My Jackophilia.

Recently, one of my penfriends asked me whether I have ever written a post about my Jackophilia – that is, why I like the name Jacek, and Jack, and many other Jac- names, and why I have such a soft spot for people with those names – and if there’s any backstory to it. And it’s only then that I realised I’ve never written a post about that. The reason is quite simple, because there is no backstory, nothing that I could clearly point out or no particular event that has started it out. But I thought I’d write a bit more about my Jackophilia anyway.

My Dad’s name is Jacek, and since as long as I can remember, I’ve just loved this name, and, moreover, I thought that if I’d ever want to have a husband, he’ll just have to be a Jacek. I didn’t have any other criteria. I still remember very vividly when I told my grandma about that, I was maybe 5 or so, and she was shocked: “Oh, but if he’d be an alcoholic?! Would you still want him because his name is Jacek?!”. It wasn’t that I was in such awe of my Dad, I mean of course, he’s my Dad, I love him, but I don’t remember ever being quite as enamoured with himself as with his name, so to put it. ๐Ÿ˜€ All my toys that I felt were more masculine – teddy-bears, figurines, characters in my games – were named Jacek. Even if it meant that there was a whole family with a Dad named Jacek and his two or more sons, also all named Jacek. It’s probably good that there is no actual feminine form of Jacek in Polish (OK there is Hiacynta, but that sounds and looks different doesn’t it, and we’ll talk about that in a minute) or otherwise there wouldn’t be any diversity at all, and so at least females had their own unique names. I also felt immediately drawn to people named Jacek. Of course, I’ve met some Jaceks that I didn’t really get along with, and I am aware that there are some pretty nasty ones out there, all sorts of liars, thiefs, greedy, weak-willed, snobbish and two-faced people who don’t like to think more than necessary, but most of them are really cool, honest and reliable people. Also, I love book characters called Jacek. If ever in a book a character named Jacek was treated badly by someone, even just spoken negatively about, whatever, my heart broke into pieces. It still does, to an extent, even when that Jacek or Jack is a real villain. I remember when I was perhaps Zofijka’s age and read some young adult Polish novel, and there was a girl who was dating a Jacek, and at some point she just realised he’s not for her and she doesn’t really feel anything for him other than friendship. I knew her decision was right, it was clear in the book they don’t fit, yet I was almost crying reading how – in my view- she rejected him and he was so so sad. It was the name Jacek that also opened my eyes for the first time for this weird phenomenon which is the influence of names on personality, which I’m still passionate about and still figuring out. And as a kid I ust loved loads of words with jac in them. I still love the English ones: hijacking for example, it sounds like “Hi, Jack!”. Saint Jacek (or Hyacinth) has been my most favourite patron saint ever since. One of my first speech synthesisers was Jacek, and I still have him, it’s been over 10 years!!! And now it’s possible I’ll have to lose him. Oh well we’ll see… I love hyacinths – the flowers – but my favourite flower has always been muscari – and I’ve just recently learnt that they’re called blue grape hyacinths in English as well! – I’ve also heard that there is a gem stone called hyacinth, and if so, I really hope that some day I’ll be able to have one in my collection. My best friend was also Jacek.
Just as I started to take an interest in the etymology of the name Jacek, I was also curious if it exists in any other languages, and I asked people if they know how Jacek is in English. Most of them would confusedly say “Dunno, guess Jack…”. Jack didn’t sound even a bit quite as good as Jacek to me. But Polish people so often do such a weird thing that I can’t fully understand. When there is an a in an English word, they’ll make things more difficult for themselves and say it as e. So lots of people actually say Jeck, or bleck instead of black, or ket instead of cat. And Jeck sounded awful. But at some point there was a Jack in my ENglish textbook and then I learned that it’s JACK, and is written almost like Jacek, and I was over the moon! A lot of Polish Jaceks go sometimes by Jack, even just for fun, but those two names are not related at all. I’ve always wanted one of my musical crushes to be a Jack. Maybe someday it’ll come true. Lemme know if there are any musicians named Jack or something similar that you like, especially not too popular ones that I could like. ๐Ÿ˜€
Jacek (YAH-tsek) originated as a nickname of Jacenty (yah-TSEN-ti), but is now a short form, and a more common one actually, Jacenty is hardly ever used, it’s more common in the east of Poland in people born in 40’s or so, but it is NOT popular at all. I like the retro feel of Jacenty and I think it could come back, I mean I would like it to, not that I think it will anytime soon, with Jacek as a diminutive. Jacenty comes from the Greek Hyakinthos – Hyacinth – as in the Greek myth and as in the flower. – THere is also a more fancy, latinate form Hiacynt (HYAH-tsint), and the feminine Hiacynta (hyah-TSIN-tah). I’m not as fond of Hiacynta as I am of the male forms, and Hiacynt sounds a tiny bit too androgynous for my taste and lack masculinity a bit, but for a girl I really like Jacinda, and I love Hyacinth both for a boy and for a girl, even though normally I’m not a big fan of unisex names. There is also a theory that Jacek could be a Slavic name coming from an Old Slavic word that would be something like jaฤ‡ – which means to ride, and thus could mean good rider or something, how cool! – But that doesn’t really sound convincing and believable. There is also something like Jack (YAHTSK) in Kashubian language, it is apparently a Kashubian variant of Jacek, and another one is Jacy (YAH-tsi).
