31 January 2012

Bad Names Lead to Bad Lives

"Oh, I’ll judge the dickens out of you if you name your child Nevaeh or Kristayll or Natorious. Perhaps it’s racist/classist of me, but I think you are putting your children at a disadvantage right from the start and that’s stupid. Maybe even cruel." - Jenny.

Did you know that the "wrong" name will set you up for failure in school?  Yeah.  Having an "unfortunate" first name sets you up for failure.  You're more likely to have a poor "educational outcome" or even become a smoker.  Of course... no one gives a list of these "unfortunate" names.

I want to know what they are and what sort of doofus would think "Tyler" is more likely to smoke than "Bertram" or vice versa.  I mean, how do they weight that scientifically?  I want to know if they think I "saddled" Emperor with a "horrible" name (yes, I was really told that once).  It's true that IM John Watson once remarked that with a name like Emperor, he should be out taking over countries or something.  I guess it's not a chess-player name at all.  If I had named him Bobby, would his rating be over 2000 by now?

Or Patrick.  Poor Patrick.  Patrick has a name that is nothing like the one I use for the blog.  He has a name that screams "I AM A VERY OLD MAN."  In fact, we've had to fight a medical company for transcribing his age incorrectly and marking him down as being born in 1933.  I guess they couldn't possibly believe 1993 with a name like that.  Oh man, what a pain that was to change an incorrect birthday.  At least... I think I was able to get it changed.  These people think once it's in the system, that's what it is, world without end.  Amen. 

It could be worse.  One of my relatives has a close friend with the last name of Assman.  Kid you not.  Of course, it's pronounced Oz-man; what were YOU thinking??  But only think of how many jobs this guy mighta missed out on if the HR people at a company read his name with the wrong pronunciation and thought some joker sent it in.

Apparently you can prevent all this trauma, though.  Just pay for a baby-naming service online!  There are several companies offering this "product."  I have to wonder if these services come back with generic suggestions such as "name your son Jacob or your daughter Emily" after they collect $50.  Bet you they have one-time clientele from all over the world and these people are not comparing notes.  Why ELSE would everyone name their chldren so similarly?  Jacob and Emily are GREAT NAMES, don't get me wrong, but it's almost as though about half the parents are consulting the "most popular names" list and the other half are going for names like "Blue" and "Steve."  (Kidding about the Steve part... but "Blue?" These parents need to get a clue... ha ha!)

What do you think?  Do you fall too far into the "weird" ditch or too far into the "boring, generic name" ditch?  Mostly our children have weird names but Elf and Rose have the same generic name, boy and girl version.  This is LOTS of fun when prescriptions are written for "Elf" and don't specify Elf-boy or Elf-ina.  :)


  1. There is a law here that you can't name your child anything "weird." Like if you do the registry people will notify you and give you 30 days to change it. I went to school with a girl named Chanda Lear. And we used to have a kid in our youth group named Tanqueray. What amazes me though is how many people have opinions on what to name your kids. I wanted to name our first baby Maurley (a combo of DH's mother's name and his birthmother's name). When we lost that baby the name was lost too, but I found out then that everyone hated it. Hmph... I do have to wonder what Tanqueray will do as an adult--the kids all called him "Tank."

  2. Two of your kids have the same name?
    That's like the twins who got named Christine and Christopher and got through school being called Chris-boy and Chris-girl, until some wag came up with Chris and Chrisette.
    My kids all had middle of the road names, nothing ancient, nothing too modern, nothing outlandish, all had regular spelling.

  3. Wow, Bonnie. I can't imagine government heavy-handedness like that. But I think we have it to a lesser extent here or that little kid with the name Adolf Hitler would probably be with his parents still...

