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Friday, August 01, 2008

Gender confusion over the name Shrinidhi

Shrinidhi is male or female? gender confusionRecently I realized, that it’s not only humans, even facebook applications are struggling to recognize the gender associated with my name. Many think Shrinidhi is a female name and address me as Miss Shrinidhi or Mrs Hande… Others who are not sure either avoid gender specific references in the communications or reluctantly ask how I should be addressed.

Problem is, my name defies a naming pattern traditionally followed in India. That is, all female names usually end with a vowel, particularly “i” or “a” (Mahishi, Arathi, Madhuri, Rani, Anjali, Savithri, Gouri etc or Asha, Usha, Kannika, Kareena, Karishma, Priya, Prema, Hema, Urmila, Maneesha, Divya, Megha, Radhika, Roopa and so on) and male names usually end without an vowel (when spelt in English)- Mahesh, Raveesh, Rajesh, Kumar, Manoj, Rakesh, Gopal, Ram, Vijay, Sundar, Nagaraj, Prasad, Preetham, Manohar … just to name a few)

Though we spot exceptions in the above said patters like Poonam, Neelam, Kajol, or Gopi, Mani, Venu and such most of the cases they won’t be severe enough to cause a confusion. . At times confusion is evaded by appending another term like Poolan-Devi, Mani-Shankar, Venu-gopalan, Devi-Prasad, Gopi-Krishnan and so on or some people conveniently add a ‘Kumar’ or ‘Kumari’ to their names that eliminates any possible confusion. But the word Kumar doesn’t sync well with Shrinidhi and I don’t want to force it. (Even if I wanted, it’s too late now)

But the noun Shrinidhi (Or Sreenidhi or Srinidhi or Shri Nidhi or Sri Nidhi or any such combinations) is a bit unusual and can easily cause confusion. I know many gentlemen with name Srinidhi (Some blogs and other references of Male Sreenidhi’s- Srinidhi Varadarajan
, a police officer- N Srinidhi , Srinidhi of Carrolton, US, Srinidhi of Udyog Consultancy Services , Srinidhi Ramachandra and T G Srinidhi who writes regularly for Kannada media and has few books to his credit) but there’re some odds as well. There are few ladies like Srinidhi Chidambaram, and Srinidhi Raghavan who are a bharata natyam dancers based in Chennai. There may be many more, but above is what I could find through Google. If you know any famous Shrinidhis-male or female, let me know... Also just ‘Nidhi’ is a highly probable female name. A search for Shrinidhi in orkut returned 65 female users and 230 male users. For 'Srinidhi' I got 774 male users and 275 female users.

Sparing few inconveniences and embarrassments, it wasn’t an issue surviving with a slightly odd name

Some experiences:
Used to get gtalk invites from strangers (probably they picked my ID from some email forwards) who think I am a lady and if accepted, they would ping me whenever I am online and start asking personal questions. If entertained, the conversation would soon head to “I am coming to your city next month, shall we meet?” At that time I ask them to check my blog which has my photo. 100% of the cases never heard from them again.

Some departments and people who are otherwise lazy to respond or act, responded faster to my communications probably because of the reason they though I am a lady.

Many people address me as a lady without any hesitation-Like “Dear Miss Shrinidhi” or “she has to submit these document herself”. Unless otherwise necessary I usually let it go without making an issue out of it or trying to correct them. When I correct them, usually I get apologetic replies.

Some people who fall in dilemma hesitatingly ask for clarifications. Communications range from a simple “he or she?” to “Dear Shrinidhi, we’re sensing some uncertainty as to how to address you, due to confusion prevailing over the gender associated with your name. Please clarify!”

Having a unique name helps in better search engine positioning. If I had a very common name it would have been very difficult to come on top when people search for my name. Currently many souls lazy to remember/type my blog URL just enter enidhi or Shrinidhi in google and land at my blog. (I feel lucky!!!)

