Saturday, September 20, 2008

Naming your young'uns

Bush with young'un
So you just popped out a young'un, did you (or if you're male, caused a young'un to pop out)? First, make sure the child is yours - yes, even if you're a woman and just gave birth to it. Trust me, people can do some crazy things with stem cells and test tubes and such nowadays, and there is a substantial possibility that you may be the victim of some kind of sinister prank. If the child is not yours, give it to the poor sucker you think it belongs to. Just guess if you have to. There is a one in 3 billion chance you will pick one of the right two people. Hey, those are better odds than you have of winning that stupid Subway Scrabble game you keep collecting game pieces for!

In the unfortunate event that the screaming devil-spawned poop machine in front of you is in fact yours, you're probably wondering, "Now what the hell am I going to call this thing?" Now, I do not have any young'uns of my own. You're probably thinking, "Good! I hope you never do, for society's sake." Yes, I can read minds. Nevertheless, I am now going to give you 6 cardinal rules that you must always follow when naming your offspring.

Here we go...

1) Watch out for bad combinations of names or initials
If your last name is Evans, for example, you might think David Owen Umberto Carlos Henry Evans sounds like a good name for your son. Not so fast - those initials spell out D-O-U-C-H-E! This is a trap that many people fall into. Everyone knows that it's the initials that really matter. For this reason, being named Donald Ian Charles Kirkpatrick is worse than being named Dick, or even Dick Butkus.

Gary Glitter2) Don't name it after a celebrity
It may sound like a good idea to name your child Hannah Montana or Jared Fogle now, but remember that many of today's "hot" celebrities are eventually going to be seen as corny or behind the times, or even worse, will turn out to be pedophiles. Be thankful your parents didn't name you Michael Jackson or Gary Glitter.

3) Pick a name that fits in well with your values
Do you enjoy drinking Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout? If so, chances are a person who has half the same genes as you will also be genetically predisposed toward enjoying this fine beverage. In this case, Dark Lord could be an excellent choice for a name for your son. He'll thank you for it later, especially if he ends up being the ruler of an evil empire somewhere.

4) Look at the thing and determine which name describes it best
Here is a handy guide for how you should name a child based on his/her physical or personality traits:

Is he is very earnest and to the point? Go with Frank.
Did he throw up within an hour of being born? Go with Ralph.
Does he look tired, like he could use a cup of coffee? Go with Joe (or Joseph).
Are you a mobster hoping he'll follow you in a life of crime? Go with Conner or Connor. Rob (Robert) may also work if theft is the crime of choice. Jack may be good too if we're talking about petty theft. If you think he's more likely to be the victim of a crime, on the other hand, go with Mark.
Did he excrete solid or liquid waste somewhere other than a toilet shortly after being born?  You must give him a constant reminder that the bathroom is the place for that kind of activity.  Call him John.
Is he short and chubby? Easy. Go with Stumpy.  If none of these really fit, I recommend Bobbert as a safe default choice.

Does she look like she'd make a good lawyer? Go with Sue.
Was MadTV on the tube while she was being born? If so, go with Madison (Mad is on).
Do you want your daughter to rent out cars for a living? Go with Lisa (lease a), as in "Lisa brand new BMW 3-series for only $399 a month!" If you think she's more suited to "economy" cars than BMWs, however, you may want to call her Kia.
Are you already resigned to the fact that she's going to end up as a stripper just like her mother...and father? Stop living in denial and just go with Candi.
If none of these seem to work, definitely go with LaQuisha.

5) Think about how someone with such a name will be perceived in society
If you pick a name like Dexter or Mervin, let's face it, the kid is going to get beat up a lot in middle school. There is no avoiding it. On the other hand, the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue" teaches us that a wimpy or just plain terrible name might help to toughen up a child, which will better prepare him/her to face the dangers of the future such as the Large Hadron Collider.  It's your call.

embracing diversity
6) Don't be a racist
Just because you're of a certain nationality doesn't mean you should name all your children names that are popular in your home country. In fact, you shouldn't. In order to avoid being perceived as a racist, you should name your children a variety of names from different ethnicities. Did you name your first-born son Kyle? That's nice, but do not pick another English/American name again - that is, of course, unless you're a despicable, cold-hearted racist. If you have 9 more children, for example, you might call them José (Spanish/Hispanic), Lakshmi (Indian), Vladimir (Russian), Mbufu (African), Ahmed (Middle Eastern), Running Bear (Native American), Xing Li (Chinese), Juergen (German), and Aniqmiuq (Inuit).

Well, that should solve one problem.  Of course you are still stuck with a much bigger problem: the kid.  Don't worry, it will all be over in 18 years...that is unless he decides to stick around in your basement living in a pile of pizza boxes and video game cartridges until he's 40.  That's the breaks!


muskrat said...

Thanks so much! We just had a baby boy 6 weeks earlier than anticipated. Glad to have this advice, as we have not decided upon a name yet.

Having grown up going to church with Johnny Cash, however, I'm thinking of going with "Sue." It also fits with my profession, which I'll encourage little Sue to pursue.

Nick said...

Excellent choice. As described in the post, "Sue" is one of those dual-purpose names, a rare find. Just make sure the initials don't spell something unfortunate.

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