If I was a Native American my job in the tribe would be to name people. I am so good at coming up with names for people sometimes I amaze myself, its unbelievable. No, not in the traditional, Matthew, Sarah, Rebecca kind of name. I'm talking about descriptive names. Names like the Native Americans of history and Hollywood have had, Sitting Bull, Kicking Wing, Dances with Wolves, all descriptive of the person's traits. These names aren't just a random label that their parents gave them as an infant. These names describe how the world viewed them.
I think our culture should adopt this naming tradition. Think of how many Matt's you know. I can, off the top of my head, name eight Matt's I have known since high school. I checked my friends list and I have 23 people who I know and have a solid internet friendship with that are named Matt. How am I supposed to keep all these Matt's in line? What happens when I am speaking with friends about a Matt but we all know the same multiple Matt's (confusing sentence, reread it and hopefully you'll get it)? Use the last name you say? Obviously, that's what we as a society have had to do; that, or come up with stupid overused nicknames. I guarantee you have at least one friend whom you haven't referred to as solely their first name in months or years. I know I can think of a few whose first and last name might as well be the same word. This covers the problem in the short run and accomplishes the job of identifying the shell of the person, you might as well use peoples Social Security number, it would be just as descriptive. Using first and last name is like putting duct tape on your car to hold your bumper up, you need a little more.
I propose parents should be allowed to have a temporary name for their child and at the age of 8-10 the parents or family must choose a name for them, something that describes the person for who they truly are: Spoiled Brat, Tries too Hard, Cries Too Much, Morning Smiles, Wise Athlete, Open Heart. You know, something that gives you a little taste of who you are shaking hands with or about to take home from the party.
Since I've been in high school myself and various groups of friends have our own names for certain people. Yes names, different than nicknames, I will explain the difference shortly. If I say any one of these names: Smashface, Shifty Eyes, Stinky Puss, Super Douche, Bling-Bling, 2 Ton, Struss, Back Scratcher, Honker, Headphones, Doorknob and many more, at least one of my friends will know whom I am speaking of. Generally, they are for negative things, yes, but also for when you just don't know someone's name. This is where it get's a little bit tricky when deciphering from nicknames and codenames to actual names.
Ok, if you are at the bar and you see a girl in a low cut blue shirt, blonde hair and large breasts. Other girls who do not know her will immediately label her as "that slut", when in actuality if it was one of their friends they would be telling her how hot she looks (which is such an annoying fact of girl world, they are all so God damn hypocritical to one another but that's a completely different issue) Males on the other hand would come up with any number of nicknames for her "boobs", "hot blonde", "big blue", "bitch by the bar with huge tits", you get the point. These names, although describing her are still just nicknames. Because they are not in common usage and they are still very vague in the sense that "that slut" could be anyone and all females could be labeled as "boobs". Again more details are needed. Some nicknames can eventually turn into names; let's keep going with the "Boobs" example. If you can refer to Boobs with your friends and they know who you are speaking about then it is now a name because it is both descriptive of her and in common usage.
My friend Jose is commonly known as Cuervo. Which, no joke, many people think is his real name. Well this is a good example of a nickname. It doesn't really describe him at all; physically or as a person, other than he's Mexican and Cuervo makes you think of tequila. Yes, people know who you are referring to but it just doesn't describe him as an individual. If there was one Mexican in a room of white people, yah, I could probably get away with calling him Cuervo and with a solid head nod in the general direction you'd know who I was talking about. Now if there is a room of Mexicans and I nod my head in his direction and call him Cuervo, would you know who I am trying to point out to you? No, and that's what makes it a nickname.
This is just something to think about as you go about your day. Hope it opened your mind a little.