“Know the Name; Know the Person”

“A person’s name is the sweetest sound a person can hear. Our name is our identity in this world.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Can you describe a Joshua? When someone says Raquel, do you already have a preconceived idea about her? Has anyone ever told you that you don’t look or act like your name? What is in the name George that makes them leaders? Why are so many superb actresses named Julia? Why are Cheryls intellectual, Stephanies stubborn and Dons mechanically inclined? Are there some names that you love and others you cannot stand because of someone you know with that name? This underlines an already accepted cultural idea that certain names conjure up some well-defined images. Wouldn’t you like to know if this is true? Or better yet, would you like to know how to read the personality of less common or exotic names? Do personality traits lay hidden in some mysterious way in a person’s name?

We identify ourselves by our names. When asked “Who are you?” around the globe we automatically respond with our names as if that says it all. Indeed it does, as in each and every culture, our names give others an impression of who we are, whether on a conscious or subconscious level. Our name is supposed to convey the message of completeness. It is as if when someone knows our names, they should know us. No one answers the question of ‘Who are you?’ by describing the characteristics that define self, or by stating how he or she thinks or feels. However, that is exactly what is hidden and can be revealed in our individual names.

Dale Carnegie dedicates an entire chapter in his longtime bestselling book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, arguing for the importance of a person’s name when he wrote, “Our name is our identity in this world. As such, our name can help us or hinder us depending on what our name conveys to others both consciously and subliminally. Names can be unique or fairly common, yet all names carry both blessings and challenges.”

Each letter within a name carries both gifts and opportunities for growth, or said another way, both positive and negative characteristics. The talents are more obvious to see within a name, as people tend to hide their challenges from others. A person’s name connects them to their personality. All names contain personality secrets that are integrated into them. These secrets are divulged by the letters, in combination with their location, within the name. Therefore, knowing what each letter represents becomes important. Additionally, our names carry our reputations and are the manner in which we identify others and ourselves. Imagine for a moment not having a name. How would you identify yourself? Even Prince, in his record contract dispute with Warner Brothers over the use his legal name, needed to be called something. In a clever act of protest he legally changed his name to a cryptic symbol and thus was called ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’ .

Each of the six billion people on the Earth has a name, as do countries, streets, plays, hurricanes, and pets. The United Nations even went so far as to state that every person has a right to a name . The results of our obsession to name people, objects, animals, plants, social groups, organic molecules, and everything else created a new science called Onomastics , which is defined as the study of names, and naming or seeing the whole. Meanwhile Neimology® Science, which is presented here, is the study of the placement of the letters in names, or the study of the parts of a name, which comprise the whole.

A Neimologist is one who studies the placement of the letters in someone’s name, which then enables them to better understand people at a deeper level simply by knowing their name. The skill of a Neimology® Science expert is directly related to their ability to compare and contrast all the different parts of a name to divulge a picture of someone’s personality. They must be able to see the entire picture that the name represents including the nuances produced by how the letters interact and affect each other.

Names have an impact on the person who has the name. As Neimology® Science will show, this is because each sound has a frequency that corresponds to a quality or characteristic. So, each time a person hears his or her name, the sounds that comprise the name and their corresponding frequencies are perceived. Hence, the sounds, which represent the letters, and consequently, the qualities in the name, are reinforced.



Each person will find some sounds more pleasing to the ear than others. This is apparent in the different selection of music that various people choose. This analogy transfers to when names are heard. Some names will have a pleasant sound, while others will have an unpleasant one. Communities are usually friendlier to people whose names are composed of pleasing sounds. However, that which pleases one culture may be different from than which pleases another, as all languages tune the ear differently.

The Roman alphabet represents predispositions that occur within a name. In other words, the letters indicate the person’s inclination to think, behave and respond in a certain way. Someone can be inherently nice, or aggressive, or have any other attribute, as indicated by the letters and their placement within the name. However, how a person has learned to display or control his or her traits is still determined by environmental factors and individual choices. A person’s name is the origination point for his or her personality and indicates strengths and weaknesses at the time of birth. Instead of predicting someone’s future behavior, the name indicates where the person began in terms of attributes. Utilizing that knowledge, others can understand behaviors and choices that the person makes and deduce from the age of the person what the motivating factors are behind present his current actions.

There is an unconscious expectation that comes hidden within a name. If not, the American language would not have acquired idioms like Smart-Alec and Peeping Tom. There are names that refer to actions such as a Dear John letter, names such as Jane Doe to label an unidentified female and John Q. Public to refer to a citizen. Plus, there are expressions like ‘by George, I think I’ve got it’, ‘Tom foolery’ and ‘I’m just joshing you’.

There are more innuendos around the name Jack than any other: a Jack-of-all-trades, to jack up a price or jack someone up or take advantage of them, as well as Jump Back Jack, to name a few. Thanks to the nursery rhyme that reads, “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jumped over the candle stick,” we subconsciously realize that Jacks are quick and bright and can think on their feet. Phrases utilizing the name Jack mean someone who is able to rapidly learn from errors, and hence, bounce back quickly.

Sometimes we hear a name and feel like we already know the person thinking, “I know you. Have we met”? Our impression of names has to do with how we have interacted with other people who have similar names. From King David and King Solomon, we’ve learned to associate characteristics with names: Davids are good leaders yet have weak spots for women, and Solomon means wise. Over time, we get an idea of what every Tom, Dick and Harry is like. This is true for both first and last names. The more unique the last name, the more it registers as one distinct pattern. Hence when siblings with less common family names enter school, there is a preconceived idea of how each child will behave because of what the family, represented by the last name, is like based on the oldest child’s behavior. Don’t people assume, on some level, that the younger siblings will be like the older one and express surprise when they are not? We presume that the family name will influence each child in a similar manner.

How often have you met people and after speaking with them, decide they do not fit their names? Or have you met someone and found it incredibly difficult to remember his or her name? This is because the person’s name does not match our perception of what the name represents. When someone acts similarly to every other person we have met who has the same name, it is easy to remember the name. We become better at conjuring up a picture of people by their names as we mature and gain more life experiences. Part of the reason we get better with age is that we learn what specific personality traits are associated with most commonly used names.



