking ahead. Although, my sister and brothers weren't so lucky. My middle name is Shonta, and I love it. However, I would never make it my first name (becuase it's not pronounced the way it's spelled).

    On another note, my sister works in child care and she always calls me talking about the kids names. This one lady named her twin boys, Orangejello and Lemonjello. NO BS!! When she was pregnant with them all she ate was Orange and Lemon Jello. So, she decided to honor Jello but jacking her kids up.

    When I had my daughter I kept it short and sweet. At four years old she can spell her first and last name (I'm still working on the middle).

    1. I heard about this! My friend told me about this at a baby shower. Hopefully it's the same boys, and not another set of kids running around with these circus names. That's a mess.

  17. There are plenty of pre-existing unique names out there that folks don't have to go making up new ish. When I had my kids I thought about it this way….one day these little babies will be adults. Those "cute" names won't be "cute" anymore when Precious is 45. I actually put the title "Dr." in front of my kids' names to test them out….if you were suffering from some horrible illness, would you want this person coming in to treat you? (And before you jump me about that statement, I've heard of PLENTY of black folks say they won't go to a black doctor….sad but true). But I still don't meet too many other people with my kids' (or even mine…its Greek) name.

    Would I ding someone in the dating context for it?? Never had to deal with that, but maybe likely probably. If it's REALLY out there, that means your momma didn't have much sense or forsight to give you a half-way respectable name, and I tend to find that apples don't fall too far from the tree (ex. Ex hubby has an ig'nant ass momma….nuff said). The reverse is also true tho.

    (And no, although it's Greek too, my real name isn't Anesidora)

  18. i have a traditional tribal yoruba name (pronounced tune-Day). its my username. growing up iHated it. always used to get made fun of because of it (most notably people would call me tuesday). now i love my name. i love being able to identify with my heritage and most important i love that my name has real meaning.

    as far as jobs are concerned, i'm not in the working field but i will be pursuing a career in the sciences which in my opinion my name can only help me. in undergrad and now most people that teach science or work in my field are foreigners. even though i'm not foreign i have a foreign name, which i think could benefit me.

    i don't know if someone has not dated me based on my name. well maybe they have based on the fact that i have a nigerian background and they have judged me based on the stereotype of nigerian men.

    1. YESSS! I'm sure folks have pronounced ur named TOONED.

      As a fellow Nigerian with a Yoruba first name, it gets butchered all the time, which is why professionally I go by a variation of Luvvie. No, "Luvvie" is not on my resumes lol.

      But my names are so unique that if you google me, I'm strictly the first 3 pages. This is why I behave myself and keep track of my digital footprint real close.

  19. See…I think I have a regular old name…just a shortened version same for middle…

    I don't know a lot of people with crazy names…

    Where the heck am I living? I need to try to figure out why I don't know some nuts named people…

  20. I have a name that people think is ghetto, but it's unique. I did a Facebook/Myspace search of my name and nothing but White people showed up. Do I wish I had a more common/simple name? Sometimes, but it's grown on me now.

    I've seen some names…Dasani, Aveyon…those are the only 2 I can think of off the top of my head.

  21. I went to high school with a girl whose name was Lachadsyde. And it took me the longest time to figure out how to say and spell it correctly.

  22. I have a unique name, but I don't think it's ghetto. It's not Shaquandra or Montinecia or anything, but I haven't seen too many people with it. I always loved my name, especially when coupled with my middle name, which is pretty standard.

    I was recently at a baby shower and one of my friends said she had a student in class named "Imadiva". Her middle name was "Urnot".

    Now when it gets to that, Uncle Sam needs to come in and take away those parents' naming rights. It's NOT ok for you to name your kid after a song.

  23. I'm originally from the south and the combining of names thing is so far out of hand it don't make any sense. I have a cousin named Raykeria (Ray + Tequiria).

    You can't pick your name, but, I really feel bad when the looks match the name. I went to school with a Barquisha. She LOOKED like a Barquisha. woof.