"Based on popular usage, it is 5.439 times more common for Srinidhi to be a boy's name. The popularity of Srinidhi is: 2.628 (where 0 = extremely rare, 6 = super popular)I am not aware of any deceased famous people named Srinidhi"-From: http://www.gpeters.com/names/baby-names.php?name=Srinidhi

Another site, Genderanalyzer feels that enidhi.net is written by man (with 68% certainity). Very close, but this site is not that reliable-several false positives-like Anita Bora and Mridula's blog it thinks are written by man.
But then, even Times of India mistook my name for a female and addressed me as 'her' in one of their clarifications...

So statistically speaking there shouldn't be much confusion that Shrinidhi is predominantly gentleman's name...Hope lady Srinidhis won’t declare a war on me reading this…
P.S: Did KarunaNidhi (TamilNadu CM) also face similar issues in his early days?


Update:

Please read below a Kannada write-up by me which got published in 01 Feb 2009 issue of Vijaya Karnataka, Karnataka's number one daily, Page 2 of Sapthahika Vijaya supplement.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

Update 2013: A lady Shrinidhi shares her experience at Nairobi terror attack
http://kannada.oneindia.in/news/international/when-westgate-mall-reopens-will-be-there-kannada-witness-srinidhi-rao-077692.html      

December 2016: Mangaluru girl Shrinidhi Shetty named Miss SupraNatural 2016 [link here]

53 comments :

Saithilak said...

I also had the same confusion when I first visited your blog. But thanks to the photo on the blog, it got clarified! :)

ಶ್ರೀನಿಧಿ.ಡಿ.ಎಸ್ said...

nice write up boss!

male shreenidhi here!:D

Sandesh said...

Hilarious! =)

Well actually Nidhi is neutral gender, though Shrinidhi is referred to males atleast in Karnataka.

I never knew that they name Shrinidhi to females as well. Did you have any female classmates/collegues with the same name? FYI, My uncle's firm is named "Srinidhi Industrial Products".

Regarding people addressing you formally, they can write a letter such that it can address any particular person. Here are a few examples

1. Instead of Mr/Mrs they can say "Dear" as you've pointed it out in their clarification.

They can say, "person" instead of the gender specific "his/her"

to name a few.

Was laughing like hell when I saw your chat invitations episode. J!! You could have continued the episode to make them feel clumsy.

Regarding the statistics, you are saying that according to that site as reference. Who knows, there might be another site which says exactly the opposite?

Well anyhow, good read! Chill out and keep reminding people how to address you if they aren't doing it the way you want!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@ Sai

Thanks. Read your latest post too… Good read…

@ Srinidhi D S:
Thanks for the solidarity expressed.

@ Sandesh,

Nice to see your comment after long time.

Yes-There’re many industries and companies with my name. There’s one Sreenidhi International School in Hyderabad, Srinidhi textiles, Silks and Sarees and so on.

By statistics I also meant the user count in Orkut-That has to be more reliable than the site I mentioned.

The chat episode couldn't be extended because they would insist on telephone numbers at that stage and if they speak to me they will get a doubt...

ಸುಶ್ರುತ ದೊಡ್ಡೇರಿ said...

Excellent! :D

U know what? There is a high confusion on this holders of the name starting with 'shree' in the Kannada blog world. There is sreematha, shreedevi (2 Nos.), srilatha, shreenidhi (more than 3 i think), shreekanth, and many more. And most of them just put their name as 'shree' while commenting! Therefore somebody was suggesting to rename them as 'immadi shree' 'mummadi shree' and so on! :D

Raghavendra said...

As far as I think Shri Nidhi is a male name. It's name of lord vishnu.
It could be understood as a person who is Nidhi(=valuable) to Shri (=Lakhmi='Siri' in tadhbava makes more sense='Sampaththu') = Vishnu (her husband). (in bahurveehi samasa, if I remember correctly)..

However, I am not a language expert... Just a general understanding....

Raghavendra said...

to add more,
Whatsoever, enidhi is as apt as it should be for a person and a brand that you are (and going to be) through blogs and is definitive of your nature whether or not shrinidhi calls for a feminine or masculine connotation :)

and as far the facebook thing, it was not just for you that it asked but even to an unequivocally gender-definite name as mine :)
Probably they should have a table of names -> gender mapping :)

Lekhni said...

