Monday, May 29, 2006

Gems from 2005

The Social Security Administration puts up a list of the top 1000 names in the U.S. every year - 2005's list just went up a few weeks ago, and I have only now had time to sit down and view the damage. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the worst offenders:

Girls:

Unsurprisingly, Paris was the most popular destination-name at 206. London followed at 538, surpassed somewhat surprisingly by America (427). Ireland squeezed in at 992, as did Montserrat at 982 - cousin Monserrat fared somewhat better at 638. Imperialism got a big boost with Asia (290), India (501) and Kenya (625) all making the top 1000. Marin, of wine country fame, inexplicably made 964.

We've also got a great crop of girls who will either never grow up, or never use their real name for job interviews. America (427, remember!) is full of Precious (553) Princesses (738) who all deserve a Diamond (302) Tiara (586)! They are all little Miracles (476) and behave like little Angels (147). They will all go to Heaven (245), or possibly Nevaeh (a horrific 70).

As possibly the most ironic name of all time, Unique made 937.

Pseudoreligious names like Genesis (155) Trinity (48) and Karma (867) did fairly well, though the parents of the little Armanis (961) and Chanels (919) had more materialistic naming choices. Kali (526) is religiously named, but very unfortunately so.

Another unfortunate name is the result of an unfortunate spelling. Could Aryana (872) have a sister named Nazi (real name!)?

This was also a big year for random nouns and faux virtue names. Shall we take a Journey (773) through an Aspen (543) Meadow (851)? We can search for the Essence (926) of Justice (536)! What Serenity (170 - need I also point out that this is a brand of adult diapers?) Music-related names were also popular. Do you remember that Presley (513) Lyric (688)? It had a nice Cadence/Kadence/Kaydence (205/345/357).

Presidents are popular, though it's difficult to say why. Maybe Republicans give their daughters the name Reagan (136) and Democrats give their daughters the name Kennedy/Kennedi (118/634 - and which incidentally means "ugly head")... but does anyone really remember what Madison (3) did?

And then there are the just plain unfortunate names that somehow crept into the top 1000. Alexia (160), anyone? Think that Cheyenne (172) isn't disrespectful enough? What about Cheyanne (630), Shyanne (763) or Shyann (901)??

There are apparently a lot of disappointed parents in America who wanted a boy but got a girl instead. Micah (878), Ryan (452), Parker (711), Rowan (766) and Peyton (131) are all now great names for that little girl you just had! Never mind the trouble she'll have with her name - boys names on girls are cute and spunky!


You know what happens when you start giving boys names to girls, of course. They "go pink." This doesn't mean that they join the socialist party, though perhaps that would be preferable - this means that they become unusable on boys. Think of Lindsay, Whitney, Courtney, Ashley... heck, think of Madison! I have yet to receive a good explanation as to why boys names are easily transferrable to girls, but girls names never get applied to boys. I have a sneaking suspicion it is because masculine names "make girls strong" and feminine names are "sissy names," though this suspicion is adamantly denied by most trendy namers.

So what happens when we lose Micah, Ryan, Parker, Rowan and Peyton? Obviously, we just need more masculine names! How about Cannon (767), Colt (949), Gunner (620) or Talon(619)? Nothing says masculine like GUNS AND KILLIN'. Except maybe pornography - good thing Maxim made the list at 970.

Yes, parents sure think a lot of their boys. They don't want to risk any of that feminizing nonsense - they've got to raise little Princes (819)! Is that why Marquis (525), Marquise (801), Adonis (817) and even Messiah (903) made the list this year?

If the girls' names are largely infantilizing or trashy, the boys' names are largely rather inexplicable. Trace (544)? Kale (758)? Jax (979)? Gauge (974)? I guess nouns are just big. Don't have enough Cash (674)? You can rent a Garret (618) room! Though you'd do just as well to search for housing outside Boston (680) or London (688) - have you thought about Zaire (871)?

Also, note: Sincere (SINCERE!) is at 660. Its cousin Ernest is at 655.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Now I know my... daughter?

The mother of Abcde 's got some 'splainin' to do.