According to the 2003 United States Census Bureau, when we take the entire population of males that year and divide it by the number of commonly used male names we find that ninety percent of the males in the United States had one of 1219 different male names. Compare this with the 4275 girl names that ninety percent of girls in the United States share. Therefore, there is more name redundancy with boy names boys than with girl names. The tendency to name a son the same as the father, as in juniors, or the third, helps keep this repetitiveness in place. With fewer male names being used, it is easier to get an idea of what the male names represent than with female names.

Even though girls had a wider range of names in use, studying the most popular girls names in the 1990 Census shows that there is a preponderance of girl names ending in ‘A or ‘Y’, so they share a quality of wanting to be liked. Hence, giving girls pleasing names concurs with society’s expectation that girls be good.

Comparing what was popular in names over different periods of time reveals what was expected and cherished in our culture during these same time periods. For example, Ike was number 531 in 1910, putting it in the top half of male names. Today, the name Ike is no longer popular as evidenced by not being included in the list of the top one thousand popular boys names. The name Ike, as in past-U.S. president Ike Eisenhower, carries the qualities of family comes first, leadership skills are crucial, there is never enough time to get everything done, and it is important to stay constructively busy. Another name that was once quite popular and is going out of fashion is the name Virginia. This name represents the idea that family comes first, and has a determined, somewhat rebellious spirit to fight for what she feels is right and just, while maintaining the appearance of being loyal, respectful and amicable.

Another interesting notion is that we have lost uniqueness in our names today. Take any name, especially when stringing common names together like Donald Eugene Wilson and you will find multiple people with the identical name . All people with the same name carry similar qualities and would probably be described using similar adjectives. It is surprising to use Google’s search engine and see various people with the same name and then to compare the similar characteristics or skills required for the jobs they selected. The duplication of similar jobs is not an accident. What makes each person unique are the various life experiences and the resulting choices that have shaped how these qualities are used.

It is becoming rare to find someone with a truly one of a kind name. Perhaps that is why ten percent of our population now holds what would be considered made up names like Abcd, Kaliyah, Keanu, Oprah, Shail and Sigourney. This could also explain why many people with common names end up with unusual nicknames.

Lastly, names that are frequently used in one area of the world are not necessarily popular in another. The name Stig is just as common in Norway as the name Steve is in the United States. However, if you locate Stig in the United States and Steve in Norway, both names appear unusual.

Some names become popular in a region due to religious, cultural or geographical impacts in that area. This is true of the name Lourdes. “Lourdes is a very common name in Spain especially among Catholic families being named after Our Lady of Lourdes.” “A sense of place is very popular in Wales; therefore names like Gwent, Gwynedd, Mon, Teifi, Meirion, Maldwyn, Aeron, and Menai are very popular first or middle names in Welsh” as these are locations in Wales. Yet, these names are almost nonexistent in other regions of the world like Africa, China or South America.



Neimology™ Science is the study of the placement of letters in a name, and how the letters interact with each other to divulge other, sometimes subtle and sometimes overt, aspects about someone’s character. It is important to know what characteristics are inherent to each letter and how each letter interacts in relationship to the placement of the other letters in the linguistic environment. Just as a child in a classroom acts one way sitting by a close friend and may behave differently when sitting by somebody she strongly dislikes; it is the same with the letters in the name.

Neimology® Science assists us in acquiring a new set of skills to further our effort to comprehend how other people function in this world. In turn, this advances us on the long and complicated task of getting to know someone. Essentially, names hold a key to a person’s talents while, at the same time, identifies one’s challenges. Gifts are traits that aid us, while challenges are the ones that provide the best opportunities to learn and grow. Names reveal how someone is predisposed to think and feel. Knowing this can assist us in deducing the person’s behavioral tendencies. Whereas we garner information from interacting with an individual, Neimology® Science reveals the true person and is not as susceptible to misrepresentation or personality charisma. Unlike other methods of discovering more about a person, Neimology® Science can be done quickly and takes nothing more than the full name a person uses.

When we are first introduced to someone over the phone, we get an impression of how they look from how their voice sounds. We are often shocked to meet them later when their appearance does not meet our preconceptions formulated during our conversation with him/her. However, we can gain a reasonably accurate impression of another’s personality characteristics from their names prior to meeting them. Consider how helpful this would be on a blind date or a business meeting where you don’t know the other person. Knowing how to approach a person prior to meeting them lends itself to better communication and hence better first impressions.

In the movie, When Harry Met Sally, the two are set up on a blind date. Knowing Neimology® Science, both Harry and Sally would have had an idea of who the other person was prior to their initial meeting. They would each have known they shared the same mental orientation and a love of books. Both were amiable individuals who found it important to be liked by others, and neither one of them was comfortable expressing their emotions. They were both observant and competent individuals. So Harry and Sally already had plenty in common from which to start a conversation and/or a relationship. However, the movie would have never become a classic if Harry and Sally had started out with Neimology® Science.

An interesting side note to Neimology® Science is the science of Acrophonology, which states that names influence both a person’s character and life path. Unfortunately, Acrophonology does not tell anyone how to determine what that influence will be without looking it up in a book. This is no different than books that give a short interpretation of each name as neither informs those interested how to ascertain the influence of a name for oneself.

Neimology® Science provides us with an expedient way to comprehend the multi-faceted nature of others, so that we can respond with a higher level of understanding. While most of us use Neimology® Science on a subconscious basis, in a later chapter, we will look at how this science can work on a conscious level by exploring different business names and how they relate to the product or service being offered. Neimology® Science also reveals information related to our perceptions of other countries.



