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Creating identities through the choice of first names

Aldrin, Emilia

Chapter in book (Refereegranskat)


Choosing a name for a child is seldom a matter of simple labelling. It is often rather a long and complex process. Names are collected for inspiration, compared and evaluated by the parents. Many aspects are taken into consideration and (more or less consciously) viewed in the light of the parents’ own emotional, aesthetic, ideological and social stances, as well as personal experiences and hopes for the child. In this chapter, the act of naming a child is regarded as an act of identity. Parents, through the choice of first name for a child, engage in a social act which is very much about expressing their own identity – who they are or who they want to be – and constructing a hoped-for identity for their child.

Cite: Aldrin, Emilia, Creating identities through the choice of first names, Socio-onomastics : The pragmatics of names., s. 46-68, 2017