Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

Sometimes I think people should need licenses to have children. I am reminded of this each time I hear someone’s terrible name for their child. I’m not talking about celebrity names like Apple or George IV, nor am I talking about hippie names like Sunrise or Happy or Coconut. I’m talking about names – and these are real names – like Braia, Keyerrah and Dayamere Qwest (I don’t really know how it’s spelled, but that’s how it’s said). This isn’t unique to one culture, religion or ethinicity - All are guilty. My brother lives in a town that is probably 99% white and 95% the same Christian religion. He recently had a child and when I looked at the pictures on the hospital website, I could see the names of the other children. With the exception of my brother’s child (whose first and middle names are common with multiple English kings), the page was splattered with the vomit that other people chose as names. If you doubt me, see for yourself. I could write for days about the types of things that bug me about the names people choose for their children, but I’m lazy, so I’ll just skip to the end.

The queen mother of all the terrible names I’ve come across is:

Dorcas Coker-Appiah

This name is terrible for the obvious reason that it resembles some demeaning words, but it wins the crown for another reason. This lady had one of the worst names ever, but when she got married, she had a chance to change it – and she didn’t. Rather than dump her crappy last name, she chose to keep it and slap her married name on the end.*

For the record, I have a bias against her maiden name. Mrs. Daniel’s last boyfriend before me had the last name of “Coker” and was once said to resemble a turtle. You don’t need much imagination to see the potential in that.
I end with a plea: Please, for the love of your children, their descendants, and humanity at large, name your children good names. Stupid names are a curse – a curse that does not have to be. We can all work together to rid the world of this foul plague. Please don't be afraid to share your opinions of other people's names and don't be offended when others offer theirs. But your friends will probably continue to just be nice and tell you they like the name you’ve chosen, so if you have any doubt, put the name in the comments and I will give you a frank opinion. (My child’s first name comes from the Bible – it’s very prominent and also historically very popular; the middle name is also popular and is common with a revolutionary Scottish lord and someone who once threw me in a garbage can.)

* She’s actually a tremendous human being who has done great work to make better the lives of women in an incredibly oppressive environment. We should all be more like here, and I say that seriously.


Daniel said...

Allen, I should point out that this post is in no way directed at you. I didn't find out about any potential baby names until today.

Also, Eric just pointed out that the name McKenzie means, "son of Kenzie". Ahhh, beautiful.

M & M Holdaway said...

Funny you should do a post about terrible baby names because my cousin Heather and I were just having a discussion about possibly the worst baby name I have ever heard. There is a family in her ward that named their sweet, precious little baby girl Vader. Yes, Vader, as in Darth Vader. Hmmmm.

Apparently there is also an Amidala and a Luke/Leia combo in her ward as well. Now don't get me wrong, I like Star Wars probably MORE than the next person, but Vader...for a GIRL???

I also have a cousin named Kevin (Heather's brother) and his wife Bethany...they named their firstborn Brevin. Why God, why??? They also have a little boy named the vegetable.

Peter may be a common name, but there isn't anything too controversial associated with it. Other than the occasional phallic reference which perverts like to remind me of. It's the name of an apostle, a couple of amazing directors, actors and literary characters.

I think possibly more than unusual names, I really hate that people think it's cool to change the spelling of their child's to something funky. ie: Emilee, Katharynn, Jaxon, etc. OK, I better stop where I am before I offend anyone else. Thanks for another great post!

Daniel said...

Mrs. Daniel really likes 'Vader' as a girl's name. Crap.