I recently came across this video below in which a british man with a very normal name, who sounds curiously like the narrator for Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, explains why no one should name their child something strange.
By strange he apparently means something like “snowflake” or “sunshine” or “weirdo.” When I was younger, I used to jokingly threaten to my parents that I was going to name my first born “Bicycle,” cuz at the time I really liked the Queen song by that name. My parents threatened to disown me. I also wanted to name my first daughter “Christmas” saying we could call her Kris for short and no one would know, but if I’m the husband and I’m filling out the paperwork while my wife is in the other room screaming for morphine, I think I should get to call the child what I want.
I’m older now and divorced with no desire to go through that shit again, so the prospect of me getting an opportunity to ruin my progeny’s life before it even escapes the womb has very slim chance of happening. Not totally impossible, but my genetics have about as much chance being passed on to another generation as I have of ever having unprotected sex again, and let’s just say if you had examined Drake’s Equation even slightly, you could understand what I mean when I say aliens landing on Earth and waving at the Fox News Cameramen are slightly MORE likely than there ever being a ZachsMind Junior.
Despite this, I disagree strongly with the pleasantly british gentleman in the aforementioned video (which you really should watch by the way it’s very witty. I didn’t put that link there just for my health y’know) because he encourages people to name their child something that many other children have been named before. A name like John or Paul or George. He indicates Richard is a better choice than Ringo, thinking that if the youngster wants to be Ringo later then he and his friends can take care of that without the help of the parents. To that i say phooey. So long as our society insists on this asinine tradition of allowing the previous generation to name the next, we might as well have some fun with it.
I propose we find a compromise. I admit it is absurd to name your child after most common household appliances. “Table” is a very bad idea for example, because the child will get confused growing up when you talk about the table in the room while he’s sitting beside it. Likewise, “Sunshine” is a little confusing for similar reasons, and sunshine tends to be in most places slightly more often than tables are, unless you’re in a room with no windows and lots of tables. However, there are plenty of “common” names used in the past and even today which are also names for ordinary things still in common use today. I propose we consider putting a moratorium on some of the more commonly used baby names, particularly the ones that might confuse toddlers.
Most names for plant life for example, like Rose, Daisy, Lilac, Lilly, Willow or Ivy, are perhaps best unconsidered. Why not call the child Bouquet? Cuz that would be absurd. So is naming the child a plant of any kind. Or how about any name that’s already a noun? Like Ash for example, or Mason, Harp, Aurora, Chase, Page, Hazel, Coral, Ruby, Sapphire, Scarlet, or Violet. Try not to name your child something that might ever be in the room with them.
Personally I feel there should be a law at this point against naming children anything biblical. This is not due to my stance of atheism. The names in the bible are actually objectively very swell. It’s cuz way too many children are already named Adam, Eve, Noah, Faith, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hannah, Moses, Abigail, Levi, Ruth, Samuel, Delilah, Gabriel, Judith, Andrew, Angela, Matthew, Mark, Mercy, Luke, Olive, John, Bethany, Peter, Paul, Mary, Rachel, James, Susanna, Eli, Victoria, Michael, Joy, Daniel, Joshua, Jonah, Nicholas, Grace, Jude, Aaron, Evangeline, Isaiah, Seth, Thomas, Joseph, Eden, and of course Jesus and Muhammad. I know I’ve missed several but they should be retired too. At least the ones that show up in the top 100 most used baby names in recent years. Maybe Bathsheba for girls, or Jezebel. Retire the overused ones and try something a little more daring. There’s plenty of Seths in the world right now. Not as many Cains or Abels.
Penn Jillette named his first daughter Moxie Crimefighter Jillette. He’s gotten a bit of flack for that. Gwynneth Paltrow named her child Apple. I would like to learn in the years to come if Apple Paltrow grows up just a few cards less of a full deck than Moxie Jillette. Yes Moxie is a kind of noun, but one less likely to be in the room a lot. Whereas Apples are far more common. I am suggesting we don’t fully throw away the box but we can step outside it and look around at more interesting possibilities.
And in that I don’t mean make up a more complicated name. Laquorishia may look good on the birth certificate but will have elementary school teachers pulling out their hair every morning during roll call for your child’s entire childhood. More importantly though, whatever you name your child, do not dwell too long on how easy it will be for bullies & mean kids to make fun of your child’s name, cuz if you go down that road you are far more likely to just name your child James or Mary and say to hell with it.