Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Say My Name

Yesterday, I ran 5K with my friend Canadia. I’ve somehow convinced her to join me along with some other friends of ours in running the Blenheim 7K next month. She’s even asked me to devise a mini training plan for her since it’s been a while since her last run and 7K will be the longest distance she’s tackled in almost eight years. It’s kind of weird being asked for running advice, but also rather flattering that people think I’m that knowledgeable. Poor bastards. Little do they know.

What’s in a name?
For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about names. Could be because a lot of my friends seem to be spitting out children like Pez dispensers recently. Or maybe because I keep up with celeb gossip and am appalled yet entertained by which monikers celebs saddle their children with. I mean, really, Petal Blossom Rainbow. Lay off the bong, Jamie.

Seriously, celebrities have to be the most self-absorbed people if they don’t realize how a name can totally affect a child’s life. Some of the worst offenders, in my mind anyway, are Shannyn Sossamon, Jason Lee, Penn Jillette and Nicolas Cage. Their children are named, respectively:

Audio Science
Pilot Inspektor
Moxie CrimeFighter
Kal-El (i.e. Superman’s real name)

The one possibly worse category are the poor little bastards who are supposedly named after the location of their conception, like Michael Jackson’s alleged daughter Paris and David Beckham’s son Brooklyn. Imagine having to explain the origin of your name to people when you got older. Yikes.

I know Julia Roberts got some flack for naming her twins Phinnaeus and Hazel, but I actually like those names. Phinnaeus more so than Hazel, but at least they both have a history of being actual names as opposed to Marijuana Pepsi. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

You would think someone like me—a half-Greek archaeologist who grew up fixated with classical mythology—would probably be all about naming her potential future children something kind of funky like Theseus or Andromache. Not so much. I tend towards traditional if old-fashioned names, although sometimes I like the really old-fashioned ones. Like Isolde. I’d never torture a little girl with that for a first name though. Middle name possibly.

Then there are the people who take common names and change the spelling to make them unique. I have several cousins who’ve done this. Personally, I’m not a fan of doing that. Sometimes the change in spelling is a total accident though. I had a friend in high school whose parents misspelled his middle name on his birth certificate. Instead of Brian, his name was Brain. I wonder if he ever officially changed it.

So yeah, that’s my rant on names. If you want to see some lists of horrendous celeb baby names check out this article or even this blog which is devoted entirely to the topic. Feel free to contribute your favorite best/worst names in the comments. I’d love to hear them.

Happy hump day, everyone.


Marcy said...

I totally jacked my kids up fo-evah. No one ever pronounces Keira's name right (at least not oldies in Dr offices and such.) and Cameron always get mistaken for a boy HAHA!

But I guess their names are always better than Jermajesty Jackson (Jermaine Jackson's son) Seriously, Jer-F-ing-majesty?!? Sounds like a damn unicorn name.

Sun Runner said...

At my job I have had the opportunity to see thousands of names over the years, and I have collected the very best (worst?) into an ever-expanding Word document. I have hundreds of names in my document. I'll pull a few at random:

Twinkle Jasmine
Dinty Joe
Farmer Salamander

Lily on the Road said...


Nitmos said...

One of the guys on a footbal team I follow was named : Mister Simpson. I guess it's better than "OJ" though.

Lauren said...

My co-worker's girlfriend is named Jovi because she was conceived to a Bon Jovi song. That's horrible and depressing at the same time.

Jamie said...

I totally agree with you. I understand not wanting to have a name that is continually in the top 5 baby names but seriously?!?

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

My parents saved their creativity for our middle names. My middle name is a moving tribute to the environs, aura and all-over vibe of my conception;

"Q." = "QuicklyDoggieStyleBrokenCondom".

But it's pronounced "Horace".

tfh said...

See, I always wanted a completely ordinary name so that no matter what, I would be un-Google-able. I think a the concepts of anonymity and blending into the crowd are terribly underrated. My sister claims that in some countries they have a list of "acceptable" baby names and it's against the law to name your baby outside the book. However I'm not sure if this is true or just her weird-name ranting fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Oohh, Blenheim Palace. That is a great place and must be an Excellent 7K! I am a bit jealous that I cannot participate.

