Article: 21st Century Baby Names
By Columnist Jim Cegielski
When I think of the people of south Mississippi, I think of decent, level- headed people with a lot of good common sense. However, apparently under the duress of childbirth, even the best of people can lose their minds.
This past week, a Biloxi couple, Leann and Rusty Real, became the parents of a bouncing baby boy named ESPN Montana Real. That’s right, the baby was named after the sports channel, ESPN, as well as football legend, Joe Montana.
Apparently, Mrs. Real promised her husband that if they ever had a son, he could choose the name for the baby. Let this be a lesson to mothers-to-be everywhere. Unless you really want a child named ESPN, Budweiser, NASCAR, Ford Tough, Air Jordan, Big Mac or Peyton Eli Archie NFL on Fox, then never, ever, let your husband choose the names of your children.
Believe it or not, the Reals aren’t the first couple to name their baby after the cable sports channel. There is an ESPN Blondeel in Michigan. And residents of Texas have an original ESPN, ESPN Malachi McCall of Pampa, Texas, as well as an ESPN 2, ESPN Curiel of Corpus Christi. Now all Texas needs is an ESPN News and a ESPN Classic and they will have completed the ESPN baby name cable lineup.
Apparently naming your kids after a cable channel isn’t as unique as it sounds. According to those snooty Brits at the BBC, “Americans are increasingly turning to the world of popular culture to name their children.”
In a report cited by the BBC news, clothing and cars seem to be the two of the bigger sources of inspiration when it comes to Americans naming their children. Apparently, there are over 300 girls named Armani. There are six boys named Timberland and another seven boys named Denim. There are also 22 girls named Infiniti and five more named Celica. The report doesn’t list how many baby Maximas, 4-Runners or Hummers are out there.
Unfortunately, crazy parents are not limiting their baby names to clothes and automobiles. The BBC also reports that there are 49 American boys named Canon after the camera and there are even seven kids named Del Monte after the food company. If you’re getting your baby’s name out of the pantry, than maybe you should reconsider whether or not you’re truly ready to have a baby. Can you imagine introducing your family to friends? “These are my sons, Del Monte, Green Giant and General Mills and this is their little sister, Hormel.”
I think that most of us can agree that naming your child Oscar Meyer or Proctor and Gamble is a really stupid idea. However, I still resent the fact that it is the British who are making fun of our baby naming skills. Maybe the bloody British have forgotten that they have a Duchess who answers to Fergie. What makes the Brits think they are so much better at naming their babies when Prince Andrew has two children named Beatrice and Eugenie, and Princess Anne has a daughter named Zara?
Oh, and that’s not all. Famed British musician and Live Aid founder Sir Bob Geldolf has three daughters named Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Pixie. It’s going to take a lot of shillings to pay for all of the psychiatric care that those kids are going to need.
I blame the entire crazy baby name movement on celebrities, no matter what nationality. Sylvester Stallone has four daughters named Sage Moonblood, Sophia Rose, Sistine Rose and Scarlett Rose. At least Sly realized that Rose made a better middle name than Moonblood.
Of course, the original inductee into the crazy celebrity baby name hall of fame was the late Frank Zappa. With two sons named Dweezil and Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and two daughters named Moon Unit and Diva Muffin, Mr. Zappa set the bar extremely high for wacky celebrities to shoot for.
I’m the first to admit that naming your baby isn’t easy, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it. When my wife, Carolyn, and I were searching for a name for our first daughter, we spent countless hours perusing through seven or eight baby name books. When we finally decided on the name, Emily for our first daughter, we were very excited because we thought it was a beautiful name and we didn’t know of any other children with that name.
I don’t know what happened, but 16 years later, you can’t turn around without stepping on an Emily. They’re everywhere. What we thought was a unique name at the time turned out to be something akin to naming your dog Spot.
Fortunately, by the time our second child rolled around, we learned not to agonize so much over the name. Carolyn and I hadn’t even talked about coming up with a name for our youngest until my wife went into labor and we were on our way to the hospital. It was in the car that I told Carolyn that maybe we should start going through the baby name book.
As I was driving to the hospital, we had just ruled out Abby, Abigail, Adeline, Agnes, and Alice when my wife said, “What about AHHHHHHLLLLLLLISON, just as she felt a contraction hit her. I responded, “Well, I think we should shorten it to Alison and maybe we shouldn’t shout it.” As the baby name book smacked into the side of my head, I knew that we had named our youngest. Whereas it took six full baby name books to name Emily, it only took six names to name Alison.
I’m just glad we didn’t have a boy. I’m pretty sure he would have been named KFC Original Recipe Dark Meat Only.
Source: The Laurel Leader-Call