Stop It with the Names

Last Tuesday (or maybe it was the one before) we took the kids to Cedar Point.  They’re too short to ride much of anything except the kiddie-land stuff so I waited in a lot of lines where parents were yelling at their equally-short kids.  I was appalled at the names I heard.

I always thought Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer gave himself that nickname

I may have talked about this before, but if you find yourself pregnant and you’re looking forward to the task of labeling another human being with a unique name, knock it off.  Now is not the time to get creative.  You may have dropped out of college or quit the band or given up on your novel, but don’t bring this kid a lifetime of “wazzat again?” and “how do you spell that?”  Give it a normal name and move on.  Knock it off with “Brailan” or “Naveah” or “Tesla”.  It’s not cute.  When people ask you the new baby’s name and you say “Shartruse”, they’re response is always “Ohh!  That’s cute!” but they’re saying it to be kind; these are the same people who tell you your new “20’s-style bob” haircut is “cute”.  Quit it.

Here are the parameters: if you’re a milquetoast white family, you can only name your child names of clasemates you had in high school, bible names, or names of English royalty.  If you have some sort of heritage, you’re given some leeway (like if you’re 80% Irish, “Seamus” is an ok name), but “Izazel”, “Atticus”, and “Kiara” are not acceptable.

On the other hand, your kid could be a totally bankable star even though he has no discernible skills just because you gave him an original name.

If you want to be “original” (which, by the way, how original are you if you’re giving your kid a name you heard on The Wire), pick a name that isn’t around anymore: “Jasper” or “Shirley” or “Phillis”.

Since I’m on the subject, please stop with the “I’m going to name my kid a popular name, but I’m going to spell it slightly differently.”  No more “Khloe” or “Page” or “Jakob”.

And that’s coming from a “Nickolas.”


One Response

  1. […] wrote an article a while back about ridiculous names people keep giving their kids.  It got some flack, but I stand by it.  I now have a real-life […]

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