Giving Children "Ethnic" Names?

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Star Spangled C...
Giving Children "Ethnic" Names?

Hey everyone.

Not sure this forum is the best place for this - could also work in "body and soul" so moderators should feel free to move it. But I'm curious about other people's thoughts on something.

my wife and I had some people over for a BBQ this past weekend, all of whom recently became parents like we did. And we got to the topic of baby names. I'm always interested in how people choose names for their kids. And one of the things we talked about was whether it was a good/bad/neutral idea to give kids a name that identifies them as a certain ethnicity or religion.

We named our baby boy "Mordechai" and there are several reasons. 1) In Jewish tradition, you name for a family member who was died. My grandmother recently passed away and her name began with an M so we wanted an M name. My wife is Persian and she wanted to honour that tradition and, for those familiar with the story of Purim, Mordechai was the hero of that Jewish story set in Persia. 3) I'm a big Mordechai Richler fan and my dad's family is from Montreal (a city I really love) and this felt like a way of connecting him to that heritage. 4) We jsut think it's unique and cool-sounding.

Now, "Mordechai" is also distinctly Jewish. Other people give their kids distinctly Muslim names like Mohamed. Others give Hispanic names like Juan or Jose. Other give distinctly "black" names like Jamal or Tyrone - names that, in msot cases, anyways, lets one identify the race, religions, ethnicity, whatever of the person before ever setting eyes on them. Others really try to avoid a distinctly "ethnic" name. One of the couples we had over are both Indian and he, at least, has a distinctly Indian name (Sanjay) and he deliberately avoided giving his son that (they called him "Michael').

So, what do people think? Is it celebrating heritage? Is it locking them into an identity? Could it be setting your kid up for discrimination or stereotyping in the future? Good idea? bad idea? Doesn't matter?

How did people choose their kids names? Was this a consideration?

Snert Snert's picture

I'm not a parent, so take my two cents with a grain of salt, but personally, I think giving kids a name that reflects their heritage is a good thing, for the most part.  What I have trouble with is parents giving their kids names that very distinctly reflect someone else's heritage.

I have a cousin whose two boys have very, very Irish names, and yet neither he nor his wife are Irish.  I think there was some kind of Connor/Liam/Callum fad for a while there and they leapt on it.  Not the end of the world, but a bit affected, I think, and likely to cause some confusion later on ("So, you're Irish?" -- "No.")

Caissa

Our sons unintentionally share first names of the patron saints of Wales and Scotland.  Middle names were from grandfathers for the oldest and a great-grandfather for the youngest. We wanted to avoid names where the children would have to spell them for the rest of their lives. 

Snert Snert's picture

Easily spelled is a laudable goal.  My name, for many years, wasn't easily spelled at all.  It's pretty common now, but much of my childhood was spent resentfully taking adults to school on how my name was spelled.

Check this out:  http://www.babynamewizard.com/voyager

Caissa

Any chance of moving this to another forum? i don't see the anti-racism link.

Makwa Makwa's picture

The only think I can see about the opening post which is related to racism is the belief that black people would stereotypically name their male children 'Jamal' or 'Tyrone.'  Too many blaxploitation film fests, I suspect.  Moving to 'banter' for excessive irrelevance.

Caissa

Thanks, Makwa except for the last two words.

Makwa Makwa's picture

Caissa wrote:

Thanks, Makwa except for the last two words.

I did mean within the context of anti-racist analysis, but I must admit that despite my initial dyslexic spelling, I was a bit peeved about the Tyrone/Jamal thing.  I mean, seriously, what does it take?  The topic is harmless enough, so why sully it with insulting nonsense?

Ciabatta2

My personal philosophy is that as long as parents are naming their kid with their kid's identity/welfare/future in mind, and not the parent's childhood experience, then go for it.  Any name can be a great name.

I find that many parents these days are giving their children names that are very difficult to spell/pronounce/understand to the average joe - without a thought to the impact this will have on the child as they grow up, let alone the adult identity the child will need to develop under that name.  That's their right, but it's not particularly considerate, in my opinion.

So these parents they give their kid incredibly unique names, often beautiful and special to parents and family and friends; but also destined to be a total pain in the ass for the kid as they grow up.

