Why Names That Are Weird or Unique are Hated On
Names, how many of us have them? (All of us.)
A big pet peeve of mine is when people get all hot and bothered over what people should name their children. I’ve heard people say eccentric names are akin to child abuse. Really, people? Because if you think about it, ALL names are technically “made-up,” right?
All Names Are Made Up
Our paleolithic ancestors didn’t, like, crack open an ancient coconut and all the acceptably boring names spilled out onto the earth. Ideas of “normal” are always relative and constantly changing. Coded racial and ethnic prejudice aside, what is it that makes some names acceptable?
What Is a “Normal” Name, Really?
I do admit to always loving unique names. I mean, I volunteered for my own nickname. Maybe it’s because I’m Greek and know people whose names could literally translate to “Star BlackTooth” (Asteria Mavrodontis) and “Diamond Mustache.” (Diamondas Moustakos). Maybe it’s because I grew up in Baltimore City next to girls named Cyntricia and Quanita, then went to prep school with girls names like Barret and Sloane. I just don’t get what’s the big deal, weird names are everywhere!
Popular epithets change from generation to generation, which is why most people my age grew up with the TV telling us Edith and Hilda were old people names. In 40 years people will think “wrinkly old lady” when they think of a Jessica. No matter what you do, a name will one day lose its cool.
Celebs & Weird Names
Celebrities seem to draw a lot of ire for unusual names. How dare they be rich, famous AND choose a unique name for their children? I mean, who are they to not fake humility and down-to-Earthness?!
Everyone’s favorite couple to judge, Kim & Kanye, named their baby North, much to the chagrin of armchair culture critics everywhere. My favorite part is that there are totally bullied. This is grade-A bullshit. As a person born in the 80s whose government name is Jennifer, I can tell you my totally innocuous name did nothing to discourage people from noticing what a total weirdo I am.
Secondly, kids who are rich and famous ARE NOT GOING TO BE BULLIED. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about money it’s that it can make your problems go away. And your kids problems too. Also, I imagine getting picked on in Calabasas is not quite the same as getting it in East Baltimore.
Even if some shitty trust fund kid decides to pick on little North “Nori” West, do you think the wrath of Kanye will be tepid? I mean, this is a man who humiliated a 19-year-old girl because she wasn’t Beyoncé (and who among us is?!). I think this kid will be fine in the popularity department.
This is just a roundabout way for people to establish that they are oh-so-much better than some rich people having way more exciting lives than them. Celebrities are really the wrong rich people to hate. We all know the scariest lizard people keep out of the spotlight while they run the world from their subterranean lair.
What’s In a Name?
Even if a future child is decidedly NOT rich and famous, a unique name is probably the least of his worries. The next time you meet someone who has named their little one “Lego”, don’t smirk all self-righteously to yourself MICHAEL (or whatever regular name you may have), just remember people are giving their kids unique names at higher rates than ever. The future could belong to people named Pixie, Rotar, and Zeepzop. Don’t steal Zeepzop, though, I’m holding it for my future minion.