Some Musings On Names (Featuring PadQuack)

Today in TPE (aka the class where deep discussions concerning life, the universe and everything in it are held. Or at least at our table they are.) we were discussing the book “Looking For Alaska”, in which one of the main characters ‘Alaska’ reveals her present for her seventh birthday was the ability to choose her own name. My friend Sandra commented that she would hate to be called Alaska and that got us onto a discussion about names and  their meanings and impacts in our lives. Sandra mentioned that she believes if she had a different name, or if she had kept her childhood nickname of ‘Sanny’, she wouldn’t be the person she is today. 

It got me thinking.
Do our names really play a big part in who we are as people? 
Really, think about it: How many nerds named Tiffany have you met? Or popular people named Eugene? There are names we hear and automatically shudder at, and others that everyone loves. Names that remind you of Grandma’s and names that are so unique you’re convinced the parent’s invented it on the spot (which they probably did).

Let’s face it, if your name is Apple you are never going to be as normal as someone named Jack, whether you like it or not. It just won’t be as possible for you to fly under the radar. Of course, this also works as a disadvantage to people named Jack (or any other name that constantly tops the Most Popular Baby Names List) as it’s potentially harder for them to be noticed. Maybe that’s the thinking behind giving your child a bizarre name, though the child (and all of their teachers) will soon get sick of it, I can promise you.
When we’re younger we have ‘cutesy’ nicknames, take Sandra’s ‘Sanny’ for example. Names that are easy for little kids to pronounce and understand. It’d be a bit weird, however, if you were suddenly sixteen and were still going by Emmy as opposed to Emily or Em. Or maybe not weird, as such, but people would assume you were more immature, childish and girly. 
There are so many stereotypes and opinions formed around names these days, our name has the potential to have as much influence over us as our environment does.

My real name is Georgia but I have always had more nicknames than you can throw a stick at. Eventually, the majority of people began to call me Georgie and it became a default. Somehow I feel it suits me better; perhaps the ‘e’ sound reflects my childish personality more than the more serious ‘a’?
My parents didn’t choose on my name until the moment I was born. As teachers, it was hard for them to come up with a name that hadn’t been held by a current pupil, or one who stirred up particularly bad memories. They had a shortlist consisting of Samantha, Stephanie and Georgina, before deciding to drop the ‘n’ from Georgina and be done with it. If I was sitting here today, typing as a Sam or a Steph, would I be a different person than the Georgie I have become? I always associate the name Steph with sportiness, so maybe I wouldn’t have been so keen to drop athletic activity as a child. Or maybe being Sam would have never created my love of fangirling. While I have always known a zillion other Georgia’s (Jorja/Jorjia/Jorga/Jorgia/Georga/etc), I have always known more Steph’s. Maybe being one of them would have lead to an individuality complex and to me doing something drastic like getting ten piercings or dying my hair pink just to stand out. Or maybe I’m talking complete and utter crap, and I would be the exact same person as I am today. 

My Sub-bff is Quack, which, incidentally, is not actually her real name. Maddison has always been different. And by different I mean she got the nickname Quack by spending a day, uh, quacking. I want you for a second to imagine the ‘popular’ group at your school. Can you imagine one of those girls being called Quack? Yeah, me neither. What about Maddi? See, that one fits. This is her at a party. She could pass as a Maddi here:

This, however, is more the Quack we know and love to spend weekends and holidays with, watching sci-fi and Harry Potter and being total fangirls:

If she’d stuck with Maddi instead of becoming Quack, would this have been different? Or is it her natural personality that allowed her to become Sir Miffington Quack Quack? I’m sure she still could have pulled of Maddi while face painted, or dressed as Draco and dancing like Dr Who, or ‘being stealth’, playing quidditch or, uh, rolling down my hill to prove that rocks and cement couldn’t stop her, but somehow being Quack just adds so much to her, it’s hard to imagine her as anything else anymore.