I can understand that many of today's parents grew up wishing they had a more unique name, or changing the spelling in grade 8 to make it more unique, or wishing that they weren't one of six Jennifers/Meghans/Daves/Mikes in their grade five class.  Fair enough.

But give a thought to the fact that your kid many not want to have to spell her or his name out each time on the phone, or correct people's pronounciation, or explain the meaning to everyone they interact with, or have to deal with tech help when the computer doesn't recognize the c cedille and it messes up their email address, or have to re-send forms where they've excluded the slient 'g' or 'f' in their name.

And they may not want to have to worry about hurting your feelings or offending you should they want to shorten it, anglicize it, use their middle name instead, or abandon it and choose a completely different name when they grow up.

I know my partner, whose parents gave her a beautiful French name (but is not of French background), has wished her whole life to be a Jennifer or a Meghan, as she has had to explain and correct her name's spelling and pronounciation each and every single time she has filled out a form, spoken over the phone, or met another human being.  And this is in a country where French is an official language!

Caissa

Makwa wrote: I was a bit peeved about the Tyrone/Jamal thing.

 

je comprend.

oldgoat

I thought Jamal was of middle East origen, but Tyrone???  I had no idea.

 

My son's name is David, which is I suppose Jewish, but not anymore.  Christians are children of the book too, and if he moved to Saudi Arabia maybe he'd be called Dawit.

 

Are there some names which are proprietary and it would be disrespectful to use them outside of a specific culture?  Possibly Mohammed or variations thereof.  Were I to name my kid Thanabalasingham it may be seen as more peculiar than offensive to Tamils.

Star Spangled C...

The names Tyrone and Jamal were from Steven Levitt's book Freakonomics (great read) where he looked at census data and isolated the 20 "whitest" and "blackest" names for boys and girls. As you can see from this list http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2470131&page=1 Jamal and Tyrone both make the list of 20 "blackest" names.

That's not "negative stereotyping". That's looking at actual data!

The point about tyrone and jamal wasn't about the asthetics of the name. It's about how a name can identify one's race sight unseen and whether this is good/bad/no difference.

Unionist

Ciabatta2 wrote:

I find that many parents these days are giving their children names that are very difficult to spell/pronounce/understand to the average joe - without a thought to the impact this will have on the child as they grow up, let alone the adult identity the child will need to develop under that name.  That's their right, but it's not particularly considerate, in my opinion.

I couldn't disagree more. Young people today are inifinitely more accepting of names they haven't heard before than they were in my day. And, in "my day", the lack of acceptance stemmed from intolerance and xenophobia. One way of combatting xenophobia is facing it and staring it down. Our children have nonstandard names, and not from "my heritage" either (which is Jewish European). Of all the problems they face in life, this is not one.

I have great difficulty with your concern about the "impact this will have on the child as they grow up" and the "adult identity the child will need to develop under that name". And I have even greater difficulty with your invocation of the "average joe" as the yardstick for what it means to be "considerate" to your child. Pardon me for reading fear of the "other" in your entire post - if not your own fear, then at least capitulation to the "average joe's" fear.

I repeat, our youth are way beyond that.

Or, we can just name all our kids John and Jane and then (to be really considerate of their future) try to give them up for adoption to rich white families. Why make them suffer unduly?

 

Star Spangled C...

I'll jsut add on teh "Jamal/Tyrone" point that my point isn't that MOST blacks give their kids such names. It's that if a kid DOES have that name, it's fairly safe to assume that he's black. Just like MOST Jews don't name their sons "Mordechai" but if you hear about a kid by that name, it's safe to assume that he's Jewish.

Unionist

Time to move this back into the anti-racism thread. It doesn't take two seconds, does it.

 

Makwa Makwa's picture

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

The names Tyrone and Jamal were from Steven Levitt's book Freakonomics (great read) where he looked at census data and isolated the 20 "whitest" and "blackest" names for boys and girls. As you can see from this list http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2470131&page=1 Jamal and Tyrone both make the list of 20 "blackest" names.

Yes, I've read the book, and found the issues around abortion, crime and crack dealing intriguing but not overly persuasive.  However, how many of your male black aquaintances are named either 'Jamal' or 'Tyrone?'  I suggest it is a dated set, probably only within people well over the age of forty.  I've never met one in my life.  I can think of many more stereotypically 'black' names among my social circle, but what would be the point?  Obviously the social affects arising from stereotypically 'black' names would differ significantly from stereotypically Jewish or Irish names.  In any case, do chat about white names all you like, and no, it is not to my mind an anti-racism theme, thank you Unionist.

