Friday, July 13, 2012

And Now Some Thoughts on Baby Names

Happy Friday the 13th, crazy ladies.  Let's try to get through it without wielding anything sharp (a constant battle)..

And now, some thoughts on naming children.

Requisite disclaimer:  If you have done any of the things I am about to make fun of, I am not talking about YOU.  YOU can pull it off.

Let me start out by saying that I am one of the ones, when given the opportunity to name a child (it will happen, damnit)  is in danger of  naming them something like "Moonshadow Goldilocks" or "Windex Chloroform".

I grew up with a horrendously average name.  First name Jennifer (I suspect if you had a girl in the 80s, the people filling out the birth certificate gave you the choice between naming your child Jennifer, or being struck with a tire iron).  My maiden name is also ridiculously common.  Try to write down 15 common last names, and you will have found my full maiden name. So I grew up with the sort of name where, at the doctor's, I had to give my full name, birth date, and social security number to be found.

Bub, on the other hand, has an unusual name.  His first name is pretty common, but he's German so the spelling is European.  His last name (and now mine) is ridonkulous. For once in my life, people have to ask me how to spell my name. It starts with an R and has a ludicrous number of vowels, so when people call me in the waiting room they have a tendency to bark for a few minutes "Rrrrrr... Rrrrrrrrow!" before hitting on something kinda close.  I.  LOVE.  THIS.  Even when I know they must be calling me I let them bark.

Bub is less amused.  We're very much alike - but Bub is way more comfortable blending in and staying quiet, and I am super uncomfortable doing either - I do not blend very well.  For these reasons, when we get to name a child, I suspect blood will be shed.  He will want to name our child, regardless of sex, "Bob", and I will push for, regardless of sex, "Skeeter Magoo".




So now, when my uterus is for certain empty, and I can be a bit rational, some thoughts on naming to think about, interwebs:

  1. Names have multiple spellings, yes, but...  My name could have been spelled Gennifer -I would've had to have corrected people about it, but a totally livable situation.  I am full of gratitude, however, that my parents did not choose to spell it "Gynnifyurr".  I suspect people do things like that to make the name 'different', however if you go too far that just means a lifetime of people screwing up your paperwork.
  2. Please don't choose a name because it spells something backwards.  It's silly and sometimes a bit creepy.  (Redrum anyone?)
  3. When picking a name, try to think "if I knew a person in HS with this name, what would they have been like?".  I won't go into specifics, but there are a lot of girls' names in particular where there is just no way, despite my best efforts, she wouldn't grow into being a gigantic twat. 
  4. Would this be the name of a stripper? Or worse, a dayshift stripper?
  5. Consider if there's a nickname.   Am I a fan of Jennifer?  No.  I've always felt like a Jenny, and appreciate that there was that option.  I never could pull off the "fer" (makes me feel like I'm covered in fur.. Not to mention the only names similar to mine are Christopher and Lucifer).
  6. Please don't name your child Jebediah.
  7. Popular can be boring. If you like a name and it happens to be on the top 10 list of names right now - awesome sauce.  Just don't go picking a name because it's on the top 10 list.
  8. Sometimes a rose doesn't smell as sweet. In America, names don't usually mean shit, really.  But if you like the sound of a word - Good Lord look it up.  (Fact - I know someone who was going to name their child 'Harley' but thought it was too short as is, so considered 'Harlot'). I had a baby doll when I was 7 that I named 'Militia' because I thought it sounded pretty.  Do not name your child like you are a 7 year old with a new doll.
  9. Weird can be awful.  I love weird names that have meaning for the parents.  I get that you love Harry Potter (not as much as me, but fine).  Just consider that your child, at the age of 40, when you're old somewhere having made this decision long ago, will still have to introduce themselves at dinner parties as "Hogwarts".
  10. Selby & Shelby.  Parents of twins - please think long and hard before choosing rhyming names.  Some of them are lovely, some are insane.  They're twins.  People should be able to put that together without naming them 'Booker & Hooker'.

Did I miss any?

With that all being said now, in a cool and hormone-free state, I will still probably end up naming my kid "Gumshoe Tiddlywinks".  Bub just may have to die first.








