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I work as a customer service agent and one of my biggest challenges is when a customer calls in with a unique name and doesn’t spell it for you. We are required to verify spelling even if your name is John Smith but I was assuming having a unique name you would understand it would need to be spelled in those circumstances. This certainly is important if you are one who has every letter of the alphabet in your name! How about those with common names that have unique spellings? I get that on calls too where I will say “do you spell that Alison” and then find out it is actually spelled Alesyn. This can often make a typically easy name hard to pronounce phonetically when seen on paper. That name looks like it would be pronounced A-el-sin not Al-ih-sun.

How about those children growing up with a name their parents thought were either funny or unique but really are just awkward and weird. Nosmo wouldn’t be my first choice but alone it is okay, however if your last name is King then your name spells out “no smoking”. How about the mom who had twins whose names are pronounced “or-ann-jilo and leh-man-jilo” but spelled out they are Orangejello and Limejello. Orange and lime jello?  Really?

We had picked unique names for our daughters and although my son’s name is  more traditional we don’t find many peers with the same name. The spelling of their names is easy enough that most pronounce them correctly and they have beautiful names.

I was in the store the other day and heard a mother yelling at her kids and calling out their names on the next aisle. This took me back to when I had to realize when at the store I might know someone on the next isle when I am speaking in a raised voice to my kids. They would certainly know it is me because who else has those names?. Of course I also realized I just shouldn’t be yelling at my kids in the store anyway!

So what are some of the pros and cons of a unique name?

Pros:

  • You are probably the only one with your name or maybe only one of a few so you are easily identifiable.
  • People may find it easier to remember you when you first meet because of your unique name.
  • You will find more compliments on your name because it is not common and may be the first time someone has heard that name.
  • You are all set to become a celebrity with a stand out name if you choose a life of fame. You could be known by your first name only, like many famous people.
  • You don’t have to be identified by your first “and” last name.  Remember in school where there are 3 Adam’s in one class and each had to go by their last name or last initial to be identified.

Cons:

  • There isn’t any products with your name on it at the store.
  • Your name can be difficult for someone to spell or pronounce.
  • There may be more teasing associated because of a unique name. But let’s be honest, kids will find anything to tease each other about.
  • Could others be confusion of your gender with a unique name? If your name is Jennifer or Steve on paper it is obvious who you are but with a unique name someone may have difficulty when having to addressing you as Mr. or Mrs. on the phone or in a letter.
  • If you are named after a celebrity with a unique name are you going to always be identified back to that person? “So your name is Keanu like Keanu Reeves the actor?”. This also would apply if you name your child after a character like Thor they certainly will be always answering that question  “from the comic books?” or ask “where is your enchanted hammer?” for the rest of his life.
  • Some unique names just don’t fit in a professional world. It can be hard to take someone serious in business when they introduce themselves with a funky name!

What unique names have your heard?  What experiences have you had with a unique name either for yourself, your child or someone you know?

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Comments on: "Pros and Cons of a Unique Name" (2)

  1. When I worked at BYU, we had a student enrolled in some courses and her name was Pepsi Runsabove.

    We have a friend, whose child is Brock Lee + last name.

    Then you look at the Hollywood crowd and see names like Blue, Kal-El, Apple, Audio Science, Diezel, Daisy Boo, Poppy Honey, Indiana August (why not Texas July??), Gypsy Rose, Pilot Inspektor, Fifi-Trixibelle (sounds like a lap dog name), Peaches, Little Trixie, Honeyblossom, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, Satchel, Sunday etc.. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE??? They should not be allowed to name their children.

    • Yes my parents went to school with some children named James Shoes (try it with nickname Jim) and another named Harold Balls (try with the nickname Harry). Hmmmmm. Did they do that on purpose or just really didn’t think it through? How about a lady who always wanted to name her son Michael. Problem is she married a man whose last name is Michaels. So they did it anyway and ended up with Michael Michaels. There was a comedian once that talked about this topic. He said watching the Volkswagon commercials years ago with the word “Farfegnugen” in it he began to worry because he was sure someone somewhere would name their kid that. It just takes a little thought and effort here people because these children have to live with this for the rest of their lives!!!!!

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