Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Non-use of Given Names

I have a pet peeve about parents who name kids one thing and then never actually use the name. It is one thing for someone later in life to aquire a certain nickname that is used some of the time. That is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the parents who give a kid a first name and a middle name and then never use the first name or the middle name. Almost as bad are those parents who give a first and middle name and then use the middle name only from birth.

Why the hell bother giving a kid a name you never have any intention of using? If you are going to call a kid "Mack" from birth, write that on his birth certificate so everyone can see what his name is! If you are going to use a kid's middle name from birth as if it were a first name, why the hell don't you just make it the kid's first name to begin with?

And while I'm ranting about names, I also want to rant about people who recycle names in families, naming kids after grandparents, or even parents, so you get lots of juniors or just get the same names repeated over and over and over. Every child deserves his or her OWN name, not some recycled name. That is just so... boring - and also confusing when you look at a family tree.

So please - pick an original name for your child - but hopefully not something that makes the kid sound like a freak - and when you choose the name - use it! Thus ends my rant for this evening.


Transplanted Lawyer said...

My wife and I know a young couple who is planning on naming their child "Novaris Olerupp Vincennes Aragorn" or something like that, and calling him N.O.V.A. for short. They made it clear they intend to keep the initials in his acronym.

This alone strikes me as a very compelling argument in favor of the arbitrary and terrible exercise of state power to take this innocent child away from such obviously awful parents.

But for now, I'm hoping that when they actually look at the little guy, fresh out of the womb, they realize that they just can't do that to their own child and go with "William" or something boring like that. No offense to any people actually named William intended. But there's a fine line between an "interesting" name and one that functionally ensures that you will be beat into grapefruit juice each and every day you go to school.

DBB said...

Yes - there are some pretty terrible names out there, though obviously tastes vary.

The challenge my wife and I had when we were thinking of names for our children was to find something unusual that SOUNDED like it could have been common - thus avoiding any schoolyard beatings (that such a thing would ever happen is another matter entirely - there is no reason children should be so cruel-I never was). That is quite a challenge Luckily, we had a girl's name (first and middle) relatively quickly - well in advance of our daughter. We even had another set of girl's names we liked in case we had a second girl. Finding a name we could agree on for our son took a lot longer - it was only a month or two before the due date that we finally had that. If we have a third child (which seems doubtful now given the costs in time/money for two), it would have to be a girl or we'd have no name to give him.

S said...

My SO is a third. People keep asking me when there will be a fourth. Never, if I have anything to say about it! I will hope for a girl just so I don't have to face Numbers 1 and 2 and explain my deep hatred for legacy names.

DBB said...

S - that must be tough - taking the "when are you having a baby" talk on top of the "when are you having our family legacy" talk.

Legacy names like that have another problem related to this post - if you name every boy down the line George (boy George, heh) - you are pretty muched forced to use a different name at family gatherings, and then by extension, everywhere, so as not to confuse who you are talking about, so the net result is you have three or four Georges in the family (alive at any given time) and you can't call any of them George (or at most, one of them).