Thursday, February 17, 2011

Names and Nicknames

Names have always been used as symbols to identity people and to indicate status in the group, family, connection, religious affiliation occupation and other personal details. This is true of primitive as well as civilized people.

It was Freud, however, who first emphasized that names are symbols self in that they are representations of the personality pattern of the bearer and as such, are used by others in making their judgment of him. Following this beginning, many studies have shown that names are not only a symbol but are also a determinant of his personality.

The symbolic role of names was stressed further by Freud in his explanation of the forgetting of names. Freud stated that the motivation for forgetting is to repress unpleasant association with the person who bear a for getter name. When the name touches off or is connected with some unpleasant association, the person may forget, distort, or repress the unpleasant association.

While Freud’s interpretation of forgetting is questioned by many psychologists today, it is a useful reminder of the symbolic value of names. If a person is known to others only by his name, they will judge him by it and endow him the pleasant and unpleasant qualities which they associate with his name, whether the qualities fit him or not. Thus, his name may be either an asset or a barrier to his socialization.

All port has referred to names as an “anchorage point or self hood” names are identity symbols. Murphy is justified in saying that on of the most important parts of a person is his name/p.

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