Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K- Katie is My Name

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

A name is something most of us are born with, like hair color or gender.  It was decided before we even got here.

That said, I’m pretty happy with my name.  I like ‘Katie’- always have.  I like other ‘Katie-s’ too even though I haven’t met very many in real life.  I think the name represents who I am pretty well.

But it does make me wonder- when you hear a name, does a set of corresponding personality traits for that name rush forward in your mind?  It does for me and I always wondered why.  Is it the people we meet?  Do we associate the same traits with everyone who bares that name?  OR do our names define who we are and people with the same name kind of morph into the mold?  (cue twilight zone music)

I’ve decided to do a little experiment and I welcome you to do the same in the comments section.  Here are a list of girls names-  I’d like you to copy it and give the personality trait that comes to you first for each. 

Jessica

Emily

Carla

Megan

Here are some of mine:

Britney – Quirky

Gina – Funny & Outgoing

Sarah- Quiet and Sweet

Tanya – Bad Ass  (hello?  Tanya Harding anyone?)

  Tell me -what do you think about people with the same name sharing traits?  Do they really or is it just our minds categorizing? 

32 comments:

Áine Tierney said...

I think it could be mind categorizing. I think all Britney's should be blonde, probably because of Spears!
Gina, I think of as being bold, sassy and fun.
Emily, I think of as being sweet and gentle.
Megan - isn't really bringing anything to mind. (And I do know one, she's a witty, chatty American)
Jessica would be sporty.
None of these are common names for girls in their mid-twenties and up where I am, though I'm sure they are common names amongst the younger generation.

Ellen Brickley said...

Ooh, this is fun! My middle name is Catherine but the person I'm named after went by Kate, so I always liked the name Katie a lot :)

I always think my name sounds serious and bookish - so the second half certainly suits me!

Jessica - fun

Emily - sweet and gentle

Carla - smart

Megan - young

I know being young isn't a character trait but I tend to picture Megans as being quite young, maybe because the name got very popular recently and many of the Megans out there *are* still quite young.

Anne Gallagher said...

Jessica -- Type A personality. And a brunette.

Emily -- very sweet shy bookish blonde

Carla -- definitely a redhead. Perhaps a roller derby queen.

Meghan -- Nice Irish Catholic girl with jet black hair and big green eyes.

How stereotypical are those?

Laura Pauling said...

I think if a name is more traditional then we think traditional and vice versa. A trendy name we think spunky and badass. Very interesting.

Siv Maria said...

Jessica- Bold and smart

Emily- frail and sweet

Carla- outspoken and tough

Megan- secretive and edgy

I hate my name, everyone is always saying it wrong.

Kelly said...

Thankfully I like my name too!
And I think about my first choice to name my oldest son (my hubby and I chose something else together), and now I could never picture him as that.
Emily - should be a sweet and gentle name, but my Emily is a sometimes sweet and sometimes a spitfire! :)

Justine Dell said...

Ah, you are so right! I'm so totally a name snob. I won't even use names in some of my books because I dislike the "personality" that I think come with it.

Here goes my thoughts on the namnes:

Jessica--earthy but quirky

Emily--this is my daughters name, so I am biased. I'll skip it. ;-)

Carla--snoody

Megan--soft spoken, shy

Oh, that was fun!!

~JD

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oh geez, this is so fun!

You know, the one name in your list that calls to mind an immediate image is Carla. It's probably my subconscious pulling from the days I used to watch Cheers with my dad, but I think immediately of a surly girl with a bit of an attitude LOL. Meghan sounds sweet, honest. Emily sounds academic and I'm not sure about Jessica. . . I don't know any and no real associations come to mind for some reason. Fun idea:)

Huntress said...

When a friend named her baby, Clara, I thought my gosh, that is sooo old-fashioned. Now it fits the twenty-something woman, sweet and lovely.

Jessica - kinda snooty

Emily - sweet

Carla - good friend, good natured

Megan - helps others before herself

It is hard not to ascribe the nature of a famous actress to the names :)

Carrie said...

Oh this is a good one.
Jessica-popular
Emily-Shy, smart
Carla-outgoing
Megan-Friendly

I think that sometimes names can categorize people. But mostly the categorizing is based on people you know. For examples most of the Katie's I know are awesome so if I meet someone named Katie I automatically think they are awesome.

Matthew MacNish said...

Jessica - is a friend of mine.

Emily - is my older sister.

Carla - is a friend of Kelly's, but she just moved away. Sad.

Megan - I don't know any Megans, but my first instinct is to imagine her as shy, but very smart and sweet.

Emily White said...

Jessica--Sweet and bubbly

Emily--GORGEOUS!! Hehehe!

Carla--Old-fashioned, uptight

Megan--Regal, elegant

This was fun! I went with my gut instincts on these, so it will be fun to see if anyone said the same thing as I did.

Melody Valadez said...

Jessica - spoiled, bratty
Emily - sweet, quiet
Carla - bossy, well-groomed
Megan - homebody

I think it's a combination of people we've met, read about (Nellie! from Little House on the Prairie), or seen in movies. Or actresses that play characters in movies.

