"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2

A rose is a rose because we agree to call it so. If we agreed to call it by any other name, will it still be what we perceive as a rose?
How deep is the connection between name and entity? And how different our life would’ve been if our name had been different? Name is a part of our self-concept. Can it affect our personality? We don’t get to choose our name. We can change it legally, create a pseudonym, or just call ourselves whatever we prefer to, but we’ll always bear in mind, under what label we were introduced to the world. Before we could realize, analyze or make a conscious decision, from the moment of birth, the vibration of our first name is impacting our perceptions, and possibly, traits, talents and relationships.

Responsible parents consider lot of aspects, choosing the baby’s name. Still, they are making mistakes that become costly in the child’s life.

Sounds pretty. It is tempting to give your child a name that sounds pleasing, sophisticated or exotic to you. Do you always know what the word means? Are you sure, you did not misread a word, coming up with an unusual but pleasant-sounding pronunciation? You just think, it’s pretty, and thus choose to stick your youngster with it.

Here are some real names reported to have resulted from misinterpretation of the written word:
Asshole (ah-SHOL-ee)
Clitoris (cla-TORE-us)
Female (fuh-MALL-ee)
Gonorrhea (gu-NO-ree-ah)
Syphilis (suh-PHYL-lis)
Testicles (TESS-tic-clees)
Urine (u-RIN-ee)
Vagina (va-GEE-na)
Names reported to have resulted from overhearing an unusual but flowery-sounding term:
Chlamydia (kla-MID-e-ah)
Eczema (EX-suh-ma)
Latrine (la-TREEN)
Meconium (muh-CONE-knee-um)
Placenta (pla-SENT-a)
Urea (YUR-ee-ah)
Vagina (va-JAI-na)

A number of years ago, the newspapers ran a story about a young man who re-enlisted in the Navy during the time he was hospitalized for tonsillitis. Ordinarily, an event like this wouldn't attract public notice. What gave this story its appeal, was the fact that the man's name was Tonsillitis Jackson, who, along with his brother Meningitis, had helped his parents care for his sisters Laryngitis, Appendicitis, and Peritonitis. At least that Jackson parents were consistent.

Gender identification. Gender-free names are becoming more and more popular, and cause lot of confusion. You can read a big chunk of a story just to realize, that the character, you’ve pictured as a ‘she’ is actually a ‘he’ or vice versa. Writing a letter or a mail, you often wonder whether you are dealing with a ‘Dear Sir’ or a ‘Dear Madam’.
It is now quite common for a school teacher to say "I would like for boys and girls named Billy, Eddie, Sasha, Charlie and Sam to come to the reading circle now”. Try to guess what gender will dominate in the reading circle.

Sometimes androgynous names reflect the parents’ desire to raise kids who will be as comfortable pushing dolls in strollers as pushing trucks. We don’t want to put a lot of gender role pressure on our children with their names, though we also don’t want to embarrass them by going with something too feminine for a boy or too masculine for a girl. There is still a chance for the kids to be teased for a gender-uncertain name. Once upon a time, names like Evelyn, Vivian, Hilary, Florence, Jocelyn were all predominantly male. Don’t try it on your boy now – he will most likely be laughed at. The public is much nicer though to female edition of Cameron, Dylan or Jordan. Just don’t experiment with naming your girl something like Colt, Jett, Ryker, or Breaker. She will have to push through a non-flattering image of a rebel with tattoos on his neck that no suit and tie could cover. And yet some parents are challenging their kids. If they want to have a son Sue or a daughter Ace, no one can stop them.

Family traditions. Sticking up to the family rituals is very considerate. But don’t you think that a name like ‘Somebody the 7th Junior’ can put a heavy load on your child and also disclose too much of unnecessary information about your dynasty? Also, naming kids in honor of very deserving ancestors may cause problems in modern society. The fact that your great uncle Penuel and your grandmother Zilphia have profusely survived their lives with weird names does not mean that your child will.

Unique spelling. Most people want their child’s name to be unique. Forced to agree with a popular common name, they attempt to at least customize the spelling. What for? It still will sound the same. At least you can expect that your daughter Gennaphyr will become a winner of spelling bee.

First name/last name compatibility. We need to think how the kid’s forename will sound with his last and middle name. People are cautious enough to avoid bizarre combinations like Holly Wood, Al Dente, Mary Christmas or Cherry Pitt. But sometimes the full name combination can sound as a totally different expression:
Adam Meway (Out of My Way)
Betty Humpser (Bet He Humps Her)
Ellis Dee (L.S.D)
Juana Bea (Wanna-Be)
Al B. Zienya (I'll Be Seeing You)
Herbie Hind (Her Behind)
Anita Bath (I need a bath)
Darrell B. Moore (There'll be More)
Abe Rudder (Hey Brother)
Bill Lowney (Bologna)
Dawn Keebals (Donkey Balls)
Ben Thair (Been There)
Constance Noring (constant snoring)
Oliver Sutton (all of a sudden)
Al O'Moaney (alimony)
Heidi Clare (I declare)
Harris Mint (harassment)
Sam Manilla (salmonella)
Abel N. Willan (able and willing)
Ty Tass (tight ass)
Carson O. Gin (carcinogen)
Alex Blaine Layder (I'll explain later)
Abbreviations. Maybe, the last thing parents are thinking about is what combination the kid’s initials will form. Perfectly acceptable names like Florence Anita Torbett and Catherine Olivia Whitney are unpleasantly abbreviated to FAT and COW.
Interlingual issues. This is something, the most responsible parents, even multi-lingual, cannot predict. As we are laughing at foreign names phonetically resembling dirty words or silly phrases in English, like Phuoc Yu, Porn, and Deepender – there are some English names that others would make fun of in the same way as we giggle at Hung Wei Lo.
Sean Connery is well respected but still laughed at it France, since "une connerie" in French is dumb act or bullcrap.
Gary is a Japanese word for diarrhea.
Zachary translates into Fulfulde (West African language) as “penis”.

Mark means “worm” in Norwegian.
Bill is “butt cheek” in Dutch.
Dick in Dutch means “fat”, which is not as bad as what it means in English.
Suki (beloved) means “bitches” in Russian.
Cece (a nick-name for Cecilia) is Russian for “tits”.
A biblical Nimrod (the Rebel) is a popular Hebrew name, while it is no so popular in English.

So, what’s in a name? Being your parents’ choice, it is so very yours. A link to your personality, an element of your destiny. And, contrary to the Shakespearian idea, it may affect who you are.