    1. lol yes, Bertha Coombs (thats a black name if I ever heard one) She's a CNBC general assignment reporter who is actually slim AND attractive. go figure. the first time they cut to her segment I was caught off guard by her totally un-Bertha like appearance.

  24. I was doing research on my thesis at this church last semester and the pastor was introducing me to the youth group, one little boys name was Hennessey. I did not think I heard him correctly so I asked him to repeat, and he said Hennessey again, it took everything in me not to laugh. He was such a cute shy young man who knew his mom did him wrong.

    I don't have a problem with my name I just hate when I have everyone pronounce it incorrectly, I have been called Nia, Mia, Maya, Nija, Nee-Ha. It actually means "new beginnings" in yiddish so its not made up but people give me the sideeye and ask me if I am Jewish when I tell them what it means. My resume and signature is N. Kelly, which makes it easier. But I am self conscious about my middle name so no one knows it not even my closest friends.

    My children will have strong pronounceable names, especially my sons. I hate when mothers name their sons LaTwan, you might as well enroll him in beauty school early, and get his leotard for head majorette ready.

  25. A subject very near and dear to my heart, Slim.

    A gf just had a baby and they are naming the baby something absolutely dreadful. So dreadful I can't even speak it. Think cartoon character (no spongebob). This child will be made fun of for the rest of his life and will likely never be Dr. or CEO. People judge you based on your name! Sure he has a name befitting a NFL player, but what are the odds that he is gonna do that.

    My name "Babs" is quite urban too. My mother told me that she wishes she had given me a more angle name and I agree. Thanksfully there are millions of "Babs" running around so I don't really stand out.

  26. It is so funny about the naming of children! When I was pregnant with my kids I said I want to give them a name that will make a teacher take a second look. I don’t want him/her say “oh well he’s black.” My child being labeled before you see his face is not a good look. Well both children have names that you wouldn’t know they were black as their 1st and middle names are “questionable” as my mother would say, I do hope that my husband and I have achieved our goal with them not being labeled before seen. It is really hard when you think about naming your children in today’s society.

    Here are a list of names of people I know…whew

    Tequila

    Dewaynia *yes it is pronounced the way it looks…*

    Algernita

    Juandalynn (Juan-Da-Lynn)

    Lovender

    SMH

  27. Oooh Boy, I am going through this as you type!

    I been going over my resume with my organizational behavior Prof. and he blatantly asked me, "Do people have a hard time pronouncing your name?!" I was offended, but more so hurt because I was afraid it would come to this….

    See I have a traditional African, being that my parents are both West African. Yes, it takes a little effort to pronounce but it's nothing too difficult.

    I don't feel the need for a name change, so I guess I'm going to have to deal with this issue somehow.

  28. "If you knew my real name, you’d expect me to perhaps be a preppy white guy that wears polo shirts and khaki shorts."

    Slim, is your name Kanye Brent?

    As far as my name, it's a variation of a more common name and I usually get the most common prenounciation than the actual prenounciation despite the very bold letter right there that should be pronounced unless Spanish is your first language (then, I understand…until after I correct you then you betta get it right). It's funny though, because if I look for my name, there are mostly chicks in Germany that have it. lol I only know one other person with my name (with the exact spelling) in real life though. Met her at Sam's Club. lol And she's also Black.

    My last name, though…is…unique. In terms of…if anyone has it, they're probably directly related to me…it's so rare. My sister's last name (different from mine because we have different dads) is the same way. I always love her stories of when she goes on interviews and the expression on the interviewers face because they thought she was White…her first name is a "whitebread" name, and she had her corporate voice goin' on when they spoke prior over the phone. They look shell-shocked as hell. It's hilarious…and unfortunate at the same time. *sigh*

    "So what does everyone else think about this issue of names?"

    YES. My cousin's gf has a baby named BACARDI. Um, the only job he gon' get is either a Bacardi spokesperson (and his face gotta be on point for that) or a street pharmacist. WTF. Think of their future. *Mrs. Lovejoy* Won't someone please think of the children!!