The good news is, I suppose, that the girl will know how to spell her name as soon as she knows her ABCs - it'll take most of the kids featured on this blog a lot longer than that.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Etymology for Dummies

My favorite types of online birth announcements are those that give the meanings of the names parents have chosen for those little ones. Sometimes they're hilarious and wrong, but sometimes they're hilarious and right.

Take Asia here. Benefis Healthcare says Asia means "Name's Origin: Greek; English.
Name's original meaning: 'Resurrection'; 'Eastern sunrise'." I mean, I guess, maybe. That's definitely not the first meaning that came to my mind, honestly. I was thinking more along the lines of "Oriental Continent," but whatever floats your boat. Maybe I am going to start calling Europe "Mythological Seduced Woman" and Antarctica "Opposite to the Bear." That's what they mean, after all, you know.

Here is little Andersen Kate. A cute girl, but what does Chandler Regional Hospital have to say about her name? "Courtney and Lee have chosen the name Andersen Kate for their beautiful new daughter. Origin: Swedish. Original Meaning: "Strong; manly; courageous"." Good choice, Courtney and Lee, good choice!

London Jayde apparently means "Fortress of the moon." Funny, I always thought a London Jayde was what Hogarth depicted in his "Harlot's Progress" engravings...

India Danielle has a very interesting name meaning, too. "Name's Origin: English.
Name's original meaning: Country's name used as a first name." At least they're honest.

P.S.

Remember how bad Jiizelle was? Well, meet:

Gizem.

Yet another culturally appropriate but linguistically unfortunate name.

That which we call a Lilia...


WHICH GETS YOU VOTE:

Lilia Monet

or

Lilia Paris



I dread polls like this. Why don't they ever give you option C, "Why not Lilia Marie, or Lilia Penelope? At least that wouldn't scream, 'Look how hard I am trying to be cultured!'" I dutifully voted... Paris. Because Monet is just that bad in my mind. And you know when I choose former-male-name-now-borne-by-socialite-heiress/slut, the other choice is really just that bad.

There are a few reasons I think Monet is a dumb thing to name a kid. Firstly, it is more popular as its "alternate" spelling, Monae. "It's Monae, like Monet," we're told. Nothing screams "tasteful" like a respelling of a famous artist's name. Meet my kids Konstabyl Ohkeef and Renwahr War-haul! If it's a tribute to Monet (which I sort of doubt, more on that later), at least spell it Monet. Secondly, (here is the part I am talking about), Monet/Monae is apparently a clever way to slip both art and cash into the same name. Remember Count de Monet in Mel Brooks' "History of the World, Part One?" Yeah, that kind of Monet. You see the same sort of thing with Jules (Jewels) and Cash. Thirdly, MONET HAD A FIRST NAME. If you're so interested in actually honoring the artist, he had some other names!

All of these facts apparently did not faze other posters, who responded:

Monet; but if I were you I'd look into using a less-well-known artist namefor the middle:

Lilia Chardin
Lilia Morisot
Lilia Cassatt
Lilia Watteau


At least Lilia Monet had some kind of theme going, you know? Lilia Chardin? LILIA WATTEAU? Why not Lilia I-just-googled-French-painters? What about Lilia Fragonard? Lilia Girodet de Roussy-Trioson?? Ooh, I know, Lilia Hennequin! That's kind of like Heineken! Or Lilia Limousin? Now THAT'S classy!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Saynts Preserve Us!

Some of my favorite names these days are religious names. Or, more appropriately, names people think are religious names. I've got a whole folder here in my bookmarks, full of such gems as:

Testament Venaycia S'mya (a girl, I believe)

Elijahanae Heavenly Sincere (a girl)

Sunni (inadvertently religious, I suspect)

Poor little Christain.

Messiah Corion

Serinity Divine

Jesus Alondra (perhaps not unusual, until you realize it's a girl)


So these aren't Adonai Vita or anything, but they're not exactly great. Particularly Messiah. They always say not to name your kids Chastity or Temperance or Joy, in case they don't live up to their names. Can you imagine how little Messiah will feel about that?