Star Spangled C...

I've personally never met a black person named Tyrone or Jamal. How many Jews have you met named Moshe or Yaakov or Menachem?

The point isn't that these names are super common to the community. I'm sure the most popular names among blacks and jews, alike, are names like David and Michael and Sarah. The point is that a name like Moshe tends to identify one strongly as Jewish and a name like Tyrone identifies one strongly as black.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I'm confused. 

Is this thread about white parents who want to name their children, and how can or should these parents choose names that are either within their own ethnicity or outside of it?

Or is this thread about which names are more common and which names are less common?

Or is this just another way to point out that white folks can be "singled out" because of their names, if their names are unusual? As opposed to folks of colour who, whether they have "regular" names or "ethnic" names will always be considered "other"?

By the way, every single name is an ethnic name. The use of the word "ethnic" to stand in for "non-white" or "non-WASP" is not a correct usage of the word. I know many people use "ethnic" to mean "non-WASP" or "non-white". I'm not sure how many times I need to say this but that isn't what ethnic means.

al-Qa'bong

Tyrone Power

 

I dunno; this guy looks fairly white.

Ciabatta2

Unionist wrote:

Pardon me for reading fear of the "other" in your entire post - if not your own fear, then at least capitulation to the "average joe's" fear.

I repeat, our youth are way beyond that.

Or, we can just name all our kids John and Jane and then (to be really considerate of their future) try to give them up for adoption to rich white families. Why make them suffer unduly?

I can understand how you would come to that conclusion based on my post.  My point is not about fear, or fear of the other, or having everyone conform to an oppressive and dominant culture.  The point I'm making is about the everyday realities of having to live with the name you were given.  You can have a unique, one-of-a-kind name, whether it's from your 'heritage', someone else's, or no-one's at all, whether its common or totally made-up, that is totally live-able and work-able.  I never asserted that everyone has to be named John or Jane.  I'm just suggesting that parents give some consideration to the fact that it's not them that has to live with the name, that it's their kid. That's all.

 

(edited for clarity and for wrong use of the word ethnic)

Star Spangled C...

Maysie wrote:

By the way, every single name is an ethnic name. The use of the word "ethnic" to stand in for "non-white" or "non-WASP" is not a correct usage of the word. I know many people use "ethnic" to mean "non-WASP" or "non-white". I'm not sure how many times I need to say this but that isn't what ethnic means.

You're absolutely right about that but the point is that certain names have the effect of indicating one's ethnicty while others do not. If you hear the name "David", you will have no clue what race, national origin or religion the person belongs to. If you hear the name "Shlomo", it's fairly certain he's Jewish, "Mohamed" pretty certain to be Muslim, "Tyrone" pretty certain to be black, etc.

Unionist

Yes, and Jamal Saghir doesn't look very very African to me - he's Director, Energy, Transport and Water, in the Sustainable Vice Presidency (SDNVP) of the World Bank and Chair of the Energy and Mining Sector Board, Transport Sector Board, and Water Sector Board:

Unionist

Makwa wrote:
In any case, do chat about white names all you like, and no, it is not to my mind an anti-racism theme, thank you Unionist.

You're ever so welcome, drop by for tea, ta.

 

Snert Snert's picture

[anecdote]I knew a guy named Tyrone in university, and he was very white.  He did get a little peeved at people's assumption that he would be black, and/or comments like "I thought you'd be black".[/anecdote]

As I understand it, the name "Sean" grew in use over the last couple of decades mostly from newfound popularity in the black community. I wonder if black guys named Sean are ever assumed to be Irish ("Oh, sorry, I was expecting a redhead with a hot temper...")

Star Spangled C...

for those of you haven't read Freakonomics, there is a really fascinating discussion on names. You can read an excerpt here: http://www.slate.com/id/2116449/

Maysie Maysie's picture

Um, Star Spangled you didn't have to repeat your point. I've read the thread and I know precisely where you're coming from. Unfortunately.

This point you make is, in fact, wrong:

Quote:
 certain names have the effect of indicating one's ethnicty while others do not.

My point is, we all have ethnicity. I'm not sure you got that. While certain names in the white-majority-Canadian context may indicate "non-WASP" and "non-white", all names have ethnicity. Just like all people.

