Monday, October 15, 2007

By any other name . . .

So I'm watching the baseball playoffs. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but I'll catch a game now and then, and my parents were over, so . . . I'm half paying attention, and glance up to see a scroll across the bottom of the screen:

On deck: Coco Crisp.

"Did I just see that guy's name is Coco Crisp?"

"Yup," my dad says.

Okay, so it's not his real name. It's Covelli Crisp. But I got to thinking . . . what's the wierdest name you've all ever known in real life? I know someone who named her son Skeeter. Not a nickname, the real, on the birth certificate name.

I used to call my middle boy Sunshine. Because he was. Once, in line at a smoothie stand, the young guy manning the blender caught me, and gave me a sad scowl. "Please tell me that's not his real name."

Nope.

The heroine of my new book's real name is Wildflower Meadow. She changed it as soon as she could. To Ann.

I was one of three Susans in my class when I started school. A bitty little school, with less than 20 people in a class. Swore I'd give my kids more unique names when I grew up . . . but when does unique veer over into wierd? (I was Susie growing up, tried to be a grown-up Susan for a few years. But there were three Susans in my writing group when I joined, and something like eight at my first publisher, so I gave up and went back to Susie.)

So what's the wierdest name you know? Do you like yours? Do you wish it was more unusual, or LESS so?

Susie

19 comments:

Michele Hauf said...

Hmm, not sure I know anyone with a really unusual name. I have a girlfriend with kids named Wyatt and Harley. Not so unusual, but different.

My own name gives me no amount of grief because people ALWAYS mispell it with two ls. What's the deal with that? If I read it with two ls on the page, I don't even recognize it as my name. Someone gives me a card with it spelled that way, I almost hand it back, because it's just not my name.

Anyway, my son's name is Jesse. But I call him Bob. I don't like the name Bob, but that's what I've called him since he was a tot. Go figure.

Michele (with one l!)

flchen1 said...

I've a pretty unusual name (Fedora), and have to admit that I hated it growing up. I longed for a cuter, more obviously feminine name that had a plethora of charming nicknames that could be found on personalized products (like little license plates). Alas...

Anyway, I'm fine with it now, but my kids all have very middle-of-the-road, classic names that probably mean they'll run into tons of similarly named classmates their whole lives.

As for the weirdest name I know... hmmm... some celebrities have chosen some real doozies for their offspring!

Kristina Wright said...

I went to high school with a girl named Shanda Lear and worked with a woman whose daughter's name was Jade Green.

~Kristina

Playground Monitor said...

My son went to school with a boy named Tim Wolfe, which isn't unusual except that Tim was short for Timber.

My next door neighbor is named Ronald McDonald, which isn't really unusual until you consider he's an African American. He's a super neighbor too.

I've always disliked my name -- Marilyn. It's probably because I grew up in the 50's when Marilyn Monroe was a big star and I endured more than my share of MM jokes. When you're a plain, brown-haired girl it's tough to listen to MM jokes. I remember when she died that I prayed the jokes would stop. I hate they had to stop that way though.

Marilyn

Debra Dixon said...

I longed for a decent nickname. Do you have any idea how many Debbie's they're were in my school !!

We call the kid "Neanderthal boy" and also "goat boy." If you'd seen his room during his teen years you'd understand.

I was called "Rock" one summer because all I did was sit and read. LOL!

MaryF said...

I have the most boring name on the planet. Yes, I wanted more unusual!!

Weirdest name - well, I'm a teacher, so I see a lot. I've had Yumaira and Yalixa. The weirdest is Abcde. Yes, that's A-B-C-D-E, pronounced Absidee.

Jean said...

The little school my grandchildren go to is full of kids with unusual names, starting with them: Caelin and Druhan. Then, there's Asja, Jovan, Nelo, Opal, Remember, Trixie, Maya, Aden, Kym, Teswecha, Schyler, Oren, Rashed, Miriam, Pierce, Kira and so on. The odd family out there has kids named Helen, Fred, and Carol.

Laurie said...

Wierdest: Croix, Oge, Regan.
My name is Laurie growing up I liked it. It wasn't very common though everyone called me Laura a lot. However, I believe that the success of the Partridge Family show... Susan Dey's character- Laurie caused a rasch of girls to be named Laurie.It is extremely common in Florida .

Keri Ford said...

