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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Baby's called a bad, bad thing

I was reading last Christmas's cult non-fiction book 'Freakonomics' the other day, and was fascinated by the chapter on how what you name your child can actually harm them in later life prospects, as employers unconsciously discriminate when they see ridiculous names on CVs.

Then I came across this primer on parental naming cruelty originating in the States, which uncovers the full horror of the lengths some morons will go to to burden their children with preposterous names, because 'they're unique.'

The site is best enjoyed in its full glory, with a glass of beer in hand and no one in the house to come running when you scream with laughter at what some people actually thing passes for a decent name for their kid. It is compiled by a waspish and witty editor who scoured baby naming websites to uncover the delusions of some people who probably ought not be permitted to breed.

But permit me to highlight a few classics below:

I was thinking of naming my son Toolio. Does anyone know the origin on that one?
---[Jane] DeSac

I m thinking of naming my baby Vashara Rashea.

I am 7 months pregnant, and I am having a boy. I think i'm going to name my son Kakinston ,, What do you think... ??

It seems to me that the name "Scatman" is a great one. you know: after semi-singer and comedian Scatman Crothers. I keep envision having a son named Scatman. I can imagine everyone he meets saying, 'What a cool name.' Which is good because that way they'll have something to like about him even if his personality is really off-putting. Or if he's shallow or a bully when he's like 13, when he should be getting into punk rock or something. At least they'll think he has a hip name. But don't use it, cause I thought of it.

My daughter-in-law would like to name the baby River Sunshine. That's the first and middle names. I think he's going to be teased in school.

We named our son Ty. People always ask, is it Tyler, or Tyrone or Tyrus? No - just Ty. We have a long last name (Troutman), so we wanted to be sure that his name wasn't too long.

My husband and I have already decided to name our son Cinsere. It's unique and it will be the first name in our family that is non-traditional. Many of our family members disagree with our decision, but we have decided and nothing is going to change our minds. We appreciate their opinions, but it is our choice.

For a girl Tierrainney Mackanzie [last name]
for a boy Tristin Gabrielle Reese [last name]

I didn't enjoy the bad baby names pages because the first one I saw was D'Artagnan, which is the name of my son. His nickname is "Tag," so we don't think the name's difficult pronunciation is an issue. Most children seem not to notice his unique name, but adults can be rude. When I was a child, many other children had the same name as me, which I didn't like. I accept not everyone likes my choices of names, but I am upset when I think they are being rude. My children's names are Bayne, Quillon, Griffon, and D'Artagnan.

I'm expecting triplets in April and we've picked out the girls names: Alexana Chenaur and Kia Nicasey. the boy my husband wants to name Richard Allen, I think it's a bit boring and prefer Shaden Elijah. Last name Zane. What do you think? I prefer unusual but not to far out.
And so on, and so on. There are pages of this stuff, each worse than what has gone before, and all wittily commentated on by the compiler of the site.

The first thing to point out is that Americans have a real preponderance towards giving their kids Irish, Scottish and posh English sounding names currently. This, in conjunction with previous trends towards posh French and Scandinavian names, would seem to indicate a degree of subtle racism going on, even (or perhaps especially) among parents of ethnic minorities who name their kids in these ways.

The second thing to note is that it's happening here too. The other day, I heard a woman calling little Britney and Dane in for their dinner. And the neighbour's little moppet is called Shakira. I kid you not.

Now there's always been the odd punter with a risible name. I've met a girl called Annette Curtin in London, and my mate swears she encountered a Dutchman once called Jeroen Coch (pronounced 'Yer own cock'). But these pale into insignificance alongside Toolio DeSac and Shaden Zane.

I guess the moral of the story, other than laughing out loud at the pretension of some parents and feeling sorry for their babies, is that if your family has a tradition of Irish names and you continue it, your nippers are going to have no chance of a job in the US in years to come, as employers will simply assume that their parents were moonshine-swilling illiterates from the Ozarks.

John or Mary. Play it safe. You have been warned.


Pavement Trauma said...

It ain't just the US. See here

Pavement Trauma said...

Whoops. Lets try that again.

See here

JC Skinner said...

I know it's not just the US, it's pretty much everywhere, since we all ape America now.
I feel so sorry for the poor little Gandalfs in Britain, you know. They'll be about 900 years growing into their names.

Zen Angel said...

So many bad names...so little time!


Anonymous said...

Jc skiner eh. an angry man, more like a fucking moron

JC Skinner said...

You're name is Toolio, isn't it, Mr Anonymous?

Jerry Cornelius said...

...and that would be SKINNER F*cksnack!

beauregard said...

It's great; people giving their kids pop culture names like Cuchulain, Reannagh, or Aiden. You're not only bastardizing a culture; you're saddling your own crotch-fruit with a lifelong burden.