56 comments:

  1. You crack me up. Thanks for brightening yet another rainy day here in the UK. I concur with your name giving suggestions entirely.

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    1. I will trade you weather systems! This constant sunshine is mind. Numbing.

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  2. LOVE this post - I needed the laugh - thank you! My Mom works on a Labor and Delivery floor and they had twins named Orangejello and Lemonjello...no joke! MY OB told us the story of when was doing her residency in Houston and a teenager named her daughter Chlamydia because it sounded pretty.

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    1. Orangejello, Lemonjello and CHLAMYDIA?

      I die.

      Although Syphilis is kind of pretty. Syphy for short.

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  3. Maybe it's just me, but it gives me the serious bugs when people use the same letter for all of their children. If you only have two kids, you can get away with it, probably just coincidence, right? But three names that start with the letter V? Come on, isn't it enough that they have the same last name? It's NOT cute.

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    1. AGREED.

      I know someone whose kids not only have the same initials, but they all start with the same sounds. Think "Blake, Blair, Blythe". Two is fine. Three.. How does anyone know who you're yelling at?!

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    2. In high school I knew three brothers Uriah, Josiah, and Zacheriah. I think ending sounds are just as awful!

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    3. OMG. And they were in a public HS? Not being homeschooled? I die.

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  4. Love your post... so so true :) Hopefully you have an opportunity to find a gorgeous name soon :)) xoxo

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    1. Ha! Thanks. And here's hoping someone talks me out of my inevitably ridiculous first choices. ;)

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  5. Skeeter Magoo is going to make me laugh alllll weekend. Hilarious post! Have you heard the Mike Doughty song 27 Jennifers? If not, you need to. I not only went to school with a girl named Crystal Ball, I've seen the name Sandy Beaches on a magazine subscription and met a Harley Davidson.

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    1. I am going to look up this song immediately...

      TELL ME these women were all strippers? Those aren't even high end escort names. Those are DAY SHIFT stripper names.

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  6. Howdy, Jenny from the Blog. (Sorry, I've been dying to type that for awhile now...it's out of my system finally). I think the Duggar's violated much of your list, and WHY did it take them 15+ kids to finally come up with a Jennifer? Anyhoo, my secret is that I secretly dislike my daughter's first name. I promised my ex that if we had a daughter, he could name her after his deceased Mom (here's your tissue). "Mary" has secretly never sat well with me, it seemed boring, old. Well, now that she just turned 5 and I have to repeat (yell) her name a bajillion times a day, it just...FITS her. My son, I have mulitiple nicknames for him to the point I'm surprised he remembers his actual name. I've NEVER been able to find a nickname that suits my daughter. She is just, Mary. Let me point out that this is the one and ONLY time my ex husband was right about anything. Oh, and lastly, *I* am a bigger Harry Potter fan than you...bring it, Woman. ;-P

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    1. Yessss Jenny from the Blog!

      Do not make me name my child Dumbledore. I WILL DO IT.

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  7. Ah. My sister went to school with a P.eter W.hacker.
    Worst part? He was a PW the Third.
    Don't be stealing "Windex" now. That's going to be *my* kid's name.

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    1. She also went to school with Bradley Cooper. She has led a much better life than I have.

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    2. Okay, PW is too much. Hopefully he tells girls he needs to pass down the family name on the 1st date... I imagine otherwise tears would be shed in the whacker home.

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  8. As a fellow Jennifer, I feel your pain. My maiden name was fairly unusual so I guess I had that going for me. I hate the fact that whenever I call someone I don't talk to that often I always feel the need to identify myself by both first and last name. Jennifer is just so generic. My husband's sister is also Jennifer. Thankfully she was married and had changed her last name long before I met her. Otherwise that would have been ridiculously confusing. I don't think I will give my kids crazy names, but I will make sure to avoid any names on the top 10 lists of the past 5 years.

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    1. Jennifer's unite!

      My favorite is when I have to call other people and say "Hi, Jenny, it's Jenny".

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  9. You know what I hate? When parents give their kid a first name that is essentially the same thing as their last name. John Johnson. David Davison. Robert Roberts. Donald (or Ronald!) MacDonald. Seems to happen a lot around these parts...