Jack, meanwhile, as I hope you Anglophones know without me telling you that ๐Ÿ˜‰ is a nickname of John, which evolved via an earlier diminutive Jankin, which then became Jackin. So not quite an equivalent of Jacek etymologically but who cares. For me it is like Jacek very much, the feel of the name is very similar despite it sounds differently and has vastly different roots.
I love that there are so many expressions, fairytales, nursery rhymes and all with Jack in it, it adds to the feel of the name, that it gives to the personality of a bearer in my opinion.
I don’t like every single name that has Jac in it, for example I am not a big fan of Jacob, or Jace, but I do love all the forms of Jack. All the Jackins, Jackies, Jacs, even Jocks and Jockies! They’re all so brilliant and so vibrant and each has their own feel that I love. I think the Welsh Jac is my most favourite because of how minimalistic it is but how much inner potential it has. As I said I also love Hyacinth and all its forms, perhaps Hiacynta a little less than the rest. I love Jacqueline and the abundance of her forms too, despite it actually seems to come from Jacques, which comes from the Jacob/James family.
I thought I’d give you just a little bit of an idea how I see those two names – Jack and Jacek – people with them, how I think their names might shape their personalities. Of course, as always, keep in mind that it’s not the name that shapes our personality in the first place, that there are genes and so many other things that determine who we are, and that name is just one factor. There are also people who do NOT fit their name’s description, simply because their name doesn’t fit them and wasn’t chosen with enough consideration, and they may experience some sort of a disharmony and conflict in their life and feelings, particularly between what they are like, and what their surroundings expect them to be like. Lastly, people spell their names differently, people have middle names, people use nicknames and often a Jack might in fact be a John, or a Jackson, and his personality will likely reflect it. These are just small, very generalised characteristics of Jack and Jacek, they’re not exhaustive. If you are sceptical about any influence a name could possibly have on a person, feel free to just treat the paragraphs below as my imaginings, that I hope to be as objective as possible.
Jack: – Jack is practical, frank and honest, and he expects the same honesty in return. He takes things as they are, doesn’t overthink them or analyse overly. He is intelligent and certainly not shallow, but he doesn’t like wasting his time on things that don’t necessarily need that, and feels uncomfortable around people who are exalted, he has certain difficulty expressing strong positive emotions, it’s embarrassing for him. He much prefers being active, and doing something to show his love and dedication, rather than use big words to show it. He is humourous, friendly, and a pleasant companion, who will get along with pretty much anyone, he is also an ambivert. It’s only with his loved ones that know him really well that he takes off the protective mask of self-confidence that he wears mostly unconsciously. Only those who know him really well can see his weaknesses, insecurities, some darker and deeper shades to his personality that he sometimes doesn’t accept. On a daily basis, it is a mostly happy-go-lucky guy, but with those he feels comfortable with, he can often be changeable and moody. Usually naive in his young years, if life lets him down, he can easily become cynical and imbittered, he may feel let down because he looks at others from his own perspective, expecting frankness and directness, and as a result, his trust is often abused, unless he won’t change his ways of interacting with people. Jack himself is very reliable, trustworthy, makes people feel safe around him. Or in any case, he has an ease of making such an impression on people, which could potentially make him a great manipulator, but Jacks are usually empathetic people who have their moral values. He has predispositions to be good at arts, but he needs to develop his taste, he’s not born with a mind very perceptive to art but he definitely can shape it, as well as his own, unique and captivating style if he decides to do art seriously. He is flexible and open-minded and learns quickly. Jack is incredibly resilient, responsible, usually quite fit, able to pursue his dreams and put considerable effort into it, mostly calm, but can be very passionate at times. He is adventurous and likes to explore, but also has a huge, often unconscious need for roots, security and stability, home, belonging, and has a strong sense of connection to his family and heritage. He is a traditionalist but at the same time he’s usually very liberal in his views. He’s down-to-earth, but likes being creative and make things with his hands, be out in nature which inspires paths of his thoughts and imagination in a subtle way, he also loves to engage in sports. He is incredibly sensitive but doesn’t like to show it for fear of being vulnerable. He appreciates simplicity – in his surroundings, people’s claims and characters, in thinking and speech – and enjoys the simplest things in life the most. Jack usually comes across as very charming, even though he’s rarely truly and objectively physically attractive.