How did I not think of Shrinidhi when I wrote my last post about desi names?

Yes, mixed-gender names are only one of the eccentricities we desis have. If it helps, it's not only Indians, the Sri Lankan (men's) cricket team is filled with such names - Prasanna, Ajantha and so on..

Rafiki said...

:) Interesting what a name can do...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Shushruta, Raghavendra, Lekhni and Rafiki,

Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and opinions.

Mummadi and Charmadi shree will be funny...

Bahurveehi Samasa..hmm taking me back to those good old school days.. these days I eat only Samosa...almost forgotten what is samasa...

Enidhi is a coined term. No one has named their child like that...

and for facebook, your name ends with a (Raghavendra).. is that the cause?

Anonymous said...

umm..if im not wrong...sites like faceook have you select your gender while you make your profile..

then howcome this confusion?

Karuna Nidhi said...

"Did KarunaNidhi (TamilNadu CM) also face similar issues in his early days?"

No man... I was lucky on that aspect

Karuna Nidhi

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@ Anon...

I have no idea... Even I thought on those lines. I'm not a very active user at facebook and hardly have any applications...

May be this particular application wasn't given enough rights to access my details? Or may be it is not designed to take gender from application? not sure...

@Karuna Nidhi...
Hmm, no comments... but nice prank though...

hari said...

I never had any confusion about your name. :-)

Srikanth said...

I was following your blog for a while, and enjoying...

This was a very good response. I can understand how a person would feel if his/her gender is changed at will and fancy of people.

I always treated Srinidhi as male name. I never had a doubt. This is what I gathered from google...

Srinidhi: The Treasure – house of Sri. In Him, who is all powerful, all the energies abide.
It is one of the names of Vishnu(Name no.608 from Vishnu Sahasra Namam)

Ref:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Thousand-Names-of-God---The-Secrets-of-Vishnu-Sahasranama-Part-II&id=176202

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@ Hari,

Great...

@ Srikanth

Thanks for the extra info...

Never Mind!! said...

I had that confusion until I met a male Shrinidhi.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

That's great, Never Mind!

sainthash said...

www.yahoo.com

shande said...

good one, I have come across this confusion many times.
In PUC we had separate attendance list for boys and girls. Our classmate - female Srinidhi's name by mistake was included in boy's list. In usual class, lectures used to know her ..the mistake was not escalated ... But during mid-term examination, when we used to sit according to register number there was an hilarious moment .. examiner was from a different department .. while reading out name he was embarrassed to hear a female voice when called out for Srinidhi's presence. He thought that we students are playing some kind of prank. It became so serious principal was called to resolve the issue :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

That was an interesting experience Sandeep.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Radhika Ganesan said...

nice post shrinidhi... quite humorous ;):) ! one of my friends faces this problem and we used to tease him a lot !

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Radhika

Glad you enjoyed... What was the name of your friend who faced this issue?

Radhika Ganesan said...

Infact two of my friends mrinal and kiran share this problem with you :):) ! Apart from the gender confusion ,mrinal's name is pronounced as mrunal .. poor guy ... he hates it but has learnt the art of ignoring such mistakes!

ಶ್ರೀನಿಧಿ said...

I Think Srinidhi is guys name & not of the girls. coz It Litterally means Lord Vishnu.
You can notice that in Vishnu Sahastranaama where a stanza says

Sreedhara Shreekara Shreya SHRINIDHI Shreevibhaavanaha....

The Thousand Names of Lord Vishnu...

& in karnataka i guess many males have that name more than females...!

So Guess Ladies with srinidhi? have to think abt it.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Radhika,

Thanks for the tip off about ur friends... it happens.

The other shrinidhi,
Thanks for the brief...

There're many lady Shrinidhis, as I've listed in my post and as you can find in Orkut.

Write something in your blog...

Manjunath said...

was browsing indiblogger came across your post yes!!! year back when i first visited your blog i too was confused....

and between promoted the post on indiblogger ;)

Gunjan said...

