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What’s in a Name?

Naming your child is an important task.  After all, they’re stuck with it for the rest of their lives.  According to columnist Christina Haller, there are 20 things you should consider when naming your child, here’s just five of those:

  1. Popular Culture. If the name has been used in songs, books and movies.  People may have a funny way to reference your name, and that can get annoying.
  2. Initials and Monograms. You probably don’t want B.U.M. or D.O.G. on a towel.  This can lead to all kinds of teasing and poking fun.
  3. What rhymes with Patty, fatty?  Well, you get the picture.
  4. How many syllables does it have? Will it be difficult for a child to learn how to say or spell?
  5. Puns and Idioms. Is the name left open for obvious puns or idioms?  For example, Penny for your thoughts?

With all of the thought going into naming a child, the one thing we cannot control is when they grow up to have the same name as a criminal.  Now what?  You’ve been careful to pick a name that was “just right,” and now years later your child is all grown up and you find out their name also belongs to a criminal.  There are steps you (or your adult child) can take to stand apart from the other guy (or girl).

Here are just a few:

  1. Use your middle initial, if you don’t already.
  2. Write articles about your experience within your industry and self-publish on LinkedIn.
  3. Get the above mentioned articles published on an industry-related website.
  4. The more often you do #2 and #3, the better.

According to, the U.S. Census Bureau statistics tell us that there are at least 151,671 different last names and 5,163 different first names in common in the United States.  Some names are more common than others.

I happen to be one of the individuals who have the identical first and last name of someone else.  And, that person happens to be someone who was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his crimes.  Though he was sentenced in 2013, new articles appear about him even in 2017.

Luckily for me, I’m well known in my industry.  For those who are just getting started with their own career and share the same name as a criminal, this could be a real thorn in their side.

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