Uneek and Speshal

I HAVE always thought there was something special about both first and surname etymology and I do like researching the meaning and history behind names.

But first and foremost a name must be practical.

In short, it must get them through school.


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Think about it, no parent (sorry, I should say very very very few parents) would dress their child in a bright red beret for the first day of kindergarten, or send their child to their first netball/footy training wearing skin-tight lyrca and knee pads.

No, instead most parents take unbelievable pains to ensure that before their child speaks or performs any action whatsoever they are considered ‘normal’ by their peers.

This is vitally important for several reasons but most important of all is the simple truism that kids can be randomly, unfairly and unbelievably cruel.

If little Johnny can’t kick a footy properly, wears a funny-looking shirt or is the best in his class at maths, he is probably going to be teased about it.

But if little Johnny’s name is Horatio Augustus Tiger the Third then that kid is going to be ripped on regardless of what his talents are.

I don’t like it, but I accept that it is true instead of fighting for 12 years of schooling to no avail.

Kids most of all naturally fear what they don’t understand.

If 21 of the 22 kids in your child’s kindy class can’t fathom why there are three hyphens and the symbol for boron in your kid’s name, then they will rip on them.

It is not until children get older that notions of uniqueness and individuality become comprehendible, let alone ‘cool’ or desired.

Giving your child ‘everything’ but a name he/she can’t pronounce until grade 8 seems rather contradictory at best don’t you think?

Worse still is naming them something considered ‘normal’ but completely re-inventing the spelling of it.

“Hello Mrs Smith, I am sure Ben will love it here at big school, does he prefer Ben or Benjamin?”

“Ooh, actually it is ‘B’ then an apostrophe then ‘Jamin’ –  also we like to really hit the ‘m’ in Jamin so its B’JaMin.”

Yes! I am sure little B’JaMin will love the fact that he won’t learn what a freakin apostrophe is until he is 12!

Kids have to be part of the pack before they can rise to the top of it or break away from it.

A name does not define a person, but it can impact their lives far more than a lot of today’s parents realise.

How will the name you want impact your child?

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