Common names vary by country and reflect the culture of the country, just as a country’s name gives significant clues into its character. All countries name themselves. Nevertheless, that does not stop other countries from renaming them, as when the England renamed España Spain. Renaming other countries may have started as a consequence of linguistic limitations or evolutions of a language. Yet, any new name given to a country shows an impression of that country by the people who are renaming it and indicates how these people would like the other country to be. This can be a language nuisance. For example, suppose you wanted to visit Florence while in Italy. There is no Florence on an Italian map as the real name of the city is Firenze. Checking maps created in different languages indicates that renaming countries is a common practice. This also occurs on a personal level when people give other people nicknames.

Similar to renaming countries is renaming oneself as Burma did when it became Myanmar. Surprisingly, it is not as unusual as one might think for countries or people to change their original birth names. This is done in two different ways. First, when it is voluntary, it is an individual’s conscious choice and the person decides his or her own new name as when William prefers being called Bill, or Robert prefers to be called Bob. Second, when it is involuntary, and another person thrusts a nickname upon an individual. Many people use nicknames that they have accepted from someone else, usually a family member. Now each time a person hears his/her own name, the qualities and characteristics of the name are reinforced.

When a new name is established, the attributes of the previous name recede into the background over a seven-year period. Similarly, the new name’s traits are added during this time. It is like an hourglass where the sands, or attributes, shift over a seven-year time period from being on one side of the glass to the other. The new name integrates itself into the personality while, simultaneously, the old one’s effects are diminished. This means a person totally loses the influence of the old name, unless the old name was the birth name.

The name given to a person at birth is like the old flooring under the new carpet. It is part of one’s foundation. A person cannot completely lose the characteristics of his/her birth name; it is still there, just like the original flooring. Yet it is not as visible because other people will see the new traits or carpet first. So, even when a birth name has been changed, it is still the foundation. No one ever fully gets rid of the birth name’s influence. This also applies to adopted children and even people with amnesia.

Marriage is the most frequent reason a person consciously chooses to change his or her name. Just as with all name changes, it takes seven years to fully embrace the qualities of the new family name. However, a new family name does not negate how one was reared. Thus, it is easier to see what is meant by the floor analogy; although the foundation does not change, the attributes that the person most readily shows can change.

Comparing the maiden name to the married name will often indicate where the individual is most likely to change or how the environment around the person has changed. This comparison also gives an indication of the challenges and gifts that will come with the marriage. Some people do not choose to adopt their partner’s name. In these cases, it is not possible to evaluate how the marriage is doing even though one can still evaluate how the marriage is likely to influence the couple’s personalities. Comparing the partners’ full names will indicate where the likely conflicts, if any, may occur in the marriage. Hyphenated names are discussed in the ‘What If’ chapter.

During a divorce, some people choose to keep their acquired married name and some do not. For those who wish to forsake the married name, it is nice to know that its influence is totally negated within seven years because it is not a birth name. However, many divorcees choose to keep the married name in order to keep the positive characteristics that were added. To summarize, effects from married names can be negated. Influences of nicknames can be negated. The influence of the birth name is never totally negated.

Another reason people voluntarily change their name is to make their monikers have more ‘star appeal’. Celebrities and their agents are aware of the importance of a name and want a name that can light up a marquee. The name Archibald Alec Leach just doesn’t have the same chivalrousness as does Cary Grant, nor does Betty Joan Perske sound as spirited as Lauren Bacall or Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta sounds as appealing as Lady Gaga. Larry King is a Hollywood personality who changed his name at the behest of a Miami radio producer because Lawrence Harvey Zeiger just wouldn’t do.

The second reason names get changed is against one’s will. Just as impressions of the country change when given a new name, impressions of people change with nicknames. Nicknames are the names used that are not your legal names. When a nickname is given, it indicates, apparently or subtly, that the person giving the nickname is attempting to encourage the recipient to show only the qualities and characteristics indicated by the nickname. When legal guardians rename their child with a version of the given name, which now includes a ‘Y’ ending, the adults are asking the child to change his or her behavior to be more likable and more obedient to them. Names like Tamara becoming Tammy, Katherine becoming Kathy and Michael becoming Mickey fall into this category as well as Timmy, Jimmy and Billy.

When someone calls a person by a nickname, it alters what characteristics the personality shares while around that person. When we accept an imposed nickname, we are allowing someone else to determine what parts of us s/he wishes to see. This is also true when people or countries respond to more than one name as Holland is also called the Netherlands. Depending on which name is used influences which characteristics are acknowledged.

In other words, responding to nicknames greatly influences who we are. For example, Katherines are in control, leaders, steady, dependable, seekers of truth, independent, organized, can see things from other people’s point of view and are in charge. Katherines who use the nickname Kathy are still in control of themselves but not in control of others. They are still steady and dependable, but now they fluctuate in their decisions due to their need to be liked. Kathys are neither as independent nor sexy as Katherines and have more difficulty seeing alternative viewpoints. In Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” the suitor Petruccio changes the name of the shrew from Katherine to Kate which assists him in taming her to be obedient.

Most common romantic nicknames are terms of endearment like Honey or Sweetheart. Honey requests that the person be more nurturing and likable, while Sweetheart brings in emotional understanding. However, not all nicknames are positive. Consider school children being renamed Fatso or Retard or any other disparaging name. Once a nickname catches on, it “tends to take on a life of its own. By zeroing in on a particular trait, a nickname can define or even create an identity” according to Robert Needham’s article “Names and Personalities”. Remember, when responding to a name, the person displays those qualities represented in that name, regardless if the name is one they have given to themselves or not. Hence, it is important what people allow others to call them. If someone does not respond to a nickname, then the name does not have an effect on his or her personality.



In Sumerian times , the importance of names was believed to contain the knowledge as to whom that person truly was, or who that person was to become, as the name could greatly influence, if not out rightly determine, the person’s destiny. Therefore, these ancient people traditionally attached great meaning to a person’s name. In Biblical times, a person’s name “revealed what was supposed to be the persons essence or true nature”. Therefore, when Moses had the chance to ask God anything, he asked him what his name was. Just think, Moses could have asked God anything and he wanted to know his name. The reason was probably because, with a name, Moses would have gained a more complete understanding of God. At that time in history, it was believed that only when individuals understood their names, could they fully understand the truth about themselves.

