Saturday, May 10, 2008


Your baby is not your rock band

So why do you think it's okay to give your baby a name designed to express your identity?

I'm not saying that parents are naming their kids "Sonic Grease Monkey" or anything. My point is that I get the feeling that a lot of baby naming is about the personal expression of the parents-to-be. Here they are, bringing this new autonomous human being into the world, and they mark it with vicarious intentions even before it's even born.

"I want(ed) to be totally unique, so I'll give my kid a totally unique name!"

The category that comes to most readily to mind are girl names drawn from the 19th century American Lit survey course: for girls, "Emerson," "Whitman," "Melville" and "Fenimore."

I was thinking if I had a baby girl, it would be kind of cool to name her "Pint o' Guinness Madison."

But you have to think ahead, to such situations as when she signs up for cable TV service by phone:
No, it's P-I-N-T space, small O, apostrophe. .... No, apostrophe, the punctuation mark. Like between the I and the M in "I'm".... no, that's just an example! ... actually, it's pronounced "pine-toe," not "pinto." No, the space is between the T and the O!!!
A related issue: naming your kid after a cognitive impairment (hat tip to Voxwoman for this one):

Alexia -- a neurologic disorder marked by loss of the ability to understand written or printed language, usually resulting from a brain lesion or a congenital defect.

Well, I'm going to name my first child "Osvode". That is, of course, the word verification for this comment.

They'll have a fun life: after explaining to people why they were named "Osvode" they would then proceed to ask people to come up with an original definition for their name. (Oh, it's been so long, that I don't remember the name of word verification game.)

Welcome back!
Are you planning to have twins and name them both Osvode?
Welcome back.

A related issue: naming your kid after a cognitive impairment

Other baby names to avoid include

Anorexia Nervosa
Baron Munchausen
Janelle, the game is named "Word Verifictionary" and I miss it dearly.
Here is a link for the site containing a compilation of awful baby names. I warn you, however, that if you dare click the link and start reading, you will lose hours if not days of your life.
I came across your blog from some unrelated Google hit, and I'm a fan! This post is just one more reason why I'll keep coming back. :)

You can also name your kid Bulimia, and call her Mia for short. :) That will look good on a law school application, don't you think?
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