Spoof Space


Names ... how we got them … maybe!

steele coddington's spoof sapceWhy did Mom and Dad name their child Harry or Larry or Carrie or Mary or anything else?  Did they unconsciously sentence their children, or did something else influence the choice?  That is why you can never really knock another person for their name – they didn’t do the dirty deed.  And re Harry, Larry, Carrie and Mary, no disparagement intended.  All delightful names.  But how do names come about?

Most people don’t decide their children’s names for superficial reasons.  You know, “Let’s call him Alfonse after Uncle Alfonse.  He’s rich and might leave him some money.  Or maybe leave it to us.  Or treat us nice from now on and either come see us more often – or preferably never come to see us again.”

But it’s fun to speculate on why or how someone got tagged with what people will call him or her for the rest of their life.  What prompts a parent to name a son Moe?  Did they just like its single syllable simplicity or how it rolled off the tongue with ease and grace, or was it inspiration?  It’s easy.  I like it. Or the name Dee Dee?  Did the DD stand for Delightful Darling or did some tired father at 2 a.m. have to change a Dirty Diaper?

A lot of experts will give you clues on how a name comes about as the appellation that is affixed to our body and soul.  According to differing sources, America’s favorite top 10 names for males seem to be:  Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Jaydan, William, Alexander, Noah, Daniel, Aiden and Anthony.  The top 10 for females seem to be:  Isabella, Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Madison, Chloe and Mia.  So what drives the choice of names?  And what sparked my interest?  Well it wasn’t any of the favorites; it was an article concerning Reggie Jackson’s memorabilia that coincidentally mentioned his mother whose name is Resurrection.  There’s a name!  A name that makes you wonder how it came about and is it abbreviated or broken up when used – like Penelope-Penny, Dorothy-Dotty or Dot? A lady I know named Dorothy resents any calling of her by the mark ending a sentence on a piece of paper – Dot!  Isabelle-Izzy?  Little Lord Fauntleroy-Faunty?

Names seem to come from an origin that has meaning or value to those doing the naming.  Some like its sound, others duplicate popular or famous peoples’ names because they are acceptably received.  Elvis, for example, was on the short list for years and just recently dropped off.  People unfortunately may not realize the importance of a name in the life of the namee.  Will it make the person named feel good about the name?  It will cause others to judge them in ways that can influence their jobs, associations and friendships.  Experts say your name can easily influence your career path, or even who you may marry.  A person named Garfunkle is more likely to marry someone else named Garfunkle – because experts surmise that we are unconsciously attracted to people who remind us of ourselves.  Laura Ingraham in her new book “Of thee I zing” devotes a few pages to the absurdity of some celebrities’ children’s names, with priceless comments and the conclusion that, “One day these children are going to grow up and they will either legally change their names or just march into their parents’ bedroom one night and beat them to a pulp.”

I have a better idea.  If you resent the name your parents gave you, change it to a name like owners of race horses use, just to get even.  A few running at Saratoga recently are great – Beauty in the Pulpit, Miss Bikini Bottom, Clap of Thunder, I Ain’t No Saint, and don’t forget Portia can be a name or a car.

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