Tuesday, January 09, 2007

SBG Redux

I've said it before and I'll say it again. In fact, I should just make a recording. What the hell is wrong with people?

You may have noticed from my sidebar that I have a very, very slight obsession with inappropriate baby names. I'm sorry to say that the problem has reached plague proportions. For every nice, normal name like Nick and Jack and Holly and Eva, there are five nasty, shallow bush grave names like Shaniquwaah and Blayde and Jayden and Keshani. Giving a child one of these names condemns him or her to

  • a shallow bush grave (in extreme cases);
  • a life of socioeconomic disadvantage;
  • or, at the very least, to a lifetime of having to spell that crappy name every time they order pizza or make an appointment.

There are variations on the SBG theme, including the trailer trash name, the ghetto name and, for the girls, the stripper name. All are cruel and unusual punishment.

Every January, Hatch, Match and Dispatch puts together a list of all the names that have been given to children the year before. The 2006 list came out on Monday, but I hadn't had a chance to get to it until today. (Bloke cleared out for foreign climes yet again this morning (sniff!), leaving me with plenty of time on my hands). It didn't make for pleasant reading, people. Here we go with the boys:

There were the usual crimes against spelling committed by people who wanted their kids' names to be different and creative (but who just end up sounding like they have adenoid trouble or a slight brian injury): Baqer, Bay-Lih, Aksel, Adikus, Coopa, Danyall, Deazal, Dontae, Frayzah, Harrysen, Huntar, Jerramy, Jaymz, Keilghe (I think this is supposed to be "Kyle"), Linkin, Lokhlan, Maqenzee, Pheonix, Rivah, Xavaeir.

The ridiculous hyphenated and grocers'-apostrophied names: Alex-Zander, BJ-Basil, Cam'Ron, Cornelieu-Ioan, Indi-Oaklen, Jiley-Kim, Marc-Marwen, Maximillian-Claudius, O'Che, Shah-Fred.

Lord of the Rings (or just sound like they belong there): Balin (and Eowyn, Arwen and Pippin in the girls' section).

Star Wars (ditto): Anakin, Krillin, Rith, Tjeryan, Zarich, Zaak, Zixin.

US soap opera names: Chance, Moss, Reef, Rayne, Storm.

The people who think if they name their kids after someone famous, they'll follow in their footsteps: Beckham, Bonn, Bradtke, Brock, Bryson, Hendrix, Jamiriqui. (Thank Ford no-one called their son Irwin.)

Dogs' names: Butch, Banjo, Bosco, Kaiser, Kip.

The kids who are going to be teased mercilessly and will end up with eating disorders: Ador, Best, Florian, Fatonah, Linus, Mabil, Milo, Medwin, Trumby.

The kids whose parents obviously made up their names: Ashkan, Acelin, Caeydin, Braithan, Danthra, Corrado, Deontae, Dreyse, Eraynd, Jachin, Jaikye, Jaityn, Jaxton, Jharlei, Jibril, Kaiji, Navid, Naysan, Rhylan, Tayton.

The people who chose geograhical names for their children because they sounded so exotic (but since they don't own an atlas, they don't realise when they've mis-spelled them): Boston, Brooklyn, Cypress, Dakotah, Denver, Harvard, Jarva, Kairo, Rome, Yyork.

The people who don't realise that names from mythology, ancient history and Dickens often don't work now: Ajax, Hadrian, Hector, Jethro, Judah, Loki, Lucafer, Moses, Odin, Serafeim, Socrates.

There were the ones that came straight from the ghetto: Jamayne, Jyrelle, Kyrelle, Lamine, Lethaniel, Nashawn, Shakielle, Shayden, Shayaan, Tashawn, Tyrique.

And the ones that sounded kinda cool because of their connotations, but are nonetheless ridiculous: Blade, Jazz, Jet, Justice, Krush, Kouger, Maverick, Ocean, Radman (yeah, rad, man!), Rocky, Zephyr.

