Monday Ranting – What’s in A Name

Anything but Apple or Fire!!!

As someone who’s gone through life without ever having a nickname, by choice, I’m 100% convinced there’s power in a name. Names may in some strange way have a say in your future. Your name is one of the things that will follow you for life, sort of like your credit score, which is why it’s oh so necessary to choose and choose wisely for your child. Unlike your credit score, which can rise and fall depending on your actions, your name will more likely than not remain constant unless you’re Chad Ochocinco. No one’s child deserves the abuse of being named Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee. Why why why would you do this? Don’t get me wrong I’m all about creativity. By all means kick it up a notch, switch up the spelling. Instead of Lauren go with Lauryn. It’s still phonetically accurate and pronounceable by teachers and potential employers.

If I were a parent I’d struggle with naming my child. Outside of my genetically jacked up knees I’d hope I didn’t pass along any other total douchery to my kid. Much like arriving at the prom wearing the same dress as your frenemy, it can’t be fun sitting in class as the 4th John in a row. While names aren’t nearly as diverse as snowflakes it’s important to pick something that will set the stage for your little rock star. It’s also equally important to select something that won’t get your kid pummeled from pre-k to high school graduation. It is that serious. Men named Ashley, Courtney and Dana can attest to that last statement.

Let’s face it kids are cruel! I’m not sure if cruelty is packaged in those Capri Sun juice pouches or served in chicken nuggets but wherever it’s housed those little snot rockets are getting their fair dose. Not to say you should name your children based on the reaction of others but you should name your children based on the reaction of others. Imagine a boy child named Stone. How segzy is that? It’s easy to pronounce. His teachers aren’t going to uck his name up during morning roll call and he just sounds impressive. Even if he looks like Eric Williams (what the hell is that crawling out of his forehead) he’s still getting chicks, because his name is hot. Once he makes it to CEO of Pepsi or some other fortune 500 no one will ever have a problem saying I work for Stone. With a name like that he doesn’t need to even use his family name.

Girls have similar but different struggles. I often wonder if parents think of the long-term effects of naming their daughters, Gertrude, Bertha or Diamond. Yes I know one of those things is not like the other but iStruggle. I’ll take the granny name for $500 Alex. This is not to say that every girl named Diamond becomes a stripper because I’m 67.8% sure that isn’t the case, at the same time are you willing to take that risk? I’d much rather everyone refers to my daughter as Grandma Trudy than say Candy. Parenting a hoochie just seems like a stressful job. No judgment of course. If I ended up with a pole pro I’d just tell her to make that money don’t let that money make you. Seems like good solid advice.

It’s all about the name. My parental units did a good job with my siblings and I. Our names have actual meaning. They aren’t just fabrications of their imagination. While some non-black folk struggle saying my brother’s name, even though it’s spelled exactly as it sounds, at least our names are spelled correctly. Yes I say correctly because Sharnell is not Chanel and Jrue is not Drew. I’m just saying it isn’t. Your creativity is doing the opposite of winning. You and in turn your child look foolish. If reading your name makes me feel like I’m deciphering Sanskrit I will be less inclined to speak with you. Am I wrong, probably so but it is what it is. Parents should equip their children with every possible chance to succeed in this world. Don’t hobble them out of the gate by spelling their name like a schizophrenic off his meds. If you’re having trouble determining whether the spelling is accurate, run it by a stranger. People with a vested interest will probably lie to spare your feelings. If that doesn’t work there’s a little thing called Google that I’m sure will lend a hand.

At the top of my list, weirdness just for the sake of weirdness. Examples of this would be naming your child any one of the following; Puma, Story, Atlanta, Bamboo, Seven, Fire and/ or Happy. Yes I get it. You don’t want your kid picked last for dodge ball, however this isn’t the way. Ghetto-fantabulous folks who name their children after cars creep underneath my skin. If you’re going to name your daughter Porsche please use the proper spelling Portia. Why don’t you put a bullseye on her forehead that says my parents don’t read good. This truly upsets my life-space!

Don’t get me wrong my name selections will probably screw up my future offspring as well. While I like to think I have decent taste, taste is very subjective. Even though I think names like Shondrika or Apple are equally bad selections for different reasons it didn’t deter me from recommending Simba. However, I was making a suggestion for someone else and would never open my child up to the burst out in song style ribs that would definitely follow. At the same time Nala is pretty. I prefer the Arabic spelling Nahla, which means lovely and would strongly consider this if I had a girl. I’m also a fan of Ava, Eva, Chloe, Fatima, Isabel, Sasha, Sloane and Zoe and for a boy, Caleb, Eli, Isa, Jackson, and Jonah.

What says you? How important is a name? Do you think some people go too far to find unique names for their kids? What are some of your favorite names? If you have children what process did you go through to select a name?

