Lover Names, Fan Surnames, and Naming Your World: The Frustrations of Being a Name Lover
By Cyber Kiwi
I've found journals dated from when I was only six years old, each page drooping with the sheer number of pencil marks on it. Two crooked columns on each page, one labeled "first," and the next labeled "last," stand proudly under a title, scrawled in messy first-grade handwriting, reading "NAMES". For example, an entry listed as from two days after my sixth birthday features this list of names:
and, perhaps, most unique:
They're unique names, I'll give my old self that. And, odd spellings aside, comparable to the names listed in my kindergarten yearbook.
Hopefully, my naming skills have adapted and improved over the years, and believe me, I've been practicing. I've learned over time to a) save all my scrap paper because I'll need them to write names on, and b) never show anyone my naming practice sheets. They never understood the beauty of each name mingling with another; the delicate balance of sibling names; the unique syncopation of syllables in a full name.
As I grew older, I started to realize how truly isolated I was in my field. Where other kids found their passions in useful hobbies of drawing, origami, or coin collecting, here I was... collecting, of all things, names. Starting this blog was a kind of outlet for my love for names, a way of expressing my naming so that I didn't start getting distracted during class and write names when I was supposed to be writing notes.
It was as I was doing research for Name-a-Day that I Googled, for the first time, "name lover". The comments left on my blog were inspiring for me, showing me that maybe I wasn't alone in the naming world. Maybe there were name websites out there on the boundless Internet that weren't, for once, related to newborn babies. Maybe there were other name lovers somewhere that could connect to my deep fascination with all things related to names.
I'm not sure what I was expecting to find as the first result for "name lover," but it wasn't this:
Thanks a lot, Google.
Perplexed, desperate, and oh-so-lonely, I then tried "name fan" and "name world" - with similarly dissatisfying results:
Was there anyone in the world who could empathize with this frustration? In a world where there is a fandom for everything, and there is no name fandom, is there no place for those like me who are still searching fruitlessly for a community to connect to?
I headed to Nameberry to find answers. It was actually from this website that I was first motivated to write name articles, and the place I first discovered that there are jobs to write about name news. It was here that I found a name invention competition, articles comparing Sophie and Sophia, and so much more. It was pure paradise.
This just led me to contemplate: maybe the name-loving world is small, but what if that just makes us more unique? Even on Google, which seems determined to make us all feel alone even with the world's information at our fingertips, there is a website called Nameberry: a site that showed me just how rewarding it could be to have a true passion, one that not many others can share. But when you do find a shared enthusiasm in someone else, it can be the connection that means the world. You can find thousands of art social media pages, but have you ever seen a name-based one?
Exactly my point.
So if there are any genuine name lovers out there, I want you to hear me. You are not alone. You are special.
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