Jacek – Jacek is very similar to Jack, especially in his honesty and trustworthiness. He’s also a practical thinker and comes across as very charming, as well as friendly, though not as much and as immediately as Jack. Jacek is more complicated, more sensitive, more introverted, more imaginative, has a tendency for being irritable, he is less resilient than Jack, may be needy and slightly immature which makes relationships with him more intricate. He is more egocentric and selfish, but not badly egoistical or anything like that, he just has a hard time looking too far out of his own mind frame. He has a tendency for pensivity and is more of a dreamer than Jack, he is also a bit less outgoing, but not significantly. He’s just a decent, nice, conscientious guy, assuming he was brought up well and his upbringing helped those traits to come up properly. He might have his quirks, be eccentric or lead a bohemian lifestyle, he may also often feel misunderstood, or he may just be a bit of an outsider, but if he has to, he will fit in without a clash and he’ll adjust to any company he’s in.
Jacky is very friendly and outgoing as well, and very charming and lovable, often thought of as attractive, but less honest and might easily get himself into lots of trouble, he usually doesn’t find himself the best kind of friends, he wants to be always there where a lot is going on and has a lot of zest but at the same time a really careless attitude to things. But he can be a very emotional being and anxious to please, as well as impressionable. He is egotistic and always wants to be the best, he tries to avoid conflict and live well with everyone that is important for him, and he is very attached to his mother, he also appreciates comfort and luxury in life and might be a little bit snobbish.
Jackson loves adventure and travel, and is a great dreamer, brave, courageous and determined. He is confident, communicative and charming, and wants to appear very masculine. Can be manipulative, but in any case is very eloquent and makes for a good leader.
Jac is very much like a Jack, but some traits of his character can be more pronounced and intense. For example the resilience and intellect.
Jacenty – well, I can only see him as a man older than 50 so I may not be very objective here. He is strong, masculine, self-assured, can be wealthy and materialistic and people usually respect him very much. An introvert who is very proud and may be a little haughty and icy, and not the most tolerant. He’s reserved and usually very serious, cool and calm, it may or may not mean that deep down he’s actually rather shy and doubting in his abilities.
Hyacinth – a girl with this name is fanciful, not very disciplined and rather dreamy, often artsy. She is a bookworm and a big thinker, often completely lost in thought, shy and perfectionist, anxious and sensitive, and a good observer. She may be very skilled in dance or music. A guy named Hyacinth is also an intellectual and cerebral type, may be either very poetic, or more into things like science, he is also very spiritual and has a tendency to isolate. He is capable of doing great things in his life and he doesn’t like any restrictions, he loves being out in nature and do all sorts of sports, loves being by the sea. He’s quirky and not the most communicative in the world, often may seem very scatter-brained because he has always plenty to think about and his way of thinking and perceiving the world is different than most other, more typical people.
Jacqueline is a complex character because her personality is a combination of great strength and extreme fragility. She usually makes an impression of a very gentle and delicate, I’d say dainty woman, and tends to be quiet and not talk a lot, but she has a steely will. She is very sensitive and emotional, sometimes to the point of neurotic, capable of loving people greatly, she has a tendency to overthink everything in her life. She is sharp-witted, sophisticated and gifted artistically and literally, and has a natural air of elegance about her.
Jackie though is vastly different. She loves being active, sporty, she has a lot of energy and she likes to communicate, cooperate and get together with others, she usually has quite a bunch of friends. She might struggle with anxiety and feelings of inferiority though, because she’s very much of a perfectionist and self-conscious about her appearance, especially as a teenager, but later on as well. Talking about her problems with the others is the best cure for her, so it’s good if she has someone she really trusts, she isn’t made for solitary life.
