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Can Origin of Names and their Meanings Influence a Person’s Personality?

We have always had strong perceptions about names and often associate them with peculiar attributes. For instance, a girl by the name of Sita or Janaki is perceived by many in India to undergo hardship in her marital home. This is probably because of the popular Hindu epic, Ramayana, where the protagonist’s wife Sita had to endure hardship. And if your name is Helen, you are more likely to be unlucky. These may indeed be perceptions; but they are powerful enough to influence our life. Psychiatrists associate a strong relationship between stereotypes and their ability to influence decisions in our lives. It certainly does help to know name origins and name meanings before choosing one for your kids. There are names that are considered with class and privileged upbringing. Thus, Elizabeth, James, and Catherine are names of the privileged. But consider the name Elizabeth, against the fact that the name Lisa is a derivative of Elizabeth. While the latter is associated with success, the former isn’t really classified in the same category. When parents choose names for their children, they often consider many factors. For instance, Hindus generally name their children after Hindu gods and goddesses. The Jews are traditionally known to name children after their ancestors. In today’s Western world, there is a trend to name children after favorite celebrities. Thus if Diana was the most popular name when the late Princess married Prince Charles, Kate or Catherine is likely to be the most popular choice this year. David has always been a common name, but today’s parents are more likely to name their son after David Beckham or David Bowie. Whatever be the psychology behind a name, it is important for parents to know the meaning of names before they chose one for their child. There are some parents who are extremely selfish in this regard and often step on the extremes when naming their children. They should understand that children with ‘whatwere-they-thinking’ kind of names are likely targets of bullies. All that the poor child wants is to fit in among its peer group, but the parents often want their children to stand out in the crowd.


Can Origin of Names and their Meanings Influence a Person’s Personality?