My name, both first and last, are pretty ethnic.
I grew up in a school with people just like me (i.e children of middle eastern descent) so my name was pretty normal in the scheme of things, comparatively speaking of course.
I always loved my first name (Maya) but my last name has always been hard to pronounce.
I was reading an online article about a study that was done regarding ethnic names:
Two identical resumes were sent out for the same positions with two different names: One “English/ white ” name and one “Ethnic” name.
The “english/white” names got more interviews.
According to a study for the National Bureau of Economics, resumes and applications with names more commonly given to white Americans were 50 percent more likely to be contacted for job interviews than those applicants with names more associated with black/ middle eastern Americans.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a good amount of career experience and contacts under my belt to have my ethnic name not “matter” to potential employers, but I wonder just how my girls will be effected by their names.
I’ve always loved that my first name was different, that it stood out in a group or in a classroom. That’s why when it came time to naming my children, I knew that I wanted names that were going to be different, to stand out, yet not in a negative way. The names Neve and Soleil were different, but not enough for it to be a burden on them (at least I hope not).
When my girls were 2 years old I took them for a well check up. When I was about to write their names down on the waiting list, I had noticed that the name Soleil had already been written. There were two families in the waiting room: one white, and the other black. I wondered to myself for a moment which of the families would have gravitated toward the name Soleil like I had.
Turns out it was the white family who had also loved the name (made famous by Punky Brewster aka Soleil Moon Frye) and we were excited to find another couple who named their daughter Soleil… it’s as if we were given a confirmation that the name was OK and not too out there.
I read an article that said that the celebrity name that most parents regret giving their daughters is “Beyonce”
I could totally see why that would happen , since certain names tend to be fads.
I often get a head tilt when people hear my response after they ask me my girls names.
They don’t get it.
And that’s OK too.
I just hope that they grow up and tell me that they do love their names and that they were happy I named them something that was a bit unconventional.
And if they don’t – well…there’s always the Social Security Office.
What did you name your children (or want to name your children)- and what does it mean to you?