Living with an unconventional name


February 14, 2017 11:32 PM

Oh wow. The poll worker who handed me my ballot in 2012 was named Australia. She was about 60. I asked her about her name and she said that her mother didn't have a name picked out. The woman in the bed next to her kept talking about taking a trip to Australia. She told me that she had also considered changing her name but had come to like it as she got older.

February 15, 2017 4:09 AM

I met a guy called Remington who told me his parents couldn't choose a name and so opened an atlas blindly, put a finger down, and landed on Remington, Virginia.

Who are these parents? I can imagine if I´d been told I was having a boy not having a girl name picked out... but how hard is it to come up with something serviceable at the spur of the moment? John or Mary, anyone?

February 15, 2017 7:15 PM

I had a friend in high school who was named Jasmine after the princess in Aladdin. Her parents hadn't found a girl name they could agree on, but were told they were having a boy, so when she turned out to be a girl, there they were trying to come up with a name in the hospital room... Aladdin happened to be playing on the hospital TV, the nurse turned to them and said, "How about Jasmine?," they both liked it, so Jasmine she was.

February 15, 2017 9:10 AM

You know the question, is it better to be named after the season or month you were born in, which is often thought to be cheesy, or to be named after a season or month that had nothing to do with your birth circumstances? That must apply double to state names. Either way, you're always going to have to answer the question with annoying frequency, "Oh, your name is Texas. Are you from Texas?"

If she'd been male, I wonder if people would have given her such a hard time. 

And why would someone hand over naming rights to a sibling? And oy, her sister thinks she's funny but is so, so not. 

February 15, 2017 2:29 PM

I have a childhood friend named Utah--after an uncle Utah. He didn't know why his uncle was named that; apparently there was no connection to the state that he knew of. I always kind of loved the randomness of it. I'm sure my friend got tired of answering questions about his name, but it didn't obviously bother him when we were kids.

I also have a hard time identifying with folks who let other people name their children. Texas's mom offhandedly let the doctor name her baby, but is apparently attached enough to that decision that it would feel like disrespect of the mother if Texas were to change her name.

February 15, 2017 8:31 PM

Didn't she also say that it would feel like disrespecting the doctor? Maybe she has had a lifelong relationship with the doctor. Or she just has really strong respect for her elders. 

September 24, 2018 10:32 AM

My real name is India danielle