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    1. Yick.

      Nobody named Donald MacDonald has ever grown up to be good in the sack. Fact.

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  10. I can't decide if I like your post more or all the comments and your responses to the comments more. Hilarious!!!!! I love this topic! Can I also add that break all the rules from above are also the ones who weren't planning to get pregnant! So unfair! Anyway, I am also very much against words spelled backwards as names...especially Nevaeh (Heaven)! I grew up with a less common name, although it has become more common these days. I really enjoyed being different, but not so different that it was difficult to pronounce. And yes, about 1/3 of the girls in my class were either Jennifer or Nicole :)

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    1. See? Mid-level different. That's where it's at.

      And SO TRUE. The one's that get knocked up on their first pony ride are always the ones that pick the worst names. FACT.

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  11. At my previous job, I totally worked with a print sales rep named Misty Breeze. And the print company was located in Florida. I shit you not. Thank Jesus I only had to deal with her via email because if I were to ever get on the phone with this woman I probably would've laughed hard core

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    1. MISTY BREEZE?! Okay, that has to be the name of some sort of refreshing vaginal wash.

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    2. I've got friends with a kid called Winter Breeze!

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  12. At one point my (lame) sister planned to name a future child 'Natas'. Isn't it obvious? It's because it's 'Satan' spelled backwards. Does anything else scream 'unfit parent' quite like that?

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    1. I believe your sister wins! lol That takes the cake!

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  13. As a teacher, a lot of names have been messed up for me. It's unfair, but adolescents can be awful and I wouldn't want to remember some students for the rest of my life. I must admit, my grandfather's TWO brothers were Bill Williams and Bill Williams. Immigrants, so we must forgive them, but come on! One went by Billy apparently. There was a 60 Minutes or something about people with wacky names. My favorite: a college advisor with the name Marijuana Pepsi. Her mother was young and loved the names. I wonder what her mother smoked and drank? Again, thank you for the deep belly laughter.

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    1. Sweet baby Jesus... What it must be like trying to get a fair shake if your name is Marijuana Pepsi. Un. Believable.

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  14. Oh loving this! Have you seen Teen Mom where the Mum's name is Leah and her twins names are Ali and Aleah? And I totally agree popular is boring. If another person I know names their daughter Ava/Sophie/Isabella/ Charlotte/Amelia or gives them the middle name "Rose" I might have to scream. Or poke them in the eye for being so uncreative.
    Lisa

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    1. I have, sadly, seen an episode or two.. Until it became INFURIATING.

      Yeah, Leah Ali and Aleah... Too much! TOO MUCH!

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  15. Just wanted to say thanks for the laugh. I needed it today!

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  16. Dayshift stripper, naming your child like a 7 year old naming a doll...thank you for the laughs.

    Do I take this to mean that you already have a list of acceptable names? I am terrified of choosing them too soon, so we're going to wait a while, probably months before tackling this important parenting decision :)

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    1. I do not! It is horrifying.

      For awhile I like 'Mia', but alas, it is on the top 10 so I am trying to avoid it like the plague.

      And with all the IVF I thought of "Pita", which I do not like at all, but I could tell everyone it stood for Pain In The Ass.

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  17. This is great!! I agree with you 100%!! I work in a Children's hospital, so I see all of the above with kids' names. I can't stand Nevaeh...ooh Heaven spelled backwards. And it's so popular from what I see!

    My husband is a twin and is desperately against any names that even remotely go together. I can understand that, because you want them to have separate identities! The one name I've seen that is really ridiculous is La-a (pronounced LaDASHa). Kids' parents get mad at me for mispronouncing their oddly spelled names...like really?!!

    Also, no one should ever name their child Mike Hunt...I went to high with him. LOL.

    Thanks for all your awesomeness :-D Cheers me up!

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    1. Cannot handle Nevaeh.

      Isn't Heaven backwards technically hell?

      Just a thought.

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  18. I went to school with a girl named Dong Ho. The worst name I've heard recently was Abcde. I don't even know. The only backwards name I'm willing to use is Alucard and that's if the baby is extremely pale with jet black hair and all-around scary looking. I feel it's my duty to give the world a little warning. I'm kidding. Sort of.