The Jewish culture also recognizes the importance and significance of names. In the Bible’s book of Genesis, God began changing names; Sarai became Sarah, and Abram became Abraham. Notice that in both cases ‘H’ was added. ‘H’ is a letter which represents knowing how to be gracious and how to make the best of a seemingly difficult situation. This letter depicts being able to stay in life’s flow and aligning one’s will to God’s will. In the name Abraham, an extra ‘A’ was also added. This ‘A’ would change the number of ‘A’s from two to three. ‘A’s refer to spirituality, hence more ‘A’s would bring more spiritual understanding. “Names are not accidents in the Torah. We find in many places that the name of a person or a thing tells us about its nature. And the same is true of the Sidrot”.

God continues to change names with Jacob being renamed Israel. In the Bible, the name Israel means to wrestle or struggle with God. It is interesting to note that the name Israel breaks down into three component parts, IS-RA-EL. In Neimology™ Science ‘IS’ represents the feminine divine principle, ‘RA’ the masculine divine principle and ‘EL’ godliness. In other words, the name Israel includes both the masculine, feminine and divine aspects of God.

Ancient civilizations were not the only ones who knew the value of names. Native Americans and Australian Aborigines, similar to other cultures that live in alignment with the Earth and have spiritual acumen, make name changes as they progress through life. Just as the book of Genesis indicated name changes were made to mark or celebrate important accomplishments during one’s life, indigenous tribes change names to consciously contribute to a person’s growth path and “can be physically as well as psychologically healing”.

It is believed that the child, while still in spirit form, impresses upon the one who will be naming it, what it wishes to be called, hence naming him or herself. This name fits until the challenges carried in the name have been mastered and demonstrated. The name changes according to how the individual is progressing on his/her path and what the person wants to learn next.

Native American names are earned in contrast to the Australian Aboriginal culture where “everyone receives a name but it is understood that as a person develops, the name may be outgrown and the individual should be allowed to select a more appropriate greeting reflecting who s/he believes s/he is at that moment” . Often there is a ceremony celebrating the individual’s accomplishments prior to the selection of a new name.

The first name is chosen to support self, along with identifying the new area of intended growth, to add the talents and strengths that will be useful so that the person can become proficient in the new area where development is desired. The name is considered sacred in some cultures, for example, “it was not polite to ask the Navajo (Indians) about their names or even to ask them what their name is; instead it was necessary to inquire of others how he came to be named.” In olden times, the Druids and Celts knew that a person’s name held importance and was considered sacred. As such only very close friends would know each other’s birth name. Today is no different. Some individuals periodically change their names so that they resonate with them better. Today countries pass laws regulating how names can be assigned, as in Australia’s Geographical Names Guideline and how name changes can be done, as China did in 1953 .



Not all societies treat names the same. Therefore, when interpreting a name, it is important to know how a culture influences the name. The family name, which each individual carries, signifies the family values with which a person was reared. In Anglo cultures, the family name is the last name spoken. In Spanish cultures, both the mother and father’s family names are used, so there are two family names within the birth name. However, in Chinese and Korean families, the family name is the first name written. In Mali, Africa, the family name denotes one’s position in society, identifying one’s caste and ethnic group, and so the family name carries much more importance than the individual’s given name. Due to the variety of ways names are used, it is important to know what position the family name has and not mistakenly think that it rests in the same position in all cultures.

In societies where the family and relationships to the community are more important than the individual, the family name is said first . Thus, the people are simply identifying what they were taught as a child prior to identifying who they are individually. Whereas the Chinese would say the name Mao Zedona, when referring to the Chairman of the Communist Party of China, an Anglo would say the English translated name Zedong Mao. Be mindful that many people of Asian decent have two names: their original name written with their script symbols and another name constructed out of the Roman alphabet for ease of use with others of different backgrounds. A good example of this is Kim Jong-Il, leader of North Korea who has three different names, none of which are translations of each other.

With the original name being translated from one set of symbols to another, the interpretation of the name will not be accurate. The most dominant characteristics are unchanged, but the subtler ones are normally lost. So, names announce to the world the core essence of a person regardless of culture or paradigm. However, Neimology™ Science currently only interprets the symbols used in the Roman alphabet.

How names are chosen also has cultural roots. The Djibaté’s (pronounced D-Gee-bah-ti), the Bambara speaking African family, acknowledge that by giving even one name from any living relative to the newborn child would cause that child to be like the other relative and thus the two of them would have a special bond. The Djibatés feel that having the same name invokes the same karma, along with similar death experiences. Consequently, they carefully choose when to give a name that has been previously used in the family to a baby. By using new names, it is their belief that new qualities are brought into the family. As a result, members of a family may have the same names or names that are uniquely theirs. So, on some level, these Malians have understood that the personality’s qualities and characteristics would be similar in people with the same names.

This is not dissimilar to Germany, around the turn of the nineteenth century, when one was supposed to be named after every living relative. This resulted in my Grandmother being named Josephine Johanna Sophia Erna Margarete Maria Meyer Anthony, yet she only used the name Erna. In this manner relatives were honored and the name stated that the family recognized the contributions that the newborn would gain from the involvement and influence of its relatives. Thus my Grandmother had eight names to show respect to every aunt. When she married, she added her husband’s last name, without dropping her maiden last name, which represented her family’s influence, thus making her name nine words long. In a case like this, both the first name, along with the name used on a daily basis are analyzed for the qualities that are present daily. The other middle names represent characteristics that show intermittently in the personality. Another example of multiple names in today’s society is the American actor Keifer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland.

On the opposite side of the belief scale are other ancient tribes and orthodox families who will not give a baby the name of a living relative. If they want a similar name, they change the spelling. Per Neimology® Science, this would inherently change the characteristics of the individual being born from that of the relative. There are other traditions that ask the parents to wait a predetermined length of time after the child is born, prior to naming the child, because they think the evil spirits can’t find the baby if the baby does not have a name. Regardless of when the name is decided upon, the name will influence the child.

