“Come on, August. Keep up.”

August?

As a name for a kid? Come on. You can’t be serious…

Why are parents giving their kids these names?

Now, before anyone goes off half cocked about their cousin’s sister’s brother-in-law’s kid’s name, please know that I don’t really care. I don’t care what people name their kids. I don’t care if they are good names or bad names. I just want to discuss the why…in my irreverent and quasi-judgemental way…

Here’s a link to the top names of 2004. It is quite the comical list. I wanna meet the parents who named their kid Cadence…er, I mean Caden…and ask them what they were smokin’. Why? Why did you name your kid Caden? Ya ya ya, I know…you added an ‘N’ to Cade. Oh, wait, Cadence IS a name on the list too…on the girls name list. Huh? For a girl? You gotta be kidding me.

Yes, it is all very original. Great job. You will be the envy of every other soccer parent.

Now, this irreverent musing isn’t about the made up names of the more ethnic variety. Shaniqwa and Tshimanga and Dejamesondo are great names for kids. I think the made up names and original spellings are wonderful. They are original. Let’s face it, if every kid was named John and Jill, the world would be a boring place. And, if your last name is ethnic, it probably makes sense to have a unique first name too.

No, this is about parents that give their kids the pretentious names.

August?

Pretentious. Pretentious. Pretentious.

Why not September or October?
Was that the month the kid was born or conceived?

Third grade taunt – “Guster. Guster. Too slow to keep up with the bus-ter”

Eleventh grade taunt – “Ceasar. Ceasar. Oh where oh where is Ceasar Augustus?

Did his parents consider the possible taunting? Don’t they realize that the other kids will be merciless. Don’t they realize that the other kids, who have names like Tom, Dick, & Harry, are going to be making fun of the kids with the non traditional names? Oh, right, Tom, Dick and Harry weren’t on the list either. Every kid has a pretentious name now.

So, then, what’s the point? If these names are given out in order to differentiate, to help the kid stand out, then it is not working. If every kid has a “new” name, where’s the distinction? There’s nothing special about a class full of kids named John…just as there’s nothing special about a class full of kids named Sierra. Here’s a news flash – they don’t need a special name to be considered special. Or, if these names are given out because traditional names are boring and worn out, then why not the completely made up name instead? Don’t like Tom, Dick or Harry, then try Mot, Kcid, or Yrrah instead. Or, just try pig latin.

No, the made up names aren’t used because they aren’t cool, they aren’t trendy. The traditional names aren’t used for the same reason. But, does a 2 year old need a trendy and cool name? Is a ten year old going to do better in life because he/she had a special name…a name unused by the rest of the elementary school? Is the special status worth the constant taunting? In the end, the Gen X & Y parents of the babies born today are giving their kids special names to make themselves feel cool and trendy. They are handing out these non traditional names so they can be the coolest parent at soccer. They like naming their kids after national parks. “Standby passenger Denali Smith…Denali Smith…please proceed to the airlock, you are now confirmed for the lunar express…Denali Smith…” They like using names from the old testament too, even if they don’t know anything about the old testament. It’s all about the parents. It’s all about saying my child is better than yours, just by saying their name.

Of course, it could be possible that the Gen X & Y parents are doing this to separate themselves from the Boomers. What better way to tell your folks you don’t like their politics? Don’t name your kids after them. Ohhhhh….if true, that sure would be freaky…

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Copyright (c) 2005 Jamoker. All rights reserved.

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