28.10.05

A Chicken in Every Pot and a Caitlyn in Every Kindergarten

I remember a joke a long time ago... about that scene in West Side Story where the guy runs through a Puerto Rican neighborhood yelling "Maria! Maria!" The comic quipped that it was odd that only one girl stuck her head out the window. Funny.

I remarked to my brother that if I ran through a suburb yelling "Jennifer," more than one chick would pop her "Long Island Claw" bangs out her bedroom window in response. Lack of originality in doling out the monikers is not inherent solely to Latin American women.

In some cultures, naming your child is either a patronomical or matronomical endeavor; meaning Jr. get's Grandpa's name and and your precious bundle of infant estrogen gets Grandma's. Hey, that's a cool way to honor the old timers. On the other hand, you end up with a baker's dozen Angelos and Angelas for cousins.

Latin women, like African-American women name their daughters phonetically. They name the girls whatever they think sounds 'nice,' like Denaira, Loyda or Zuraima, though lately they've been busting out such 80s chestnuts as Jessica, Amanda or Ashley. Now the sisters come up with a hybrid Franco-African phoneticism, for ex. LaQuisha, DeShaun, Shanique (or Andre, Aundray, DeAndre for males).

Which leads me to the Anglos and the Caucasoids. I busted out a calculator to do some stats. The three most popular names for girls today are Madison, Emma and Emily, (which means that Kayla and every nauseating permutation thereof has heard its death knell). Of the approximately 2,000,000 girls that were born in the US in 2004, 68,000 were named either Madison, Emma or Emily. That makes 3% of that populace. In other words, 3 out of 100 baby girls will have one of those names (or there will be at least ONE of them in every classroom). Throw in a plethora of Hannahs or Olivias and you've got quite the homogenous alphabet soup.

As "the wife" and I consider or are planning (ugh.) having another baby, we are beginning to revisit that discussion. My rule of thumb is to look at the Social Security list of popular names and make sure my suggestions aren't on the top 1,000. Not that I want to name my kid some goofball name like Picasso, Zinc, Lug-nut or Calico just to be original, but after perusing the list, nothing says "pole-dancer" like Dakota, Sierra or Savannah so avoiding the geographical shit is a must (even though THOSE stripper-tits names are high on the list). I also don't want to have to name my kid something that sounds like cheap shitty Irish Beer. The fact that my wife is 100% Irish doesn't warrant naming my kid Keegan, Caleb or Kegger.

Another thing that creases me is the 80 different spellings for boring-ass names. This is either an indication of growing national illiteracy, and the disregard for conventional rules of English, or just feeble attempts to make the mundane seem original. Kaley, Kaylee, Kayleigh, Kailey or Kailee is still fucking Kayley. Creative spelling does not add panache, it just wastes time when little princess has to open up a bank account.

Even though I'm getting ahead in the appellation of the unborn agenda, the discussion is fun. So, I'm open to suggestions. More than three syllables is pretentious, and tough to spell for a small-fry, so out go Anaximander, Zachariah and Magdalena. Pinto? Sauerkraut? Grinch? LaSagna? Ocelot? Eeep Opp Ork Ah-Ah? Saddam and Fallujah? Tsunami? Or Kayleegh?

4 comments:

Kari said...

Oh please, use Lug-Nut. That would be hilarious!

My husband wanted "Octavian" for our youngest son.

Uh, no.

Meghan said...

Word with the kaeiglieiughs and dekkalyeighns.

Enough already. If your child is unique, it's because of who they are, not the f-d up way you spelled their pretentious name! I feel bad for kindergarten teacher having to memorize 5 different spellings of the same dang name.

That's why I chose margaret (maggie). Its a family name, and it doesn't suck.

jfh said...

My husband wanted Gandalf for our first. His second choice was Vincent. Luckily I won out with Michael.

Plumkrazzee said...

I feel like you've crawled inside my brain. Because i'm at the age where all my friends are having babies, I am bombarded with the stupidity of it all. Can we please add McKenzie, McKayla,and McKenna to the list? What is with the "MC" names???!!! McDonalds, McDoofus,McLoser. Argh. You can only take so much. (My son's name is Simon) =)