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“It's the word that you use the most often and the soonest to describe yourself, and yet nobody's really ever talked about how it kind of makes me feel like this.” Until Duana Taha, who, after a lifetime of feelings about her own unique name, became the Name Therapist.
Duana offers advice on how to name your baby/future adult, so their name works shouted across a playground, whispered into an ear, scribbled on a coffee cup. She also deals with your concerns about being named after a relative or parent’s ex, having a name that elicits playground taunts, or doesn’t describe you as an individual at all.
It’s name season at the Allusionist, and if you’ve changed your name and would be willing to talk about it for an upcoming episode, please record yourself for a minute or so answering the following two questions:
Why did you change your name?
Why did you choose the name you chose?
As this is for public consumption, you only need to use as much of your current or former names as you’re comfortable with me airing on the podcast. Record yourself using phone voice memo or whatever means you have at your disposal, then email your recording to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! I love hearing you listeners on the show, and I am endlessly fascinated to hear your opinions about your names.
You shared your name problems on this Facebook thread, and it was extremely interesting.
Listen to the recent Yes, As In episode, about having a name that is more usually a noun or adjective.
Duana helps people with their name dilemmas in her regular Duana Names column at laineygossip.com.
Beautiful piece by a writer preparing to name her baby.
This interactive map shows you where and when your name was popular in the USA.
Also fun from TIME: based on popularity, what your name would be if you were born today. (Mine would be Amiyah! And if I’d been born in the 1930s, Esperanza.)
According to nametrends.net, my name was last popular in 1918.
Enter the hellscape of 1950s Betsy Wetsy infomercials.
The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/name-therapy.
Cool new Allusionist T-shirts and tote bags await at theallusionist.org/merch!
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