Monday, January 10, 2011

The Name Game

I was thrilled last year when a friend of mine named her newborn son for her late father and grandfather. Their name was Samuel, and they were called Big Sam and Sammy, respectively. As a friend of mine (he's a Navy veteran and his wife is Japanese) once said about their choice in naming their son Samuel, so he'd be called "Sam", there's no more wholesome, American name than "Sam". The trendy name thing kind of blows me away, especially since my family is famous for its old-fashioned, restrictive Southern nomenclature. I'm really turning into my mother.

The names themselves aren't the only thing that should concern prospective parents, though. Kids will latch onto anything they find remotely funny. For example, Hopkins' actual initials are three C's (and he's in possession of the loveliest and most lyrically alliterative of full names). Only among our peer group would that have been a source of entertainment- in what other realm of possibility would kids tease somebody about the Civilian Conservation Corps? Well, nerds- big ol' we-can't-escape-the-gravitational-pull-of-our-own-geekdom-nerds...

What I'm getting at here is that parents should consider what a child's initials spell or represent, if anything. I don't think my parents really gave it much thought that Little Sister's initials spelled 'ahh' before she married, let alone that she might marry a man whose last name is spelled with an S. Yes, that's right: my sister hyphenates, so her full initialism is 'ahhs'- let the L. Frank Baum jokes begin! My mother once talked a friend, whose last name began with S, out of naming her son 'Andrew Simpson'. I'll let you mull that one over a minute or two.

A long time ago I blogged about a student of ours who named his daughter an anagram of Dracula. Turns out that his girlfriend is expecting their second, so this morning's office conversation revolved a little around what they might choose next. My immediate votes went to Viktor, Lycan, or Lucian, if it's a boy this time. Of course, I'm not going to tell the father any of this because he's likely to take it seriously. There are definitely worse things than strange initials...

Just to round things out a little, having a double-Mary name, I go by both the double name and my initials, which happen to be 'MT'- get it, 'empty'?- and in high school, I made the mistake of dating a boy named Edgar Head. Had I married him, I would've been...drumroll please:

Empty Head.

If you've met him, you probably know I would've wholly deserved it for such folly.

Happy Monday, all, and Happy Semester to my fellow academics!


Farmchick said...

Well, my daughter has a traditional name, but her initials are: ARK. Not too smart on my part. She has asked me what was I thinking.

AiredaleGirl said...

Just remind her that her father and uncle have completely rhyming names and that their classmates had a field day with those! The only set of identical twins I've ever known who didn't have matched names like that are Pam and Paula, who work with me at the college- they just have the same initials.