What is important is how one chooses to demonstrate the qualities in his/her name as the same qualities can be used differently. In addition, the construction of a name may have other cultural idiosyncrasies. The Japanese never put two consonant sounds together. Thus, the Japanese would not have any consonant clusters in their names to consider and conflicts arising out of a difference of opinions would be reduced as consonants represent attitudes.

Hawaiians have a predominance of vowels in their names. Vowels represent the way a person feels and his or her communication style. Thus, a greater range of vowels equates to an easier time in understanding how others think and feel. The sheer number of different vowels used in a Hawaiian name probably contributed to the native people’s group orientation and their effective communication skills with each other.



A frequently asked question is: does the name make the person or does the person make the name? With such strong influences contained in names, one could feel that their given name has either blessed them or doomed them for life. Many individuals, along with numerous religions and aborigines, feel that children name themselves. The belief is that the soul impresses its desired name upon the one who will be naming it. Only when the soul feels that the intended recipient did not receive the impression accurately does the soul then attempt to convey his/her name to another relative or some other influential person.

There are numerous stories that have been told by mothers about how they came to name their children. Two of them are repeated here to share different ways names have been communicated to the prospective parents. Leonard and Lynn had been married a little more than two years when they both had a strange dream on the same night. Leonard awoke anxious to share his dream. He stated that their intended son had come to him in a dream and conveyed his name. Neither knew that Lynn was pregnant; yet, she too had had a visitation during the night. Deciding to write down what each received in separate rooms so not to be influenced by each other, both parents hurriedly wrote what each had heard. Upon comparing papers, they found each had scribbled the same first name! Leonard had written Joshua Jeremiah, while his wife wrote Joshua Jedediah. The parents decided on Joshua Jedediah.

Approximately two weeks prior to the actual delivery date and a full month before the doctor’s estimated due date, Leonard had another dream. In this one, he stated that Joshua came to him and admonished him for always listening to his wife. Joshua stated that Leonard had gotten the correct name and Lynn had not. So, at that time, the previous decision was changed; they would name their son Joshua Jeremiah. But this is not the end of the story.

Before Joshua was three, there was another amazing incident. Neither parent had discussed with their son how he came to be named, for he was still too young for that story. Leonard was away from home on a business trip when Joshua woke late at night and surprised his mom in the living room. Startled, as Lynn hadn’t heard her son get up, she questioned him as to what she could do for him. Joshua Jeremiah stated that he wanted to discuss his name. Joshua complained that he had almost been given the wrong name and confirmed that he had to go to his dad to be sure he got the right one. He told his mother, “When I was being born, I gave you my name, but you didn’t get it right, so I gave Daddy my name. You almost got my name wrong!” Imagine Lynn’s surprise. Yet this genre of story is more common than many realize.

The second story is similar. Simon was born to a Jewish mother, who understood Hebrew, and a Christian father. English was spoken in the home. As soon as Simon could talk, he was complaining about his name. He told his mother that he had given it to her correctly, and she was close, but there was something wrong with his name. He complained bitterly every time someone used his name and would remind him or her that Simon was not his real name. In his attempt to find his authentic name, he tried every derivative of his name that he could imagine. In the middle of the fourth grade, Simon gave up trying to find the name his soul desired and reluctantly accepted his name.

Over the years, he forgot how he had hounded and chastised his mother for giving him a name that was close but not quite right. He forgot this piece of his past until he was in his thirties. His mother, all excited, called him and reminded him of his search for his rightful name. Curious, but puzzled as to why his mother would bring it up now so many years later, he asked her why she was mentioning it. His mother responded that she had just returned from a Jewish wedding where the groom was named Simon, but the Hebrew pronunciation was ‘She-mone’. Within three days of that phone call, Simon changed the pronunciation of his name. What a blessing that his mother had not forgotten the importance of his name to her son and was able to finally gift him with his rightful name.



“Young children think that a person’s name is the person.” Hence children are often resolute about both what they are called and how their name is pronounced. Adults feel the same. Ever notice how people are self-protective about the pronunciation and spelling of their name? Slaughtering the name conveys disrespect to the owner of the name, as time and attention were not given to learn the name correctly. This conveys the message that the person is not worth your time. Whether a mispronunciation is corrected or not, it is noticed.

The pronunciation is just as important as the spelling in deciphering the clues contained in a name, as the letters heard, along with those not necessarily written in a name, also disclose characteristics of the individual. Thus, in the name Xena, pronounced Zena, both the ‘X’ and the ‘Z’ are considered the first letter in the name and both sets of attributes are attributed to Xena.

It is also important to realize the influence of the glottal stop in selected languages. A glottal stop is a sound created in the nasal cavity, versus by the vocal cords, and pronounced in the larynx. While a glottal stop is not considered a phoneme in English, it is present in English dialects, most notably in Cockney pronunciations as well as many other languages. The glottal stop is usually designated by either a hyphen or an apostrophe. An example of this is in the name Hawai’i. Glottal stops in a name indicate that the person customarily pauses and reflects before speaking when answering a question.

Everything we think about ourselves, everything we relate to ourselves, comes into our name either by its spelling or its sound. Consequently, two sets of names, which are pronounced the same, but spelled differently, would carry attributes of the other name as well as what their spelling would indicate. Therefore, Don and Dawn carry similar attributes that are expressed differently. The same can be said for the names Shawn and Sean.

A few names are found in virtually every culture around the globe, yet even these universal names can have different pronunciations. The name Jesus is pronounced one way in English speaking countries and yet is totally different in Spanish countries where the ‘J’ sounds like ‘H’ or in Middle Eastern countries where the ‘J’ sounds like a ‘Y’. Even though the spelling is not altered, the meaning is changed by the influence of the sounds made and the letters those sounds normally represent. The dominant characteristics come from the actual spelling, while recessive characteristics appear in the enunciation.

Parents who are aware of Neimology® Science and sense what the child wishes to be named may be surprised at the qualities that the name represents for their child. It is not advisable to change a child’s chosen name to suit self-interests. Nevertheless, one way parents can influence the situation and still retain the child’s chosen name, is to be creative with the spelling.



