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Notre Dame Name Game: Hey, Katie!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

Have you ever noticed that there were a bunch of girls with the same name in your hometown? Have you noticed the extreme amount of Katies at Notre Dame? Do not be alarmed if your answer is “yes.”

Within a city, or area, it is very common for many girls or guys to share the same name. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, but I have only examined four:

1.  City Atmosphere

If one unique lifestyle is the most common, it can affect the names given to the subsequent generations. The names that sound best to parents will generally be the names that “sound” like their personalities or the personality they wish for their child. Example: The children of hippies are more likely to be named Poppy or Sunshine than the children of lawyers.

2.  Popular Media

The popular books, TV shows, movies, music, etc. of one particular area can push certain names into popularity. If the most popular show in one city is Rookie Blue, the names Andy, Dov, Sam, and Gail would be better contenders for names than in areas where Rookie Blue is despised. Not only are the names of characters highlighted, but the names of the actors behind the roles become more popular as well. After The Hunger Games came out, not only did Katniss become more popular, Jennifer did as well.

3.  Widespread Ethnicity

Ethnicity is certainly a huge factor when naming a child. A good portion of the time, families like to keep to their heritage and name their children with family names or names that are popular from where they originated. If I were Russian, I would be more likely to name my daughter Svetlana than if I were Portuguese.

4.  A Prevailing Religion

Religion is the only factor with the same power as ethnicity in naming a child. Many, many cities have a predominant religion, and with that comes particular names that correspond with that religion’s holy literature. Popular Biblical girl names include Mary, Bethany, and Anne.

So, now that we have figured out why many girls in your hometown have the same name, we can move on to the bigger picture: the abundant amount of Katies that inhabit the University of Notre Dame. The difference here is that the students of Notre Dame are not from the same hometown. In fact, we come from all over the world. So how is it that there are SO MANY Katies?

It is actually pretty clear. The majority of ND students come from Catholic or Christian families, and Katie is derived from the Biblical names Katherine and Katelyn.

However, does this breakdown of the Notre Dames Katies change the feeling of despair when a fellow student guesses your name is Katie? Or even worse, when your name actually is Katie and you never know if people truly know your name?

If someone legitimately does not remember your name, does it really matter what name they guess? Would you feel less despair if they guessed an unpopular name in which absolutely no one is named?

The fact of the matter is, we all experience that time at ND in which we meet 50 new people a day and it is impossible to remember everyone’s name. We hear a lot of “my name is Katie” so when prompted, we guess Katie. It’s only natural. The only way to reduce the feelings of dejection is to make a better effort to remember when people tell us their name, and not to take it personally when others do not guess correctly our own name. We go to a school with the most genuine people around and it’s time to start giving people the benefit of the doubt. The majority of us have good intentions and really, we mean well!

Remember Lady Domers, it’s nice to be nice!


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Hello there! I am a Computer Science major from the golden Redding, California. I enjoy making people smile, dazing about the ocean, smelling like sunshine, and programming until my fingers cramp. California sand is my friend and I would much rather be laughing at the beach than almost anything else. I am a firm believer in great things taking copious amounts of time. Jason Mraz said it best with "the absence of the light is a necessary part." Though I see the incredibility of technology, the simple things in life are what really matter. The concept of 'family' is an extraordinary attribute of modern civilization. Check out my articles if you ever so desire!