Read The Name Therapist: How Growing Up with My Odd Name Taught Me Everything You Need to Know about Yours by Duana Taha Online


What’s a “stripper” name? For that matter, what’s a high-class name? How do you tell the difference? Why does everyone call them “baby” names when they follow us through our whole lives? And can your name determine your destiny? From a television screenwriter and contributor on the blog comes a book about what names really mean, how we use them, and why thWhat’s a “stripper” name? For that matter, what’s a high-class name? How do you tell the difference? Why does everyone call them “baby” names when they follow us through our whole lives? And can your name determine your destiny? From a television screenwriter and contributor on the blog comes a book about what names really mean, how we use them, and why they matter.            A child of Irish and Egyptian immigrants to Canada, Duana Taha became fascinated by names, not least because hers felt awkward at best and impossible at worst. She believed that names explained not only who you were, but where you came from and who you could be. She became a name nerd, and later a name snob, before settling into the role she was born to play—a Name Therapist, giving straight talk baby-and-grown-up-name advice to just about everyone.       In a romp through North American naming trends, traditions, and pop culture, Duana brings us the hilarious, insightful, and surprising truths about hipster names in Brooklyn and Malibu, and the most “intelligent” names at Harvard University; digs into the stereotypes about culture and class where names are concerned; and heads backstage to find out the stories behind those supposed stripper names. And if you don’t know what a Starbucks name is, Duana points out why you obviously never needed one.      The Name Therapist’s explorations will help you understand your feelings about your own name, whether it’s one you share with millions (hi, Jennifer!), or one you grew up waiting in vain for the Romper Room host to say. Would you, by any other name, still be you?  ...

Title : The Name Therapist: How Growing Up with My Odd Name Taught Me Everything You Need to Know about Yours
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345815309
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Name Therapist: How Growing Up with My Odd Name Taught Me Everything You Need to Know about Yours Reviews

  • Sheri
    2019-03-23 14:55

    Duana Taha is a name enthusiast. Her book compiles her thoughts, opinions, and informal anecdotal research into names. It reads with a a casual feel, like friends sitting around chatting about names and naming trends and such.It is an interesting read about how names affect various aspects of our lives. As the author states, "Your name alone isn't your destiny, but it has significant impact."In short, and like it or not, our names make us. A name shapes a person in good and bad ways. A name may give you strength, power and identity. It may influence your personality or reflect your heritage. And a name may just as easily take away strength, power, identity, and even individuality. It may also influence your personality negatively or not even reflect your heritage.A quote that best sums up the take away: "Everyone's experience with their name is largely due to the way strangers react to it." Their judgements, assumptions, and perceptions will all help to make you.I'm glad I read this book as it got me thinking about names in new ways and has me analyzing people as to how their name has shaped them. A bit tedious after a while and some things could have been condensed, but still a fun read.

  • Vikki VanSickle
    2019-03-24 14:01

    As a certified name nerd I loved this book. Taha's style is frank, self-deprecating and punchy- something readers of Lainey Gossip likely already know. I felt like I was geeking out with one of my cool, smart friends about the vast and ceaselessly interesting world of names. The book is a collection of name-related anecdotes from the author and interviewees as well as commentary on trends, naming history, and general social observations. Easy to read in one sitting, but also perfect for commutes when you want something engaging to pick up and put down. I will read anything Duana Taha writes!

  • PEI Public Library Service
    2019-03-19 14:14

    What’s in a name? According to the this book-a lot. Duana Taha writes about names for Opinionated and witty, she has expanded her name expertise into a full length book. She covers topics like offbeat names, where she talks about her own unusual moniker and touches on how 1980’s young adult fiction introduced many of us to a few eye-catching (ear catching?) names-- she’s looking at you, Anastasia Krupnik, and Harriet M. Welsch. Of course, she also covers the flip side of the coin by discussing popular names, with emphasis on that most popular of 70’s girls names, Jennifer. This section even includes a completely unscientific survey of how Jennifers from all across Canada feel about their names. Taha also writes about name associations, celebrity names, and Starbucks names. Of course an entire chapter is devoted to the naming of babies (as is only proper) and the precarious tightrope between choosing a ‘good’ name without choosing the too-popular name (additionally, appendix F is titled, ‘How to name a baby in Five Simple Steps’). An informative and engaging read you won’t be able to stop yourself from flipping to the index to find your own name (just hope it doesn’t appear in appendix B: ‘Names I cannot abide’ ).Borrow a copy:

  • Meredith
    2019-03-19 14:14

    It was so nice to find out I'm not the only one who loves names and thinks about them.

  • Shelly
    2019-02-25 18:16

    This is a great book for name nerds (and people who like memoirs). A really smart analysis of what names mean in society and in shaping personalities. I really liked how ethnicity, class, and gender were addressed in discussing names/naming.