8 Responses to “Monday Ranting – What’s in A Name”
  1. whatsaysyou says:

    You definitely hit the nail on the head about the name issue, Faith. It is true that a child’s name can make or break his or her self-esteem. As a blogger, I am not going to lie but I know someone who has a former high school classmate (a former popular straight A student with a monstrous attitude) who became a mother a few years ago and decided to name her son Texas. My friend asked me and a few other friends for our opinions and we cannot help but have a mutual pity towards that poor little baby boy (he would be about three this year from what I heard) and at the same time wondering what was going through that mother’s head with no sense at all (she always wanted to be as ‘cool’ as the Beckhams or those celebs who give their kids weird names). We cannot help but wonder if kids in his class would someday start saying “Where’s Texas? Oh, Texas is in United States” or worse of all, “Did you say taxes? I have paid my taxes on time. You name it road taxes, income taxes and personal taxes”. If he was born a girl instead, perhaps his mother would have named her worse and I wouldn’t want to know. Naming a child is a serious matter and I won’t be surprised if the kid turns 18 years from now he would change his name by deed poll no thanks to his mother.

    Anyway, moving on: What are my favourite names? For the girls, I love the names Amelia, Gemma, Lydia, Lara, Leonora, Adele,Helena, Sarah, Charlene, and Sophie. As for boys, I like the names Harry, Patrick, William, Paul, Andrew, Martin, Lawrence, Jacob, George and Stephen.

    • Faith M. says:

      I pity this child as well. More so because Texas doesn’t even sound decent. She couldn’t pick Florida and he could be mistaken for a lame rapper. Kids will be cruel and she should expect many a tear shed night. I know a guy whose daughter’s name is Brooklyn. This has actually grown on me but I wouldn’t pick it for one of my imaginary children. Word up on your selection of Sophie I digs it. I also like Jacob but I would switch the c with a k.

      • whatsaysyou says:

        Thank you, Faith. By the way, I just heard a rumour from my close friends that a former classmate of mine from primary school became a mother a few years ago and named her son Bentley or something like it after a car! Made me wonder what was she thinking.

  2. The Insane Asylum (Mr. Chap) says:

    I’m LLS over here. You are too crazy. When we were kids, my cousin Bennie and I used to come up with alter ego names for ourselves. I was Max Powers, he was Jack Cousins. I don’t know why, but Jack Cousins sounded better to me than Max Powers.

    I had a friend named Leslie growing up. We were tighter than gnat booty so when he got into a fight over his name, Igot into fight over his name. I don’t know why ladies name their boys as girls. I guess the same way men give their daughters a male middle name.

    My real name looks good on paper. When I submit a resume, I know they think they’re getting some white-bread heir-to-the-throne. “Nope, it’s just me. And since you hired me, you can’t take it back” I think to myself.

    • Faith M. says:

      Well now I can call you Max Powers…personally I think this name is better than Jack Cousins but who am I. Clearly you two thought long and hard about your superhero identities. I never created an alter ego for myself I just imagined what it would be like to be Storm.

      And I too benefit from the racial neutrality of my name and I likes it!

      From this post on I will refer to you as Max Powers…so let it be written so let it be done!

  3. I was just gon’ lurk & laugh until I got to Jrue. I actually have a student named Jrew. & like you, iStruggle. If these innawebs weren’t so public, I’d give you a HOST of other jacked up & janky names my students have arrived with. & damn if we don’t discuss these names being the future ____________ of America. At NO POINT are they ever CEO’s, doctors, lawyers, or even clerks at the CVS.

    Anyway…I happen to like the name Story, though I’d never actually employ it. I also toyed with the idea of having 3 daughters & naming them Sassafras, Cypress, & Indigo. It’s ABSOLUTELY ridiculous & would NEVER happen, but in my literature loving writing mind it makes all the sense in the world. Luckily, I know how to turn her off. Too bad other people don’t. Like my boy Moe, who named his daughter Moet. Jesus be my cross.

    • Faith M. says:

      LMAO not even clerks at the CVS…this is sad but oh so funny. Sometimes when you find out someone’s name you can immediately write their future. Someone named Lashawandranetta is destined to rent rooms at the local Motel 6. You will never ever ever ever ever ever hear Lashanwandranetta running for office, why because her whole name can’t even fit on the ballot. LOL, someone hates me for saying that last part but whatevs!

      I ain’t even mad at your triplets…Shange right? I never read this but I might have to check it out now cause I trust you like that! And I hear you I have that creativity itch. I’m infatuated with Brown…don’t ask me why I just think it would be hot to name my daughter Brown…it speaks to me. But I know it’s all the way wrong and I would never do it. Instead I’ll have a Chloe and keep it moving.

      Question, your buddy Moe does he pronounce his daughter’s name correctly with the t silent or is he all the way wrong?

      • Yes, Shange! & my new book club, founded by me (& aptly named Books & Barstools) will be ([re]reading the book this summer. I’m SO EXCITED!!

        As for my unfortunate friend, Moe….he’s unaware that the T is even supposed to be silent. Moette is how the child’s name is pronounced, but clearly spelled like he’s seen it on the bottle.

        Moment of silence for the brain cells lost during the 40 oz era.

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