Ok I realize that this will be a touchy topic, but I have to go there because the situation has gotten way out of hand. People have been giving their kids creative names since the beginning of time, and Black Americans are probably at the top of the food chain on this issue. First, I want to say that no one has the right to tell parents what to name their kids. Each of us has an opinion on what names sound “ghetto” or “foolish” and which ones don’t. There are also names that are attributed to Black American culture that are pleasant to the ears and very unique. Again, this is subjective, but what happens when the names get well…. a little too “creative?” I will be the first to admit that there are some names that irk me and that I think are just too stereotypical. But then there are also names that are just flat out ridiculous! Naming kids after car models, alcoholic drinks and brand names of various consumer products just isn’t cool. Nor is it cultural. Ethnic names still have a meaning! They are rooted in other languages and dialects. Many of the Black American names are not ethnic at all. They are simply the result of someone trying too hard to be creative, or maybe even the effects of the epidural during childbirth… Just kidding. Recently, I’ve heard some names that are so outrageous that I had to pick up my jaw from the ground! I’ve seen punctuation marks, phrases and even a name after a deadly disease! What’s next? Emoticons? Text language? Dinosaurs…? Do these folks realize that their kids will one day become adults and will have to fill out a scholarship and/or job application? I don’t agree with name discrimination, but it’s a reality beyond our control. I have spoken to several individuals who have seen resumes tossed into the trash can because of these types of names, regardless of how impressive they may have been. Why? Because in many people’s minds, they already have the story figured out. For example, the name “Lamikashika” indicates some gum-smacking girl from the “hood” with a rainbow-colored weave who speaks Ebonics and has more than one baby’s daddy (I hate that term). Come on folks… Now, I’m not saying that names have to be “proper” and acceptable by the western world’s standards, just not unbelievable and laughable. I also want to point out that it’s not solely Black Americans who are giving these names to their children. We can be much more responsible than this when naming the next generation.
Now for the more spiritual and Biblical perspective…
When you name your kids, you are in fact speaking into their destiny and making a declaration over their lives. Have you ever noticed how in most cases, people seem to fit the meaning of their names? All throughout the Bible, we hear names and their meanings are often given as well. In many cases, God Himself instructed the parents on which name to give their child, and in some cases He even changed some people’s names. So when a child is given a name with a negative meaning, there is a high probability that the child will somehow live up to it. We forget that words have so much power! When we pray and make
declarations, those words are released into the atmosphere! This is demonstrated especially in the books of Psalms and Proverbs. The same goes for a person’s name being spoken. I imagine that most people desire a great future for their children, but many are ignorant and unaware that they are giving their kids names that will ultimately be a hindrance to them. Spiritually speaking, names like the ones I’m referring to are actually word curses. For the most part, these types of names have a spirit of poverty and ignorance attached to them. However, in the grand scheme of things, if Boomquisha is truly a daughter of the Most High then she will have favor in spite of her name. But why give her another obstacle to overcome? As a lady friend of mine says, let’s “speak life” over our children. Their names are supposed to declare who God created them to be. Their names should not be a curse but a blessing pronounced over their lives.
May 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Thank you for your article on “Names”. I am in total agreement with all that you had to say.
I have a wealthy lawyer friend who gave his children the option to change their names to any thing they wanted when they turned twelve years of age. They all chose to keep the name that their parents had wisely chosen.
It has been said that our name is the most beautiful word that we will hear.
When I hear the word “name”, I think of the sermon by Billy Sunday entitled “Wonderful”.
Billy uses everyone of the names of Christ in his sermon. He begins with the passage in Isaiah “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
MUCH to be said about a name!
May 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm
We as humans have the right to name our children any name. However, some people don’t think about the negative consequences that can come with a silly name like “Yeah Yeah”, or “Foo Foo”, “Lovely Darling”, and “Kong Fu”! Yes these are actual names of people! Why would a person do this to a child? Maybe because the mothers were young? I don’t know, but we need to stop it! When your child sends in a resume for a job, employers will automatically filter past the foolishness.
May 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm
WoW! What’s in a name! There seem to be a pattern of people doing whatever they want to do without restraints. Trust me, I’m for freedom but come-on, there are consequences to our choices that don’t just effect us but those around us.
May 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm
I can’t stress it enough…..SPEAK LIFE into your children!!! Names, like any other words, are image-containers. When I say, “baboon”, you don’t see or process the letters….you visualize an actual baboon! Parents should be ever so mindful of that the next time the opportunity presents itself to impact a life…
May 17, 2011 at 11:50 pm
Great blog. I agree and hopefully others will read this and help their friends and family members not give their children silly names.
May 18, 2011 at 8:27 am
When it comes to names I have learned not to be judgmental. Who would have ever thought a president with the name Barack Obama would reside in the White House. Many of the names I once viewed as “stereotypical” are showing up in many high places. Although I have a preference for more common names, that does not give me the right to judge someone elses name. Many of those names are unique and very suitable for careers in the arts. We need to get past the notion that a name defines an individual and see he/she for who they are. If someone is judging someone by their name and it is considered “ghetto”, they may as well be a felon. I’m just saying that as long as these individuals have a great spirit, their name should not matter.