    Or Jermaine Dupri's Jermajesty? WTF are you ON? Ignance heroin? Get some help, yesterday. And eff your naming capabilities.

    1. If my name was Brent, I would have jumped off a bridge years ago. Your cousin's Gf is a hot mess though. I think your cousin may be a hot mess because of the residual effect. No disrepect, but naming your child bacardi is a really hot mess.lol.

  29. Lol….um yeah. I have a SUPER white/anglo name…my whole family does, pretty much. My first name is…Chelsea. Yeah….Chelsea. Actually its pronounced Chel-see-uh but I'm perfectly fine with ppl saying it Chel-see. (However, I occasionally get ppl who automatically pronounce it the 'urban' way and then there's a battle between which is the correct way to say it and which do I prefer. Don't tell me how to say MY name!)

    My last name is just as regular as my first, and I also speak like VERY proper English and I have almost no Black inflection most of the time (nor do I have a Southern or West Indian accent althought I've lived in the South all my life and am from the Bahamas), so NO ONE knows that I'm Black until I unleash the slang and the 'mmhmmm chiles' and whatnot. When I walk into an appt after speaking with someone on the phone and they ask for my name, I get all kinds of double takes and raised eyebrows. its HILARIOUS.

    I LOVE when I call T-Mobile (proud G1 user…thanks!) or the bank, etc and get a Black customer svc person who is obviously putting on their best 'corporate America' ie WHITE voice on because they assume I'm melanin-challenged as well…then I flip it and break my English n put the Brotha at ease!

    List of Ppl I Know:

    Shateeka

    Porsha, Porsche, Porshia

    Wilnesha (her dad's name is Willie so yeah…u guessed it…WILNESHA)

    Brittania (ugly ass name IMO)

    Star (and he was a DUDE…an athlete…how appropos right?)

    Starnesha (ugh….no relation to the above)

    Sharkevia

    Chambourd (like the damn alcholic beverage!)

    1. i go to school now with a guy named Great.

      my first born son will be named Maximus Decimus Meridius. He will be Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. He might even be father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And he will have his vengeance, in this life or the next.

  30. My name is indeed ethnic, however it has an origin (Arabic) and meaning versus a shotgun name with syllables puhed together. I love my name and would never change it for the world. Though my mom told me a couple years back she feels she may have messed up by giving me an African name instead of a Euro one (both parents are American).

    I have contemplated using first initial + last name on my resume, but never followed through with it. If an organization is willing to pass over me strictly based on my name, then I'm better off without them anyway.

    I must say I feel mad sympathy for some of my brothers & sisters out here with some straight jacked up names. It ain't right. Parents need to stop being selfish and think about the child. I love my best friend to death, but she straight set up her kids (I'm not naming them.. no need to lose a friend over blog comments. lol). None of their names are pronounced as they appear. A couple of the kids' names have apostrophes in them… SIGH.

  31. Been lurking for a few weeks…love the topic tho, so I felt the need to comment!

    My mother is Angela Marie Cox. Not worried about her gov't being out there cause she had 3 other Angela Coxes in her CLASS (no relation) and now works with a woman named…Angela Marie Cox. (They have to do full email sigs w/floor and erything so folks don't get them mixed up)

    All that being said she gave me a pretty name, not terribly unique case I see it all the time; where the issue lies is with the spelling. Folks canNOT spell my name to save thier lives! Not because it hard, but because they are so used to seeing it spelled other ways that they can't wrap their heads around the way I spell it. SMDH It cracks me up, bcaue I work with all older white German men, and they just shorten it to Tam. It irritates the ish outta me, but I'd rather them do that than continue jacking up my name!

    I also have gotten the "WTF, you are black!" look form people that have spoken to me on the phone. I find it HILARIOUS. LOL

  32. I happen to know a Berthina (close enough). Not only is she thin (depending on ur standards, about a size 8) she is cute too! I figure she is the exception, not the rule!

