Just trying to plug along the whole Blogging A to Z series where I pick a letter and just write.
For a long time, people’s names have been an interest of mine. Some might even say obsession. What originally started out as a radio bit in college – teasing guys with, uhh, less than manly names – has turned into so much more.
Someone’s name, its spelling, its pronunciation and origin can have a huge impact on that person’s life. There’s a true sociological affect.
I don’t care how many degrees, awards, publications, or honors he might someday have – if you name your kid Adolph Hitler, he’s completely screwed from the proverbial get-go.
And that’s not just me trying to be funny (although admit it, you laughed a little – if only on the inside). There have been countless studies that confirm as much.
How often does a celebrity have a kid, give it some screwed up name, and we think to ourselves: “How could a parent do that to their child??”
- Pilot Inspektor – from actor Jason Lee
- Kyd – from David Duchovny and Tea Leoni
- Apple – from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
The list goes on.
Sadly, we 99%’ers are doing the same thing; though perhaps on a smaller level.
This one just kills me: uni-sex names. You know, a name that fits for both a boy and a girl. No offense, someday-to-be-divorced parents, but your child isn’t an it, thing, or neutral being.
Newsflash: it’s a boy or it’s a girl. Name him or her as such.
Common unisex names include Addison, Avery, Bailey, Casey, Dana, Dakota, Hayden, Jordan, Parker, Peyton, and Skyler. There are more, sadly a lot more, but you get the point. I hope.
No Parent Left Behind
In addition to the unisex names above, there are also multiple variations of those names contrived by parents who skipped fifth-grade through freshman year English. Names where vowel inclusion is decided by a flip of the coin.
Here were talking about Aiden, Ayden, Aden, Aydan, Aidean, and Eyden. Or Kaylee, Kayleigh, Kailey, Cayley, Kaley, Kaelee, K’lee, Keighley, etc. (actually, there’s a web page with 79 ways to spell Kaylee).
Seems like substituting a “y” for an “i” (or vice versa) was the big thing for awhile. Never once has a man said: “Please to meet you. My Fred but it’s spelled with a ‘y’.”
Stop it. If your child’s name might someday be included in a “Hooked on Phonics” lesson, it’s long past the time to stop procreating.
You Named Your Kid What?
Then we just get right into the made up stuff. Some people might jump to the conclusion that I mean foreign or ethnic names. I don’t. I’m talking about good ol’ roll-the-scrabble-cup-and-whatever-comes-out-will-be-our-child type names.
Blip, Kelby, Manda, Wrigley, Jax, Daxx, Bric, and Asher.
Oh. And I once read a story where parents in England weren’t sure what to name their daughter – only that they wanted her name to start with an E – so they named her (are you ready for this?) E. Apparently when she turns 16, she can decide for herself what E-name she would like.
And finally there are the dolts from Australia a few years back that wanted to name their child “4Real”. Apparently when she announced that she was pregnant via a text message, the boyfriend’s (I don’t believe they were married) initial response was “4 Real?” Apparently this caused a very dim light bulb to go on above the parents’ heads causing humanity to dip to yet another all-time low.
They eventually lost their case with the state to name their child “4Real” (numbers aren’t allowed) and thus, for legal purposes, were forced to name the kid “For Real”. But not to be screwed over by the man, they still write it down with the number…
Names I Can’t Respect
This is what the original list in college was about: names that were popping up that just made you wonder how often he got beat up as a kid… Again, there’s some overlap with the unisex and upity list, but here I’m talking guys named Stacy, Tracy, Leslie and Adrian.
Men named Bron, Britt, Parker, Riley and Skip.
A boy named Sue.
Let’s not forget men named Taylor, Tyler, Connor, Bryce and Cooper.
And finally, for now, any man named Aiden, Hayden, Jayden, Kayden, Brayden, Logan, Caleb, Carter, Hunter and Liam.
(Admittedly I’ve backed off on a few of those names over the years but I’ll never admit to which ones.)
“Soft names make soft people. I bet you anything that 10 times out of 10, Nicky, Vinny and Tony will beat the shit out of Todd, Kyle and Tucker.”
– George Carlin, 2001
Just know that whatever name a child is given – what we were given – is basically permanent. Aside from the usual teasing by peers in the 3rd grade (which has somehow been renamed “bullying”), put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company years from now. Who doesn’t make the short list for an interview? Sophia, Margaret, Stephanie or Bambi?