The Name Game
Feb 6, 2006, 02:34 PM
A new study suggests that black students with exotic names don't do as well in school as black students with more common names. NewsChannels 3's Barbara Ciara investigated exotic names in Hampton Roads and found there's no shortage of the unusual.
Recently I met two adorable babies by the name of Her Majesty and Yur Majesty. Whether you love it or hate it, the name your parents gave you at birth is probably one of the most important decisions ever made without your consent.
Denise Estella is the Birth Registrar at Chesapeake General Hospital. In 16 years she thinks she's seen and heard just about everything. “The most unusual name people are using right now is heaven spelled backwards” Estella said.
Lynne Overton's little slice of heaven was only a day old at the time of our interview. She named him after his Dad, James William Overton Junior.
She’s says, “My family is Greek, and names that I have in my family are very hard to pronounce, and I'll see especially children avoid a child that's has an unusual name just because they don't know how to say the name, so I think its important for a parent to realize that and acknowledge that."
If this birthing class is any indication, parents really do struggle with the 'name game'. Michael and Sheree Beveridge, love art and music-- and they're expecting a boy.
“We went with Trey, yeah that's the name of the drummer in our favorite band.”
Namratra Patel’s parents used astrology charts to pick her name; she wants a simpler cultural name for her baby girl.
“My name is hard, people can't pronounce my name, they just call me Nicky, where is my name! My name is already changed, that's why I want it short and sweet cause she's going to live here, says Patel.”
Al and Leigh Gibson haven't quite decided, but they're not afraid to think outside the box.
He laughs, “I was thinking spanky, at least his names not apple".
How much weight does a name really carry? Can it affect your chances at getting a job, a promotion? Your grades?
Nadeen and Quane Williamson don't believe different has to mean, detrimental. While their older children, Courtney and Omar have traditional names, they believe Her Majesty and Yur Majesty will hold their own in their walk through life.
“I just believe that if you want Royalty sometimes it can start with a name." Quane said.
The National Bureau of Economic Research found exotic names could make a big difference in the classroom. A boy named Damarcus, for example, was 2 percent less likely than his brother Dwayne to be referred to a gifted program, even with identical test scores.
Nadeen and Quane vow not to allow their children to fall victim to stereotypes, “first of all I think we need to play an integral part in our children’s education, I think a parent who's directly involved in their education would know if they've run up on that kind of closed minded individual I think." Williamson said.