Hint: John Alexander Macdonald is an ethnic name. So is Lester Bowles Pearson.

Double hint: Some names have the effect of indicating one's ethnicity as WASP.

And a P.S. to Unionist: yes, while names can be an indicator of one's racial or ethnic background, it's not 100%.

Star Spangled C...

So, Maysie, if someone told you that they had lunch today with someone named "David", what race, religion or national origin would you assume "David" to be? It could be anyone. It would be different than saying that you had lunch with someone named "Moshe."

I'm not talking about last names here. What "ethnicity" is tjhe name "David"? I guess technically it would be Hebrew since it has its origin in the Old Testament but since Old Testament names are taken by different races and religions, I don't think you can really make assumptions about who it would belong to.

Maysie Maysie's picture

My name is May. May is an English name. If it's spelled Mei it's also a Chinese transliteration into English. Mai is a common French spelling. Does any of this tell you anything about my ethnicity? Or should I just change my name to "David"? Tongue out

My point is that we can assume all that we want, and maybe most of the time we will be correct. But sometimes we will be wrong.

My next point is, who cares? If the original posting of this (in the anti-racism forum) was to indicate that some people, especially people of colour, are treated in racist ways because of having names that are not commonly understood to be "white" and "WASP" names then I agree, this happens a lot.

But you began the post from a perspective of a parent, or parents, of non-identified ethnicity, and you spoke fairly typically about names that are fairly typically stereotyped about.

Your point is still unclear to me. 

Star Spangled C...

My "point" was simply that it was a discussion that came up with other couples who had different opinions and I found it interesting and was interested in what other people had to say on the matter. Our baby is mixed race but we assume his primary "identity" will be "Jewish" as opposed to anything else.

Makwa Makwa's picture

So apparently 'Jewish' and 'Persian' is somehow 'mixed race,' but in this context, the subject at hand is 'predominantly' Jewish.  Oh, deary deary me.  Now I can see how this was intended as an 'antiracist' discussion.  Ok, the can of worms has been opened, let's all grab some bait.  

Ed to add: I agree with Unionist that the tenor of the discussion is distressing, however, he articulated it much better.  Thanks.  However ill advised, I still don't see it as an 'antiracist' discussion. `Freak`-onomics indeed.

Unionist

Maysie wrote:

And a P.S. to Unionist: yes, while names can be an indicator of one's racial or ethnic background, it's not 100%.

Maysie, what are you responding to? I've been ridiculing the notion of naming people to indicate their race or ethnicity. I've also ridiculed the notion that "Jamal" means "black". I find this entire discussion offensive. The reason I suggested it be moved to the AR forum was so that people would watch their words a bit more.

Names mean nothing about race, ethnicity, religion - and we should all intermarry and give our kids whatever names we like, and let them change them when they're older if they want.

It's like saying: "Oh, she lives on such-and-such street? She's probably Aboriginal." It's stereotyping and marginalizing people under the phoney guise of neutral statistical observation: "Hey, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that name/address/suburb/style of dress - but can you deny that it statistically fits more with Group X than others? Just sayin', eh?" This is offensive. It's also known as "profiling".

Of course, that's just my opinion, and I do hope I'm entitled to it.

Maysie wrote:
[To SSC:]

But you began the post from a perspective of a parent, or parents, of non-identified ethnicity, and you spoke fairly typically about names that are fairly typically stereotyped about.

Your point is still unclear to me.

What's clear to me is that some people in this thread are advocating (sometimes under the guise of "observation") that you shouldn't burden kids with strange names - or you should "understand" that kids will be stereotyped because of their names. Underlying this thesis is the view that parents should be reproducing, not just the human species, but their racial/ethnic/religious/economic groupings in the way they tag their offspring. Oh no, not "advocating", just "recognizing reality!!"

Philosophers have long gone about "recognizing reality". The point, however, is to change it.

 

Star Spangled C...

Unionist wrote:

[What's clear to me is that some people in this thread are advocating (sometimes under the guise of "observation") that you shouldn't burden kids with strange names

Was that directed at me, Unionist. I'm the guy who DID give his kid what some people would consider a "strange" name - or at least a distinctly ethnic one. I rather like it. My friend Sanjay who I was chatting with about this had jsut the opposite opinion and didn't want to give his son a distinctly Indian name. To each their own.