It's very difficult to think of a kid's name. Still, despite the fact that at one time the Missus and I talked about the names Slartibartfast and Chewbacca, we realize that such funky names will ensure an extremely miserable life for the kids.

X-Country2 said...

"Unique" spellings make me crazy. Seriously people, adding a million Y's does not make your child special.

M2Marathon said...

Plus, don't parents realize that certain names simply dictate what their child's entire career path will be? Oh, I assure that little Gypsyamber is no engineer or CPA. Stripper who moonlights as a prostitute? Check.

One of my worst is Bronx Mowgli Wentz (Ashley Simpson). Sounds like a Fraggle.

M2Marathon said...

oh, excuse me, I meant Ashlee Simpson dash Wentz.

Roisin said...

Yes, yes, and yes! I couldn't agree with you more. There's a big difference between a meaningful name and utter crap.

On the subject of Greek names, I was always confused by Cassandra...prophet of doom?!?! Of course, my sister got an unlucky name as well..."Deirdre". Not only is it always misspelled, but it refers to a rather tragic queen.

Irish Cream said...

Oh boy, dare I even open this can of worms? Yes, I think I will.

If you want to guarantee that your child will have homicidal tendancies, I suggest naming him/her something that can be mistaken for a last name. Without fail, people (i.e. co-workers) will ALWAYS assume that your child's first name (i.e. "Bailey") is actually his/her last name. It matters not how assinine a first name his/her last name would make(i.e. "Ertel"). I. WANT. TO. KILL.

Or maybe my co-workers are just exceptionally stupid.

joyRuN said...

You can do it the Filipino way.

Give a name: "Jesus Silvino", for example.

Call him something different for all eternity: "Bing".

I'm the same way. My legal first & middle names don't contain Joy. At all.

Run For Life said...

I always wonder about these names too when I hear something crazy. I remember HATING my name when I was a kid because no one pronounced it correctly and I just wanted to normal. I tried to get my parents to call me Jessica but that didn't work, haha.

carpeviam said...

I share your sentiments on celebrity baby names. It's like they feel this sense of "entitlement" to name their kids the craziest names.

Let's see. I know:


As a teacher, I see so many. I see phases of trendy names, phases of "old" names, etc. I don't have kids of my own, but I'm sure I'll choose something a little more eccentric, just because most names hold some sort of conotation. I'll not go as crazy as the celebrity baby names, but something unique. Or, maybe the unique name as a middle name. At least I won't be thinking about that for a LONG time! ;)

Christy said...

I'm such a name freak! I tend to favor strictly traditional names. No weird spellings, either. I have a friend who named her two girls Ryanne and Ahleigha, and I still haven't figured out how to say them properly. Rye-ann, Ree-ann, Ah-lee-uh, Uh-lee-uh, Uh-leeg-uh, uh-lay-uh...too many options.

And I still give my sister a hard time for naming each of her kids after a "B" city: Branson, Brooklyn, Berkely, Boston.

Jess said...

I agree. Some of those celebrity names for their kids are so absurd. I wish the administrative person at the hospital could veto their choices.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moose wanted to name our Girl Moose "Polly Esther". I saved her from all that because what kind of respectable moose family names their calves after cheap fabric?!

joyRuN said...

ORN: obligatory running note :)

Watch - just because you don't like it, the random thingamabober is going to pick YOU!

I shoulda professed my hatred for a Popener way back when.

Fair Weather Runner said...

I'm so with you on the 'unique' name spelling thing. My brother named his daughter and spelled it Emmalei. I feel so sorry for her thinking she will never get that super tacky, yet right of passage, customized bracelet, name plate or keychain with your name on them that come from some random airport gift shop...

Carolina John said...

naming our kids was one of the hardest part about having them (after conception). There was almost no family names we liked (my mom has an uncle name Land Conway Garrett - gawd) so we managed to find something we liked at the last minute. it's really tough!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Those celebrity names are so sadly hilarious. It's also depressing that these people either have no real friends to tell them what asses they're being, or they do but are so stubbornly narcissistic they blow them off.

I bet parents like this are just as selfish and attention-getting in other ways too; those kids are going to need years of therapy.

Viper said...

BTW, have a happy Easter.


SteveQ said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, but I've met Oofty Goofty Bowman, Hogjaw Twaddle and Easter Buggage. It's not just celebrities that get odd names (I kinda like Shanda Lear).