Jacinda is full of charm and sweetness, optimistic and very feminine, youthful even in her older age. A very emotional, spontaneous and sensitive person with a big, kind heart, very trusting and rather naive. She likes to give as much of herself as possible and doesn’t expect much in return, she is capable of loving unconditionally and very altruistically. Her weakness is vanity, and lack of imagination.
Jackin has a very good self-esteem and people usually like him, because he’s nice-looking. He usually doesn’t look like a very serious person, but he is a very ambitious man, often a great materialist wanting to achieve a lot in life. He has a bit of an authoritarian personality and may easily be impatient and a bit harsh-mannered. I hope you enjoyed those name descriptions.
Do you like the name Jack, or Jacek, or any of the related names? Do you know any Jacks? Do you like them? Any Jac people out there? ๐Ÿ™‚

Ideas needed.

I have a question for you guys.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot on adding something new to my blog and thought I could d something related to names. I’ve done a few name games in the past and wrote that post a few days ago about names and people’s personalities, and now I’m wondering what could it be and in what form. ANother series maybe? If series then it would appear weekly I think.

I absolutely love name games myself and I have a feeling that you enjoyed them too, particularly the first one I guess, but I’m not big at making them, unless I really have an inspiration, but usually I don’t have. Those two I’ve done in the past were actually based on patterns of other games as I told you. So name games could be a nice thing, but I just don’t think I could be systematic with it.

I also thought about some kind of more educational series where I’d pick one name and post its meaning, etymology, rankings and stuff, but am not sure whether there’s really a point in doing it, there are already a few blogs on WP about it.

Relating to the post about names and personalities I also thought about writing posts about particular names and traits they give people, or making such posts for your request.

Does any of these ideas appeal to you? Have you any suggestions as for how it could look like? Or maybe you have any other ideas about name posts I coul d make? Do you think there is a point in doing any kind of regular name posts or is it too niche?

Will be grateful for any suggestions cause I’d like it to be fun for you or something people will be interested in. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to figure out people’s personalities fairly easily?

Thought I’d write about the thing that I brought up once on my Polish blog before and it got quite a lot of interest. I deleted my Polish WordPress blog before I even started this one and haven’t saved the posts, but I’ll try to retrace it as faithfully as I can.
When I was much younger, I started to be very fascinated by people’s personalities. How they distinct between each other, what they have in common, and as I was, and still am, a habitual people watcher, I tried to find some relationships between speciffic character traits and what may cause them. It wasn’t actually only about the personalities, but individuals as a whole. I had tons of ideas, why this person is similar to that, and not someone else. Yes, genes, upbringing, social environment, but… it has to be something else. Some of my ideas were pretty reasonable, as I think, some just kinda overanalysing stuff or just nonsense, like I realised that many guys around me who were tall, were also phlegmatic, and I was convinced it’s a relationship between these two traits and that simply tall people/men are usually phlegmatic. ๐Ÿ˜€ My interest has grown bigger one day when I went to the hairdresser with my Mum and I heard them talking about astrology. It was a completely new word to me and what they were talking about seemed very interesting and coinciding with my views that there are some speciffic traits that can determine who we are or what we’re like. I then developed some interest in astrology, which was rather superficial back then, but it’s still wasn’t what I was looking for.
Another thing that led me closer to the breakthrough was meeting a person at the boarding school, who was named like me. We were just smalltalking, I introduced myself to her and she was like aw we have the same name, do you know what it means? I was like what? Can names mean anything? And thanks to her I realised that yes, names have meanings. But I haven’t heard about it more since much later. I heard in the church on saint Anna’s day, which is also my Mum’s name day, that Anna comes from the Hebrew word hannah, and means “grace, charm, mercy”. That left me wondering what my Dad’s name could mean. Many of you probably already know that my Dad’s name is Jacek, and I’ve always loved this name, I’ve always felt some kind of attraction to people named Jacek and when I was very small I used to say that if I’ll ever marry someone, his name would have to be Jacek. I wondered and wondered, and the answer came at a quite unexpected moment.
