“O, be some other name! What’s in a name?”
-- William Shakespeare
My column last week mentioned that Mitt Romney’s first name is actually Willard and it prompted several e-mails from readers who noted that, while the names Willard Mitt are very unusual, there are current celebrities that have topped that oddity.
It does make me wonder what the influence on George W. Romney and Lenore LaFount Romney was when their bouncy boy, Willard Mitt arrived in 1947.
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People with mundane names like David, Cathy, Jim, or Mary simply can’t compete with the exceptional forenames given to notable individuals such as -- Awkeen, Rush, Barack or Sky.
Folks that I know that carry a typical family surname as their given name will tell you that spurs conversation when meeting people for the first time, too.
For instance; Kennedy, Walker, Smith or Armstrong must prompt the same question, “How did you get a last name as your first name?”
And then there are some amongst us who carry two middle names. A couple of examples are; former President George Herbert Walker Bush and Macon Mayor Robert Adger Bowen Reichert. (‘Atta Boy’ is what A.B. stands for, Reichert will jokingly say to anyone that inquires.)
What son could forgive their mother for giving them a typical girl’s name? A boy named Sue comes to mind. And I know a woman who was given what we in western culture consider a boy’s name. Her’s is Bruce.
Surely every parent wants their new baby to be unique and carry a handle of distinction. The exceptionality, however, is in the ear of the beholder.
One reader of my column directed me to a blog (“When Bad Names Happen to Good Babies”) that has a dedicated page to unusual names given to newborns by “ordinary” parents.
I couldn’t resist sharing some of these unusual choices listed by the blogger. I may be providing a valuable service here by helping some expectant mother make a final selection of a prized title.
Cadillac (the luxury car brand name becomes flesh.)
Aries (top-notch fighter, no doubt.)
Brooklyn-Aspen-Phoenix (makes me want to get on an airplane.)
Jewel Passion Paris Unique Holiday (What the heck?)
Firstson (Poor child sounds like he’s named after a video game character.)
Blue Ivy Carter is the new bundle of joy belonging to entertainer Beyonce Knowles and her famous husband Shawn Corey Carter, better known as Jay –Z.
Little girl Blue (come blow your horn) made her entry into the world this week and with that name she’ll most likely endure other children calling her things like -- ultramarine, navy blue, royal blue, regal blue or aqua.
The splash of the news surrounding Baby Blue made me think of all the peculiar names I’ve heard recently that the “unordinary” celebrities have lavished on their children.
Monroe and Moroccan Scott -- twins born to Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon.
Sparrow James Midnight Madden -- son of Nicole Richie and Joel Madden.
Mars Merkaba Thedford -- daughter of singer Erykah Badu and rapper Jay Electronica.
Pirate Houseman Davis and Zeppelin Houseman Davis are the sons of Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis and his wife, ex-porn star Deven Davis.
I’m guessing these gems are an indication of the modern culture and I’m breathing a sigh of relief the baby boomers, for the most part, escaped these wacky tags.
If my parents had been tempted to start the trend in 1961 of “reflecting the times” I could have easily been named Moon River Mercury 3 Burgamy. Yikes.
“Names are an important key to what society values.”
-- David Slawson
Kenny Burgamy serves as a marketing consultant and is co-host of the Kenny B. Charles E., TV, radio and Internet program.