Power Of A Name

Ever have someone ask you something and the first thing that comes to mind is…”that’s an epically bad idea?” That’s what happened to me this week, and it was all around names.

Who knew I could have such a visceral reaction to something so simple?

But it makes sense, right? I mean, names help to define who we are expected to be by the world as well as who we feel we can become, right?

And as writers, haven’t there been characters you’ve agonized over, trying to find just the right name to suit their appearance and their temperament?

So what name set me in such a tailspin it shoved me back onto my blog (which I’ve missed, by the way, and I’ll go into where I’ve been another day)? The name Judas. One of my sweet co-workers asked me what I thought of that name for a little boy.

I admit it. I was pretty horrified.

Me: Why would you do that to a child?

Her: What do you mean?

Me: Do you have any idea of the connotations behind that name?

(She gave me that confused head tilt thingie that all dogs have down pat when they hear strange noises)

Her: Huh?

Me: Dude, Judas betrayed Jesus and got him killed! For 30 pieces of silver.

Male Co-worker chimes in: I think it’s a cool name.

Her: (looks over at me) She’s right, though.

Guy: But who was Jesus back then? A nobody. Why should he have cared? It was for money.

Me: (gasping in shock) Uh…even if you think back then Jesus was a nobody (and I definitely had no plans of getting into a deep theological discussion with two kinds I suspected weren’t very versed in that subject or history), he was supposed to be one of his best friends. They were together non-stop for 3 years! And he betrayed that friendship for 30 pieces of silver.

Her: That’s true. They were best friends.

Me: And, he felt so shitty afterwards that he committed suicide. Why would you want to put all that on a kid? Don’t you know that even to this day, when someone calls someone Judas they’re calling the person a traitor? And that happened a long time ago.

I didn’t even go into how much more time had passed compared to Benedict Arnold’s and how the negative connotations never disappeared.

As I thought back on that chat I got to thinking about all the effed up names out there. And I’m not just talking some of the sillier ones celebs come up with like Apple, etc. I mean, a good friend of mine in healthcare was telling me that she’d seen several people come in and write this ‘La-a’ one admission paperwork for their little ones. Unsure how to pronounce, she asked and was told (with a look telling her they thought she was stupid) “It’s La-dash-a!”

Am I the only one not cool enough to know that the proper words for punctuation marks are now to be part of the name?

And what names do you feel give bad juju anyone with the misfortune of having it? Are there certain names you feel predestine people for questionable career choices? And are there ones you absolutely love? How did you get your name? I’d love to hear from you!

22 thoughts on “Power Of A Name

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I like your name, and some of the Biblical heroines had beautiful names! I’m truly sorry someone was cruel and called you by that name. I’ve always wondered if I’d ever met a Hadassa. Of course, most people know this Biblical heroine by her Babylonian name. 😉


  1. Cotton Boll Conspiracy says:

    I had a friend whose brother, when asked to pick out a Confirmation name for himself, tried to go with Lucifer. Not because he was rebellious but because he didn’t know who Lucifer was and thought it sounded cool. His parents thought it decidedly uncool. In his (limited) defense, he was in the 8th grade.

    My test when it came time to pick names for my kids was simple: If I was back in school and ran into a kid with this name, would he/she likely get beaten up/shunned because of their name? Yes, it’s a petty test, but parents might want to consider the potential long-term negative effects of naming their child after cardinal numbers or primary colors in an attempt to be get media attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jansenschmidt says:

    No on Judas. Really? Just no. No to North (aka North West), no to Apple, no to Moonbeam. And a huge NOOOOO to La-a. That’s just plain stupid.

    I like unusual names but not ridiculous names. I always try to find unique names for my book characters and save the Judas’s for the bad fictional guys. I do have a horse named Lucifer in one of my books. And another horse named Zeus. But animals are not humans so you can get away with those names. For instance I’d never name a child Winchester, but for a horse, kind of cool.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      THANK YOU! Thank you so much. You get it…and me. 🙂 As for Winchester? It WOULD be a cool horse name. Or a last name. Of course if it were a brothers series I could see where the parents might have named their kids (because the ‘rents are weird or Dad was in the military) Colt, Winchester (or Win for short), and Remington (who’d probably go by Remy)….

      *excuse the writer tangent*


  3. Steve Auger says:

    Simple rule my wife and I used for naming our boys: nothing we wouldn’t want to be called and nothing that will force them to fight on the playground due to being ruthlessly tormented.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rhonda says:

    Good to see you Kitt! Love this post 🙂 I have an aunt to thank for intervening on my behalf when I was born. The dear Mamaaaa felt it her duty to give her only daughter a name that stood out from the hoards of Marys, Lisas, and Susans, which were the 3 top names in 1960. And, to be fair to her…in my small class of 84 souls, I knew 3 Marys, 3 Lisas, and 2 Susans. So I’ll give her that.

    However, I would have forever cursed her if she’d not relented when my aunt spoke up about my ‘nom du choix’ ROE JANE.

    Roe? Really? Do you remember what grade you were in when you learned what roe was? I do…3rd. Had she won out…I’d have been toast at the age of 8. Roe on toast (as it should be. hehe) Her only consolation for her compromise (Rhonda Jeanne) is that my childhood BFF (who I met in the 3rd grade as it happens) always called me Rho. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Thanks! Hubby actually has a Roe in his family, but it’s short for Rosemary. As she comes from a big Italian family with mostly men, no one thought to tease her. 🙂

      BTW, it could have been worse. If you’d have been a generation or two later it would’ve been Rogaine Roe Jane for the horrifying nickname. Good on your aunt for the intervention!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rhonda says:

        Haha…gotta love the Italians! We are a french bunch and we females are the protectors of our softer, gentler menfolk. lol. I hadn’t thought about what it would have been like if it had been later, but you’ve nailed it.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Rhonda says:

            While I was just chuckling with a french accent…I thought of an introduction I had years ago. I was at my niece’s 5th birthday party and she was so excited to introduce me to her new friend (I’m going to spell it out phonetically) jon-er-ay and I remember thinking what a lovely name (perhaps the french in me). A bit later, I was introduced to this child’s mother so naturally I asked how her daughter’s name was spelled. Ready?
            G O N O R R H E A
            Almost shat myself!
            So the moral is…one must also consider the spelling!!! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Kitt Crescendo says:

            Now that’s just plain wrong! Reminds me of that Patrick Dempsey Maid of Honor movie, though, when they were in Scotland and a well meaning aunt of the groom thought they should give their first born son a traditional family name….Athol. His very American bride almost lost it. “I am not naming our child Ath hole!” I cried…

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Kristy K. James...Where Romance and Fantasy Collide says:

    There was a time (as a teen) when I hated my name. Most girls with my name were spelled Christie – which is how I spelled it on every paper in school one year in junior high. Pretty sure my teachers thought I was nuts, lol. Eventually, I came to love it because my dad named me – and it was a whole lot better than what an uncle told my mom to call me – Martha. Um … pretty sure that uncle never liked me, lol. No offense to any Marthas out there but that name wasn’t even close to popular when I was a kid. It was considered an ‘old lady name.’

    One of the worst things I’ve ever heard of was one of my mother’s roommates when one of us kids was born. The woman wanted to name her baby Placenta because she thought it was a pretty word. Mom said she tried hard to talk her out of it but was discharged before the woman made a decision.

    Another piece of advice for names. If you’re going to name your child, make sure you actually REMEMBER the name. My dad also named my sister. The morning after she was born, he stopped by human resources to add her to the insurance – and had to call my mom because he’d forgotten her name. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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