From ancient times to our own, the belief that names are a source of power and influence has been ingrained in many societies. The Romans had a saying, “Nomen est omen”, which means “Names are destiny.”

Why would anyone want to know how to interpret a name? It is not to develop a prejudice against certain names. It is meant to enable each person to better understand the people around him/her. Interaction skills may be developed; whereby, we can easily identify where miscommunication has taken place, what caused the problem and how to repair it. Neimology® Science is being shared so that the knowledge on how each of us can better meet the needs of the people with whom we interact is available.

Each letter has attributes, which assist someone in their goals, and each letter provides opportunities to learn in a specific area. Most would call these positive and negative characteristics, or desirable and undesirable traits. However, growing and learning is what makes people interesting. Interchanges with others are what make life fun. Knowing the gifts and challenges in a name provides clues in assisting others on how to develop and use their strengths while turning their challenges into successes.

There is no name that one can say the people with this name are bad or the people with this name are good, as no name is inherently good or bad. Let us take the name John as an example because this name appears to be ‘all good’. The name John represents wonderful characteristics once he matures, for he is independent, responsible, a good worker, and knows how to nurture others. John is self-directed, fair and has a sense of humor, even if it can be considered dumb humor at times. Here is a person who doesn’t need supervision and can be depended upon to keep his word. All told, this name adds up to being beloved. Yes, John represents wonderful characteristics.

However, there are always challenges in every name. One never knows if being adored has gone to John’s head or has caused his ego to be out of balance. Therefore, most Johns are either magnanimous or total jerks. They are considered angels or devils, but anyone who knows a John can tell you on which side of the fence he sits. Which side of the fence is determined by the other names that comprise the full name of these individuals and their life experiences along with John’s choices about how he wishes to use his attributes. Evaluating the name John in and of itself does not indicate whether or not John is a gift or his gifts have been transformed by a large ego. The name John also carries the ability to hold grudges and to be overly concerned with details.

There is a reason that so many archenemies throughout history were named Bruce or a derivative of the name. From Julius Caesar’s time with Brutus challenging his Emperor to the more recent Popeye cartoons with another Brutus nemesis, we all know that Bruces must stay on top and can be mean, thoughtless, and yet, incredibly charming. They go after what they want regardless of the consequences to those standing in their way.

In fact, when we do not identify with characters in a movie or a book, it is usually because, in our subconscious, their names do not agree with their actions, so we reject the characters. The creators of the movie Bruce Almighty, whose main character starts out as a jerk and ends up being a decent guy, must have known this on some level.

As stated earlier, no name is all good or all bad. Even though the name John appears ‘all good’, there are still challenges and obstacles to overcome. The same is true with the name Bruce, which, at first, appears ‘all bad’. There are often letters in the full name which mitigate many of these characteristics. Bruces, who have mitigating letters elsewhere in their name, or who have been the recipient of brutal treatment as a child, or who have found spirituality, are the sweetest most adoring lovable people around. They care about their fellow man and can often be found volunteering to bring joy to others by donating their time as a choir director or in some other capacity where others benefit.

Positive and challenging characteristics are attached to each letter; yet, often the same trait can be interpreted two different ways. For example, the ‘ST’ combination represents stubbornness which most would interpret to be negative. Yet, when stubbornness is used to complete a long and arduous path, like medical school, or used to resist peer pressure, it is a positive trait called persistence. No attribute is all good or all bad. Neimology® Science identifies the qualities that one is developing, but not how they are being used. However, the birth name often gives clues in this direction.

It is crucial to consider the entire name as one considers its component parts. For instance, a name that starts with ‘C’ means a desire to control and a need to be right regardless of the cost. There are three dominant combinations that drastically alter this interpretation of the ‘C’. One is by having ‘A’ immediately afterwards, so that it appears as ‘CA’. This mitigates the dominance of the ‘C’, as it now means that the person is learning how to stand up for self, by not allowing others to control them, as they are too submissive, and are learning how to give self permission to be right.

The second way is when the name starts with ‘CE’ as then the control is focused on burying or controlling the emotions instead of controlling other people. The third way the strong ‘C’ at the beginning of a name is lessened is by ending the name in ‘Y’, which is the need to be liked or the need for approval from others. This helps to balance the need to be in control as it is difficult to be in control and to be liked at the same time. The ‘C’ accomplishes this by being so charming and charismatic that many people don’t notice the ‘C’s need to be in control and willingly allow the ‘C’ person to be in charge. So it is important to look at the entire name and not just the position that a letter occupies.

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“First names are the vital keys that illuminate our talents, emotions, weak points, outward appearance, and secret desires.”
You Are Your First Name by Ellin Dodge


People identify themselves mainly by their first names. Every person has a first name, many have middle names, all have at least one family name and some have nicknames. According to many ancient religions, the aborigines and other ancient tribes like the Dogons , your first name is the name you impressed upon your parents to give to you. Since this is the name the soul wanted, it is also the name that carries the most information about the individual. This name shows the personality, both the overt and covert parts, and represents how one presents self to the world.

The first name contains the way a person thinks, feels, and how he or she will behave. Also included is what the person came to do and the gifts or talents that would assist in meeting one’s goals. Another way of saying this is that the first name identifies the karmic issues for this lifetime and the qualities one has in order to successfully accomplish what he or she came to learn. The first name identifies the individual’s methodology of learning and one’s moral compass. Spiritual people would say the first name reveals the soul’s wishes for this lifetime, while the entire name contains their contract with God. Each time an individual hears his/her name, the hidden messages within the name are being reinforced.

Also revealed in the first name is both the first impression that an individual will make plus the lasting impression one will give. The first impression of a person is discovered in the first letter of the name. The qualities carried in the first initial are the strongest, most dominant attitudes in the personality; hence, they become the first impression. Conversely, the qualities represented in the last letter of a name become the lasting impression someone will have of the person. So, when asked to describe someone, most often, it is the traits carried in the last letter of the name that are mentioned first.

