The impact of naming


K Project

I’ve never particularly liked my name, possibly because so many people get it wrong and I don’t particularly have strong attachments with it (a story for another time). Regardless, I’ve always liked names in general.

They have roots to the past when we look up their origins, and often have interesting meanings. Strange arrangements of characters or even unexpected alternate spellings or different versions of these names in different languages. I had a baby name book, bought from the library, which I flicked through often. Looking at their variety and finding my favourite sections.

K

When I was in high school, I used to keep a notebook I would write down interesting names which I came across when reading my novels. Names like ‘Lorelei’ or ‘Diamond Flame’, where I either liked the assembly of letters or even just liked the imagery their name depicted.

Unfortunately I never really came across a name that I felt was my own. I liked the name ‘Amber’ because I liked the colour, and I liked the name ‘Anne’ because it was simple and I got used to it over time, but I always felt the need to change it. Finally, a manga made the decision for me when I came across a character called ‘Clara Kirishima’ in a manga, I recount briefly on my About page.

It was ‘Ayama’ and ‘Aya’ at first, a first name I generated from my last name, then it was ‘Kiri’ and ‘Rika’ when my new twitter handle appeared, but ‘Kiri’ really has felt like my name like other nicknames of mine have not. Perhaps it is because it contains one of my favourite letters, K (with M and A being two others that I like).

Whatever the reason, I haven’t felt the urge to change it.

Namely, opportunity

This article in the BBC is interesting, however, not just because of what it says about how an individual’s name can impact their growing up and even where they may go to university. But also it was interesting to see people’s philosophy on the matter of naming their children.

I have heard that some children have asked their parents what they would have been named had they been the alternate gender, and the results have been interesting. Mine have always been disappointing however, as it would have been my brother’s name, and the idea that he could have been a different gender not entertained. I won’t think about what that could entail.

Letting children choose their own name though, is that ‘child abuse’ or really liberating? It truly is a unique approach and while I, on this side of the fence, may have wished for it, I don’t know that I could in good faith do it myself. It certainly does make for a unique name though.

The studies of universities have been interesting, and while I don’t feel as if it’s particularly scientific, the results are still a curiosity to see. Why is it that celebrities give their children such ‘out there’ names, I wonder? If names determine career paths, have I diverged from mine by going into IT instead of, perhaps, medicine as I’ve seen several with similar names to mine do? (Just from Googling, mind you.)

Would life have been different with another name? Especially one that people could pronounce properly? Has having an Asian surname given people the impression that maybe I should be good at mathematics? Has having an English first name given me more opportunities than if I had been a ‘Jia Xing’? They’re all questions that cannot be answered.

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