I don’t know though, what do you think? Do our names help shape who we are, or are they completely irrelevant to who we end up becoming?

frangipani princess xoxo

11 thoughts on “Some Musings On Names (Featuring PadQuack)

  1. I think maybe it's a bit of both. Our names do make up a part of our environment I guess, so they must play a role in shaping us a bit. I do know a guy called Eugene though, who's really popular and very into sports, and far from into school. Maybe our names effect us, if, from an early age we let them?xxx rose

  2. I don't think names would effect some people-like Quack would always be epic, whether named Gertrude or Prudence.However, I think I would be one screwed up WEIRD child if my mum had called me Gypsy. I told her she must of being high on an epidural or other pregnancy drug or something at the time.Luckily dad shot that one down immediately. I was almost an Imogen, which is a nice name. Amelia or Cecilia were also close, I prefer Amelia though. Oh and Bishop would be totally different if he was called Hayden. Don't even get me started if my sister was called Digger. (dad joke of the time)I think the main time names shape us is how other react to the name. If you have a totally weird name, you're probably going to be sick of being teased or the eyebrow raises etc. so you'll probably try to blend in or have a higher probability of low self esteem. Or hating your parents 😛

  3. Britt, I hope you know I have a niece named Gypsy. While my baby Gypsy is weird it's more in a Quack way (i.e. insane) than screwed up.There's a Buffy ep when everyone loses their memory and while most have licencesetc, Buffy doesnt and she choses her own name, Joan. Mummy saw some of that ep and she hates her name. Made me giggle.

  4. You have a very interesting point. I've always laughed at how accurate name meanings can be. Perhaps it is because that name shaped us to become what the name meaning says.What I found very interesting about your post is that you mentioned always imagining "Steph" as a sporty person. My friend Steph is undoubtedly the most sporty and athletic person in our group. When I came across a post once that mentioned your real name (though I'm pretty sure it said Georgie instead of Georgia…but it was a while ago), I remember thinking to myself, "That name really suits her."

  5. God I take a good photo. (She said sarcastically). Although, I do love the one with the sword. Also, I love how I'm randomly incooperated into a post. Love you gorgeous. Also, this post reminds me of the presents I have for you marauders. *hint hint*

  6. I guess one of the main important thing is to be comfortable/like your name. I think that'd be more helpful for someone's confidence/personality. I'm so sorry toongs, Gypsy is one of the names I had a name vendetta of sorts. There's a couple of names where everyone I've met personally with that name have been like urgh. However, even though I haven't met your niece, she's awesome through association, therefore it changes my perception of the name. Therefore my vendetta has evaporated. Seriously I hated a semi common name for ages until I met someone awesome with that name. Association thing. Sorry my tone came through so vehement in the post(I was in a semi violent mood). I'd take Gypsy over my sister's potential Curbie or Digger. (Oh, please noone have relatives called Curbie and Digger, it's just a preference thing, all just personal preference) I'm sorry Toongs, I'm blushing thru the internet.Btw, padquack reminds me of pad thai but possibly a duck variation?

  7. I suppose I can forgive you for the whole Gypsy thing Britt.Padquack makes me think Padawan (sp?).Also, Gigi, I'm a bit offended that I can clearly see where I'm cut out of the first photo. Love Em though.

  8. Names are huge… did you know that like, idk a couple 1000 years ago people were named names purely because of the meaning? IE: Jacob = cheat… yay parents, that's a nice wee declaration over your childs life. So it's not like me being called Tamara … which happens to mean Palm Tree (yay me) it's like me being called Palm Tree… confusing?Put that together with the way that the world loves to stereotype and you have the "geek" names and the "cool" names… Anyway… names totally count. No pressure to the parents eh… new reader, lovin' your blog

  9. So, I've explained this to Quack and Toong, but for everyone else:It's PadQuack because toong, quack, our friend ell and I call ourselves The Marauders and in that Quack is Padfoot. Ell and I were talking and she randomly combined Padfoot and Quack, giving her PadQuack hahahha.Also, sorry for cutting you out toong, but if I'd left you in everyone would have been too distracted by your beauty to pay attention to anything I wrote :PAnd 'tam lee x', if what you say is true, then my name is really farmer? Gosh, that's not very cool hahaha. Thanks for reading!xo

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