Friday, July 25, 2008

Naming a child is harder than I imagined. While I may like the sound of a million names, I had to keep in mind that I had to call my child by that name for the rest of her life (so willing, as long as she doesn't decide to change it legally). When we finally got serious about figuring out a name (two weeks before she came - heh), there was no clear consensus, no single name jumped out as the winner. We racked our brains, scoured baby name websites, and browsed popular names registered with the Social Security Administration. It was only the week before that we ran across Anneli on a page of Swedish names; still, it wasn't immediately decided, but it had a nice ring to it. Before making any final decisions, we Googled the name and checked Wikipedia to make sure there weren't any serial killers or other crazies named Anneli (or some variation of it).

Anyway, I got to thinking about the whole process after I read some iReports on CNN. I have no idea why some parents make such awkward or inappropriate choices with names.
  • Richard Handler was an anthropology professor I had at UVA. On the first day of class, he walked in proudly with his golden retriever (he came to class every day) and announced, 'This is anthropology 101, and I am Dick Handler.' We all tried very hard to stifle our giggles. Dick Handler, on the other hand, seemed oblivious to the proclamation he had just made.
  • A girl I knew in high school had a brother named Woody Dick.
  • A girl I knew in high school was named Bbeun Yi Lee. In Korean, Lee Bbeun Yi (pronounced 'ee-ppuhn-ee') translates to 'pretty girl.' Pretty girl she was not.
I'm sure I've met more people with unfortunate names, but I can't think of them right now. Parents, please think long and hard about the names you choose. Please. But then again, I suppose people with unfortunate or funny names are easier to remember.

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