At the time I was going to the integration school, I got funding for my first computer with screenreader and other specialised stuff, and as I of course had no idea how to use all that and neither had anyone in my family, there was a girl who was training me. We were getting along very well and one day the topic of names came up somehow, we were playing with Zofijka who was only about a year old and we were saying she’s clever, and she summed it that it’s no wonder, because sophia means “wisdom” in Greek. So I asked her whether she knows what the name Jacek means, and she didn’t, as I supposed, but why not look it up. Long live the Internet! She opened a website where there was everything in detail about the etymology of the name Jacek, all its diminutives, other language forms (which I now know where wrong because everyone thinks Jacek is Polish for Jack) and something I didn’t quite understand what it was for at first. A characteristic of the name Jacek. Or rather, of a person bearing it. How can you characterise Jacek if there are so many Jaceks out there? But, at least for my Dad, the description seemed to fit.
That was the start for my new passion. The main thing I did online for a while was educating myself about names, their meanings, etymologies, but above all, traits they give those who bear them. But… something was still not quite as it should be. There are tons of descriptions over there, it’s true that most of them have something that shows you in some way the personality of a person bearing a certain name, but it wasn’t always so. why do they differ so much? Shouldn’t there be one concrete description for every name, if it is meant to be believable? Like there is the name Jรณzef (you guessed it, Joseph) and on one website they say Jรณzefs are hardworking, modest, shy and very practical minded people, while on another, they say they’re chronic procrastinators, very judgmental, narrow minded and narcissistic. How are these two descriptions supposed to work together for the same person? How thousands people with the same name are supposed to fit the same three-line description? Can it actually work? Also, why are there so many characteristics with only good character traits? And then you can stumble upon something which only describes flaws of a person? Is it all actually worth anything? What with people who have rare names? Hyphenated? Double? Middle name(s)? DOesn’t a nickname change anything? How about those who share their name with other people, but don’t resemble their namesakes at all?
It has taken me a lot of time to figure it out so that I felt satisfied, but quickly I realised that something like influence of a name on a person who bears it exists, but you have to think on your own to figure it out and how it works. I was looking up descriptions for very many names in very many sources, and people watching and analysing obsessively. And I started to see some rules and patterns to the game. I started to see that every name has its own feel, it may be similar to the feel another name has, but it’s never the same. This feel gives you an idea of some traits, I’d say kinda symbolises some traits. I went so deep into it that it started to work in my mind like a sort of synesthesia, even though it wasn’t. Like, you tell me your name is Helena – I see quite an attractive woman, with long black hair, pretty, heart-shaped face, dark blue eyes with long lashes, regular features, very feminine, sensitive, impulsive, generous, idealist, incredibly dedicated and altruistic, creative, ambivert, honest, very very proud, so that actually a bit overly, it’s hard for her to apologise, forgive, ask for anything, she has a very passionate nature.., likes to be mischievous at times, is easily hurt, an aesthete, very intelligent, but not quite a cerebral sort, very loyal friend, can be vindictive, envious, often exaggerates things, is very dreamy and a fantastic storyteller and housewife, when she’s young though, growing to adulting may take her more time than her peers and she likes to be cared for and awakens caring instincts in guys, she may sometimes want to be bossy and authoritarian, but it’s not her true nature, she is better as a part of the group than its leader, or particularly when working on her own, since she’s so very creative, she gets frustrated easily and her enthusiasm is passionate but short-lived…
The thing with appearance is entirely my personal quirk. It doesn’t mean all Helenas look or should look like that and are such beauties. I don’t know any Helena like that. But, for me, an ideal Helena, who would fit her name perfectly, should look like that, or close to it. She doesn’t have to have heart-shaped face or long lashes, doesn’t even have to have black hair, can be blonde and have light blue, or green, or grey eyes, or maybe even can be a redhead, kind of orange, but there just are appearance traits that fit Helena, and any other name, better, and such that don’t fit at all.
