‘What’s in a name? The weird and outrageous baby names I’ve encountered’

Dec 09, 2019
Why are people choosing more weird names for their children? Source: Getty Images

What’s in a name? Well lots, I’ve since learned. I can’t understand why people give their offspring such ridiculous names or why perfectly rational people decide to change theirs.

I have a wonderful niece with the name Dianne, given to her by her doting parents. She changed it years ago to Di-Anne. We’re all used to it now.

I have a wacky friend who changed her middle name to Dancing Queen since she’s obsessed with the Swedish pop supergroup ABBA. Her children have declared her crazy and who knows, they may be right.

Judy Garland’s birth name was Francis Ethel Gumm. I have to admit I’d want to change that too.

I had a teacher at school whose surname was Fortune thus she was Miss Fortune till she married and took her husband’s name.

A mother who was enrolling her child at kindergarten was asked, “And what’s the name of your little girl?”

“Sim won,” She replied.

“Oh, and how do you spell that?” asked the enrolling teacher.

“S-I-M-O-N-E,” replied the mother.

“Ah, Simone,” gasped the teacher.

“No, Simwon,” was the response. Had she been reading Mills and Boone and fallen in love with the heroine?

Another kid I knew went by the name of Lunar. The classes’ nickname for her was ‘Tic!’ Surely that must have come from parents. I’m surprised she didn’t actually develop one.

My mother hated her names — Mabel Patricia — and the result was that my sister and I didn’t get a middle name. My poor sister only got one syllable, Jill. I at least got three syllables, Bar-ba-ra. At school I really missed having a middle name and invented one for myself — Michelle. Classy eh? What a French feeling I thought as I wrote my name on the cover of my brown paper covered book.

I was filling in something on the computer the other day and it required a middle name. This must be filled in it declared, so I put “None.” It then sent me something addressed to Barbara None Stacey!

I have a totally unproven theory that children who are on the spectrum somewhere would be better off if they didn’t have names like ‘Diesel’ (yes I know one) and would perform so much better with a good old fashioned name that didn’t need explaining like ‘John’ or ‘Elizabeth’. Sturdy names that indicate a solid grasp of life.

And what’s with children being named after cities/towns? I’ve met a few called Paris and while most were girls, one was a boy. American cities and states are popular now as names I see. There’s Arizona and Dallas, Madison, Montana and Dakota. Do you ever read the obituaries and, having discovered you aren’t there yet, you peruse the names of the grandchildren and great grandchildren? I do and have quite a time wondering how the kids will turn out.

I once knew a woman called Candy. Yes, that was her name. She was famous for her pick up line, “Hi, my name’s Candy, do you want a piece?”

And on a sombre note think about the women writers who wrote under male names since then they thought they would be taken seriously — our own Miles Franklin for example who simply left off her first names, Stella Maria Sarah.

I find that dogs too have pretentious names these days. Imagine calling your hound ‘Oliver’!

If I was going to change my name I’d be Natasha Ilinsky. It’s got a certain ring to it, exotic and foreign, don’t you think?

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Do you like your name? What unusual names have your heard?

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