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    1. Holy bejeeze.. How does one even pronounce Abcde?

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  19. Loving this discussion:) I can relate to ButterPea to some extent... if we have a boy, my husband is going to all but file for divorce (not really, but sometimes I wonder) if I do not agree to name him for his deceased brother... B (cough)... Br (choke) (sorry, it's hard for me to say)...Bruce. I have always detested that name (sorry if it's anyone's favorite person's name)... it makes me throw up in my mouth to say or hear it. And to think of it brings up (every time) a nightmarish image of some long-haired dude with a mustache, straight out of the 1970s, usually wearing tight white jeans that show his bulge. My husband knows how I feel about the name. In fact, when we met and he was telling me about his brother's tragic death at age 16, I'm pretty sure I had the very poor tact to inform him of my severe distaste for his mother's choice of name for his brother. (I said that after I shared the appropriate, sad reaction to his loss, of course... I'm not completely evil).
    How's that for a pretty pickle to be in? I'm sorry, but my own child's name cannot be one that brings bile up in my throat! Hellllp! I know I sound shallow and horrible, but all I can say to that is this:
    PLEEEEEEEAAAAAAASE let me have a girl!!!!!!

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    1. And then what... Brucina? ;)

      I can say with sympathy that when you said "Bruce" the picture in my head was exactly the one you described.

      Can't that be the middle name? Did Bruce have a middle name that was slightly better? I want to throw in a shout out to my deceased father - but though I loved him, his first name was snoooozville.

      I feel for you!

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    2. I too have the exact image of Bruce. I in fact, knew said man in my preteen years. You have my sympathies.

      Regarding mid level. Ames, my dauther's name is Milena (mill-ain-ah), and I've not regretted it once. She gets many compliments on her name, but it's not weird. Best of all, most milena's live in Russia or thereabouts and will not frequent the same Drs.

      I found you via TWW and have been enjoying your humor. I've had 3 losses this year, and your description of a chemical loss are most accurate. Hugs.

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    3. Milena! That's beautiful.

      Mena is one of the one's or me that keep popping up. And Micah - but we already know a Micah and though we love him.. don't want to name our kid after him. Seems as though I like the "M" names that end in the "ah" sound.

      Mid-level weird is where it's at!

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    4. Feel free to use the name on the condition that you never move to my small town in Indiana. Ha!! Just as I write "that'll never happen...". Just WATCH. Isn't that how it always works?? :)

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  20. I am named Genevieve, but went by Genny as a child, which means I was CONSTANTLY called Jennifer. It drove me nuts!

    One of my sisters-in-law has 4 sons. Their names go like this: John Michael, Michael David, David Christopher, Christopher John. I'm not sure what would have happened if they'd had a girl somewhere in there. I suspect it would have ended badly for her.

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    1. What the... Why? Why would someone do that? A-mazing. For a girl... Mikayla Davida Christopher Joan?

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  21. I wanted to name a child Ava Elyce, but I didn't really care too much about the names separately, so I put them together and Avaleice was born. I also played with the name Everleigh. Boy name was just Nicholas for the Hubby, but personally I have always loved the name Josiah and Liam. My son's name is Cameron and it suits him well. My daughter's name is Olivia Renae. She is one stubborn little woman. ; )

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    1. Avaleice - very pretty and unusual!

      I do like the name Liam but I fear I will not be able to have a child dignified enough to pull it off. ;)

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  22. I figure the name Liam implies beautiful male with a HUGE alcohol problem, bi-polar issues, and every woman's 'tame me' dream. Figure if I am gonna have a child, and he will inevitably have sooome 'small problems', I can at least give him a name that will shout 'Hottie'. (He would probably be 5'6" and bald as an onion at 25.) I am gonna convince myself that he will be as hot as John Candy, and 10 times as funny, but he would probably look like Brad Pitt and have as much personality.

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  23. Oh, and with a name like Liam Tweedle, which is, by the way, my real married name.... Poor thing starts out with one of the 'I love alcohol incentives' at birth.

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    1. I NEED TO KNOW A LIAM TWEEDLE.

      I am in love with your muppety last name.

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