I generally only come across these sorts of names in birth announcement rubbernecking, but a recent post on a certain baby names board has brought up the issue of religious names in a very immediate way:

Can we have some feedback on our names? We are due with a little Miracle in June. We are a Christian family from Virginia. I am Lexi and my fiance is Noah. My son Messyah Kenyon is 21 months. I picked a very spiritual name for hm- Messyah has a lot of meaning for me. It was the Lord who guided me through his birth and raising him on his own until I met my fiance. My fiance and I have picked out a few names for our daughter. We have many connections to these names.

Kryshna Faith

Maddox
(Maddie for short, we know if means son of the lord but we feel our daughter is just as much a miracle as my son)

Praisee (means to Pray). We like the alternate spelling Prayslee as well.

Miracle (she is our true Miracle. Without her, Noah and i have would never have fallen in love so quickly)

Destiny (she is our future)

Angel (as she is sent from heaven).

We like the middle name Fayth. My mom's name is Fayth.



...

Wow. Wow. Where can I even start? WOW.

Normally I would start with the most egregious thing that jumps out at me. The trouble with this post is, what doesn't jump out at me? Um... well... Let's go in order. Messyah. This is a perfect example of why parents should run names through Microsoft Word beforehand. "Messyah." "Do you mean 'Messy Ah'?" Ahh, thank you, Clippy! I might have missed that! There'd be nothing worse than being a sloppy version of Jesus!

Kryshna Fayth. This poster reiterates in later posts that she wants a "strong Christian name." I'm not sure she understand that the "Krishna Faith" is generally regarded to be Hinduism.

Maddox, meaning "son of the Lord." If it weren't for the fact that Maddox is actually a surname meaning 'son of Madoc', this wouldn't be so bad. Except that she wants to put it on her miracle daughter. Why is it that every child is a miracle, anyway? Isn't that what the human body is designed for? How is it a miracle if a woman in her twenties gets knocked up by a casual boyfriend for the second time? It would probably be more of a miracle if this woman knew how to use a condom, don't you think? (In case you are wondering, I pray for miracles daily). Maybe the real miracle is that the poster didn't realize how terrible the sentence "Without her, Noah and i have would never have fallen in love so quickly" sounds. The best love stories coincide with accidental pregnancies, it seems.

Praisee. I'm not sure how "Prayslee" is an "alternate spelling" of this, seeing as there's an L in it. I'm trying to come up with an etymology for this 'name' - perhaps we are "praisers" and God is the "praisee?" And then she could have two kids named God! Sweet!

Subsequent posters tried to dissuade her, but she won't budge. She did admit that she liked Godiva and Nevaeh though. She says, "Nevaeh's a traditional Welch girls name. Maybe it is not appropriate since we are not welch." Forget Eel Heaven - what about GRAPE HEAVEN??

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kute Baybees Are Widdle Fowever!!

One quick and sorely-overdue update before I head out for the weekend. It's exam period right now, which is why I am not on my game. I promise I will be better in a bit.

While you're waiting, though, here are some widdle babie gurlz who will never grow up:

Treasure Believe. Little Treasure liked to Believe she was adopted, and that her true name was Tara Beatrice.

Diamond Aurora - perhaps fitting, seeing as she was born in Alaska. Almost as good as Petroleum Caribou.

India Unique and Omaega Unique. What happens when two Uniques are born at the same hospital, I wonder? Does a singularity form or something? Cause that would be sweet.

Emma Louise Peach almost escaped a sickeningly saccharine name. Almost.

Tabrina Jewels didn't, though. Did her parents not get the message that this particular middle name is slang for "testicles?" That's attractive.

Jade Saphire (note the spelling). Subtitled "Our Little Gem Stone." Puke.



Since it's been awhile, I thought I'd divulge a little about myself. I, too, find some completely outrageous names rather attractive. I'd never use them, but here are some examples of people who have:

Maranatha Marisol. Okay, maybe I would use this. Maybe...

Hypatia Rosalind. Okay, maybe I would use this too.

But look, see? I like crazy names too!

End of confession.