Shaped by a Name

Say Your Name

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

A response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt.

In case you haven’t had your coffee yet this morning, or you didn’t register the title of this post, my name is James. Most commonly defined as the Supplanter. One who overthrows. I’m not too sure if I like that definition.

Now I do not know the specifics for why my parents chose my name to be this one and not some other one. What I do know is that had I been born a female, I would be a Julia.

Instead, I wish to talk about the impact of a name, and how our name affects us.

Note: By no means am I saying that you were named this in order to become that or that it was because you were named this that you became that. I just want to explore the possibility of it.

So let us take my name as a prime example of this.

I never really used to like my name, I don’t know if it suits me, I don’t know how I would tell if it suits me. To me a name is a titled concept that refers to something else. Many cultures define a name as being the person and not referring to the person and this I find to be an interesting topic for debate. Now I am going to do many wrong things in this text, the worst of which will be only exploring one of the things that I have mentioned.

How does a name we are given at birth affect us in later life?

Have you ever noticed a similarity in all the different Bobs and Joans that you have met? It’s odd how people with the same name, who come from completely different backgrounds can be so strikingly similar. Does the name have anything to do with this?

My answer: “Inevitably it does as one looks for similarities in amongst people who have the same names as each other and they will draw on even the tiniest similarities. We also have the issue of presumption and expectation. In western European culture, the name is issued around the time of birth and that signifies that this fleshy lump is called Peter and will be called Peter until such a stage as Peter undergoes serious change and Peter has Peter’s name changed to Isabella because the entity which we used to call Peter has decided that the name of Isabella is better suited to them.

Now we have several assumptions that have been made. Peter thought that their name did not suit them. Peter thought that the name of Isabella would better suit them. Peter’s parents had an idea of previous Peter’s that they had encountered when they named Peter as Peter.

From this we can see that names have some sort of an influence on who it is they are referring to. The parents named their child Peter and (arguably unknowingly) raised their child to be like the Peter that they had envisioned. There was an expectation. Peter grew up and felt missuited to the name of Peter and underwent a process to change it. He did not feel as if the name of Peter matched him. We could say that there was a mismatch of name and entity. Then Peter took on the name of Isabella. There was a renaming. Presumably, Peter would only take on the name of Isabella because they thought the name of a boy did not suit their feminine personality. She chose a name that suited her.”

Be warned, if you click this ‘read more’ button then you are subjecting yourself to a wave of information and ideas that may potentially make your eyes might end up hurting just as much as tapping a lamp on while you look at it to see if the bulb is broken or not.


To sidetrack from this idea for a bit.

After reading this daily prompt and sensing my ignorance on the subject of names I took a Kabalarian assessment of my name. It assessed the names that I used and my date of birth and made a presumption as to who I was and what I would become. It also tried to tell me what I was best at and that I would end up suffering from some sort of blood-related disease. I would like to make it clear that these assumptions were completely baseless and without reasoned support and rational arguments in their favour. But that does not mean they were wrong. . .or that they were right. It just means that one cannot use this information in a serious and matter until the grounds for these assumptions have been made clear. This is the second big thing that I will do wrong as I am going to presume that these results do have a base to stand firmly on.

I anticipated the results of the study to be very optimistic and to tell me that I can improve my name and myself by watching this free video if I subscribed to them (and 80 of their associates). Well, boy was I surprised.

No video, no subscription. No overemphasis on the positive. Yes, they do have a ‘pay to better yourself section’ and they had so much text on testimonials and reasons why you should go for it. But that is not my focus. The analysis of my name told me many things about myself which I knew to be true and several things which I had suspected of being true. It also told me multiple things that were just plain wrong. What I found interesting was that despite the fact that I feel confident that they had not been previously monitoring my actions, I got a surprisingly accurate result.

I reaffirm that I saw no clear evidence for why they say that ‘James’ does this, knows that, and displays these manners, they didn’t get it all wrong. Now I think what I am trying to say has settled into your mind so I am going to move on to what this shows us.

One possible idea that we can draw from this is that those who are named James, tend to have many overlapping features. These are the features that the next James is likely to have. Unable to know which ones will differ we shall assume a generic James and assume other Jameses that we meet to display at least some of those very features.

This could not have been absent in the mind of a parent who thought well of the name of their child. They must have acknowledged the fact that Jameses tend to have these traits and that by naming their child James there is a large possibility of their child having the desired traits. This expectation would have persisted in the raising of the child and all those whom they meet would also expect a generic James to manifest in some shape or form. And once the child has met other Jameses and noticed these similarities for themselves, they are most likely to look for, or even train for, the features of the generic James.

To conclude, I think that the name one is given molds one into the way one is because of the expectation of the others that they meet. They become accustomed to seeing general features exhibit themselves in people who are named the same as one another. How largely this comes into play is a job for a much smarter James than I.

Please be that much smarter James and comment your thoughts on this matter. I only explored one option and pretty much just ignored the others. I would love to find out ow your name has affected you and whether or not you agree with me.

Regular Intelligence James over and out.


3 thoughts on “Shaped by a Name

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