Russian parents give their children two names, their ‘Christian’ name and their ‘short name’. The Christian name consists of their formal first name. Their middle or second name is a special form of their dad’s first name indicating whether the child is the son of the father or the daughter of the father. Thus the middle name indicates gender and the father’s name. The last name is the family name. The belief is that the ‘Christian’ name keeps people at a polite distance, as it is the formal name, and as such, used with the general public. However, the family and close friends will call the person by their short name. The short name would most likely be called a nickname in other cultures. In this scenario, the child chooses his/her ‘Christian’ name, yet the parents only want to witness the aspects of their child that is conveyed in the short name or nickname. In other words, the children can be one way at home and another in public as two different names are used.



The middle name intermittently influences the personality. Characteristics found in the middle name either enhance or conflict with those present in the first name. Often the middle name represents side issues, which are not meant to override the main goals represented in the first name. This is why minor issues appear in the middle name. When the middle name supports the first name, it strengthens those gifts already identified or it adds new ones that contribute to the overall goal. When the middle name is inconsistent with the first name, it causes added burdens or challenges to the personality.

Qualities carried in the middle name are not always apparent since they are used sporadically. They are like condiments on the shelf in the refrigerator. Are condiments used with every meal? No, but sometimes one condiment is appropriate; other times a different condiment or group of condiments may be what is wanted. Just as a person picks and chooses what condiments are desirable for a specific meal, middle name characteristics appear when needed or least expected in specific situations.

Middle name characteristics are most often revealed in the personality when one is under stress. Whether the personality chooses to use those qualities in the middle name or not, they are always available. The personality will knowingly, from time to time, call forth the qualities in the middle name.

Some people do not have a middle or second name. Since a parent chooses this name, the parent may determine that a middle name is not necessary, so no middle name is given. The parent could decide that he or she doesn’t want to accidentally add burdens. In either case, if the middle name is appropriate, a parent will have an innate knowledge whether their child could benefit from a second name.

Occasionally, individuals use their second name as their primary name. People who do so have both the qualities of the first name and the qualities of the middle name constantly present, so there are no qualities that show up only intermittently. However, the characteristics in the first name will be subdued. What is important to know is whether the individuals chose to use their middle names, or whether the parents chose it for their children. This is because how one tends to feel and think is carried in the first vowel in the first name or the primary name used.

People using their middle name as their prominent name may have different vowels in this key position. When the individual has decided to go by their middle name, the first vowel in the middle name is the one used as the most dominant feature. Whereas, when the parent chose to call their child by the second name, the vowel in the first name is the one used to represent the most dominant trait. To clarify: suppose the person’s name is John Paul. The parents call him Paul even though he would rather be called John. In this case, the first vowel of ‘O’ is used. Reversing the scenario, if it were John Paul who decided he’d rather be called Paul, then ‘A’ is used as the first vowel.



Regardless of whether someone has one or more family names, the family name designates what the parents attempted to teach their children. Another way of saying this is that family values are contained in the family name, which some would claim comes via genetics or DNA. Family names represent a person’s heritage or the influence of the environment. Some people have more than one family name at birth. A multiplicity of family names means twice the family influence and closer families. Each name is analyzed with the same methodology as if there were only one family name. Accordingly, it is appropriate for an adopted child to inherit the new parent’s last name, as that is the indicator of how the child will now be reared and the child’s new environment.

No child learns everything that his or her parents attempted to convey. Plus, each child learns things from his or her parents that the parents did not intentionally teach. For example, let us re-examine the letter ‘C’ when used as the first letter in a name. ‘C’s represent charisma, charm, the need to be in control and the need to be right at all costs. Keep in mind this letter is modified when ‘A’ or ‘E’ follows ‘C’ or when the name ends in ‘Y’.

When the family name starts with ‘C’, the child is exposed to an environment where the parents demonstrate different forms of control. In other words, the child experiences what it is like to live with someone who needs constant control and with at least one parent who had to be right all the time. On one hand, these children could reject being in charge, not liking what they saw as a child, and therefore, deciding to be different. This can manifest in a variety of ways; the child has learned to bury the need for control, often giving away personal power in an effort to avoid becoming like the parents, or the child spends an inordinate amount of time learning how to manage his need for control. On the other hand, the child could decide to become even better at being controlling than the parent.

Letters in the family name carry the same characteristics that they do in first and middle names. The difference is that these are now the qualities that the parents demonstrated and under which the child lived instead of being the behaviors that the child gave himself.



Neimology™ Science, or the study of the characteristics behind each letter, involves the placement of that letter in the name to determine its meaning and the strength or dominance of those characteristics. The most dominant letter, and the one that contains the most information, is the first vowel of the first name. This letter determines how people are predisposed to feel and think, what gifts are appreciated, and how they behave. The next letter of importance is the first letter in the name, which gives others their first impression of the person and is the easiest characteristic to identify in someone. The third letter in the order of importance is the last one in the first name, which gives the lasting impression of a person and is usually the characteristic that is either most liked or most annoying to others.

The rest of the letters have equal weight yet are not as strong as the aforementioned three. These remaining letters are called the middle letters. Occasionally, there are conflicting characteristics identified by the different letters within a name. Which characteristics take precedence is dependent upon the position the letter holds. The more dominant the position, the more the corresponding characteristics will override the conflicting characteristics held in lesser-positioned letters.

Each of the names that comprise the birth name are analyzed individually in the same manner. Remember that the letters in the last name represent what the person has been taught by his or her family. The actual order of the letters and which letters are adjacent to other letters is what yields information. Although what syllable a letter resides in is immaterial, multiple letters can represent each character trait. When this occurs, the different letters, that carry the same trait, will show a different aspect of that trait.

