Q&A: “I’m thinking about using the meaning of my given name as my name…”

anonymous said:

I’m thinking about using the meaning of my given name as my name, but it sounds a little odd. So I was going to remove a letter, but removing a letter made it identical to a name from a culture I don’t belong to. Since it’s a deliberate variation of a word that isn’t culturally specific is it okay? Or should I leave it be an look for something else? Would using the variation as a nickname and the other as the official name be better? I’m not sure and it’s giving me anxiety.

no matter who you ask this question to, i feel like the answer that you get is inevitably going to be a subjective one dependent on the personal opinion of the person answering the question because there is no rulebook for names and cultural appropriation.

in other words, all i can do is tell you my personal opinion, which others may not agree with, and my opinion isn’t worth a grain of salt anyway, but…

my opinion is that you should go with the name that feels most comfortable to you. you may not have any cultural ties to the name in question, but you would have other preexisting ties to it.

more than likely, there are linguistic reasons why upon removing a letter from a word that word may then become a word from another language. in this case, that word also being used as a name in a particular culture. linguistic ties existing between languages and cultures is something that’s beyond your control, imho…. that said, another idea that i’m just going to throw out there is to add a letter (or letters) instead of / in addition to removing one.

either way, whatever you end up doing, i think how you feel about the name in question is most important. you should go with a name that you’re comfortable with people referring to you as. if that means using this particular name as a nickname rather than your legal / official name, then go with that. however, don’t feel like that’s your only choice. i personally feel like the ties that you have to that name as a word are worth consideration.

all the best!

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

Leave a comment?