Thursday, September 11, 2008

What's in a name??

School is rough for teenagers. I know it was for me.
There is pressure from parents to get good grades, pick good friends, and for kids to "keep their noses clean."
There is pressure at school. You always want to maintain a certain "image," try to impress others, and fit in (generally) with a group of kids.
Unfortunately, many kids have things going against them. I am a prime example.

Braces. I had braces before braces existed. Mine were called "bands" and had roughly a nickel's worth of metal wrapped around every tooth in my mouth. I looked like "Flava flav gone platinum."
I still remember my orthodontist--Dr. Noles. We called him "hairy hands." Why was that?? Because this was before rubber gloves were "all the rage." Nothing like a good pair of strong hairy Jewish hands in your mouth.
Oh yeah...did I mention they wanted me to wear headgear?? No dice.

Zits. Why would God create such a thing? Giant swollen pustules of infection plastered across the face like stars flooding the sky on a cool wintry Montana eve.
I had a friend who used urine on his face as he was told that it was the best thing to get rid of acne. I never asked him if it was his own.

Late Bloomer. If there's one thing that I would change in my life, it would be to start getting pubic hair in 7th instead of 9th grade.
All through gym class in 8th grade, we had a coach that would ENSURE that all kids took a shower. This was no easy task. First you try to either be first or last to the showers. Then you threw your towel on the hook, and ran to the nearest shower, ensuring that only your rear end was visible to others. Violently wash your hair, and side-step back to your towel. The whole process took no more than 26 seconds.
The only 2 boys who were embarrassed to shower was myself, and a guy called "Captain hook."

Puberty in general. Your body is in a state of shock and awe for 4-5 years. You literally have no control over things you say and do. Why on this green earth would a 10th grader think that mooning a girl would impress them?? Don't ask me....I still don't know.

What is the purpose of armpit hair anyway??

As a parent, you want your kids to succeed, and be happy. Or do you??

If you truly want to make life easier for your kid, then why the hell do you give your kids such awful names?
You know what I'm talking about. For some reason, naming kids something "different" has become "cute" or "trendy." Gone are the days when you gave a kids a nice solid James, or perhaps Jenny.

It's almost like everybody is trying to "one up" the Jones's and come up with something that has never been done before.
I've seen this before on was a show called "Jackass" where each of the cast members would try to injure themselves in a more grandiose way than the others. There was a reason it was called Jackass.
This is the parental equivalent. "Jackass naming."

Before I get into too much detail, let me attempt to understand the counter-arguments.
"It's cute," or "It's original," or "We love that name."
Dirty Sanchez is also original.
I hope you think it's cute when your son legally changes his name the day he turns 18. Nobody---nobody loves the name Gulliver.
You may have people tell you that they think naming your daughter Nali is adorable. They are blatantly lying to your face. They think you are ridiculous.

It's not easy to deal with a crappy name.
I can't tell you how many times Dusty Ricks was called Rusty Dicks in high school. Perhaps 3 million times a year. This is not a made up name.

To help those that still care about their unborn children, and may want to give them a fighting chance at happiness, I have prepared sanctioned and un-sanctioned naming categories.

Sanctioned names. (These are all OK)

Popular names of the day:
It's OK if you want to name your son Jacob, Andrew or Ethan. Your daughter will be fine with Emily, Madison, or Olivia. These are very popular names, and work fine. Your kid may be termed Abigail #5 in their 3rd grade class, but feel comfortable with one of these picks.

Ancestor names:
This is where you have free reign to feel good about a creepy name. If your great-grandfather was named Huey, good on you for naming your kid after a duck. Perhaps a bully wants to taunt a kid for his name. There is no better come-back than, "It's my grandfathers name. He was killed in WW2."

Bible names:
Good ones--Matthew, John, Paul.
Not-so-good-ones--Cain, Ham.

Last names:
Once thought to be taboo, last names for first names are now chic.
Carter, Raymond, Marshall...etc.

Non-sanctioned names. (Please don't do this)

Foreign names:
Unless you were born on foreign soil, you have no right to give your child a foreign name. Claude and Armand are names of half-dressed men gracing the cover of a romance novel.
Go ahead and name your kid Achilles. You've just sealed his fate to a hairy back.

Names of yesteryear:
Just because Mildred, Gladys, and Harold were among the most popular names in 1913, do not assume that they still are.
You may want to "bring it back" to popularity, but let me set you straight...unless your daughter Florence is what some consider a "sure thing" at prom...try again. (Exception for the "ancestor rule"--see above.)

