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June 29th, 2017

Insight

Stupid Baby Names

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published April 24, 2015

 Stupid Baby Names

Thomas, William, James, Richard, John, Catherine, Elizabeth, Mary, Helen, Jane. Good names all. Solid. Normal. Once considered classic names for people, but no more. We live in the age of Apple, Blue Ivy, and Clover thanks in large part to the idiot celebrities who feel it's their duty to burden their children with these stupid handles. But then again what does one expect from people who themselves are named Gwyneth, Beyonce and Jewel?

It would be no big deal if it were only the celebs engaging in this nonsense, but sadly, they influence many others who are expecting a child. "'Hey, if a movie star does it then it must be cool,"' goes the thinking. Suddenly we find Tiger lilies, Peaches, Rainbows, and Crickets popping up all over the place. So is it clever and cool to name your kid North West, or just selfish and dumb? And where does it end? How far will they push the envelope?

At what point do the dopey names stop being just silly and start being offensive and crude? Which star celebrity will be the first to name their child Hobo, or Crapper? And what could be more adorable than to name your new baby Phlegm, Vomit or Pus? Think I'm being ridiculous? When you consider Axl Jack, Banjo, Rocket Man, Marijuana, Adrenaline, Bronx Mowgli, and Brooklyn are all real names, it isn't a stretch to think someone will eventually name their kid something like Toenail Fungus. Or how about Cialis or Viagra (in honor of how the child was created)?

People's names fall in and out of fashion. For years nobody named their kids Max, Charlie, Sophie or Ava but in recent years these have made a comeback. Some names however have not returned. Do know any babies named Harvey, Ruth, Lillian, or Frank? How many are named Abraham, Daniel, Herman, Raymond, Doris, Loretta, Nora, Judy, or Barbara? My name and the names of my brother and sister (Gregory, Debra, and Brian) were popular mid-century names that have fallen out of favor today. How can you compete with monikers like Slate, Lava, Dice, and Parsley?

Today's new parents don't want people names anymore; they want to name their offspring after things. Things like seasons, or seasonings, or colors, or animals, or feelings. So it's not Henry, it's Hawk. It's not Greg, it's Green. It's not Cora, it's Clove. It's not Maureen, it's Mint. For some, the edgier the better; Tazer, Diesel, Zalvadora, Slash, and Jazz. It really isn't too hard to come up with a hip name for your baby, just name him or her anything that doesn't sound like a human being.

In my humble opinion if an expectant couple wants to name their kid something different they should just go back to the names their grandparents or great grandparents used. Those names are really different by today's standards. Ebenezer, Rutherford, Dwight, Chester, Wilfred, and Millard are all good old-fashioned boys names. Old-time names for little girls would include Audrey, Martha, Sylvia, Veronica, Joan, and Lucille.

Another way to go might be to return to the old mobster names from the 20's and 30's. Lefty, Mugsy, Legs, Bugsy, Squirt, Blackie, Johnnie No Shoes, Sluggo, Greasy Thumb, Cue Ball, Nutsy, and Ice Pick are few examples. Girl's names such as Trixie, Moll, Round Heels, and Easy, will do nicely.


Consider Scooter, Rags, Ignatz, Armand, Nimrod, or Zippy if your intention is to guarantee that everyone he meets will remember your kid's name. Another way to be sure no one ever forgets your child's name is to name him or her after someone in history. Name your little baby girl Bonnie Parker or Marie Antoinette or Cleopatra. Name your son Albert Schweitzer or Moe Howard or WC Fields. If you have twin boys then Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello would be perfect.

Here's an idea, name your kid after a comic strip or comic book character. Lil' Abner, Dagwood Bumstead, Snuffy Smith, Brenda Starr, Little Lulu, and Betty Boop are all there for the taking. Who's going to be the first one to use Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen? Want a menacing name? Use Lex Luthor.

If you plan on having a large family then just name each one with their respective number; first child's name is One, second child Two and so on. Or you could do it with the alphabet; A, B, C, D, etc. Name your child after a planet, or after an insect. How can you beat a name like Uranus O'Reilly or Grasshopper Silverman?

But here's the thing. If you are expecting a baby and you decide to go the crazy name route, just remember this your kid will always know who it was that named him. And some day he might decide to get even.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.

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