Wednesday, June 7, 2017


I am fascinated by the name of the NSA contractor accused of leaking a report on the Russian hacking investigation: Reality Winner. I checked, and "Reality" does not show up on lists of the top 1000 baby names from the 1990s, so this was not a trend that I missed.

So what are you saying when you name your baby "Reality"? Like, wow, I'm having a baby, reality is really crashing in on me now? Or, now I'm having a baby and I have to get real? Or, OK kid, you'll have to cope with reality sooner or later just like I have, so we might as well get that process started right away?

Or was it the combination of the two that appealed, as in, my baby's going to be a winner at reality? This is what a relative told reporters, that her father "always wanted a real winner." (And her mother gave into this?') According to same source he intended to call her by her middle name, Leigh, but her first babysitter called her Reality and it stuck.

Still waiting to hear about somebody who had two kids and named them Reality and Fantasy.


Thomas said...

It strikes me as a new-age-y version of the old Puritan names like Loyal and Chastity. I see a fair number of names like this in the cemetery near me. "Wealthy" is one of the odder ones.

So I imagine her father as a fervent self-actualization kind of guy.

G. Verloren said...

The term I've heard to describe these is "Virtue Names", and yes, the primary example in American history is the Puritans and other Christian sects like the Quakers, et cetera.

Of course, when you stop to realize most familiar names have unspoken meanings which ultimately are very similar to Virtue Names, it makes a lot more sense.

"David" means "beloved". "John" means "Yahweh is gracious". "Thomas" means twin." "Richard" means "power and bravery". Et cetera.

Michael said...

And Michael means, "Who Is Like God?"

I was disheartened when, studying a little Hebrew, I found this was a question, not a statement of fact, and the answer is "No One!"