Quotes I like:

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What's a Rose by any other name?

I was just reading the lists of the a) most popular baby names and, b) most hated baby names.  Seems this year's top names include:  Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Jaden and Isabella, Sophia, Emma and Oliva.  On the most "hated" names list we had:  Hayden, Jayden, Kayden, Braden and Aiden (ok no one likes these rhyming names).  Girls names included:  Nevaeh ("Heaven" spelled backwards), Destiny (People dislike names that confer a virtue onto a child and many associated this name with exotic dancers.), Madison, Gertrude and Bertha (which are on the 'most hated' list).  OK, I am in agreement on the Gertrude and Bertha (who the heck names kids these any more? Other than Julia Roberts who named her daughter Hazel-ugh). It seems that "Elvis" has also left the building when it comes to baby names. "Elvis" has resided in the top 1,000 names for the past 55 years. Time for it to retire.

It seems that there is also now a backlash against "unusual" spellings for names and I am totally in agreement with that thought!  I grew up with a name that, while not so very unusual, no one ever seemed to get right. I hated it all through school and am still not fond of that name. I remember telling my mother one day that I disliked my name and she got highly offended as she thought it was a nice name!  Well, she didn't have to live with it!  I remember my daughter going through school with kids who had names like:  LeRoi (I thought this was just a weird spelling of Leroy but was told it was pronounced "Le" as in french "Le Baguette" and "Roye".  There was another kid whose name was "Nickalai" who the kids thought was named "Nickle Eye". They thought it was a strange name and envisioned a kid with a nickle in his eye.

I also hate it when folks get "cute" with names. I went to school with a kid named "Merry" because she was born on Christmas.  Just recently Bryan Adams named his new baby girl "Mirabella Bunny" because she was born near Easter.  Really???  Somehow I bet that she will not think that name is cute when she gets older, unless of course the Playboy empire is still around and ole' Hugh hasn't managed to die off yet.  Maybe he can marry her and make her a 'real' bunny! Ugh.

The article also mentioned that some people felt names like "Destiny" had a feel of a stripper name. Yeah, I think giving your kid a stripper name is a bad idea.  I worked with a guy once who named his kid "Misty Dawn". Talk about a stripper name! Either that or she was named for a race horse!

I understand that parents want to be "original" and provide their child with a name that is unique, but some common sense is needed!  So, here are my suggestions on thoughts to consider when naming your child:

1 - No weird spellings!  Most likely your ancestors came here from another country and altered the spelling of their names to blend in with the melting pot of America. Give them some respect and stick with that idea.
2 - No names that other kids will make fun of.  (This means you who named their kid "Floyd")
3 - Do not name your kid after a place! ie: Dallas, Brooklyn, Toledo, I don't care if they were conceived there! And believe me THEY won't want to know it either!
4 - No suffixes or prefixes to regular names (X-Shane-A)
5 - Probably not a good idea to name your kid after a celebrity that is popular now.  Things change with time and who would want to name their kid after Mel Gibson now??
6 - Cute names are not so cute when these children become adults.  So unless you are raising a stripper or future centerfold, no "Candy", "Brandy" or other names after food or booze.
7 - I am hopeful we have passed the era of "Moon Unit", "Dweezil" (Frank Zappa's kids) and names like "Tree", "River", "Rainbow". Children with these names will be clogging up the courts in the future petitioning to change their names to John and Mary.

And, finally, it doesn't matter so much what you name your kid.  Somewhere along the way they will either acquire a nickname ("Junior", "Bubba", "Chip", "Miley") or will create a new name for themselves to go with their chosen profession ("JayZ", "Lil Wayne", "Ludachris", "W") and that name you so carefully selected will be left in the dust like the '91 Geo Tracker they were conceived in.

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