The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Monday, October 24, 2005

Name Them For The Future?

Name your kids for their future, not their present.

The quintessential baby naming rule-of-thumb, and a dilemma every new parent faces.

Do you:

a) Name them something unique, but possibly freakish to other children. Let them endure years of teasing to become one of those hip adults with the nifty, memorable name?

b) Name them something common and safe. They'll fit in easier at school, and when they become adults they may not stand out, but they won't be any further behind.

Choosing option "A" though doesn't guarentee the problems end when your kids become adults.

A little while back Patty and I met up with some friends for dinner. It was a big group and we didn't know everyone there. We slowly made our way around the new group, exchanging introductions, shaking hands etc. The last guy's name I couldn't make out, we were standing on a busy street so I asked again.

"It's spelled like (mumble-mumble) with an (mumble)."

Hmmm... should I ask him to repeat it again? Nope. "Uh... hey that's a cool name!"

After dinner I couldn't stopping singing, "There was a boy who had a dog and Bango was his name-o.

B A N G O and Bango was his name-o."

Finally Patty asks, "Why are you singing that anyways?"

"Because of that guy, Bango."


"His name, it sounds like that kid's song. Y'know Bingo."

"His name is Mengo."

"No it's spelled Mango with a 'B', that's what he told me."

"It's Mango with an 'E', his name is Mengo."

I sat next to Mengo at dinner, and all night long I called him Bango. I felt like an idiot.

Moral of the story: If you're going to name your children something unique, teach them to speak up.