  33. My first name is Consuela ,my middle name also leans to Hispanic heritage and my last name is of German descent. The problem is, I's Negro-110% I walked in to an interview once and the manager (a lovely full blooded Mexican American) actually said out loud, 'I thought you were a sister" I said "I am just not yours" we laughed and were cool from that day on until the day I left the position. However, sad to say as I moved up the corporate ladder, I altered my resume from Consuela to Connie, keeping in mind that first impressions are in fact made based on name alone and can kill a deal despite impressive academic and or professional achievement, before you even get in the door.

  34. My sister in law had a few kids with crazy names in her class

    1.SHITHEAD (pronounced SHITHEED)

    2. Lemonjello & Orangejello (they were twins,lemon jello and orange jello)

    3. Courvoiser & Alazae Jenkins (also twins)

    4. Nosmoking (No Smoking)

    5. Crystalchandileer

  35. It's not just black people who are prone to using "unusual" names. My granny (Bertha, FYI, and, after birthing 10 kids, not a reed thin lady) started the trend back in the 40's. My family includes such first names as O'dell, Glenwood, Haysten, Dewana and Marylou (pronounced murry-lu).

    My name was picked out of a baby name book, and I'll be forever grateful that my father's finger landed on Melissa instead of Mildred…although my last name is only found in the backwoods of Kentucky where my family lives.

    When naming my children, I tried to pick names that weren't common in my family…Joseph and Michael. One of my uncles subsequently named his boys the same names and both names are very common in the current generation of kids for my family.

  36. My name is Brittany. I like it, it's served me well. I have a friend who has a name that is … not like Brittany. She constantly asserts herself by telling me that people in the majority culture tell her that her name is pretty. I never have to wonder whether or not people in the majority culture think my name is pretty because … they name their kids that so they must like it ok.

  37. I know a girl named Juana Marie. I took me a while to realize what her mother had done to her. I'm always amazed by how people crticize me for having a "white girls" name or for naming my daughter something "boring". SMH but u shouldn't be able to determine my race by my name.

  38. ::Sigh::

    I am the unfortunate bearer of one of "those" names. My name is not GHETTO, like "Shanequa" or "Talithia", but it is "unique". It sounds foreign and you will never hear another approximation of it again in your life. I do actually get quite a few comments on my name and how "unique" and "pretty" it is.

    Apparently, HR people in a small-ish, predominately white college town do not like "unique and "pretty" names.

    I have been looking for a gig for a few months now and have turned up empty handed. Mind you, I have a degree, am in the middle of taking pre-reqs for graduate school and all I want is a full-time slot as a RECEPTIONIST. Nothing too fancy or overpaid, just a steady, easy 9-5 to help me get a few bills paid off and keep my lights on until May.

    I have revamped my resume and cover letters several times thinking that they may be the culprit.

    Out of 20-40 applications, I have received exactly ONE phone call for an interview. ONE.

    TOUGH ECONOMY MY ASS! I am starting to think this is largely due to my ethnic sounding name. I can just see some ignorant HR lady taking one look at my resume and dumping it in the trash when she sees my name at the top of the page. It is unfair and I am really starting to resent my parents for burdening me with my grandmother's name. Especially since the other members of my immediate family ALL have run-of-the-mill monikers.

    I have been raised by a middle class family of a homemaker and a FOUR degree-holding professional, but because of MY NAME people assume I am some ghetto bird who has trouble stringing two sentences together!

    Pray for me ya'll. If I ever become a hiring manager I will NEVER throw overlook a resume because of the name at the top.

    I vow to name my future progeny something simple! No one will know they are black until they GET to the interview! LOL.

    1. Actually, my name is "classic" in both American and Africa, and I already graduated from grad/professional school, and the job hunt is going rough for me too. So, I'd say the economy really does have something to do with it!

  39. I'm in love with a man who has a made up beautifully "ghetto" name that includes two (gasp! omg!) equally ghetto middle names. He wouldn't change it and neither would I.

