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Naming names

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 17-08-2006

Never-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever-ever mention that you are having trouble choosing a name, especially around family members who have been imbibing. What will inevitably happen is that you, because you can, will make an all-out attempt to immediately anaesthetize yourself with adult beverages. After the third, fourth and fifth time the same person says, “What about Rose? I like the name Rose,” you will be sorry the topic was ever broached, and you will be up at 3:45 a.m. looking for an Alka Seltzer.    

 Hey, Seltzer is kind of a neat name! Which reminds me of a David Lettermen show that I saw. The guest was Demi Moore. Ms. Moore was pregnant with her second child and was evidently having trouble selecting a name. True to Late Night form, Demi brought her own “Top Ten” list that she and her husband Bruce Willis had made. The list was entitled, “Top ten names that we might name our child:”    

10) Beavus         

 9)  Forklift          

 8)  Kemo Sabe   

 7)  Ibuprofen          

 6)  Siskel    

 5)  Dr. Pepper   

 4)  Marmaduke   

 3)  Manute   

 2)  Retsyn   

 1)  Buttafuoco   

Erudis, Lotrimin, and Acetaminophen could be added to this list to help round out the cool semi-medical terms.     

It must be noted here that guys and gals approach the child-naming problem-solving concept from two different viewpoints. Gals generally think of wonderful poetic “got a ring to ‘em” type names while guys try to diminish the future possibility of their child being made fun of, getting the crap kicked out of them, or even worse than that, not getting the babes in high school. I agreed on the proposed boy’s name of William Berkeley or “Berk” because William is the family name (from my side of the family, of course), “Berk” is a strong, tough name, and “Berk” is a guy who gets all the chicks.    

So, if you and your wife have as much trouble agreeing on a name as my wife and I did, it is probably due to the different approaches the two of you are coming from and the different criteria you each are using to measure a proposed name. It is believed that people live up to, or down to their given names. Perhaps this is one of the reasons people change their names. A name can make or break a personality, so it is a huge responsibility to name a human being.    

Along these lines, nicknames are of importance too. Have you ever heard of a CEO of a major corporation or of an elected President of the United States whose nickname was Critter? 

– Grant Eppler

Sacramento, California


Grant Eppler is author of Every Guy’s Guide as to What to Expect When She’s Expecting.