‘What’s in a name?’ A lot! William Shakespeare, the man behind this line is famous worldwide by his own name only. People recognise your personality after spending some time with you, but first they judge you by your name. Don’t we get impressed by people with classy or intriguing names? Haven’t we compared someone’s personality with their first name? Of course we did. We associate people’s personalities with their names. And even we get judged by our names. It is ingrained in all of us. Therefore, Indians believe so much in the “Namkaran” ceremony. It is a full-fledged event with the family’s participation because we understand the impact of names on our personalities.
Not just Indians but people across continents, regardless of their status in society, believe in the tradition of naming. For instance, some Africans give their ancestors’ or established people’s names to their next generation, so that people would perceive their children as a reflection of the great men. In one of the studies, its stated that there is always an accurate name that suits the person’s face and body type.
If your family is very traditional, your name will definitely reflect your ethnicity. If they are ahead of their time, they’ll scout for names that will be relevant in the future. Names can immensely impact your personality. If you like your name, you’ll feel confident in introducing yourself. A psychological study says if a person does not like their name, they will experience lower self-esteem than their peers who have trendy and unique names. It may eventually make them feel bad about themselves. Consequently, they will become the butt of jokes in social settings, and some may even resort to criminal activities.
You hear your name 10 times in a day. Would you like to be addressed with a bad-sounding name? No, right. You’ll grow cranky and snap at people at the drop of a hat. From your school notebooks to passports, it is everywhere. It affects not only your personality but also your entire life.
According to astrology, each letter in your name impacts your personality. It is believed that one wrong or extra letter can change the places of planets. Name changing happens a lot in the entertainment industry, which apparently thrives on luck. Some of the instances are: Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana added an extra “n” in his name and an extra “r” in his surname. Hrithik Roshan added an extra ‘h’ at the beginning of his name. Be it traditionally, astrologically, or socially, names play an instrumental role in shaping our lives. Rajeev Bhatia, now Akshay Kumar, revealed that he changed his name because he liked the character in the movie. Maybe in hindsight, he aspired to become like that character in real life and officially changed his name. Because we all want to have a name that is associated with our identity.
Most rappers, actors, and renowned writers are known by their pen names and not by their birth names. How many people know that Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia is none other than the rapper Badshah? Or Hridesh Singh, the pioneer of rapping in India, is Yo Yo Honey Singh? Or Manoj Shukla is ‘Teri Mitti’ song lyricist Manoj Muntashir? They wanted to have a name that they liked and could own proudly.
Hollywood actress Chloe Celeste Hoffman legally changed her name to Dove, which her father called her fondly, to give a tribute to him. Mark Sinclair, who became famous by the name Vin Diesel, changed his name since he wanted a tougher sounding name to suit his occupation. Olivia Wilde was born to an Irish father as Olivia Jane Cockburn, but she ditched her last name and replaced it with a more media-friendly name. Take another example of Katy Perry, who was originally named Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, but changed her name so that people would not confuse her with Kate Hudson. We are all aware of how the public perceives us. And we don’t want to create wrong notions about ourselves in the eyes of people.
Not just in pop culture, but names play an important role in every sector. Some politicians also change their names in order to become likeable, acceptable, and to gain votes. Apparently, personality emanates from the name and the name emanates from personality. A sonorant-sounding name is likely to attract more people towards you. You could also enjoy social inclusion or acceptance. However, people with unconventional yet impactful names can also have an upper hand due to their exclusivity. One such example of a unique name is ‘Raha.’ The meaning of Raha is peace of mind or comfort. Raha name meaning varies across languages. Though Raha name origin is from the Arabic language, it means a path or course in other languages. Raha, with four letters and only two syllables, could enjoy exclusivity as well as a better sounding name.
Our name speaks so much about our personality that, over time, it becomes our identity and we take it to the grave. Even after our death, we do not get rid of our name. It is engraved on our headstone. However, it varies from person to person. Some eternally optimistic people would consider their unconventional names unique and feel pride in wearing them. And ultimately, they’ll goad people into liking their name and believing that they are special.
A name will not define your entire personality, but it will have a significant impact for sure. Through this article, we got to know how people, especially in the public domain, put so much emphasis on how people perceive them. And how their names impact their public or social life for that matter.