    I will not give my children "anglo" names. (WTF?) Our name lists include some obscure, some made-up, and some classic with unique spellings. Almost all of them would probably be considered "black."

    I had been on the fence about my place in bougieland. But after this post, I know for sure where I belong.

  40. Great post!

    I have the Whitest of White names (first, middle & last) – like where White people who've met me ask if I have family in Ireland. I was always teased about sounding and acting White (especially when I processed hair, I tended to flip it over my shoulders a lot), so my name was just one more aspect I learned to deal w growing up. I just didn't like that my mother and I had the same first name. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized my "boring" name was somewhat of a blessing.

    So many times people give me the side-eye on first meeting, after reading my resume or a phone interview. When I was in a position hiring others, I had one prospective (White) candidate go up to the only White woman in the room (she was setting up for the caterer), and greet her, while completely ignoring me & the 5 other women of color in the room.

  41. i think people generally have stereotypes. When i just moved here- i had a lot of Americans tell me "oh, waow ur spoken English is good". And i couldnt understand why they'd just assume cos i'm Nigerian that i'd speak bad English. As for the name- thats another story on it's own. LOL!!! I think the funniest i've gotten is- "Why don't you have a normal name"?

  42. Growing up I really HATED my first name; because I thought it was too "ghetto" and extremely long. Extremely long? Yes; my first name has TWELVE letters in it. So all throughout school, I always asked to be called by my middle name. All my mail, bills, bank cards,etc. is stamped with my middle name. Everyone always ask "what does my name mean", "who was I named after"…doesn't mean a damn thing. My mother made it up while she was in high school – straight face -. My name has grown on me throughout the years, but I still write my middle name when taking an exam in college…its a habit.

  43. I'm totally late on this post, but I can dig it.

    My real name is a doosie, but it hasn't stopped me from getting the jobs I apply for. However I did once think of legally changing it and dropping the first part and leaving the rest, but as I began to grow I became thankful for my uniqueness. It's amazing how many 2520's love my name and think that it's beautiful.

    Either way I'm cool with it now…actually it may help me in the long run…whoever would have thought that "Barack Obama" stood a chance…one time for standing.

  44. I used to hate my name, but now I love it. My parents are Haitian so my first name is super 2520 old school my middle name looks/sounds Itialian and my last name looks French. I also just got married and so my name is now hyphenated with Williams on the end. I know that people are confused when they see me and I love it.

  45. My first name is German-Jewish (ha?), and every single day at work, I get the "That's unique/interesting..I've never heard that name before" at least 5 times. My last name is Yoruba (Nigerian), but not a common one, so people can't usually place it. You would NEVER be able to form an accurate image of me based on my name. I officially tossed my middle name into the mix (resumes, official docs & ish) so as not to confuse people since I go by both first & middle. At my last job, people would be arguing amongst themselves as to what my name really was, lol.

  46. I've had this convo more times than i could count. I have a pretty generic name and i know it makes a difference. When naming my son i was anti "different" names. I gave my son a common middle of the road name. Its not a "white or black" name. I have a friend that has a "ghetto" name and people assume that she is even before opening her mouth. Its sad but its reality. I figured my son will have a hard enough time proving himself in the world, why give him a name that will close doors before he is able to show is potential.
    My recent post Charlotte Black Butterfly Single – Sonshine, Words & Ms. Channer

  47. I've had this convo more times than i could count. I have a pretty generic name and i know it makes a difference. When naming my son i was anti "different" names. I gave my son a common middle of the road name. Its not a "white or black" name. I have a friend that has a "ghetto" name and people assume that she is even before opening her mouth. Its sad but its reality. I figured my son will have a hard enough time proving himself in the world, why give him a name that will close doors before he is able to show is potential.
    My recent post Charlotte Black Butterfly Single – Sonshine, Words & Ms. Channer

  48. Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the
    challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful.
    Thanks for sharing!

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