As for the personality. It doesn’t have to mean AT ALL that you’re like this. After all, all of us are luckily different. But if your parents gave you this name, it means that you’re very likely to develop these traits in your personality. Much more than if they called you, erm, whatever, let’s say Lisa. Your genes, your upbringing, environment and all the other factors that are more important may highlight these traits, or some of them, or may supplant them. And you may feel kinda conflicted, like there are two conflicting sides of you, or like your surroundings want you to be someone different than you are, or you may simply not like your name and not feel like it’s good for you. That was the case with me before I changed my name legally and it was one of the reasons behind it. I like my birth name, it’s classic and feminine, but I hated it on myself. It is very hard to explain, but anytime someone called me, somewhere deep inside I felt like they’re actually talking to someone else who I am supposed to fake. Or like they don’t know the truth and see someone in me who I am not. It felt like sorta dissonance. All that stuff about harmony prevailing in your life and how it is important sounds so incredibly cliche, but it can really influence you and your life when all of the aspects of you aren’t set in harmony. That’s what I think, have experienced and seen in others, anyway. That’s why many name nerds freak out so much when they see a clashing combo of a first and middle name. For many it’s just the thing of sound – you know, syllables, going well with the surname – but for others it’s something deeper. These names have to flow. Be similar in the feel, yet complement each other. So, going back to that poor Helena, if her middle name was Lisa, my opinion is that she would be quite a conflicted person. These names have so different vibes. I’m sure you can feel it. This is the art of naming.
You can ask yourself, who would be so dedicated and searched for an ideally matching name for their child, how you can predict your child’s personality, tendencies, to make the name(s) flow well with it. That can be a tough thing for some, but, surprisingly, most parents have that infallible instinct and nail it. I am particularly in awe for those who have some traditions in their family to give the children a few middle names. It could seem a damn hard work to make them all flow nicely and in harmony with the child’s tendencies, but most of them just seem to unconsciously do it right.
As some of you know, I love baby naming and helping people with naming their kids/book characters etc. so much that I’ve actually considreed seriously becoming a professional baby namer. So far though, I limit myself to helping people in my surroundings or on online forums for pregnant mummies. We have one here in Poland that is really reliable and there are lots of geeks in the field over there, and there are American Behind The Name, Nameberry and others, which are websites speciffically dedicated to names. What I always tell parents on our Polish forum when they have some ideas, but don’t know what to choose finally is – just wait until the childbirth and you’ll see who he/she looks like. One of the mums was confused – how you can see it who your child looks like – and I also wasn’t sure what to actually tell her, so I just said that when she sees her, she’ll have more clear idea I think. And then after her daughter was born she wrote to me: “Emi, you were right that I should see her before I choose the name. Now I know what you meant. She certainly doesn’t look like a Karolina. She is a KORNELIA!”. So I think when you become a parent, you just know what to do instinctively.
I think the worst thing you can do and the most common reason why some people’s names clash with their personalities, is a situation when before they even have a child on the way, parents are absolutely convinced about the name they will choose for their kid, for example friends promise each other they will name their children after each other. Friendships will pass, children have nothing in common with your ex-friends, but the name stays with them. That’s what happened to both my cousin and me, so that when I was changing my name even my Mum encouraged me to do it, because she “picked it so spontaneously”, just to honour a friend. Also naming children after currently popular stars/book/movie characters isn’t a good idea. The trend will pass, and there will be a whole generation of children named the same name just because of that celebrity/character being popular once, and most of such people don’t rather like their name. Of course if you’re a long time fan of some celebrity, book or movie and it’s your all time favourite, it’s a bit different. Your child will know you picked the name for them because you really liked it and had nice associations with it, and not because there was just a boom on something when they were born and you happened to be crazy about it at that time just like everyone else. I think I don’t have to mention about situations when parents give their children ridiculous or extremely rare/kre8tiv names to make them successful in life. I’d say you just have to go with your heart, and then ask your brain what he thinks about it.
What I learned very quickly as I explored the world of names was that it’s so very easy to become judgmental and trust your gut too easily. I mean, you can trust yourself, if you get how it works, it really helps me personally to have some idea of a person I can meet even before I meet them if I know their name. But sticking to that idea is something definitely not good and unfair to that person. You have to be careful to not judge them too quickly and assume you just know what they’re like.
I had a classmate, his name was Mariusz. I don’t know anyone whose name would be more mismatched with the personality than his. I think what lost their parents was the ambition that they wanted to call all their children with names beginning with M. When I heard that we will have a new student in our class and his name is Mariusz, I got a very speciffic picture of a person that I expected him to be. All the Mariusz’s I knew were a kind of guys that my Mum calls “teddy bears”. Overweight, lumpish, usually in their late 30’s early 40’s, phlegmatic, calm, like to eat well, that’s a teddy bear in my Mum’s dictionary. Plus guys with this name I knew were always lacking in imagination, sociable, rather well to do, eloquent, good daddies and rather boring people living very monotonous, schematic, but stable and family-centered lives.