May 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm
Hello Gladys. I understand perfectly what you are saying. I was hoping that I clarified what I consider to be extreme cases. As I pointed out, there are names that are unique and pleasant. I also indicated that “common” names or ones that America has deemed “normal” should not be preferred or considered superior. You mention President Barak Obama. His name has a meaning. It is common in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. His name means Lightning and the character Barak from the book of Judges was a military general. My intention was not to come off judgemental. And you are right that people can prosper in spite of names. I was just presenting the spiritual aspect of this issue.
May 23, 2011 at 8:24 am
It’s time we start being more honest and keeping it real, especially with those who profess to be in the family of faith. Regarding Gladys Bolding’s post….I didn’t get the impression that the message being conveyed by Nathan’s blog was about how those with these HORRID and CURSED names should be treated. We’re COMMANDED to love! That’s CLEARLY not the issue. But we’ve also been given the authority to judge (contrary to popular and unpopular belief).
1 Corinthian 6:2-3 says….”Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life.”
So….if it’s important to God, it MUST be important to us. I’m sure that’s why Jesus is referred to as The Word! We must be ever so mindful of the words (or names in this case) we speak. We will be held accountable for every word that proceeds out of our mouths. I also choose to believe that if names were of such minor significance, there would have been no need for Him to rename so many in scripture. And keepin it real…”certain folk” is in a tizzy about whose in the White House. I can assure you it is not because of the name! He actually has a blessed name. But they’re spewing venom for the very same reason they’ve been spewing venom for more than two hundred years (but that’s another blog). At any rate, our people must start being more accountable to one another. If we haven’t learned by now that it’s “us” operating on the WORD of God that’s gonna change our plight, we will forever remain at the bottom of the food chain. We gotta start somewhere. Why not with educating our people on what NOT to “name” our future (generation)?If you know where the professional and successful “ghetto-fabulously” named folks are hanging out….please…..DO TELL!!!
May 18, 2011 at 10:40 am
YES, YES THE WORLD AND GOD’S PEOPLE NEED TO GET BACK TO OPERATING UNDER GOD PRINCIPALS!!!! When you operate under god principals and laws everything else will line-up. I agree names suppose to represent who we are…. God’s people really need to lead the way so the world can see the fruits of our heavenly fatther ways!
May 18, 2011 at 10:52 am
Nate, I totally agree with your first entry addressing Names. Oddly, my parents did not realize the potential that was stored in my name, but God knew!! I’ve been blessed and matured in Christ to a level that I actually fulfill the meaning of my names. First name = Church, middle= Praiseworthy, and I praise HIM in and out of Church! HE is Worthy!
God has a covering over us all; however, there is power in the tongue and like others have stated, we must speak life!
I look forward to your other entries and may the Lord use you mightily
May 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm
Scribe…I definitely must agree with you! Names from a hebraic facet always meant the totality of person, character, personality, temprament, destiny etc. In their mind you became your name…you are your name. Now we haphazardly affix names to any and everything without any regards to what will be revealed based off of what you call it. The simple principle is simple but true…whatever you call a thing is what it will be and what it will produce!
May 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm
Great Blog, Nathan as you know…I feel you on this topic. We have to be so very careful what we call our seed…One great example of going outside the box is Jabaz. He moved forward despite his name, but knew He had to go to God to help him to do so. This is a great blog. no..we cannot tell folk what to name their children, however we can at least get them to think about what they are calling them and sometimes sealing them into. That is why Abram’s name was changed to Abraham.
May 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm
Waiting to hear more…
May 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm
Enjoyed your post, brother. As a child, my name was a source of great jesting. Four years ago I learned that my great cousin whom my mother loved like a sister was given the honor of naming her next daughter. She shared my name and my mother loved it. After bearng ths name for over 40 years, I have learned that it is Latin for aguas profundas or in English, deep water. I am so thankful that my mother taught me about the greatest name…JESUS. There is no other name whereby men can be saved. In the grand scheme, all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. And that is good news!I hear you and I feel you…. On another note, let us make His name great…Acquanetta or no Acguanetta. Peace and Love.
May 27, 2011 at 11:30 am
all i can say, i agree. our names can say a lot about us.
June 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm
I hail from an African culture that uses a child naming process after relatives. Names therefore signify alot and interstingly enough some people end up patterning their lives after the people they were named after. It has it’s place n preserving a culture and tracking a family tree. Point being it is critical to pay attention to what we call ourselves because confession ultimately becomes possession.
June 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm
On point as usual cousin! Bless you!
Evita SpeakLIFE Gonzalez
June 12, 2011 at 9:43 am
Great read Nathan…
I have long since believed that names have great significance to a person. In 1998, with what was birthed as the ID Program (workshop on IDentity that originated for inmates and later further developed for Inner City Youth) understanding the significance of names was a part of this. Later with the inclusion of our youth bookmarks were developed with the theme “What’s In a Name…?” Yes, names have great significance.
Names are much like a branding of our personality. It would be of wise, to name our children more thoughtfully than creatively.
July 8, 2011 at 10:54 am
Finally, I made it. I love the site. Continue to press on the hard and sweet messages, my brother. God will give you more to share as hear from Him!