What’s in a Name?

Tom Brady’s name does not make him trustworthy   Jerry Seinfeld once broke up with a girl because she ate one pea at a time at dinner. He also dumped one for having man hands. And then there was the time he give a girl her walking papers because he accidentally knocked Kristin Davis’s toothbrush into the toilet, thereby contaminating her otherwise-perfect mouth forever.

Those who only date to be entertained, laid, or simply to pass the time all find excuses to end a relationship before it becomes cumbersome to a chronic lifestyle. In Seinfeld’s case, talking with George at Monk’s, listening to Elaine vent, sharing his possessions with Kramer, and keeping an eye on his nemesis, Newman, always sufficed as a comfortable existence. If a special girl came into his life, it was simply sprinkles on the sundae.

As members of Generation X, Y, and whatever the hell they’re calling those under 25 these days (the age bracket label appears to have run out of titles), we are all trained to be cynical. As children growing up in peacetime and our parents doing well in the financial department, living the good life is the rule, not the exception. That said, we always expect the best to the point where the positive aspects of a person can oftentimes be overlooked. Instead, our instinct is to find whatever is wrong with people, particularly when seeing someone.

If a person qualifies for Date 1, the physical presentation—at least what can be seen with clothes on—has already been satisfied to some extent. The quirky things expose themselves quickly as well, and if those eccentricities can be tolerated and even help build the all-important aspects of chemistry and mutual respect, you’re 2-for-2. And if the other person doesn’t become too smothering or starved for attention (note: excessive text messaging before Date 4 is always a red flag), a budding relationship may well be in the making.

But before even reaching that point, there is the name…one of the first items revealed when meeting another person. Most monikers are common, particularly in Hoboken, where many of its residents east of Jackson Street appear to come from the conservative homes of the New Jersey suburbs.

Names like Jen, Alison, Amanda, Kara, Kelly and Jessica seem to represent 70% of the female names in the Mile Square. On the guys’ side, Mike, Chris, Steve and Rob are seemingly hitting the same percentage.

But for those women truly trying to find fault in those who were given a mandatory gift at birth to carry with them forever by their parents, the following rules apply:

Rule #1: Never trust a guy with two first names that serve as an entire name:

So, you just met a guy at Texas Arizona named Steve? OK, good name…girls seem to like names they can tell their friends about and extend into a full name when things get serious, i.e., “I’m going to a show with Steven tonight.” (Formerly Steve before they started sleeping together). “I told Michael (once Mike) that I wanted to travel more this summer instead of going to the beach every weekend,” and “Robert (who really prefers to be called Rob) and I are taking a cooking class this weekend!”

OK, that’s fine. But what happens when the gent has a last name that is also a first?

Mike Allen

Steve George

Rob Charles

Or the common celebrity combo:

George Michael

Larry David

Rob Thomas

You get the idea. So whatever the double first name-full name combo happens to be, one rule (and one rule only) applies:

You can’t trust them.


I won’t bother explaining the genesis behind it. Its simple science: 97% of men with the FNFN combo must be sketchy. And you won’t be able to get over the fact that his friends who call him by his last name in a crowd still confuse those who own the same first name around them and turn their heads.

Make like a tree and leave…

Rule #2: Never trust a guy who spells his name in non-standard form:

If his parents are eccentric and need to draw attention to their kids by spelling their name unconventionally, said guy is already saddled with insecurity for life.

So, if enjoying an hour-long latte at The Frozen Monkey when suddenly a strapping male sits next to you to ask what you’re reading and introduces himself as Jeff, make sure you ask how it’s spelled. If he replies “G-E-O-F-F”, ask the waitress for the check or excuse yourself to use the bathroom (across the street).

If faced with the same situation a week later and you meet someone named Greg, reapply. Any name ending with two of the same letter is extremely bad karma, according to Roman myth, so if comes back with “G-R-E-G-G”, tell him that you have to attend the reading of a will or have to see your doctor about that case of Avian Flu you’ve contracted…


This also applies to men when it comes to women as well, so be on the lookout for:

Karens that spell their name “Caryn” or “Karyn”

Alisons that are “Allysons” or “Alyson” or “Allison”

Kellys who were tagged with “Keli” or “Kellie”.

Laurens that go by “Loryn”.

Jamies rearranging vowels and becoming “Jaime”.

Tracys and Stacys that add an “e” before the “y”.

And so on…

Rule #3: Never allow a man into the circle of trust whose name spells a sentence:

Self explanatory one here…really, how can you confide in a friend or even a diary that you had the best sex of your life with a dude named “Bill Runs” or “Rory Fielding.”

Rule #4: Avoid all unisex names if possible:

You just gave Tyler your number? Have an interest in Taylor? Can’t get enough of the guy at Club H named Aden? How about Blaine? Casey? Corey? Jordan? Jessie? Toby? Val?

You know where this is going…run like you stole something. But really, how can you be jealous of the guy in the song “Jesse’s Girl”? Either way, unisex=u-run.

Rule #5– Automatic expulsion from the dating pool: Guy who goes by a nickname AND informs you to only call him by said nickname

We’re back to Seinfeld, but don’t all life situations still apply to a show that went off the air eight years ago? Maestro episode (Episode 113 to be exact) with the guy who played Neidermeyer in Animal House. Elaine starts dating Bob Cobb, who mandates that all in his presence call him “The Maestro” because he conducts the Policeman’s Benevolent Association Orchestra. Needless to say, Maestro lasted two episodes.

Rule #1 of Esquire’s 59 things a man should never do past age 30 is coining your own nickname. He’s obviously going through an identity crisis or isn’t proud of his life outside of anything that pertains to his alias, so it’s probably a good idea to create your own nickname. “Taken”, “AE” (almost engaged), Ellen or Rosie (you prefer girls) should do the trick.

What’s in a name? Probably nothing, since the person who owns it had nothing to do with signing the lifetime lease. Still, in the end most of us are shallow. A majority of us—subconsciously mostly—do read into nonsensical things like a name when determining if another individual deserves the right to share our time.

It must be true…it was on Seinfeld.