  • Katie
    2019-03-22 16:16

    So, I have a (maybe not-so-surprising) confession to make - I am a name nerd. As in, I read my mom's copy of a baby name book cover-to-cover, numerous times, as a child until I finally worked up the courage and bought a baby name book of my own when I was 15 (by the legendary Linda Rosencrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran, natch). I have made lists of favourite names, of hypothetical children, of girls and women I aspired to be, if I had that name, of characters in books I would write. I like to think my taste in names is always ahead of the curve (I forced my little brother to answer to "August" back in 1996 when we'd play house, and I loved Evelyn after coming across it in an Emily of New Moon book - the second book, to be exact - although now it's hopelessly too trendy), and I'm fascinated by reading about naming patterns, customs and traditions around the world. Ingrid (and sometimes Anastasia, pronounced the Russian way...a-na-sta-SEE-ya) is the fake name I give myself when creepy guys at bars ask me, because Ingrid and Anastasia are totally hip, no-nonsense, fierce women with clear senses of self, (and have no problem telling said creep to leave them alone!) and I long to name a daughter Agniezka, but will probably end up with the equally delightful (but more pronunciation-friendly) Greta or maybe Mairead. I'm also a long-time visitor to, and huge fan of Show Your Work and Duana Names, so I KNEW this book was going to be fantastic. And it really is! And not just for name nerds - trust me, even if you have never even heard the term "nameberry", you will enjoy and get something out of this book. Part memoir, part advice, part research (both anecdotal and statistical), it's a nuanced and thoughtful look at how our names shape us, and how we shape our names. Parts of it made me laugh out loud (her stories growing up - she sounds like a very precocious kid! - the whole section about stripper names), and other parts made me really consider my own biases I bring to the table (the role class and race play in name choice, and name desirability/perception...and the whole section about stripper names!). I also loved that Duana (Taha is her last name, but I totally feel like we are on a first-name basis) is Canadian, and that many of the references she makes and the people she interviews are Canadian too (actually that is one of the reasons why I love Lainey Gossip don't really realize how pervasive American culture is here in Canada until you read something that is distinctly Canadian and it feels incredibly refreshing!). Loved this book!!

  • Milwaukee Baker
    2019-03-22 17:03

    "But people always open up when you start asking about names. It's almost as though they didn't know they were allowed to have feelings and thoughts about them, but there's always more to everyone's story, and they are often surprised to find it..."I absolutely loved this quote from The Name Therapist. I've never met or heard of anyone else whose name was Milwaukee, and having an unusual name always left me wondering why I was the only one and what that meant for my life...I think for people with more recognizable names, they have to stand out in other ways to be noticed. But for people like Duana Taha or myself, we stand out just by existing. People can read our names before even meeting us, and they are left with an impression of what they think a "Milwaukee" would be like (or they make assumptions on what they've heard about me - that's a blessing and a curse of living in a city the size of Brantford, my reputation always precedes me...) I had no idea there was such a community like the one Duana introduced me to in this book, a community of name nerds and name therapists who are as passionate for names, name history, name trends, and the perceptions names have as I have been all my life! I feel like I've found my people!

  • Tanelle Nash
    2019-02-24 14:49

    This book could've been written about my life. My unusual name (Tanelle pronounced Ta-ne-elle) has been something that has defined me my whole life. Tourist trinkets? Key chains, hairbrushes, etc: I could never find them as a kid and it bothered me. I still look at the racks today to see if I can find my name (never). I even looked up my name in her index of names to see if I was mentioned (nope). Starbucks names? Always misspelled. People attempting to pronounce my name? I usually get Ta-nelle, although lately I'm actually getting more correct pronunciations. I had one boss who worked for me for 3 years always pronounce it wrong. I stopped trying to correct him. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Even those with common names. It's part-biography/part analysis into names. I loved it!

  • Alexis
    2019-03-01 20:49

    At times, I found this book a bit repetitive. When I started it, I wondered how I was going to deal with the author's voice the entire time, but then I found myself warming to it and to some of her ideas. I was interested in what names tell us about class and found her ideas about "ethnic" names to be rather refreshing. There were a few facts about names that were interesting to read. This is a rather light book with lots of personal anecdotes. Don't expect anything too heavy with this one.

  • Kirsti
    2019-03-14 17:14

    Good fun if you have a somewhat unusual name (as I do) and enjoy finding out others' names and their opinions on naming (as I do). Duana Taha is not an expert on names or naming, but who is, really?My favorite name from this book is Jet Li Dotcom Clark. He is not named after the movie star; his parents liked the name Jet, he has an Aunt Lee, and his parents met at a dotcom company. He loves his name, and I say right on.

