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What’s in a Name?

Posted on: January 6, 2011

A few years ago, I dated a guy named Carl. I cringe even typing that out. See, Carl was great and all, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that his name was Carl. What an unsexy name. As a romance magazine editor, I constantly have to change the names of characters so they are more in the Fabio genre. Yesterday, the male protagonist of the story I was editing was named Karl, yes with a “K.” Even worse!

Most of my exes and guys I’m attracted to have exotic names. Perhaps that is because my name, Gia, is not that common and my full name, Gianina, even less common, and I’m naturally drawn to others with unique names. More likely though, it is simply that unique names seem to be better identifiers of their owners. There’s something to be said for Varick, Pierce, Dante, Marcello, Tal, Tarun, Micah, Mikel. Instantly they seem more intriguing than the one hundred Matts, Chrises, and Joes I know. Which brings me to my next point. Do you ever find yourself attracted to guys with the same name? I must’ve had crushes on most Kevins, Gregs, Jays, Johns, and those three names that I mentioned above throughout my life, but I can’t associate any other common names with an attraction.

So what’s in a name? I think my name is inextricably tied to my identity, and I’m naturally drawn to those who have names that no one else I know has. I also have a pattern of being attracted to people with certain ordinary names, which could be akin to predicting how you’ll get along with someone according to his or her zodiac sign.

Do you feel like the name your parents gave you is the right name for you? Do you find yourself constantly drawn to people with certain names? How strong is the correlation between name and identity?

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3 Responses to "What’s in a Name?"

Great article! As I have watched my children grow, I think they are shaped by the name they have been given. Gia, Rindy and Piers are very goal directed, as is Will, whose name is common, but I believe it means strength which is what he needs now and in the lonely, competitive field he has chosen for his life’s work.

Love the “Fabio” reference!

[…] (Written in March 2011, Sequel to What’s In A Name?) […]

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