The remaining chapters cover each of these traits in detail. Simplified, the order of importance of dominant traits revealed by one’s name is:

  • 1. First vowel in the first name
  • 2. First letter of the first name
  • 3. Last letter in the first name
  • 4. Middle letters in the first name
  • 5. Sounds that appear in the name without a letter representation
  • 6. Consonant clusters and vowel diphthongs in the first name
  • 7. Subtleties of the first name
  • 8. Nickname, using the same method as the first name
  • 9. Middle name, using the same method as the first name
  • 10. Family name, using the same method as the other names
  • 11. Married name if assumed as a new name
  • 12. Repetitions of each letter in the full name


Do we become our name or does our name become us? Often, it is some of both. Names definitely have an effect on the people who bear them. Analyzing our names via Neimology® Science is “one more tool to use, which demonstrates to our psyches that our lives were not randomly or chaotically planned, but have a certain structure, and order. There was a design, clarifying life’s purpose.” Although a name gives many aspects of one’s personality, it does not mean one is stuck with the traits assigned to his or her name.

By understanding the component letters in names and the characteristics they endow, one can affect change by means of knowledge. A person can always choose to change any self-defining trait or quality. Just as habits can be altered with conscious intention, characteristics and qualities in a name can also be changed.

Not all of the traits assigned to a name will be present at birth to the same extent that they will exist later in life. One would not expect the same dominating personality characteristics to be present in a five-year-old as in a fifty-year-old. It is no different with names; the same attribute is still present, but is frequently altered by life experience, age and good or bad judgment.

According to Donald Duck in Disney’s video “Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land,” mathematics is the language of the Universe. What makes a good mathematician is the ability to see patterns. Life is full of patterns that repeat themselves at various times to see if we have grown to the next level. Our names are a preview to the patterns that will show themselves throughout our lives. If we know how to read our names, we can better determine how to master those patterns instead of having them dominate us.

People always ask others for their names. It is important to know what someone is called. Who are you? What most people do not realize is that they have just revealed who they are once they have replied with their names. From that point on, a person is treated by how others perceive that person to be, based on their name, and the previous encounters with others who have similar names. Realize that once you have provided your full name to anyone who understands Neimology™ Science, you are now, to some extent, exposed. Merely providing the first name gives far more information than many realize. It is important to realize that all names give predispose a person is; however, it is more important what one does with their name than what the name conveys.

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  • Carnegie, Dale, How to Win Friends and Influence People, chapter 2

Associated Press “Prince Sparks U.K. Uproar wit Weekend CD Giveaway” July 13, 2007 CBC Arts. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/music/story/2007/07/13/prince-cd-giveaway.html

  • Article 24-3 of the United Nations international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The U.N. recognized that children born into war zones, extreme poverty, and refugee camps may not have their births registered, making them especially vulnerable to all kinds of abuse, hence the creation of this Article.
  • The American Name Society (ANS) is the main U.S. professional society for Onomastics.
  • Latin letters were commonly used until 1941 when the Nazi’s declared Judenlettern, the modification of the handwritten Latin letters as popularized by Charlemagne and used at the time by Jews, as officially abolished. The Allies didn’t like Fraktur and the other Judenlettern block letters thus preventing any chance of a comeback. Thus, besides the Volkswagen, we have the Nazi’s to thank for the current use of Roman letters. www.prismnet.com
  • http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?Search=jack&searchmode=none
  • Ike Turner, of Ike and Tina Turner fame, is another well-known Ike who held similar qualities and yet expressed them quite differently than the US President. The different expressions are due to the influence of the last name upon the first name of Ike.
  • www.babynamewizard.com
  • Type any name into www.google.com to find the multiplicity of a name.
  • BBC NEWS, World Edition, 16 September 2005 “Ever Been to Preston, Britney?” Article quoted this comment made by Maria de Lourdes Medhurst of England
  • BBC NEWS, World Edition, 16 September 2005“Ever Been to Preston, Britney?” Article quoted this comment made by Cornish Payne, of Tintagel, Cornwall
  • Compared to numerology, where the birth date is required, or astrology where birth date, place and time are required, or even handwriting analysis where sample writing is a must. All of these require the other person’s cooperation to give added information.
  • Reiner, Rob, director. When Harry Met Sally. With Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher. Columbia Pictures, 1989.
  • The movie probably would not have become a classic if they had started out with Neimology.
  • A modern example of this is when Burma changed its name to Myanmar. Most countries mentioned in the Bible have changed their names over time, like Babylonia is now called Iraq.
  • http://www.brighternaming.com/Hollywood_Name_Changes.html
  • http://www.brighternaming.com/critic_Larry_King.html
  • Needlman, Robert M.D., F.A.A.P., Names and Personality, 3-7-03
  • The Sumerian civilization emerged upon the flood plain of the lower reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in mesopotamia about 4000 B.C.
  • ibid
  • Dewey, JJ The Immortal page 175
  • Bible, book of Exodus, chapter 3:14
  • Oct. 17, 2007 Torah Studies by Chabad organization, Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn, NY; subscriptions@chabad.org
  • Bible’s Genesis Chapter 35
  • Ibid
  • http://www.native-americans-online.com/native-american-names.html
  • Morgan, Marlo Mutant Message Down Under page xv
  • Hall, Edward T. The Silent Language page 12
  • City Courthouses receive requests for name updates/changes for various reasons. For more information see your local courthouse and ask about name changes.
  • http://www.landservices.sa.gov.au/1Online_Services/55Place_Names/Guidelinesfortheselectionofnames.asp
  • http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Name_Act_(Republic_of_China)
  • Miller, Courtney Across the Cultural Divide, Exposing American Children to Dogon Culture, based on anthropological investigation and interviews in Mali, unpublished manuscript, 2002
  • Nisbett, Richard E, The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerns Think Differently…And Why, The Free Press division of Simon and Schuster, Inc, New York, NY 2003
  • According to a conversation between author and an elder of the Djibaté family called Nfa Djibaté
  • Needlman, Robert M.D., F.A.A.P, “Is Your Name Your Destiny?”
  • Needlman, Robert M.D., F.A.A.P., Ibid
  • Shadyac, Tom, director. Bruce Almighty. With Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, and Morgan Freeman. Universal Pictures, 2003.
  • The multiplicity of stories I heard around the world as I traveled also support this belief
  • According to Tatiana Gorbunova, our tour guide in Moscow, Russia. September 2004