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'Desperate' Naming Game

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On last night's Desperate Housewives, Susan's friends react to her unusual baby name choice. But does a name really determine how a person is treated? Our expert weighs in.


We asked Jennifer Moss from, what's really in a name?

"Don't fool yourself," she says. "What you name your child really does matter. Studies have shown that kids are treated differently in school depending on their names. But a lot has to do with personal, as well as community, perception."

"Personal perception would be your personal experiences -- identifying a name with the people you know and grew up with," she continues. "For example, if you have a horrid Aunt Hattie who you can't stand, you will be averse to that name. Or if there was a bully in school named Bobby, most likely you won't choose that as a baby name."

"Community perception is like when someone famous or a famous character has a particular name, so an entire community associates the name with the person," she adds. "For example, the name 'Michael Jackson' and 'Paris' bring up images of the celebrity for MANY people."

And the deal with "Maynard"?

"Maynard is mostly used in the South," she explains. "Because it is a French surname, it may have been popularized first in the Creole culture in Louisiana. It is a French version of a German name meaning 'strong'."

Who knew?

next: The Grand Finales!
2 comments so far | Post a comment now

I do think that your name influences how someone perceives you before they meet you, and also how they treat you afterwards. I think that’s why people struggle with finding names for their kids - or at least we did!

cheapviagra8676 August 30, 2010, 9:11 AM

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