  • Kristal
    2019-03-01 17:51

    Interesting stuff if you're at all into the psychology of names. I especially liked the chapter on "stripper" names, since I have one. I like my name a whole lot more than the poor Krystal interviewed in the book, though. Until I read that chapter, I'd never thought that someone might not hire me or have preconceived notions about me because of my name. Weird.

  • Cait
    2019-02-26 14:15

    This was everything I wanted it to be. I maaaay still buy this.

  • Michelle
    2019-02-27 17:49

    "The Name Therapist" by Duana Taha Duana Taha is a self proclaimed Name Therapist. At 'Lainey Gossip' (a gossip blog site), Taha hands out advice on names in the weekly column 'Duana Names'. I love reading her advice column during the week and when I found out she wrote a book, I couldn't wait to read it."The Name Therapist" is a hybrid of memoir and advice/how to kind of book. The book focuses on names; more specifically on uncommon names in North America, and the positive/negative impact a name can have on ones life experience. The book also includes findings from research by experts in the field of names (this is minimal). However, the majority of the book focuses on Duana herself and the research she conducted (interviews).I really enjoyed reading the memoir part of the book. How Duana's parents decided on her name. How Duana influenced the naming of her sister (this part cracked me up). But, when I read about Duana's endless searched for items with her name on it, I felt sad for her, especially when she was little (something I can't relate to since I have a very common first name). I also learned something new about Duana; she was a writer for "Degrassi"...I think that's very cool and it was exciting to read how some of the characters got their names. I also enjoyed reading how Duana's son got his name.The part of the book with the name experts and the interviews Duana conducted weren't my favorite part of the book. I found some of the information boring and long winded. However, some of the information was interesting to read and I learned some new cultural traditions regarding names (the non use of Egyptian moms names in public...very fascinating). I was also reminded of the discrimination individuals with uncommon names in North America experience. The section about the 'call back gap' made me sad and angry. It's disgusting to think people are denied access to opportunities or are treated differently because their name represents "other". I agree with Duana that names definitely don't determine the outcome of ones character/intergrity/destiny. The part of the book I was most looking forward to reading was Duana's name advice/suggestion/recommendations, and general opinions on names section. I felt a little disappointed with this part of the book. I wanted to know the how's and why's for her name reccomendations. And, I did get a bit through the book, but I wanted more. I also wished the appendix section of the book was included through out the book itself, since, I thought the information was interesting and enjoyable to read. At times I felt the content in the chapters were disorganized; which led to repetition with some of the examples used through out the book. And, I felt that took away from an enjoyable reading experience.But, what I learned from reading this book was love your name, and if you're and expectant parent, love the name you choose. Overall I found "The Name Therapist" an interesting and fascinating read. I would recommend this book to people who are intrigued by names.

  • Lynne
    2019-02-24 20:53

    What's in a name? According to the authour of The Name Therapist there's a whole lot. To be honest, I never had any issues with my name growing up, it's rarely misspelled and almost never mispronounced. In fact I couldn't imagine having another name. My parents, who were immigrants picked it for the reason that it was simple plus it easily translated from English back to Vietnamese. Still I found Duana Taha's The Name Therapist to be an intriguing read.Read the rest of this review here:

  • Sarah
    2019-03-06 19:05

    Names are something that I've spent a lot of time thinking about -- both as an aspiring author and as one of a legion of Sarahs. This was a fascinating look at names and all of the complications that come with them, from racist assumptions to family conflict to a desire to stick out/blend in. Basically, it puts forth that names shape who we are as people, and it provides compelling evidence for why.

  • Laura
    2019-03-23 17:50

    Part memoir, part anthropological study of names, this book was a very interesting read. It may have been too anecdotal to be considered true on all fronts, but the stories and conclusions seem sound. I enjoyed the exploration into names, because, yes, names inform the way a person is perceived and, I believe, a person's life and personality. I would recommend it, but do not go looking for a scientific exploration, that's not what this is and I would not want it to be that.

  • LoudVal
    2019-03-03 14:55

    I love a good social history/cultural discourse. Maybe a little unfocused at times, but I mainly blame the subtitle for that. Much as I think this could have done with less emphasis on the memoir aspect, could you really when a person's name clearly dictates their lot in life, or at least their trajectory? Lots of good thoughts here, still ruminating on this one. Also: Theodore. Good choice.

  • Drew
    2019-03-01 22:08

    You'd think this book, about names, would be very boring. And I couldn't really go on and on about what I gain from reading it. I just know it was surprisingly interesting and that I burned through it quickly. There's more to names than I previously realized.