I am with you and face the same problem. My name is Gunjan. Though it is a feminine word in hindi I am referred to as Mr. Gunjan! :-/

I understand exactly how you feel...
But yes your are right even my pals just google my name to land on my site! So thats pretty nice!

I am also working on a similar post! Shall link yours to it as well!

hitesh rawat said...

geez......this one is hilarious...even i had some friends....who had sames which could be for both male and female...like Suman or Shashi.......

funny confusion

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Hitesh, Gunjan and Manjunath.

Thanks for the comments and promotion in Indiblog

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Gunjan, waiting to read your post..

Anonymous said...

I am planning to keep the name Srinidhi to my son.
I like this name.

I got few valuable information from
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1AzGHG0tis

and from yahoo answer
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100801104240AAYu9A1

if you have any other information regarding this name please post.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for sharing

aska said...

Tell me about it!

I face the reverse of your condition by being Ashokha :D

helps me avoid the irritants in public forums though, i can easily pass off as a boy ;)

Trails of a Traveler said...

Poor you.. FB has made rant a whole article for the sake of your name.. LOL :D

Ram

Anonymous said...

found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

Srinidhi TG said...

Its sometimes good and sometimes bad to have the name that we share. :) I never had any experience like you have mentioned on your blog, but definitely, a question has always popped when I meet someone new: "why do you have a girl's name?"

Sometimes, it really gets to my nerves. But sometimes, its fun. :)

And by the way, male Srinidhi here. :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Aska,

Good to know you're using it smartly...

Ram:
:)

Srinidhi TG:
Yes.. Male Shrinidhi zindabad :)

Not a single female shrinidhi has commented on this post. Would have been nice to know their views

Anonymous said...

My name's Srinidhi too & i'm a man. Srinidhi is actaually another name for the tirupathi god venkateswara (among other names like Balaji, Srinivasa, Sripathi etc)
Don't understand why some (very few) women keep it.

Anonymous said...

hey guys it looks perfectly feminine name srinidhi meaning godess of wealth or godess lakshmi why u guys are putting female name and eating others head ... nidhi is female ... srinidhi is also female ...

Rajendra Raikwar said...

nice post

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Rajendra and others

Anonymous said...

Srinidhi is a girl name. Even though it is in Lord Venkateswaa Sahasrnamam, it is a girls name. Most of the girls also have named Shreya. Since Shreya is in Lord Venkateswaa Sahasrnamam, do you also say it is a male name? Get out of confusions! Srinidhi is a female name.

Rajiv said...

“I am coming to your city next month, shall we meet?” At that time I ask them to check my blog which has my photo. 100% of the cases never heard from them again."

Looooooooool! Man, you are hilarious. At this time of the night, I am literally ROFL!!

Cheers,
Rajiv

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Rajiv - Glad you had fun reading it..

Anonymous said...

Srinidhi is certainly a GIRL name. I do not know why boys are named with this. As some one told in the previous post, having a reference to "Lord Venkateswaa Sahasrnamam" is not correct... For example, the following names are the subset of 1008 names of Lord Vishnu in Sahasarnama: Sakshi, Akshara, Bhavana, Manu, Sashwata, Satya, Amrita, Shreya, Stuti, Aparajita, Jyoti....However, all these are most common female names in INDIA. So, the conclusion is Srinidhi is a GIRL name. There is no doubt in this...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hmm

Raji said...

I thought the other way. We generally address male as Sri. So Lord vishnu refers to Sri. And his Nidhi becomes Lakshmi. So why can't it be goddess lakshmi's name?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Raji -another line of thinking...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you RAJI. But let me ask you one thing. According to your exploration, what % of girls that you know named Srinidhi? What % of boys that you know named Srinidhi?. Another one line of thinking is that I have noticed that "Srinidhi" named as Boys is present mostly in Karnataka. I have not seen "Srinidhi" named boys in Kerala or TamilNadu or even Andra Pradesh. What is your opinion? and others?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hmm, keep the discussion going.

Anonymous said...

SRINIDHI is goddess Lakshmi's name. So, this is definitely a GIRL baby name. Just google "srinidhi" and do a "image search" and check how many girls/ boys you are seeing...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

:)