Star Spangled C...

Makwa wrote:

So apparently 'Jewish' and 'Persian' is somehow 'mixed race,' but in this context, the subject at hand is 'predominantly' Jewish.  Oh, deary deary me.  Now I can see how this was intended as an 'antiracist' discussion.  

I don't know what you're talking about. A white European father and a Persian mother is what makes our baby "mixed race." The fact that both of us are Jewish is what makes him "predominantly Jewish."

Unionist

I thought most Persians were caucasian... I guess that word "race" can cause some difficulties.

 

Unionist

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

Unionist wrote:

[What's clear to me is that some people in this thread are advocating (sometimes under the guise of "observation") that you shouldn't burden kids with strange names

Was that directed at me, Unionist.

Actually no, it was directed at Ciabatta2.

Star Spangled C...

Unionist wrote:

I thought most Persians were caucasian... I guess that word "race" can cause some difficulties.

it can. though, in this case, i think the word "caucasian" is also troublesome. It is an anthropological term, not a genetic one and no real genetic classification of "caucasian" exists. In common usage, it can refer to people originating in europe, North Afirca, central Asia and other spots.

In medicine, "caucasian" isn't really considered valid as a racial classification.

Edited to add that skin tone among Persians is quite varied and can range from practically white to very dark.

Unionist

Star Spangled Canadian wrote:

In medicine, "caucasian" isn't really considered valid as a racial classification.

I agree wholeheartedly that "race" is bs as a category - but I know of no usage which would categorize most "Europeans" and most "Persians" as being of different races. Hungarians and Finns maybe are different, but not (say) French, Germans, Russians, Brits, etc. You might with equal authority say that Berlusconi marrying Queen Elizabeth would produce "mixed race" offspring. Pardon the image.

SSC wrote:

Edited to add that skin tone among Persians is quite varied and can range from practically white to very dark.

Whereas you wouldn't find that in Italy, right?

johnpauljones

My neices name is devorah. not deborah or debbie but from the hebrew and just written in english.

it is interesting because my wifes sister and her husband are non -practicing jews. they were married at city hall and the last time they visited a shul was during the shiva of steve's father. i say non-practicing because they have chosen a biblical name written closely to the hebrew spelling and using the hebrew pronounciation.

But Devorah fits the definition of an "ethnic" name

Star Spangled C...

Unionist wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly that "race" is bs as a category - but I know of no usage which would categorize most "Europeans" and most "Persians" as being of different races.

Right. Maybe it's more mixed 'ethnicity" than "race". Some of it is jsut semantics. In our case (which I'm sure you will understand) its that I'm Ashkenazi and she is Sephardi so Jews consider us a "mixed couple" in the ethnic, not religious, sense.

Though, again, I don't know how much of the distinctions between Ashenazi and sephardi Jews have to do with "race" versus different customs, etc. that developed as a result of their geographic locations.

Unionist

johnpauljones wrote:

But Devorah fits the definition of an "ethnic" name

It certainly does not. Devorah could be Canadian or French or Israeli or Algerian. She could be white or black or brown. She could be Jewish or atheist or anything else. Of course, some narrow-minded people will make "statistical assumptions" upon hearing that name. It's called "profiling". The only fairly reliable things you could say about Devorah are that it's Hebrew and it's feminine (in Hebrew) and that it can sting you something awful if you abuse it.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

Hungarians and Finns maybe are different...

Actually, Hungarians and Finns have a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finno-Ugric_peoples]common linguistic heritage[/url], and, except for the Sami minority in Finland, "ethnically and genetically [Finns and Hungarians] do not differ from their Indo European speaking neighbors." - [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finno-Ugric_peoples]ibid.[/url]

HeywoodFloyd

My fiancee and all of our kids have first names that are of Hebrew or Jewish origin yet we're all English and Irish. They're just nice names.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

... except for the Sami minority in Finland, "ethnically and genetically [Finns and Hungarians] do not differ from their Indo European speaking neighbors." - [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finno-Ugric_peoples]ibid.[/url]

I'm not sure why you seized on this piece of trivia, but one danger of using Wikipedia as a source arises when you don't actually read the source that Wikipedia is relying upon. Your quote is the opinion of one scholar (Markku Niskanen) on what is still a disputed and controversial thesis, as Niskanen himself notes on pp. 124-125 of [url=his">http://www.mankindquarterly.org/samples/niskanenbalticcorrected.pdf][col... paper[/url].