    River, do you know no one names their kid "Bronwyn" here? I am 42 and have met ONLY ONE Bronwyn. And she was named for an Australian woman. So, "weird" type names do also vary by location. :)

  4. My Dad did a lot of research (which I still have!) investigating the meaning of the twins names... but we still ended up being named after various ancestors. .. In my case Uncle William Ronan .. veteran of the Spanish American War :)

    Take heart.. you coulda named your child Deuce .. like Coach Gruden did. See. http://www2.tbo.com/news/sports/2012/feb/01/1/national-signing-day-kicks-off-at-cds-ar-353721/


  5. Does this mean that "Benjamin Joseph" (his birth Dad's name was Billyjo) is going to end up being president? I hope so...

    My name was Rosemary. I was a drug addict for a time. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?? I was named after a nun, for God's sake...

    The best, though, Miss Happy, is paying a service to name your kid. Like THAT ain't gonna put you at a disadvantage right from the start...eghad.....

  6. You can't win the name game. We picked a solid, strong,classic, racially neutral name for our son only to have him mocked that his first name was also the name of the public school he ended up in.

  7. I think a solid, strong, classic, racially neutral name is best, :) .

  8. We wanted names that would sound good as children's names, but also as adult names. I can't see an old lady in a nursing home answering to Brittni. So, we went with names that aren't overly used, but can also carry through a lifetime and not be thought childish. I love classical names. Have to laugh though, my younger brother's name is Jeffrey. His wife REFUSED to have a child that was a Jr., so they named their son Jefferson Robert Gxxxxx. Everyone calls the poor kid Jeffbob. (They live in the south and I guess nicknames are more popular there??) Can't wait until he's old enough to apply for a job and says he goes by that. :/

  9. well I like weird & wanted trad., Scot's names ~ but the ones I liked do not translate well into Aussie culture. Just think what we do to names like Morag & Beathag!!! I like the Welsh Myfwanney too ~same problem & my Lib is lucky because If I had found the Scots version of her name she would have got it. She is still thanking her stars! My oldest has a short but unusual name which he actually likes. My Star has an Angelicised version of an Irish name. These days none of them appear that weird so tastes change.

  10. When I was in recruiting for the Navy, we saw some unusual names: Marijuana was one. :-/

    My kids have boring names and I'm find with it!

  11. I gave all my kids 'normal' names... cos I do know how a strange name can impact on their lives.
    Griffin... well I went a bit mad there... but it suits him!

  12. My kids all have normal names because their birth mom's named them. I was leaning toward the unusual... because my name is Julie Ann. This had to be one of the top 10 names the year I was born. I was rarely in a class in which I was the only Julie. In my history class in high school their were three. One girl was lucky enough to have the middle name Elizabeth. She got to go by Julie Elizabeth. I was Julie S. I ran for class treasurer my sophomore year of high school. I won. Someone told me that they didn't know they were voting for me. They thought they were voting for the other Julie. I wasn't supposed to take offense.

    As it is, my oldest daughter has the middle name Sojourner. My youngest daughter has a name very common in her native Haiti, but is more common to old people today.

    I guess my daughter took this whole naming thing and destroyed life. It took her three days to pick out a name for her baby!

  13. I would totally rock at telling other people what to name their kids. That sounds like the funnest job ever. Smirking internally when I earnestly convince some dopey couple that since Gwyneth Paltrow named her child Apple, they should be even more awesome and name theirs Celery?

    My daughter has a name with an accent mark in it, which means that I can't ever get anything personalized because the machines don't recognize punctuation.

  14. My kids each have an "American" name--which is not to say that they are common names. And they each have a Mongolian name.

    For us, a lot more goes into choosing a name than just that it sounding nice or being trendy, etc. We name our kids what we believe is God's heart and destiny for them, a name that is connected to their identity.

    So then some of our kids have sort of "normal" sounding names and some rather "odd" names (depending on if we are in California or Mongolia). But all of the names have really specifically meanings.

  15. I think our kids names fall into the boring category but ZK doesn't like them to be too different.

    On the other hand his dad's partner's name was Dick Flick. Awesome, right? hehe


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