Stripper names:
Ginger, Bambi, Bubbles, Bunny, Cinnamon. These are just a few examples. When you dream of your little girl's name in lights, you don't want it to be followed by the phrase: 2 drink cover.

Homonym Heaven:
While not a literal homonym, the same concept applies.
Let's take a very popular girl name from 2007--Madison. Please don't name your child any of the following:
Mattyson, Mhadyson, Maddisnguyen, Madisonn, Maddisunn, Madysun, etc. The list could go on for years. Changing the spelling of the name does not mean it's cute. It means you're a buffoon. If you want to make creative names, join a fantasy football league.

Celebrity names:
This is a grey area. Some celebrity names are popular. Others (like Woody) are not.
If you really really like Salman Rushdie, why not knit a pot-holder with his name. Please don't name your child after him.

Play on words:
Please don't name your child Richard. Any name that can be referred to as genitalia is bad.
Any name that rhymes with genitalia, or that can be used in a poem with a curse word is also bad. (see Horatio, Chuck)

Hybrid names:
You really like the name Daniel. You also really like the name Christopher. You can't are what do you do??
You combine them and name your kid Dantopher. I hope he has fun in the Audio/Visual club in high school.
Now, if you give birth to a hermaphrodite, Ralphina is acceptable.

What the Hell?:
Sometimes, human depravity displays itself in raw power.
Take David Duchovny and Tea Leoni. They named their son Kyd. I guess "You" was out of the picture?
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow know who the "Apple" of their eye is.
Sylvester Stallone thought long and hard about "Sage Moonblood."
Sarah Palin showed that the air is a little thin in Alaska when naming her brood: Piper, Willow, Bristol, Track, and Trig.

I personally know people who've named their kids:
Stone and Slate. (same family)
Devontai. (completely made up)
Khanhor. (pronunciation of this is impossible.)

This is not the dark ages, and creativity and freedom should be embraced. But PLEASE, embrace it upon yourself.
Take Chad Johnson for example--He has legally changed his surname to "Ocho Cinco."
If you truly desire to express yourself, don't pass the burden onto your kids.
Gotta go.

Rick Horatio


Dan da Man said...

The name for a girl would be Bamboo

And for a boy dock sucker

Nothing wrong with those right?

muskrat said...

wasn't it bill cosby who said he thought his name was jesus christ as a child? and that his brother was dammit?

now those are some good names.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

I got tagged with "Gary"---but it could have been worse, almost got named "Rhett" (shudder)

Gary (old dude)

Athena said...

I know a Tealon, a Camden, a Kaielyn (pronounced Kaylynn) and a Maedealynne (Madeline). And they want their kids to be able to spell their own names by kindergarten? Good luck with that.

Brownie said...

Thank God. I was having a bad day. Then I read your blog and laughed. You had me WAY before "Maddisnguyen," but felt the need to revisit that name, as it made me "giggle" out loud. One of my kids has an name from "yesteryear," but then Angelina Jolie named one of her kids the same name, and now I have "street cred" cause I used it first. My husband doesn't want any more kids (we have two) so he said if I INSISTED on more kids, his boy name choice is "Bandit." Kind of a preventative measure to ENSURE I won't want any more babies, either. ha ha. Great blog, as usual.a

Nick said...

Maddisnguyen. Thats Gold- I'm using it for my first girl... or boy, cuz its that good.

Alex L said...

Spock Kirk... thats a winner right there, I'm naming every child I have that, even the girls.

PlainOleMike said...

As a teacher, I've dealt with the after effects of all these categories. The worst I've encountered was a young lady named, and I swear on all that is holy that this is true, Latrina. A smart ass classmate actually asked her on the first day of school if she had a sister named Toiletta. Poor kid now asks to be called Jane.

The Nemesing One said...

James and Jenny are some of the finest names ever. You just can't go wrong with them. Friends of ours named their two sons Justice and Kaige. I'm not sure what weird freaky kind of sex those parents are into. There is one freaky name I'm ok with. A girl whose last name is Leer, was named Crystal by her parents. Middle name was Shanda. Crystal Shanda Leer.

The Hypocritical One said...

Dan--Perhaps I'm dense...I get the boys name---but lost on the girls.

muskrat--I remember listening to "buck buck number one" on an old Billy Cosby tape.

Gary--Rhett is acceptable in the deep south.

athena--that's terrible...and let's hope that athena is an alias.

brownie--thanks...perhaps I lack a creative gene when it comes to this topic.

alex--George Foreman had 5 sons named you won't be alone.

plainolemike--latrina?? that's terrible.

TNO--that's a blatant lie...well...I suppose some people are just that stupid.

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