And then there were the real champions:

Aramis I don't care whether you named your kid after the Musketeer or the aftershave. It's a crap name and he's going to get beaten up. Often.
Apostle-Paul "Appy" for short?
Aryan Whose daddy's a white supremacist, then? Aww, cootchy-cootchy-ziegheil!
Bless Maybe he can hang around with Aryan and be a calming influence.
Dazza Are his friends going to nick-name him Darren?
Django Could this be a euphemism for the happy 'baccy? As in, "Don't bogart the django, man!" Either that, or the catch-cry of a super hero named Ebonics Man from a '70s Blacksploitation film.
Eagle Strange how no-one ever calls their kid Magpie or Lice-Besmirched Pigeon. That would work.
Fox And why doesn't anyone ever call their kid Ferret or Dung-Beetle? Oh well. At least little Fox and Eagle can play soccer together after they've finished torturing kittens and burning down the school.
Gemtree Well, I like gems and I like trees, so...
Mazin Please, oh please, tell me this is not an abbreviated version of "Amazing". It's a boy's name, so the middle name can't be Grace.
Merchant Huh?
Rathanak Klingon for, "Why, no thank you, I don't belive I will have any pudding this evening".
Oz Great. The inspiration here was either a lame Judy Garland movie or that sweet, funny US prison show. Destined to be beaten up at school.
PJ Were they sending the birth certificate by telegram? Did they have to pay by the letter or something?
Rommell See Aryan, further up. Deutschland, Deutschland, uber alles...
Safari Le sigh.
Shikane Er, don't racing cars go through these?
Tahkoma Bletch. Sounds cancerous.
Taine I believe this is a polite term for a skid mark on a pair of Y-fronts.
Taltos Let me guess, you love Anne Rice's books, right?
Tekin And your husband was big on video games? Gosh, I'm psychic.
Tresor You named your son after your favourite perfume. Wow. I'm... speechless.
Viva Hmm, I know I've heard that somewhere before. An Elvis song maybe?
Vegas Oh, yeah! Now I remember! I hope that Viva and Vegas become friends and meet an open-minded girl named Las when they grow up.
Vissarion A little-known but extremely powerful treatment for planter warts. (Ooh, let's paint a bucket of the stuff on Philip Ruddock and see if he'll vanish! If it works, we'll buy a 44 gallon drum and go to work on John Howard, Amanda Vanstone and Alexander Downer too.)
Zainul Is it just me, or is a fairly bad idea to give a child a name that rhymes with "anal"?
Zebulon Just spray on the Zebulon and bam! That taine is gone!

Oh, holy hell. I don't think I can go on. I haven't even got to the girls yet. If I don't slash my wrists tonight, I'll finish up tomorrow.

Why, oh why, are people so unkind?

Edit: Oops. I just went back to visit the Apple Barrel and realised that since I popped in this morning, people have been talking about crazy kids' names there all day. Sorry, Audrey - I didn't mean to copy!



At 12:01 am, January 10, 2007, Anonymous lucy tartan said...

Does this list only come out in SA? Maye it's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A great one, though.

At 7:52 am, January 10, 2007, Blogger foodkitty said...

After a James Bond movie came out with a heroine named Melena, I was desperate for it to catch on. Melaena is a medical term for dark, tarry altered blood mixed in with your poo. Try explaining that first day of school!

At 9:37 am, January 10, 2007, Blogger Scorpy said...

ROFLMAO and shaking my head in disbelief...I am amazed that some 'parents' are allowed to have children at all. You need a license to drive a car but not to be a parent. There is a body within the equine racing fraternity that vets ALL names submitted to ensure that they are both clean and not doubled up. They DO thow out stupid names but some still get thru...but...there is no similar body that vets Kids names - although you cannot call them 'shitforbrains' or 'sole (as in asshole). I think the parents should have to wear a sign stating that their kids are named because they thought they were a PET!!!!

At 10:08 am, January 10, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Lucy, hmm, don't know. I imagine other states have it too, but I haven't seen any others. I think it is contagious, though, especially the creative spellings.

Kitty, heh heh heh. I hope they knew that and were being subversive.

Scorpy, I don't think you're allowed to call your child Beelzebub either ;)

At 11:28 am, January 10, 2007, Blogger MadameBoffin said...


I also blame celebrities for encouraging this naming nonsense.

Having said that, I have an unusual name which my parents got from a sci-fi book. I love it but it's always a pain trying to spell it out and explaining it to people.

Did you know teachers prejudice against students names? A quick run through of the class list will already have teachers forming opininons, sight unseen. Lachlan's are usually trouble makers and Stacey's always chat it class, etc.

