Tuesday, July 10, 2012

white trash names

"White trash" is the only insult I know that's often used by people who pride themselves on being exquisitely politically correct. Here are two manifestations that might actually be useful to writers writing about working class white folks:

The White Trash Name Generator | Rum and Monkey

And, from Ted:

PS. My niece's name is Brandi, and she's a better human being than anyone who's amused by her name.

ETA: Poor whites in the USA

1 comment:

  1. I strongly suspect that making fun of stereotypical African-American names would be frowned upon and with good reason, too. But lower class white names are apparently fair game.

    That said, name prejudice is definitely real. When I talk about my students and mention first names, I tend to get pitiful looks and "Oh God, where do you teach?" from fellow members of the educated middle classes, because I have a lot of students with typical lower class names. And there is evidence that young people with typical lower class names and explicitly ethnic names face discrimination at school and in the workplace to the point that some immigrant families avoid ethnic names. I have a fifth grade student who literally has the worst name I've ever come across (typical lower class first name combined with a Polish sounding surname beginning with "Shit"). I fear that poor kid will have problems getting a job regardless of school performance, simply because many employers will take one look at that name and begin to giggle.

    Though in my experience whether a kid has a name that indicates lower class or a name that indicates aspirational middle class says very little about whether the kids are pleasant students or little hellraisers. Though kids with aspirational middle class names are more likely to have meddling parents who refuse to believe that their little prince or princess is not the angel they think.

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