LVII – What’s In a Name?

Having a baby is a blessed time for most parents. There are abnormal circumstances when a baby is not desired, but I’m not discussing that currently. When that little bundle of joy shows up in this world, parents need to give the baby a name. After all, we can’t go calling the little one “number 7,203,458,961”. So, the baby is given a name to self-identify. Some babies are named George, John, Maria or any other myriad of names. There are literally billions of possibilities. Some parents want to give their child a common name. Other parents want to give their baby a name that has a certain meaning. Still others want to give their offspring a name that’s so unique that no other has a name exactly the same, so they spell it differently. Then there are still others that, to me, go off the goddamned deep end…

I don’t understand these people (Utah seems to especially have this problem) who take a name and completely butcher the spelling, so that the poor kid has to go their entire lives spelling their name, because it’s written so weirdly. One such example—though I’ve never seen it until I found it on the internet—is the abominable atrocity that is the bastardization of the name Michaela: Mackquelligha. Good lord, who would torture their kid with a god-awful spelling such as that. Can you imagine when the kid is like four and learning how to spell their name? Not to mention the ridicule they’ll suffer throughout school? After all, elementary and middle school kids are ruthless when it comes to weirdly-written names. No opportunities to make fun of them are lacking!

I mean, to take a seemingly-normal name and make it unrecognizable is atrocious. Unfortunately, these names will never be seen on any personalized merchandise in any gift shop: Bryleigh, Jaxton, Mychaylah, Tiphaniee, Paizleigh, Vicktoriyah, Khai-Leigh (pronounced “Kylie”), Brooklyynne, or even this “what the fuck” name of Maddeyeszohnn (read “Madison”).

Added vowels, silent letters and difficult alternate spellings are one way to induce a life full of name anxiety. But if you really want to make your kid hate you, give them a name like these: La-a or *keisha. How do you think these are said? Would you believe “La-dash-a” and “Star-kay-sha”? Huh? Yeah, the fucking punctuation is pronounced. Since when do you say the name of the punctuation marks? Imagine conversation like that. It would sound like this: Hey comma how are you today comma buddy question mark. Oh comma I-apostrophe-m doing quite well comma thank you exclamation point. And you question mark. Ridiculous, to say the absolute least. Know what else seems a tad ridiculous? If you take into account different spellings, there are literally hundreds of ways to spell the name Kaitlyn (or Caitlyn, or however the hell you decide to spell it).

Then there are the names that aren’t misspellings or punctuated, but those that, just looking at them, make you wonder: why? Starting with the lady who cancelled her baby shower after people ridiculed her choice for baby name: Squire Sebastian Senator. That mouthful was the entire FIRST NAME. To top it off, she said there would be no nickname or abbreviating it. A three-part first name? Imagine saying all that, in addition to your middle and last names? Oy vey.

Then there are these celebrities and their kids. Some of these names are like 🤨: Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter), Dweezil, Moon Unit (kids of Frank Zappa—‘nuff said there), Maple, Sparrow or even (why?) Moxie Crimefighter (offspring of Penn Gillette). The list goes on and on.

Okay, fine. I get that parents want to give a certain or unique identifier to their little offspring. But at least give them a name that’s easy to spell! Don’t give the poor kid a lifetime sentence of having to spell their name for everyone! I think if this were my situation, I would want to off myself: You are on the phone, or even talking in person: Yes, my name is Jessica, spelled J-E-S-S-I-E-I-G-H-K-A-H. Like what the fuck? Um, I’m sorry, did I hear that right? You take a simple, seven-letter name like Jessica and added five unnecessary letters? You don’t need twelve letters to say a little three-syllable name. Keep it brief and simple, if you please. Naming kids is not like playing Scrabble. You’re not playing for triple word score and double letter score with one word!

Now here’s today’s random tidbit of useless trivia: since my name is Ray (hence the name of the blog🤯), people think that it’s short for something. People have tried numerous times to address me as “Raymond”. My typical response is either “I don’t know him” or the sarcastic “I hear everyone loves him” (in reference to the television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Nope, my name, as printed on my birth certificate is simply Ray—three little letters. For some reason, though, it irks the hell out of me when people call me by that longer name🤷‍♂️.

Many people love the sound of their names. Others (like me) don’t care one way or another. Like it or not, everyone has a name. Some are easy, others are different; still others are downright strange. Hey, I’m not here to judge why people are given their names. The only part that sucks for some folks is that they’re given their name, and they’re stuck with it (unless there’s a legal name change process, but that is a hassle).

Do you like your name? If you could choose a different one, what would you rather your name be? If you want to comment, do so here on the blog, or on my Facebook or Instagram pages. Also, go like my posts on social media, and share with everyone you think might like this stuff I write. If you don’t already, go follow me on social media. I would appreciate it! For tonight, this is the end. If you believe, God bless you; if you don’t, much positivity to you. Have a peaceful and blessed week. Also, be safe and be well.

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