Thursday, August 29, 2013


"I hate my name."

It must be difficult to be a sixteen year old girl.

We were riding along in the minivan.  She was driving.  I was telling her about one of the new blogs I had stumbled across and was enjoying (Mostly Cajun).  He has a fairly simple format.  He rotates between Today in History, political cartoons and The Name Game.  Oh, and he will sprinkle opinion pieces amongst them.

The Name Game is where he opens up the newspaper and gives a quick summary of the number of out-of-wedlock-births and the number of divine conceptions.  Then he shares some of the non-traditional names.

Why might names matter?  In Freakenomics, author David Levitt attempts to correlate names with economic success. He used educational attainment of the mother as a proxy for economic success of the child.  He sliced the problem two ways.  First he looked at a relatively common name (Jasmine) that is vulnerable to creative spellings.  Then he performed a regression based on position in a histogram.  The only instances of Prof Levitt predicting high economic hopes for an exotic name (or spelling) was for certain historical, Biblical, Hebrew names.

That would not be In’diah Denae Joycelynn La’Hagen Peace.

I like my daughter's name.  It is a name that is easy on the mouth and has proven as durable and as practical as a steel belted, all season, radial tire.  It has been the name of saints, sinners, queens and cooks.

I asked my daughter why she did not like her name.  "Too practical.  Not exotic."

I asked her what she would name herself.  The winners are:

Schuyler, which is the name of a very good grape
Lilyonah (da water).  Latin name Nymphaea....not sure I like where that is going
Nightshade.  I tried telling her that Belladonna is a much better name.  It is in the Nightshade family and is Italian for "Beautiful Woman" but she claims that it does not sound cool
Well, it is pretty clear that acorn did not fall too far from the tree.

Incidentally, I am pretty safe writing this post because my daughter assured me that she would never read this blog.  Not even on a bet.  Not even if she was paid.


  1. Tell her to get over it. When she's 18 she can go down to the Courthouse and change her name to anything she likes.

  2. Hello Pawpaw:

    Thank-you for commenting.

    I teased her for years that I wanted to name her "Yucca LaTrina"

    One thing my daughter's attitude points out to me is that parents (moms) who choose those horrible names that Mostly Cajun shares for our enjoyment are emotionally stuck at 15 or 16. To them, their baby's function is a canvas to project the mom's self-absorption onto. And there is little/no consideration given to the future implications for the child's life. Perhaps because the child has no value to the mom other than "Look at how cool *I* am." More likely because the concepts of future and consequences are not their native currency.