Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Common Name

I have an important question, but before I get to it you should know that I've unofficially decided that ALL this week's posts will be about baby names.  There's no specific motivation behind this choice and it's unofficial because I tend to change my mind.  If you have any topics of interest regarding baby names, shoot me an email (nextstopbabyblog@gmail.com).

Back to the highly crucial question - how do you feel about common baby names?  I don't mean to ask how you feel about naming your son Aiden or your daughter Sophia.  By "common" I mean famous or well known to the general public (versus popular).  I've come up with three categories of names that fall into this definition:

1. A name that is the exact name of someone famous (i.e. Michael Jordan)
2. A name that is the exact name of someone fictional (i.e. Betty Boop)
3. A name that is sorta kinda a noun (i.e. Ruby Stone)

My guess is that you're thinking NO.  No you cannot name your son Michael if your last name is Jordan.  I saw an Oprah episode several years ago when a little girl came on the show because her name was also Oprah Winfrey.  The Oprah Winfrey wanted to meet the other Oprah Winfrey.  It was intended to be a cute and funny segment before the main show, but I kind of felt bad for the little girl.  She was honored to share the name, but I couldn't help but think of all awkward introductions she would suffer...for the rest of her life.  Imagine reviewing a resume from Oprah Winfrey?  Or being the mailperson who delivers Playgirl to Oprah Winfrey's house?

Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey are extreme examples.  What about lesser known celebrities and more common names.  I doubt there are too many Woods parents who are obsessed with the name Tiger.  But what about Mr. and Mrs. Roberts who love the name Julia?  Or Mr. and Mrs. Williams who love the name Michelle?  Chris Martin is both a common name and a lesser known celebrity, as compared to Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan.  Would you think twice about choosing Christopher if your last name was Martin?

I knew a guy in college named Tom Collins.  It should be no surprise that his favorite drink was a Tom Collins.  He embraced the intrigue.  Was that easy for him to do because Tom Collins is the name of  a tasty gin drink versus world famous actor (i.e. Tom Cruise)?  Or maybe he was just a laid back guy and a more uptight individual wouldn't have been able to enjoy recognition.

HERE is the perfect Tom Collins recipe,
according to Esquire.com

I'll move on to the third category of names.  When your last name is a noun do you have to avoid first names that are nouns?  Some examples:

  • Chase Fox
  • Jet Black
  • Forrest Green
  • Piper Song  

Are these names cool or not so much?  For those who think these are absurd names, what about throwing in a middle name that breaks it up - June Elizabeth Day.  Does that make help?  Or are certain names just off limits despite how much you love them?  Must you give up your dream of naming a daughter Scarlett because you married John Letterman?

Okay, I've officially posed a dozen questions.  Thoughts?  (#13)


Chrissy said...

LOL. I love that his name was Tom Collins. I assume that most parents will consider what they are doing to their child and if the pros outweigh the cons, then so be it.

I've said before that my husband really wanted to name our daughter Rocket. If it came down to it, I would have gone with Jenna Fischer, Isla Fischer, Carrie Fischer or any other famous name instead of Rocket. But they aren't uber famous (I guess?). It's hard to say what these parents were thinking, but maybe they picked Oprah Winfrey over some horrifying alternative. And they've saved their children from worrying about a bad online reputation. Their daughter will never be in the top google results!

Rocket Fischer would have won over the following:
Hunter Fischer
Amy Fischer

And then people would be judging me. But if only they knew! Naming is hard. Really hard.

Jaime said...

I once met a Michael Jackson! He'd introduce himself as "Mike Jackson", but nobody was fooled. His entire identity seemed to be based on the fact that he couldn't ever meet anyone without the conversation starting with a joke... Kinda sad!

WW said...

It is worth mentioning that we never called Tom Collins "Tom". In fact, if someone referred to him as anything less that his full name, we didn't know who they were talking about.

It is also worth mentioning, while there are many Whitney's in the world, 4 out or 5 people respond to my introduction with: "Like Whitney Houston?" That was until Britany Spears entered the spot light and everyone started assuming that my name was Britany.

In conclusion, please do not name your daughter Katniss!!!

Chrissy said...

Oh I forgot one. We will not be naming any future child Tucker Fischer.