Friday, July 25, 2008

What's in a name?


Following yesterday's post about the unfortunately-named nine-year-old New Zealand girl, I'm both fascinated and appalled to read a blog article in The Times, London.

We're familiar with the celebrity trend of giving children playful, silly, impractical names on the basis that they'll never have to endure the vicissitudes of a real school or workplace. The first one most of us noticed was probably Zowie Bowie, or perhaps Marc Bolan's little boy Rolan, and probably reached its apotheosis in the wilful christening flightiness evinced by Bob Geldof or Gywneth Paltrow.

Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback, the authors of a new book, Bad Baby Names, have looked into a century of US census reports and discovered that the history of weird names is longer, and stranger, than most of us could have possibly imagined…

Here, in ascending order of weirdness, are the 20 strangest:

20: Wanna Funk

19: United States

18: Lotta Bacon

17: Hysteria Johnson

16: Waitress Seholley

15: Nail Rambo

14: Jump Jump

13: Tackle Feigenbutz

12: Mustard M.Mustard

11: Jelly Bean Cook

10: Fat Meat Fields

9: Geography Bryan

8: Zero Pie

7: Cylinder Klinefelter

6: Nice Veal

5: Cylclops Walthour

4: Envy Burger

3: Cancer Grindstaff

2: Young Boozer

1: Dracula Taylor

And, just to demonstrate that not all parents are capricious and michevous come christening time, here are an even dozen names that I’d prefer to plain old Michael Moran:

Peach Skeeters

Watermelon Pete McNeil

Experience Fairweathers

Limbo Holloway

Bluebell Plopper

Beauty Outlaw

Darth Wilson

Christian Devil

Welcome Darling

Sexy Chambers

Love Catts

Permelia Buckaroo


I mean . . . wow. Just - wow! Can you imagine having one of those names inflicted on you?

Talk about child abuse . . .

Peter

5 comments:

Harrison said...

Two of my favorites from Texas: Ima Hogg and Ura Hogg. A friend of mine actually met Ima (or was it Ura?) once. 'Course she was really, really old at the time and my friend said she had, er, "grown" into her name. Fortunately their daddy was rich.

Anonymous said...

Another urban legend: Ima Hogg was real, and was reportedly a very gracious, charming classic Texas lady. Ura Hogg was fiction.

I submit for your consideration the legendary inventor Bill Lear, who named his daughter Shanda. Shanda Lear. Gack.

Ben said...

Back when I lived in the great north woods, I worked nights at a hospital that had an extensive maternity program. Every now and then I've have to wander over there to do things. Some people named their babies the dumbest things in the entire world. I saw one child who was named "Special K" and another whose middle name was "Cocaine."

I mean, really. I think we should probably revoke the parental privilege of anybody who thinks giving their child the name "cocaine" is okay.

Brigid said...

I worked with a Chili Berger and a Benjamin (Ben) Dover. Also a Richard Head. What were the parents thinking?

Rogue Medic said...

A little girl named Felatia. The mother claimed that there was nothing wrong with the name.