January 31, 2005


Be careful picking baby's name (DELIA O'HARA, January 31, 2005, Chicago Sun-Times)

Parents spend countless hours trying to come up with the coolest baby names, but they may be doing nothing more than setting up the young heirs for a lifetime of rude jokes.

Joe Borgenicht's new book, What Not to Name Your Baby (Simon Spotlight, $7.95), tries to save parents from that fate.

Most people your child will encounter will not know the noble provenance of his name or how it resonated with you when you selected it. Rather, they will think of the mentally challenged character who bears that name on "The Simpsons," or the fact that the moniker rhymes with a titillating body part.

"Parents know that the name they give their child will dictate a lot later in life," Borgenicht says, but they may not know every pop-culture nuance of the names they are considering. He advises them to "be sure your name doesn't appear in this book. You can at least give the child a name schoolyard kids have the least opportunity to make fun of."

While my fraternity brother John Hoff never forgave his parents, many of the most amusing inappropriate names for the playground are urban legends.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2005 11:14 AM

I remember the "Female Jones" story from when I worked at a hospital in the mid-1970s.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 31, 2005 12:58 PM

I noticed that one of the no-no names for girls was Fanny. The only people that I know of that are using the name are the Amish.

Posted by: AllenS at January 31, 2005 1:06 PM

The all-time winners in this category have to be the New York family who named their sons "Winner" and "Loser". Of course, Loser turned out to be a winner and Winner a loser.

Posted by: pj at January 31, 2005 1:13 PM

John Hoff, eh? That's in a similar class to a friend of mine, named Michael Hunt.

Posted by: John Thacker at January 31, 2005 1:16 PM

I remember reading somewhere about Bill and Betty Daub, who named their first girl child Zip A Dee Doo.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 31, 2005 1:29 PM

When I was in high school, there was an old, retired priest, who had founded the Catholic school 50 years earlier still working in the school. His name was Fr. John Zoph. One day we had an assembly where another younger priest from the Archdiocese came to visit his alma mater. He gave a talk about the what the school was like in the past, about the teachers and so on. He even talked about Fr. John Zoph, but he kept calling him Fr. Jack Zoph. Of course, you can imagine the constant giggling which came from the students every time they heard the name.

Posted by: Vince at January 31, 2005 1:45 PM

One of my wife's friends, whose last name is Kent, named her first son Harold.

...wait for it...

So now he could be called Harry Kent.

Posted by: Brandon at January 31, 2005 2:39 PM

I went to college with a Peter Mintzer, but I never gave it much thought till I met his father, Dick.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 31, 2005 3:53 PM

I had to write up some results for a high school tennis match today, and one poor kid from Laura Bush's alma matta in Midland was named Michael Moore. Sixteen years ago that name would have meant nothing, but now...

Posted by: John at January 31, 2005 4:05 PM

Malice Greene is a now familiar name in the Detroit area. A friend and her husband gave their younger son the middle name Choyd (combining the names of his grandfathers-charles & Floyd). Also, I went to school w/a girl who's initials were A.S.S.

Posted by: Dave W. at January 31, 2005 8:58 PM

Guaranteed real: Tondalaya Lipschitz. I stumbled across the name in the phone book, and it turned out a friend knew her!

I once met one of a pair of sisters: Scarlet and Crystal Apple.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 31, 2005 9:23 PM

The Delaware Superior Court has a judge named Richard R. Cooch. He signs his personal correspondence "Dick."

Posted by: Random Lawyer at February 1, 2005 11:23 AM