What’s in a Name?

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Ever notice when someone has a baby and the first thing someone asks is “What’s their name?”  Evelyn. “Oh that’s such a lovely name”.  Five minutes later when someone else is holding the little ball of mush. “That’s a terrible name, why would anyone pick that?”   You people are cold.

Picking out baby names is vicious.  Do you get along with your in-laws?  Oh, you do?  Want to hate them like everybody else?  Tell them what your plan to name their grandchild is and then let the hate flow through you.  I understand you may not like the name Zach, but it’s really no reason to call your future son-in-law a worthless sack of crap who will never amount to anything.  It’s fucking impossible to make everyone happy.  This name sounds too Russian. That’s a stripper’s name.  I’ve never heard a boy with a name like that.  Well, that’s not terrible, but how would you spell it? You would add a “Y” in there somehow.

I’m glad that I’m not having kids anytime soon.  The first time I asked the girlfriend what she would like to name our two future kids (because anything more than a 1 parent to 1 kid ratio just sounds like asking for trouble and/or bankruptcy), her response was Beebop and Rocksteady.  Wonderful.  I’m dating someone with the naming tastes of my 8-year old self.  More recent attempts have found more realistic options, and even mutual agreement.  You grow up and spend enough time with your significant other, and you really start to see eye to eye on a lot of things.  (Or you don’t but this isn’t a post about future one parent families, so bugger off).   But there is one problem with names that aren’t terrible: everyone uses them.

I’m passing on the biblical favorites because religion is just not for me. I have no one in my family worth honoring, and myself?  My personal distaste for juniors is maybe the strongest.  They’re your son, not your clone.  Let them start their own identity, and let’s be honest, even the people who love you the most don’t want another you to exist.  So excluding, the same name, the bible names, and absurd celebrity names like Apple, North, and Blue Ivy, there should still be plenty of variation with thousands of names to choose from, right?  Instead the most popular names are from Twilight.  Liked Jakob and Isabella before, but that is most definitely over now.  Not going to name my children after a teen romance centered on the statutory rape of some girl by a centenarian vampire who looks like the touring bassist from My Chemical Romance.  You may be able to live with that association, but I’m sure I’ll mess up my kids soon enough; I’d like to start off the name right.

I loved the name Olivia (hey this is my hypothetical kid, you bite your tongue).  Apparently everyone else does too; number fucking 4 on the list?  The girlfriend loves Liam; number 1 in the US for 2013.  What the hell?  Did I miss another potato famine?  Did the guy from Oasis find a way to cure cancer by strumming Wonderwall? (I fucking wish; if he did we would have an army of college bros to cure that shit in 3 weeks).  When did these names become so widespread?  Clearly a lot of it is media driven: we all watch, read, and listen to the same crap.  Other elements of it can be explained by collective consciousness – There is no way you read that so in summary: as a society we all share some basic knowledge, beliefs, ideas, and attitudes and this can lead many of us to the same endgame.  Whether through psychological phenomena or global media brainwashing, we all think the same shit.  Including baby names.  Your kid will be a conformist before they are even born.

Scientifically explainable or not, I’m still pissed.  I don’t feel like I need to come up with a name no one has ever thought of, as much fun as naming my kind Jojepaphmajo who would be, I’m not cold like you people.  But I’d rather not name my kid something real common like Josh, or Michael, or something weird to be weird like Seven. (at least enough time has passed no one would ask “what’s in the box?”)  I’m not ready to have kids, probably not for a long while.  Maybe things will change by then.  Maybe there will be a World War, some climate change event, or even a zombie apocalypse and there will be so few people there will be more names to go around.  I’m sure 60% of those post doomsday assholes will still name their kids Aiden or Mason.  But I’m not giving up.  My kid will have a great, unique name.  Then I’ll eat his delicious fucking brains.

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