But perhaps we can get back to the topic.

 

 

Wilf Day

Maysie wrote:
By the way, every single name is an ethnic name. The use of the word "ethnic" to stand in for "non-white" or "non-WASP" is not a correct usage of the word.

Indeed.

However, some parents do try to give children a name that is non-identifying. Take "Emilia." Does that suggest Italian, Portuguese or Brazilian, or Polish? Any or all of the above, or the early English feminist poet who I think was the "dark lady" of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Caissa wrote:
We wanted to avoid names where the children would have to spell them for the rest of their lives.

Yet I know a mom who often had to spell her name. She thinks a strong name with an unusual spelling was a character-builder, and it seems so far she was right.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

My parents named me for my grandfather, but feminized the spelling.  I love my name, but have learned to spell it out, and if not fast enough will often just let the misspelling go. 

I am from an anglo-celtic background and the blond guy is scandinavian, so we tried to pick names that would give our girls a sense of that heritage.  Both wound up with celtic names because there weren't a lot of nice Norwegian ones that wouldn't either be impossible to spell or didn't sound sort of odd - we did have two on the list when Ms T was born, but they just didn't fit her.  One of the wild girls has a scandinavian middle name, though. 

Neither name has a complicated spelling, but the blond guy's family still spells Ms T's name wrong (she's 8 yrs old) and my name as well (been part of the family for over 12 yrs).  I can understand strangers, but family?  Very aggravating.

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

 

Yet I know a mom who often had to spell her name. She thinks a strong name with an unusual spelling was a character-builder, and it seems so far she was right.

Boadicea?

 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
She thinks a strong name with an unusual spelling was a character-builder, and it seems so far she was right.

 

 

I know a mother who said just about the same thing.  In commenting on one of her sons, who is named Yussuf, she said he would grow into the name.

 

My mom's an anglophile, and she has complained to me that none of my kids has an English name.  I dunno, my brother and I have  British names that don't match our last name, which I think is weird.  Anyway like Frank Zappa once said, first names don't matter, it's the last name that gets you into trouble.

 

Speaking of last names, my grandfather had a cousin named "George Harris," which I could never figure out, until someone told me  he had changed his last name from Nasrallah to Harris.  I think it's too bad he thought he had to cover his heritage by anglicising his identity.  Speaking of "Harris," I once worked with someone named "Becky Harris."  She was Jewish.  Maybe we're related.

 

 

 

Quote:
I can understand strangers, but family?  Very aggravating.
My mom always mispronounces the name of one of my kids.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

I'm not sure why you seized on this piece of trivia...

Perhaps because I was supporting your point that Europeans are essentially all one "race".

Quote:
Your quote is the opinion of one scholar (Markku Niskanen) on what is still a disputed and controversial thesis, as Niskanen himself notes on pp. 124-125 of [url=his">http://www.mankindquarterly.org/samples/niskanenbalticcorrected.pdf][col... paper[/url].

Niskanen notes no such thing.

He notes that for 200 years it had been accepted on very scant evidence that the Finno-Ugrians were Mongoloid in origin, and states emphatically that this is wrong. Using modern tools of physical anthropology, including DNA analysis, Niskanen presents a convincing argument that Finns are genetically close to the Swedes, Germans and Norwegians, and are "no more distant from the European average than are the Irish and the Basque".

Niskanen offers no reason to doubt his own conclusions, which are based on work done by many scientists over the last few decades, and I certainly have no reason to do so. Do you?

torontoprofessor

I once was acquainted with a couple who wanted the same surname for them and their (as of yet nonexistent) kids, but they did not think it appropriate for one to take the other's name, and they didn't like double-barrelled names. So they both changed their surnames to "Gandhi", since they admired Gandhi.

sachinseth sachinseth's picture

"ethnic" names are often beautiful and it's, in my opinion, the right thing to do when name a child. If you are from a certain background or ethnicity then name the child based on that instead of assimilating. 

Maintaining cultural values from generation to generation, especially for minorities here in Canada, is so, so important. Names help with that.

Unionist

Well, I guess we'll have to disagree. I don't like ghettos.

 

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