What’s in a name?
Warning: This week’s offering contains a lot more art than science!
I am going to address a question that all parents face very early in their parenting career. There is a fundamental decision all parents must make immediately after the birth of a new child. “What shall we call this thing?” The name you choose for this unsuspecting innocent new born, is well, let me suggest… predictive. I appreciate there are popular baby name books, family traditions and the Zappa family to help you with your selection, but they all miss the point. I will share some experiential information that exposes the dangerous permanence of your choice. As you stare at this new birth certificate with understandable joy, just appreciate the fate you will set into motion.
So what’s in a name? A lot my friend, quite a lot. Have you not noticed the popularity of the name Lot diminished significantly when his wife turned to salt after that little incident in Sodom and Gomorrah. You can’t look back once you label your child with their forever name. Choose wisely young parents, as onomastics is a cruel game. Allow me to help you with a little game that I like to call Names and Consequences.
Charles: There is a high probability your child will become king of some foreign country. If you choose to call him Chuck he might stay home.
Joyce: She won’t be a pretty child, though family members will never tell you this. Joyce will age gracefully and become the “go to” aunt during family crisis.
Clarence: Clarence will get beat up a lot in school but will compensate to hide his pain by becoming a circus clown. As a parent try not to be fooled by that painted smile.
Ashley: This is a relatively new name, Be prepared to spend a lot of money on high-end designer clothes for your daughter as she achieves a high maintenance status you won’t comprehend.
Napoleon: If you’re going to name your child Napoleon, what he lacks in height he will make up for with ambition.
Marilyn: You might want to book appointments for therapy now, as you will be blamed for all of your daughter’s life decisions, but leave the beauty mark.
Jiminy: Like Napoleon you have chosen a name that will stunt the growth of your child. However he will be a visionary and always carry an umbrella… just in case.
Chloe: See Ashley
Humphrey: Your child will start smoking non-filtered cigarettes at the tender age of seven. He will become a gangster however will be a lot of fun at parties.
Elizabeth: Elizabeth will be called Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Bethy, Eliza, and Zabeth. She will struggle with multiple personality disorder, and marry a gentleman named William, and will address him as Will. Bill, Billy but eventually settle on Jiminy.
Dave: Dave will be very artsy and change his name to Duave. (pronounced like suave) When you mispronounce his name, and you will, he will pout for hours.
Ethel: Just take this one off the list
Bruce: Move to Australia, if that seems a tad too far to travel, consider the Bruce Peninsula.
Alfred: You have really limited the employment options for your little boy to overweight movie director or butler but hopefully he just shrugs as he suggests “You can call me Al.”
Celine: Your daughter will be a tad overemotional with everyone but her father. You might as well have called her Oedipus.
Xavier or Zak: I put these two together because alphabetically they will be very near the end of all attendance lists, especially if your last name is Zypher. The inferiority complex you have imposed will be addressed by new pharmaceuticals developed in the mid 2030s.
Madison: This is an exceptionally strong female name. She will be running your house before she reaches the age of three.
Ryan: Good news, your son will eventually get the lead role in a popular soap opera. Bad news, he will struggle as he copes with his fading good looks.
Cleopatra: You think Ashley is high maintenance, wait until Cleopatra goes to her first prom.
Fred: He will become an accountant, but not a very good accountant, as math will not be his strength.
Jezebel: Okay parents, you are not even trying!
Stan: I have offered few absolutes here, except this one. In my life experience everyone named Stan will become either a mechanic or a minor league short stop.
Cole: See Ashley and Chloe
Defenestration: This is not a name at all, but just a great word, so I thought I would slip it in this list. Now you know the proper word to use after you throw somebody out a window.
Elvis: Your child is going to move to Memphis because your small town has limited access to jump suits. There are very few direct flights to go visit your son. Fortunately he will be in Vegas often. There are many direct flights to Las Vegas.
Jasmine: This one makes all the lists of trendy girl names. Just a cautionary note, Bertha made all the lists of trendy names before trendy was even a word.
Horatio: See Ethel
Gabrielle: This name will cause a lot of distress, because your neighbours will keep calling her Gabriella. You will eventually move to a gated community where nobody talks to each other, and Gabrielle will thrive.
Brian: This will be a strong name and Brian will not disappoint. He will be very tall, and look really good wearing a hat.
Sally: Your daughter will enjoy milking cows and look surprisingly sweet in an apron
Quasimodo: Another very bad choice, as he will spend way too much time trying to cover up his little hunched back, causing deep rooted confidence problems expressed as subservience. Little Quasy will continually respond “yes master” to every request a parent makes.
Dennis: This child will achieve delusions of grandeur, and annoy people by constantly sending out unwelcome blogs and songs. Fortunately most people know this and block that name from all known communication devices except open windows. (See Defenestration)
You’re welcome young parents, next week I will address the importance of choosing the right cellphone number for your infants.
Cue the Blong