At 11:43 am, January 10, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Whoops, sorry Boff! I know what you mean about judging kids by their names, though. When I was at school, Narelles were goody two shoes types, Kylies were popular (and sometimes a bit "fast") and Darrens tended to be little bastards. Oh, and the Craigs were all obsessed with underpants. But maybe that was just my school ;)

At 11:59 am, January 10, 2007, Blogger Rach said...


stupid kid names

I think i'll just name my kid in MIME , hopefully it doesnt make any blind friends.

or just throw some random scrabble tiles down and see what it comes up with.

At 12:28 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger jedimerc said...

Man, I remember when I thought my name (Chris) was an unusual name, but that was a different, greater era they called... the 80's :)

At 1:38 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger Amanda said...

I read somewhere once that the government of Denmark produced a list of about 4000 names, and all children had to be named from that list. No exception. I'd say the various states of Australia would to well to take a leaf out of their book.

At 1:58 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger Lonie Polony said...

I don't really mind when idiots name their children stupid things - after all, it's amusing (to be fair, I knew a boy called Zainul, and I think it's an Arabic derived name; he was half Malay). What I hate is when chiggers/bogans/booners use the names of my children, or other names that I like. Grr!

P.S. Full Disclosure: my two children have second middle names that would probably make your list. They are the names of famous figures from my father's native culture. Heritage-pride and all that.

At 2:56 pm, January 10, 2007, Anonymous Teddy said...

There seems to be an obsession with childrens names Ms. Redcap---is there something that you are not telling us-----looking for something appropriate for an impending event maybe ?? ----a little pink or blue bonnet ???

At 3:02 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Rach, I think that some of these people have just thrown some random Scrabble tiles down!

Jedi, Chris was a really popular name here in the '80s. I went to school with heaps of Chrises.

Amanda, 4000 names really should be enough, shouldn't it? And no, you're not allowed to vary the spelling.

Lonie, oops, I had a nasty feeling that would happen. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between traditional names from foreign climes and the random crap people just make up to be different. And there's nothing wrong with heritage pride, especially in a middle name where the child isn't going to have to have to spell it every day. I hope I haven't dissed your kids too much!

At 3:07 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Oh, and Ted, you may roll that comment up and shove it in your... um... ear :)

Miss B, Saturday's birth notices are my favourite part of the Tiser, too, Gosh, you find some gold there. I'm not surprised you feel dirty writing those names. I think Shazzaray is one of the best ghetto names I've ever heard - even better than Shaniquwa.

At 4:11 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger meva said...

I hope little Merchant has a sister named Ivory.

But, really, naming your child Merchant? Can we look forward to Solicitor? Banker? Bludger?

At 4:48 pm, January 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just last night a couple of friends were telling us about a friend of theirs (yes, this is a 'friend of a friend' story) who named their child something godawful - can't remember it, blocked it from my memory already - and the big punchline was THEY MADE UP THEIR OWN WEIRD SURNAME for the kid. A surname neither of them thought fit to adopt themselves. Why would you do that?!

Ariel (blogger doesn't like me this afternoon)

At 7:09 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger londongirl said...

I don't often agree with the French (I make that a point of principle) but they do have it right as regards names. You're only allowed (if you're catholic and want to get your child baptised) to select from an approved list of names. Therefore protecting your child from a life of battery and a SBG.

At 7:44 pm, January 10, 2007, Anonymous MikeFitz said...

One of my favourite cartoons on SBG names.

At 8:10 pm, January 10, 2007, Anonymous ThirdCat said...

"Narelles were goody two shoes". Clearly, we were at different schools!

I'm with you most of the way, but when I was charged with naming my children, I did have Fox on my list of names (and I still maintain it has more to recommend it as a name than does dung beetle) and also Banjo which I would still have on my list if I thought there were any hope another baby was coming my way. You and my partner would get on well in the name business, as it were he what stopped me.

And yeah, Dazza. Ace.

At 8:29 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Meva, ooh, I like Bludger! We could hyphenate it and call the child Dole-Bludger. I know, my bad. Sorry.

Ariel, they made up a SURNAME? Now that's just wrong.

LG, I think a few of the more traditional churches do that. In the Russian Orthodox Church, you basically have to have a saint's name. Luckily, there are are veritable crapload of saints.

Mike, it's blank :(

Thirdcat, we had three of them and they were all painfully nice. I gather you had some fast Narelles? You're right, of course - Fox has more to recommend it than Dung Beetle. I have to admit there are a few unconventional names that I'm rather fond of: I've always liked Ryder (for Mr Haggard), Hunter (not for Mr Thompson), Riley and Finn. Were I to produce offspring, I might even consider using them. But shh, don't tell anyone ;)

At 10:55 pm, January 10, 2007, Blogger audrey said...