I worked with a woman who named her daughter Sierra. I think that's the most different I know.

But really, what I don't get is naming the kid something and then planning to call them something else. my hubby: Ronnie Matthew (called Matt)

Mother: Alicia Pearl (called Leisa)
Aunt: Angella Something (called Lynell)
Friend: Landon Something -very pretty name (called Bojack)

Never understood that. I get that nicknames can just evolve out, but these are actual planned to call them that. It makes it difficult to do stuff like wedding invitations when you print out the full names. People were asking me who is Ronnie? I thought you were dating a guy named Matt. And don't even get me started on making doctor appointments. Somehow it's different depending on where he goes.

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

I knew a girl in school named "Hapi Hoar" and yes, it was pronounced "Happy Whore".
Here in the deep south, I've heard stories of illiterates naming their children "Female" (pronounced Feh-mal-leh) because they see it on the birth certificate, or naming kids words they find on bathroom walls they sound out and decide are pretty, like "Syphilis" (pronounced Seh-fahl-lace) but I've never actually met any personally.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, this is fun, seeing all the interesting names.

My dh used to work with a guy named Rick, but his legal, birth cert name is Ricky. lol

What about that couple who named their kid Wrigley and their last name is Fields? Crazy.

Christie Ridgway said...

My mom and aunt swear that when they were kids that one of the rural neighbor families named their youngest "Baby Sister." They swear that was her legal name.

I'm not sure if it comes from that, or what, but my mom and aunt used to call each other and my cousin (girl) and me, "Sister."

But don't get me started on names. My maiden name is "Yeo." It's Welsh. It's weird. I'm so happy to be a Ridgway now. Although I did give names to my boys that are used by both sexes.

JoAnna said...

I once worked with a woman named Rainy Day, and she loved her name, she thought it made her unique, but she was kind of wierd.

I also knew a girl named Kjersti, and her sister's name was Lyala, we used to sing Eric Clapton to her:)

My cousins have just started to have babies and everytime I here the new names I kind of cringe- Nolan Trey and Lydia Darlene.

Yucky!

Playground Monitor said...

I forgot about this one. I live in Alabama, where football is a religion. There's a family who are University of Alabama football fans and their boys are named Tyde (for Crimson Tide) and Saban (for the current coach Nick Saban).

War Eagle! :grin:

Marilyn

Lucy said...

Went to elementary school with a girl named Starr Tallent.

I'm a nurse in a huge NICU so I see a lot of crazy names. A couple of my favorites are Female (Fee Mah Lay) and Sema'j (James spelled backwards).

Lucy

Helen Brenna said...

I can't believe all these names!!

Betina Krahn said...

I had a kid in school once who's name was "Real Diehl". Needless to say, he looked traumatized by life all the time. I have to hope he became a dynamite stock trader or something. . . or at least won the lottery.

But I have to be careful throwing stones in regard to unusual names. I stuck with Biblical names and still my son Zebulun came home from school at the age of seven, dropped his bookbag on the entry floor, and announced loudly: "When I turn 18 I'm gonna change my name to 'Buck'." I asked him when he turned 18 if he still wanted to change his name. . . he looked at me as if I had three heads. By then he'd grown to kinda like it. . . even though he occasionally gets comments like: "Zebulun Krahn. . . that's like Klingon or something, right?"

I'm probably destined for Parent Hell over that one. :)

ehchard said...

My mother's first name is Waltraut and she shortened it to Wally. Frankly, either one is bad, but thank goodness she didn't name me after her...she just named me after both grandmothers, one of which was Doris. Thanks, I think? Heidi

Mo-town ladies said...

Hi! This is Adrianne and Ruth. We read this post, and started talking about our names. On the whole, we really like them. They're both (quite?) unique and we're generally the only people in our peer groups with those names - this makes it pretty easy to know that whenever someone says "Hey Ruth" or "Yo Adrianne" they're talking to us. However, it makes it all the more confusing when there is another person with the same name! Especially if there is a boy Adrian. Weird.

Ruth says: My name seems to have nostalgic value for people from older generations. When we are introduced they usually say, "Oh, that's a nice name. You don't hear that one often nowadays." Also, one of Ruth's nicknames is The Undertaker. And she earned it. (Don't worry, she didn't kill anybody.)

So overall, we like our names. We think we'll keep them.