  • SeaShore
    2019-02-28 22:11

    Recently I watched Canadian actress, Sarah Chalke being interviewed by Craig Ferguson. A good friend suggested it. i was halfway through Duana Taha's book, "The Name Therapist".It was pure coincidence because Sarah Chalke is so full of confidence and with a name like "Chalke" , It didn't bother her. I wondered about names and confidence and success. Perhaps it has something to do with parents building good character and self-esteem and everything else in their young children.I was not impressed with this book and even searched out the author and wasn't impressed with her on Ted Talks ---- What's in a NameThe author discovered there were more DUANAs(her given/first name) in the world than she thought Her mother's name was originally Mary Philomena changed to Mary Veronica-- and she was called Maureen.The book cover has a coffee cup (disposable ) on the front cover. Why? Her name is on it and scribbles of the way it is supposed to be pronounced.She advises people to just love your name and to parents: Don't name your child by a name others will make fun of. Don't give your child a boring name.Cecile, Deidre, Sydney--- You can find an interpretation/meaning for most namesPeople will judge you by your name says a professor from UCLASuccess! Morality! Warmth! Health! Masculinity/FemminityAlice, Mordecai, Libby, Ignacio, and Rose all rank low on the scaleJacqueline or Samantha ifer successListen to her talk at: she gives pointers to accept your given name...Most people have problems naming their baby because of parents squabbles example: James francis versus Lincoln AdlerSo, what of names like Elvis, Beyonce, Debi Moore, Ann-Margaretr, Cher, Sting. There is only one Pharrell and one Miley.Wyatt, Colton, Austin, Myles, Kanye, Gwyneth, Madonna, Most people who ask for advice on names usually want permission to use the name they already chose.Some names she recently learned to like, example Lionel because of the song, "All Night Long"There are some names she will never like--- example Madison, Travis (Travesty) , Al, and GAGE.

  • Deborah Sowery-Quinn
    2019-03-03 14:58

    Well I obviously have the opposite issue with my name growing up, having the most common name of my childhood & like Taha, I have always been fascinated with names. Strangely, I even fantasized about making a career of some sort out of it, as she has. But even though this book is well-written and has some interesting parts, it really could have just been a long article. I found some sections also just plain wrong. For example, she refers to the name Jennifer exploding in popularity after the success of the movie "Love Story" but Jennifer was a very popular name, at least at my school, in the 60s, right up there with Kathys, Dianes and Karens. I would give this book a miss.

  • Daryl Atkinson
    2019-03-09 21:00

    Gave no real insight into the influence a name has on a person, the way people choose names for others or themselves, or about name trends. There's no real research, analysis, or expertise presented in the book. The book is anecdotal and conversational, reads like a year's worth of blog posts, and often left me asking myself what the author's point was. I was hoping for a Freakonomics or Modern Romance approach to understanding names and naming trends, or at least an attempt to discuss names like a stylist would discuss fashion, but the book failed to deliver on all fronts.

  • Charity
    2019-03-12 16:07

    As the proud owner of an "odd" name I was able to easily relate to this book. The author's passion about names and what they present to the world was really interesting. We carry these titles around and most of us don't really realize how the rest of the world relates to them. This would be a great read for any soon to be parent looking for guidance on selecting a name for their new baby. And it is true, all of us with unusual names still carry emotional scars from not ever once being seen on Romper Room.

  • Stephanie Baker
    2019-02-28 17:11

    Taha is a journalist, and her writing style clearly shows it. Her writing style is vivid, and I can almost hear her voice narrating each chapter. She has a lot to say, but I didn't find this book had much content. This book is full of anecdotes, but she never reveals her reasons behind the selection of each anecdote. Her purpose is unclear, unless her thesis is just "don't be afraid to embrace your weird name." If that is the purpose of the book, the message could be conveyed with far fewer words.

  • Jane Mulkewich
    2019-03-14 19:57

    Duana Taha became interested in names because she had an unusual name, and I remember becoming interested in names as a teenager, perhaps because my name was so plain and common? This book has inspired me to think more deeply about how my name may have influenced my life, and how others around me may also have been shaped by their names. Lots of food for thought.

  • Megan
    2019-03-10 20:11

    A bit of a memoir, and lots of discussion of names, common and unusual, from a mostly North American / Anglo perspective. The book often felt like separate blog posts cobbled together (which it may well be), but as a name nerd, I loved it.

  • Anna-Lisa Ciccocioppo
    2019-03-03 17:06

    I saw this book featured at the library and decided to check it out. I have an unusual name and appreciate the author addressing this in her book. I was unfamiliar with her or the concept of being a "name therapist". Interesting, light read.

  • Katie
    2019-03-23 16:16

    Hilarious! so so good and canadian pop culture references

  • Rikka
    2019-03-13 14:55

    great book. Duana is clever and articulate. If you have a unique name this book will definitely resonate. I've been bugging everyone I know to read this book!

  • Katie McKinnie Walters
    2019-03-19 19:55

    I'm a devoted reader of Duana's Name Nerd column, so of course I loved this.

  • Alison
    2019-03-04 15:58

    Book made me think more about names than I already had. Interesting insights into the power of a name.