And when I met that boy for the first time, I was shocked. He was anything but it. Well he was rather calm, but it was more of shyness than his real temperament, he liked to eat well and was more practical than imaginative, but that was all. Other than that, he didn’t fit his name as much as it can only be possible. He was short and thin, very agile and sporty, not eloquent at all and a bit of a nerd. ๐Ÿ˜€ I couldn’t be more mistaken. Needless to say he didn’t like his name. Around his friends, he was going by a nickname completely unrelated to his name. Once even one of our teachers commented that he doesn’t look like a Mariusz. And yeah, that learned me that I can be right very often and be good at figuring out others’ personalities, but that doesn’t mean I can just judge a book by its cover.
With time I realised that names and naming are a really fascinating thing, and stopped relying on online resources/books when it comes to name characteristics. I know I was good at it because my name instinct rarely let me down, and I started to be popular among my friends and they always came to me when they wanted to know a characteristic of a name and were always like “Wooow how do you know it?” ๐Ÿ˜€
I could and still am wrong at times, no one is unfallible and this is a very subtle area, but most of my assumptions or “forecasts” are right or at least fair.
I started to explore Behind The Name then and to go deeper into foreign names and name trends in general. And then I started to wonder whether the English-speaking Internet has some sites like we have, with characteristics of people based on their names. ‘Cause so far I haven’t seen any.
I was searching intensively for something, but the only stuff I seemed to find were sites based entirely on numerology. During the time when I was so very interested in all things esoteric in the past, I’ve explored numerology and I think it doesn’t work well with names. You have just 9, or optionally 13 numbers that you can operate on and that can represent different types of personalities and different symbols. If you get a whole numerological portrait of a person, I don’t know, maybe it could work, but if you have names and want to make characteristics of names based on numerology and only on numerology, what you’ll get is even more nonsense than on our sites, because you get a dozen or so of names that fit one description. And another reason why I really dislike such sites is that you often only have a search edit field to enter a name there, and you actually can enter ANYTHING you want. I once typed Shit, and I got a characteristic of Shit’s personality. Isn’t that very creative? ๐Ÿ˜€ I think it is, but not quite what I was searching for.
So far, I’ve found only one fairly good English website with very detailed characteristics of a very wide range of names. Sometimes they may be repetitive and they say these characteristics are also based solely on numerology, but I think it’s either not true, or they go into some more sophisticated numerology because their characteristics are really detailed and most often good.
That’s a pity that English-speaking countries, with all that wide range names that are freely in use, aren’t more interested in that stuff, but luckily there are many good sites with cold raw facts about names that aren’t just made up or not verified, and there are much more baby naming/name nerd communities than it is over here.
If you read this and are also interested in the topic and know some good English resources with name characteristics, let me know, it will be much appreciated.
It’s not as easy for me to make my own characteristics of foreign names as it is with Polish names, but I’ve been working on it a lot and I think I am fairly good at it. If I hear the name for the first time, of course it sounds usually very unfamiliar to me and I can’t say anything about it, but as I hear it often repeated, write it or something, it gets more personality. However I still have some issues with those names that are completely out there for me, like dunno Asian, African… and I’ve never done a characteristic of any super rare/unheard name for anyone else so I don’t know how good I’m at it. And sometimes I struggle with very popular names too, such timeless classics, all the Katherines, Janes, Annes, Marys, Johns, James’ and their equivalents in popularity in other cultures. It’s because they are so common and it’s hard to be objective and make a universal characteristic without relying only on the personality traits of all the people I know with that particular name, and not too universal and general so that almost anyone could fit in, as so many people seem to do. What was very stressful for me for a long time was when someone asked me for making a characteristic of their own name, and I knew them well. I was afraid I will fail at separating their name’s traits with their own personality traits and that they will think I just said all that I know about them personally. But now I think I cope better with it and am better at doing it objectively and right. Also what I find particularly hard with English names is figuring out for each name how its spelling influences the person, I mean for example how can Lyndsay be different from Lindsay and whether the differences are significant enough that we need to make completely separate characteristics for them. That’s really interesting. Websites fix it with numerology, but since I don’t really believe in it and its effectiveness, I don’t know what would be the best to do.
Have you ever wondered what more can be to a name than just how it sounds and looks? How do you feel about your own? Do you agree with all that or not, believe that your name can influence you in any way? Why or why not? Have you any thoughts or questions? Is it of any interest for you? ๐Ÿ™‚