The Advantages of Having a Crazy Name

The Advantages of Having a Crazy Name

You’re unique. Some people will be nervous about you because they can’t figure out how to pronounce your name. Listen, fuck those people. Your name is going to weed out the timid and fearful. Your name sounds like you might be royalty in some exotic foreign land, and you might as well own that. It’s for the best that you surround yourself with the kind of people who aren’t going to get scared because they’re seeing words they’re not sure how to pronounce.

You seem exotic. Never mind that my name is just a Swedish name with an anglicized pronunciation, it doesn’t sound WASPy. Friends of friends a lot of times assume I’m ethnic, usually Hawaiian or African-American (?). Because here’s a secret: “weird” names are often “ethnic” names. So same deal: if people are unfazed by the sound of your name, neat. If they’re a little wigged out, they might be the kind of people who aren’t sure that we should have let the non-white kids into the community pool. You’re good without that.

You can more convincingly imagine yourself in a fantasy world. I mean, could Katie Cooper be a member of court at Winterfell? Could you imagine Liz Johnson as a Lady of Rohan? No. But you know who might be? Linnea LaQua Goderstad. Your name makes the Anne Shirleys of the world green with envy.

You are incredibly Googleable. All of your online life, and bylines, if you’re doing that, will be right there. It’s extremely unlikely that someone with your name will be more famous than you or commit some crime that will dominate your search results, because there is no one else with your name. I guess this could be bad if you’re doing things you don’t want anyone to know about. How about this: avoid doing things you don’t want anyone to know about. You’ve been given this awesome name after all; try to live up to it.

You immediately have the upper hand when you meet someone. Most people have this exchange when making an acquaintance:

“Hi, I’m [blank.]”
“Great to meet you, I’m [blank.]”

The End.

Yours will look like this:

“Hi, I’m Linnea.”
“No, Lin-nay-ah.”
(looking embarrassed and confused) “Sorry, Linnea? What’s your middle name?”
(baffled silence)
“What’s your name?”
“That’s cool.”

Who won that exchange? You did, they look like a doofus. Go ahead and appear to find this person vaguely ridiculous because they can’t learn to say a word made up of common English sounds. Just don’t act ashamed or apologetic for your name (seriously, don’t do this, you don’t owe this to anyone.) You will have the upper hand every time you meet someone. Because crazy names own.

Linnea LaQua Goderstad