I can’t believe it––I’m losing my maiden name in a month. I’m about to get married and have decided to take the family name of my soon-to-be husband (“Curulli” – not as easily pronounced nor as easily spelled as a coworker recently reminded me). Names and naming have always intrigued me but with my nuptials on the horizon, I’ve begun to think about them even more.
As someone who loves to name everything that comes into her home – pet fish, plants, even furniture – I’ve always loved learning about the ideas behind stories and the stories behind names as they relate not only to the branding of products and businesses, but people. Names become the first “introduction” to people before you meet them. “Beatrice,” for example, conjures up a different persona than say “Brandy.” I’m amazed by what parents name their children because of this. They may or may not be giving their offspring a certain predisposition to act a certain way or go into a certain field, solely based on the name they choose: Would they become the person they are without their name? Did their name determine their calling in life?
The following examples are of surnames that make me wonder if I will morph into whatever a “Curulli” is.
[UPDATE: Just googled it; it has no meaning beyond its Italian origins that I could find, which leaves me to remain the “Daniels” that I have always known and been.]
We will never know if names make the people but here are some examples of those that exemplify what I have been talking about, what scientists call “nominative determinism.”
Olympian and reigning world record holder in the 100 meters and 200 meters
Former acting spokesman for the White House under President Ronald Reagan
Professional poker player and world champion
Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush
Chief Meteorologist at station ABC7 in Los Angeles who’s also earned many accolades for his work
Former Secretary of Defense under former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama