Country Living Series

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Baby-naming child abuse

Here's a provocative column written by columnist Phil Elmore, who doesn't hesitate to calls 'em like he sees 'em.

His name is "Like," and his parents are idiots.

An Israeli couple previously named young Like's sisters "Pie" (yes, as in the dessert) and "Dvash" (Hebrew for "honey"). They have stated quite explicitly that the inspiration for Like's name is Facebook, a social media site where users can affirm their friends' posts by clicking the "like" button. "Like" doesn't merely sound like the popular website feature (recently adopted by Microsoft's Bing in heroic "me-too" fashion). It is every bit the contemporary popular culture reference it seems.

Little Like is not alone in having parents who are morons. Has-been actress Alicia Silverstone recently named her son "Bear Blu," joining the ranks of such imbecile parents' children as Rob Morrow's child "Tu" ("Tu Morrow," get it?), ponytailed pseudo-Libertarian Penn Jilette's "Moxie Crimefighter," comic-book obsessed Nicolas Cage's "Kal-El" (named for Superman's Kryptonian identity), Gwyneth Paltrow's “Apple” (surprisingly quaint in proximity to these others), Sylvester Stallone's "Sage Moonblood," Jermaine Jackson's "Jermajesty" (a name for which Jermaine deserves to be jerbeaten), and Lance Henriksen's "Alcamy" (for only sorcery could transmute that terrible name into something decent). The bizarre compulsion to turn your child into a freak at birth, however, is not limited to famous people.

(Read the rest here.)


  1. This article reminds me of the mother who called the school angry because none of her daughter's teachers ever pronounced her name correctly. The child's name? La-a, pronounced La-dash-ah. Where I'm from, that would be La-hyphen-ah.

    Then there was the caller to talk radio 600, her grandson was named s-h-*-t-h-e-a-d, pronounced shuh-TEED. "My daughter-in-law is an idiot, and so is my son for letting her do that to my poor grandbaby."

  2. While I believe we're waaaaay past the saturation point on most of the standard "popular" names, there's certainly a sensible stopping point on the way to trying for unique.

    The kids of celebrities will grow up in an insulated environment, in a landscape know for idiots. These names won't even stand out.

    As for "Like," pop culture references are the most inane and fleeting bits of crap in the universe. (I get the biggest kick out of people choosing similarly "meaningful" subjects for tattoos.)Apart from the name, let's hope this child also didn't receive his parents' brains.

    Jeff - Tucson

  3. Michael Dean MillerMay 22, 2011 at 2:17 AM


    Jermaine Jackson's "Jermajesty" (a name for which Jermaine deserves to be jerbeaten),

    I'm laughin' my jerass off !


  4. I have an unusual name. I tell people that I was 40 before I "grew in to it", lol! Because I had a name that stood out from all the Cindy's and Kathy's (two most popular names the year I was born), I was very aware of the effects a name can have on a childs life. I named my children accordingly...they all have old-fashioned (to some) names. The boys names are unabashedly masculine, the girls feminine. If they don't like their first name, they have middle names that are good alternatives.
    I started my family in the 1970s and there's not a "Moonbeam" or "Rainbow" in the bunch!
    I thought about the effects a name would have, I wish other parents would, too.---
    Mom of Amanda, Gregory, Daniel, Josiah, Jared, Jesse and Katharine

  5. When I was working in the public relations department of a big IRS Service Center years ago one of my duties in producing the center's newsletter was to put in the names of babies born to employees.

    There were a lot of strange ones. But the one that sticks out in my mind was a little baby girl named Fluffy Granola.

    I kid you not. It wasn't a joke.

    I wonder what "Fluffy" is doing now.

    BTW, my children have good Biblical names like mine.


  6. I think Lamb and I think similarly. I have only met one other "Ouida" and her name was spelled phonically. I hated my name when I was younger. I love it now. It means "famous warrior". My middle name is Gabriel which is not normally a female name. I love it though. It is one of my favorite boy names.

    Being introverted, the first day of school was always the hardest. I knew I would have to correct the pronunciation - and then several times over when middle/high school started. It is hard enough when kids can't say your name right but teachers couldn't which would get snickers from kids thinking the whole thinking was funny.

    I too love traditional names especially from the Bible. We have a Nicole, Abigail, Jubilee, Joseph, Isabella and Serenity. Personally, I think naming your child should be taken seriously. In the Bible, names having meaning and are connected to that person for a particular reason. In my opinion, God takes names very seriously.

    How does a person explain why they named their child "Like" or "Moxie"?

    Ouida Gabriel

    1. My grand daughter's name is Ouida Lou after her paternal great grandmother and her maternal great grandfather.

  7. When I was a kid, my Mom's office had a customer named Donald Duck. At 7, I thought that was the greatest name ever because it made me laugh. Now as an adult, I feel bad for the poor man.

  8. Like Lamb who commented above, I also was given an unusual first name. It was an old fashioned name and because of the unusual spelling, people had trouble pronouncing it. Not only did my fellow classmates make fun of it, but teachers did also. I was horrified and embarrassed. I couldn't understand why my parents didn't name me "Susan" or "Mary". Mom said she didn't want her children to have common names, but names that stood out. I guess if I would have had a super outgoing, bubbly personality, it would have been better but I was a shy wallflower in school. When I graduated from high school, I began using my middle name and have never regretted it. Mom was fine with it ("that's what your middle name is for") but my dad didn't like it. Although... my personality has changed somewhat over the past 40 years, and I definitely think I could handle my unusual name now. My sons both have easy to spell and easy to pronounce names.

  9. Have you read Freakanomics before? The stats for name v. success rate are interesting. The authors highlighted the tale of two kids whose misguided parents named them Winner and Loser. Some local chemistry scientist in our town named their kids after the dna compounds. I can't remember which two but they call one of them Addie for short. We love them for it.

    My kids wanted to name my newborn Bubbles after the PowerPuff girls. I said no because then she would be destined to be a lawyer.

    Here's my favorite name joke: (rewitten by me who can't tell a joke)

    A mom with eight boys goes to the doctor to get them check-ups. The secretary is shocked to find they all have the same name. "How do you get their attention if they all have the same name?" the secretary asks. The mom replied, "Oh, I just call them by their last name."

  10. my name is caryn- not so bad, but growing up it was mispronounced and spelled incorrectly by many first grade teacher argued with my daddy over the spelling of my name...and when i was a little older i found out that daddy had a bluebird with my name tatooed on his a upper arm only to find out much much later in years that the tatoo on his arm came before i was concieved - daddy was in the navy...for a long time i thought that was why my mama was so mean to me at times. today, i am just grateful that my name is becoming more common and not near as bad as it could have been.

  11. My niece just had a baby--her boyfriend wanted to name the baby "Ocean"...*sigh*...I had to go in and tell him No--that is not a good name for a baby because you don't know what he's going to want to be when he grows up. Would you want a lawyer named Ocean? They ended up naming him Troy with Ocean as his middle name.

  12. This is certainly a fascinating post.

    It's one of those that happens here from time to time that gives us interesting insights into one another.

    Who knew Lamb and Kay and I grew up in a parallel universe?

    I don't much like my first name and never have, but I managed to grow into it and it forced me to have to overcome my natural shyness and introversion. It worked as an asset in broadcasting because it's is easy to spell and pronounce, and is as so I So it's all good, but I sure wouldn't name a kid what my mother named me. It helped that my Daddy raised me fishing and hunting and helping him work on cars.

    But all sniveling aside(lol), I'm thining both will agree with me that we got off pretty easy compared to some of the incomprehensibly ignorant and unkind name choices we've seen in this piece. To put names like La"dash"a and Fluffy Granola and (dear Lord, forgive me for even typing it: Jermajesty...wait a minute...Michael Dean are you just having me off here or what?? Did he REALLY give that name to an innocent child??? And Shuh-teed? I'm gonna hurl!

    Alas, the folks who inflict such life-staining monikers on their kids are suffering from probably-terminal ignorance and profoundly unmerited arrogance which they may or may not survive or ever emerge from. Should their neanderthalic intellectual deficiencies be cause to spare them from a much-deserved thrashing on each and every birthday of their poor children?
    No. Send them out to cut switches. Whip them all 'till their legs and behinds are welted and make them beg for forgiveness.

    Of course I'm rubbing it in a bit, but I'm betting everyone here would join me in a cheer for the idea. lol

    Like, ya know?

    I like good all-American names like ANONYMOUS PATRIOT. Where, oh where are you my friend? We're missing you.

    A. McSp

  13. Years ago while living in Texas, I worked in a dental office as the receptionist. A nice black family came in and filled out the new patient form for their son. His first name was Sir.

  14. A. McSp, if you would email me privately at I can explain the situation with A.P.

    - Patrice

  15. George Foreman has many children, and each of his five sons is named George: George Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI. He has two daughters, Freeda George and Georgetta.

    I always laughed at that, but also thought it would've been a bummer to be the second son and miss out on being named "George Foreman" so I do, in a way, understand why he did that with the boys.

    Our boys are named after Boston Celtics players. My oldest is named William Russell. There are Williams on my side and Russells on hubbie's side, so those who were bummed with our choice could ignore its true origin!

    My youngest is named Samuel Adam, the "Sam" after another Celtic great and both names after the patriot. (We didn't do Adams since our last name has an "s" and it would've been hard to pronounce.)

    My daughter is named Carmen, after the Ohio State Univ. alma mater, Carmen Ohio. While I considered it for about 10 minutes, I did NOT give her Ohio as a middle name. She has another O name (Oralee, meaning "my light") so people might wonder if Carmen O. really was Carmen Ohio!

    While my husband and I don't have odd first names, neither of us go by our first name. (In fact, Katie is a nickname and not either of my names.) We chose names that the kids could be called. It's tiresome to have to correct everyone in the world with what you'd rather be called, but it sure could've been worse!


  16. In my son's kindergarten class (he is 15 now) there was Heaven-Leigh, Heaven Sent (both girls) Meat (boy) and Meet (boy). My daughter (at the same school in a very small town) had Sukwinder (boy) in her class, along with 4 Chelsey's. My daughter's middle name is Caryn because I thought it was such a pretty name with her first name.
    My grandma, born 83 years ago, was named Olive Simmons. Not a bad name at all, except for the fact that she grew up to marry a man with the last name of Farmer. And they lived in olive farming country. Try getting someone to page her over the loudspeaker at Walmart. They always thought it was a joke. My grandpa was named ZA Farmer. The letters are not intials for anything, nor is it pronounced as it sounds. The name is pronouced ZEE AAA.

  17. Great topic. I grew up with a boy named Russel Naile. Of course he was Rusty Nail. I worked in a nursery at a large hospital. We had a mom that wanted to name her daughter after a word one of the doctors had said while she was in labor. We had to explain what vagina was and why it wasn't a good idea to use that. She used Virginia instead. Dodged one there for that poor kid.
    Donna B