I like Finn also. Sometimes I despair of parents. I think the biggest problem is the socioeconomic isolation they will face - excusing of course the fact that when they are of working age THEIR NAMES WILL BE THE STATUS QUO. Our future bank managers are going to be called Systishaina and Orb.

Although, I disagree on Oz. Loving him in Buffy would be enough to tempt me into naming a child such.

At 12:44 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Ms Smack said...


At 4:20 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Nai said...

I have a confession; I hate my niece's name. I love her to bits, and despite this crime against her child I also love my sister. She has the type of name that will ensure she never delivers a presentation to a board meeting unless she comes up with a snappy nickname.
She was named after an African man in a film, so you can see why it would be entirely appropriate for a little Skippy-girl. Her parents realised their mistake and rectified the situation by adding an 'a' sound to the end of it. Perfect.
Her name is Mataya Tj (the j is lower case). My first impulse was to say,
'Can I buy an apostrophe for that, Burgo?'
but I have had to keep my peace.
Also, at the risk of exposing my rampaging ego, if you ever go to my blog, please never, ever mention my niece’s name. Or that I don't like it. In fact, as far as you’re concerned, she doesn't have a name :)

foodkitty - My aunty is a GP and has treated a child called Melena for melaena.

At 8:30 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Audrey, I'm worried about the Prime Minister in 40 years. Can you imagine? Jett Canon Roberts. Of course, not that someone named John has done any good...

Ms S, glad you enjoyed it :)

Nai, I certainly will visit your blog, and I promise neverk, ever to speak of your niece's name. It's our secret ;) But I agree, it was rather a cruel thing to do to a little girl.

At 10:59 am, January 14, 2007, Blogger ilse said...

Hey redcap, I don't think 'Corrado' is a made up name. I believe it's Italian: my mum's neighbours are Corrado Jnr and Snr.

Secondly, all three of my names are unpronouncable and unspellable. It is nice to be 'different' and 'not just another Susan/Hillary/Emily/Katy' by by god it gets annoying when people regularly call you:

Lisa, Alyssa, Ilka, Isle, Ailsa, Hilda, Milsa, Milva, Isla... my personal favourite is 'Dilfa'.

At 11:54 am, January 14, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Ilse, oops, did it again. Dissed a foreign name through sheer ignorance. Oh well.

I know what you mean about people being unable to spell or pronounce your name, though. My name used to be an oddity when I was a kid, so everyone would stuff it up. It suddenly became popular when I was in my 20s and briefly there was peace. But then the creative spelling plague hit and I was stuffed again ;)

At 10:07 am, January 15, 2007, Blogger Lazy cow said...

A topic after my own heart! That's why my children have incredibly English names which brook no spelling variations. You know things are getting crazy when people ask if your husband's name (Shane) has a 'y' as in Shayne. NOOOOO!!!!

At 10:33 am, January 15, 2007, Blogger Nai said...

After looking through the various posts on this topic I have discovered my own (rather unusual) name has been hyphenated with the name of a gem. I am big enough to admit that it belongs there. Sigh.

Not surprisingly 'Harmony' also features on this list, as discovered by my cousin, Harmony. She works for the Wilderness Society and has to cope with the other eco-crusaders assuming that she was deranged enough to change her name to 'Harmony' from a perfectly normal name (which is what they have done; 'Rainbow', 'River' etc).
She has learnt to cope with her hippy name by shortening it to Harms. Cue, 'Get out of Harms way' jokes.

At 8:36 pm, January 15, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Lazy, you're right - them's figthin' words!

Nai, I think we can let you have your name. It is, after all, French. And you are named after a rather racy writer. However the gem-hyphenated version is really not a good look.

At 7:02 pm, July 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a life!! Whats your real name anyway? If all you have to worry about in life is baby names, lady i will toss you a dollar and you are one step closer to a new life!! Let people name their kids what they want, do you have kids? Go grow a potato or something!!

At 7:33 pm, July 25, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Welcome anonymous. I'm looking into my crystal ball and I'm seeing that you either have a child named Braithan or you're thinking about calling your kid Braithan. Come on, you've got to admit. That's a really dumb name. It sounds like a kitchen cleaner. Give the kid a name he won't be ashamed of when he grows up.


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