LTM said...

omg--yes! I so very much associate personality traits with names that I'm just SURE that's why I call people by the wrong name all the time. They're not named right!!! :D LOL!

But Katie is one of my favorite names. Like my daughter Catherine, my little Catibug~ <3

Stephanie said...

Yeah, certain names do seem to have personality attached to them. I can't imagine a wild and wacky outgoing person named Joan. Or a super quiet shy person named Candy. I used to hate my name when I was a kid...seemed so boring. In second grade I wanted to be Jan...like the Brady Bunch Jan. My teacher even let me put it on my papers for that phase that lasted a day or two. I'm content with it now.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I used to not like my name but now I'm very happy with it.

Jessica - popular

Emily - quiet, shy

Carla - bossy

Megan - smart

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I've been teaching for 19 years and I have NEVER had a bad Katie. In fact, some of my all-time favorite girls were Katies. :-)

Jessica - smiley and confident

Emily - shy and sweet, but popular

Carla - stubborn and independent

Megan - athletic, popular, pretty

Cynthia Lee said...

Jessica - sweet, genuine. I know a Jessica like this.

Emily - always reminds me of E.Bronte. So I think mysterious and willful.

Carla - Um . . . Carla from Cheers.

Megan - I honestly don't associate any qualities with the name.

Hart Johnson said...

I think some full names really fit, but the chosen shortening almost always fits well. Like you seem very much a Katie, but not a Kathy, Katharine or Kate (Katie is fun and friendly, Kathy no-nonsense, Katharine proper and Kate uptight...erm... not that I have strong opinions or anything...)

Jessica is one of those that really splits, too--Jessica, Jess and Jessie are all pretty different.

I find Emily a bit proper and Carla tough (not boyish tough, but tested tough)

Nicole L Rivera said...

Jessica - curly hair

Emily - sweet

Carla - temper

Megan - green

Don't ask me why but that's the first thing I thought of. I don't even think I've ever personally known an Emily but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure if people with the same name share traits. I know when I meet someone with my name I feel a strange kinship with them. We've both worn the same label all our life. It's like owning the same shirt, it looks different on different figures but you each know how it feels to wear the shirt. Does that make any sense or am I just rambling?

Jessica Love said...

I'm a Jessica, so I had to peek in here and see what people were saying about me. :-)

Tamara Narayan said...

Jessica-privileged and haughty

Emily-knowledgeable and competent

Carla-tough with hardships in her past

Megan-meek and quiet

First, let me apologize to the Jessica's of the world. I must have known a mean Jessica in my past, but I can't remember when. Maybe a character in a book or TV.

Fun exercise!

Ricky Bush said...

When our first daughter was about to be born, my wife started to toss around boy and girl names. The problem was, that as a high school teacher, each name conjured up a present or past student's personality. I couldn't for the life of me get a vision of a trouble maker out of my brain. I finally said, how about Megan? I'd never had a Megan in class, so I thought that she'd be unique. She was born Megan, then the Thornbirds came out and every body and their brother name their girls Megan. So, she attended school having to proclaim-I'm Megan B.

Talli Roland said...

Jessica - fun and kinda flirty

Emily - old for her age

Carla - a badass like Tanya

Megan - prim and proper

Ooh, that was fun!

Jen Daiker said...

So relieved my name isn't on the list. I've often been referred to as bitchy (just based on the name people sheesh).

Jessica - Out-spoken, Original

Emily - Sweet, Southern Charm

Carla - Fiesty, Wild

Megan - Appears Fake but nice

NOTE: I didn't have an answer for Megan so I asked my good friend (who is male) to help out. We work together.

Chris Phillips said...

I agree that a particular person pops into mind with each name, and so does their personality. With Carla (my mom's name) I think of being a little bit unstable.

Marjorie said...

Jessica- tough

Emily- sweet

Carla- tougher than you

Megan- social

Marjorie said...

To clarify "Tougher than you" meaning anyone.

Rachel said...

People always tell me I look like I should be an Emily for some reason. Looking at the associations with that name on here, I think I should take it as a compliment from now on!

Gina said...

I am as shy and boring a Gina as you can probably find amongst Gina's. But I do think I'm pretty funny- though my husband might not always agree!

The Writing Goddess said...

Used to hate my name (Beverly) but now am quite happy with it, and usually, but not always, am the only one in a group.

Also, Debbie's - I've known about a dozen, and all but one were whirling bitches from hell, so I would never name a character (that I liked) Debbie.

Jessica - I picture a redhead with curly ringlets, a vivacious party-girl

Emily - shy and poetic (I'm associating with Dickenson, no doubt)

Carla - I picture her stirring a pot of something, an excellent housekeeper/cook type

Megan - has straight, medium brown hair, studious

I've always liked Katies. :-)

Rafa said...

I know u didn't include them, but lisas are ALL crazy!

Sorry but I need to be proven otherwise!!!

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