Time Capsule Names

How often do you meet people called Jade, Amber, Crystal, Diamond or such similar names clogging up any youth court docket in this country? My guess? Constantly! You can’t swing a cat these days without hitting a Taylor or an Ashley.

Now… when was the last time you met someone called Gladys, Enid, Eunice, Mabel or Polly? My guess? Your last trip to a pioneer era graveyard.

Trendy fashionable names shift with the times. That’s what makes them trends and not standards or classics.

Those names from back when the guy on the ten-dollar bill was in law school were the Kaylas and Tiffanys of their day. Which means, of course, that today’s Madisons, Alyssas and Courtneys will be tomorrow’s Beulahs, Lotties and Ednas… the Melbas, Ethels and Agneses of our great-great-granddaughters’ time!

Rein it in, people! Get a grip! We must stop this from happening! Exercise some discretion when saddling your newborn with an ‘original name’… just like every other ‘original name’ given to every other baby in the maternity ward! How many different spellings of Kaitlyn can anyone stand?

And I’m not even talking about über-weirdo names like Dweezle or Moon Unit. I dearly loved Frank Zappa, may he rest in peace… but that’s just child abuse, plain and simple.

I mean, for example, ‘nature names’. Rainbow, Sparrow, River, Fire, Petal, Cloud, Montana Sky… It’s enough to make me lose faith in people. And I suppose it’s just a matter of time before Extreme Nature Names catch on. “Avalanche? F5-Twister? I’d like you to meet our darling daughter, Tsunami and our dear son, Torrential Downpour.” Adeline and Lavinia will be a welcome relief after a few introductions like that.

I have a cousin who, I’m not kidding, named her three sons according to whatever daytime soap actor she was infatuated with at the time.

This is not to say there weren’t other times when far too little thought went into naming progeny. Quintus, Sextus,  Septimus and Octavius, for example, come from a day when one didn’t even bother scraping up a name, decent or otherwise. You just numbered the offspring as they came along.

Foreign names can be given a pass, to a certain extent, but even foreign names have their clunkers. While I personally like Shaindel and Shprintza, most others wouldn’t name their daughters that on a bet. I believe my grandmother had a relative named Clelia. I also heard mention, when I was rather young, of someone in nonna’s old mountainside village who was called Utterina (or at least that’s what is sounded like to me)!

Try using what I call the Kindergarten Roll-Call Test. Imagine a kindergarten class. Try inserting your proposed baby name as Sister Mary Margaret or Mrs. Neidermeyer goes down the class list. “Scott. Jennifer. Joseph. Sarah. David… Whizzbangg…” If in your mind you hear a loud buzzer going off, then the name has not passed the test.

So, people… think before you name. And don’t give the baby a name while drunk or high on something like the epidural and other painkillers. Don’t traumatize your tot with a name you came up with on a whim.

Names are tiny time capsules and you don’t want people cracking up at your children’s name whether it’s in grade school… or at their tombstones.


2 comments on “Time Capsule Names

  1. bunnynoah says:

    Okay, I will admit, in my youth I had dreamed up a couple of doozies! My daughter would be named ‘Star’ because I loved the stars in the dark night skies. My son’s name would be more traditional – named after my 2 fathers, but with tongue firmly in cheek. I wanted to name him ‘Cyr Frank’. It just cracked me up to think of him in school (this was in the days when all male teachers were called ‘Sir’ by their students).

    Teacher: Who knows the answer? Cyr?
    Cyr: Pardon Sir?
    Teacher: Do you know the answer, Cyr?
    Cyr: No Sir. Sorry Sir.
    (What can I say – I was young and in a silly mood!)

  2. vampyrefangs says:

    bunnynoah: Ah yes, the “Who’s on first?” method of naming children. I know someone who has a middle name Starr but now that she is older, everyone presumes it was marriage-related… like Starr was her maiden name or her husband’s name and it was shuffled over or inserted into middle place. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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