Question of the day (5th May).

Would you ever consider naming your child after yourself, so she/he would be a “junior”? What would you think if this custom came back?

My answer:

Back when I was still using my birth name, and didn’t really think seriously about changing it, despite I did already think about myself as Emilia and loved this name, I thought that maybe if I had a daughter, I could call her Emilia instead. But now, even if I wouldn’t change my name to Emilia, it doesn’t seem a good idea for me. I think I would feel like something is not right if I did that. I could give my potential daughter my name as a middle, but probably wouldn’t, despite it is a kind of custom in our family and our region. I find it nice but boring.

Emilia is also a really hot name at the moment, I guess quite a bit more popular than among girls my age, not far below the top 10 and rising, and with Amelia being #9 and other -lia names in close proximity, and that’s off-putting for me for a baby name. As for this custom in general, of naming children after parents, like using a parent’s first name as a child’s first name, it’s not really common in Poland. I remember when I was a child, Olek told me about his class teacher “You know, you would get along with my class teacher, she likes the name Jacek, just as you, her husband is Jacek, and her son is Jacek too!”. 😀 And we were both like WOW! That’s crazy! How does she tell them apart? She really must love that name. So, I’d say it’s not really normal here. If you want to name your child after yourself or your spouse, use your name as their middle name. OK, my Dad wanted to call me Anna, after my Mum, but that’s probably why he didn’t in the end, because it’s her name already and because it’s not normal. But since I am now pretty familiar with lots of weird naming customs all around the world and especially in the English-speaking countries, it doesn’t really impress me and I don’t mind it, if someone wants it, it’s not my business. I just think it’s a little bit boring because there are so many beautiful names out there. Why limiting ourselves to just a handful?! Because I can see that if a parent names their child after themself, and a lot of people start to follow that trend, their children will likely do the same, and then naturally people’s names might suddenly become really boring and repetitive. I even have a problem with this middle names tradition over here, that everyone needs to have their parent’s name as a middle almost obligatorily, even though I do love my middle name after my Mum, I feel like it doesn’t allow creativity, especially that you can have only one middle in Poland if you’re a Polish citizen, not counting confirmation or a few traditional/obsolete hyphenated exceptions. Also, I can’t ignore the baby namer in me shouting “NO!” because as a firm believer in that a name carries a personality, or at least a strong potential influence on a person with itself, I just can’t help but feel that if you call your child after yourself, he or she may feel kind of unconsciously forced to be like you! To fulfill your expectations, follow your footsteps, won’t feel their own sense of identity, or at least that their name doesn’t belong fully to them. I was named after a close family member and my Mum’s best friend at the same time (they both shared a name), and still felt that way, like they want me to be someone I’m not, so how must a person named after their parent feel? That’s how I see it, you don’t have to agree with me and I’m pretty sure many people wouldn’t. So if someone would ask me for an advice regarding this, I’d say yes, you can, but if your name is easily nicknamed, try to find a different nickname for him, even if it’s just one letter or syllable more/less or a slightly altered spelling or let him have a nickname unrelated to the nickname that he likes and can go by daily, you’ll have to try to show your child that you embrace who he comes to be, that you accept him as he is and you’ll have to really stress that in his upbringing and make sure his personality develops harmoniously. I feel though like there really is a risk of some kind of disharmony between your own individuality and the way your family influences you. On a little different note, it’s just a little thought and it doesn’t mean that I have a problem with people naming their kids after themselves or am prejudiced but in a way it kinda feels a bit selfish to me. ‘Cause generally if we name our children after someone, we admire that person, or want to honour them because of something. So it feels slightly as if someone had a bit too large an ego. 😀

How about you? 🙂

4 thoughts on “Question of the day (5th May).”

  1. You make such a good point. It would be great to wait for Baby to be born and then feel Baby’s energy to choose the name!! I totally agree. Or to even think up a list of names, and then see which name Baby meshes with. Or to let Baby’s energy pick the first name, but give Baby a family middle name (if need be). I think you’re onto something that names shouldn’t be given without intuiting it from the baby.

    In my family, my dad and my brother have the same name, but my brother was not “junior”; he just had the same name. My brother chose to add “junior” to his name. Interestingly, it turns out they DON’T have the same name–not exactly. My dad’s first name is Phillip, and my brother is Philip. Apparently, my dad hates the double-l and has been using “Philip” his whole life, including naming his son after the one-l “Philip.” My dad never had his double-l name legally changed, but almost no one knows it. He uses “Philip” so often that all his mail is to “Philip”, not “Phillip.” I stumbled upon the truth when I unearthed his birth certificate, and the first thing I did was tell my brother that they don’t have the same name after all! 😀 I think he was a bit happy about it. Oh. But they also both have the same middle name, Clyde, which was also my bio grandpa’s first name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes exactly! 🙂 Some call it energy, or when I help people out with naming their babies I just always tell them to wait with the ultimate choice until the baby is born, have a look at him/her and think who the baby looks like the most out of their choices. A list is definitely a good idea because it would be a difficult task to find just the perfect only name that matches with the person’s characteristics ideally, and many names can have a pretty similar influence on people, also the parents definitely should have a say in naming their baby and not leave everything just up to fate, I’ve noticed that most parents have phenomenal intuition in this matter. I kind of liked the tradition that was pretty widely in use in Poland some years ago, that they believed a child brought the name for themself. When the baby was born, they gave him or her the name that had its name day on that day or a patron saint whose feast it was. It sucked for the children a bit though as you couldn’t have separate presents for your birthdays and name days haha. Well I like Phillip a lot, with one or two L’s, doesn’t matter. I’ve been trying to figure it out for a good while now how much if at all a slight difference in spelling can change the influence the name can have on a person, I still haven’t fully. But I do think it makes some difference at least in the identity thing if you share a name with another family member so actually good for your brother I guess that your dad is a Phillip.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think children should have their own names, without pressure to live up to a parent or other family member. I also dislike super trendy names because then they’ll be one of 10 in their class the same. But I don’t like super weird names either! I flipped back a generation for Sharon and Diane ~ everyone knows them, but they weren’t being used so much in the 1990s.

    Liked by 1 person

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