silverback gorilla (jcruelty) wrote,
silverback gorilla

names are hard

sunshine ray, originally uploaded by jcruelty.

stayed awake trying to think of a good name for our son. they say you shouldn't tell anybody the name once it's decided, i guess cos once you've decided, you don't really want any more feedback. but without feedback, you get names like 'gertrude' and 'seema bhutt.'

is it just me or are there way more interesting names for girls than boys? i have no trouble thinking of good ideas for a daughter, but it's much harder somehow for a boy.

suppose you pick an unusual name that belongs to someone cool. like "bjork," but not that famous-- more someone art-world famous, like damien hirst (if his name were unusual.) if you pick such a name, are you dooming your kid to live in the shadow of this other person? is it safest to only do this if the semi-famous person is long dead?

what about names from antiquity? "pliny" is right out, but there must be some good ideas in the classics. i remember in college i had a philosophy prof who was having a boy, and he wanted to name the kid "calkenteros." (i might be spelling it wrong, that's just how it sounded.) his wife talked him out of it, but that name has stuck with me. they'd call him 'cal' though.

we've given up on sounding out the whole name, cos most non-indian names sound bad with "pai," but it's not like people go around addressing you by your full name all the time. mainly it just has to sound good on its own.

when it comes right down to it, most people have very boring names. i realized this when combing thru my friends' names searching for ideas. i suppose people get conservative when it comes to something so fundamental. or they bow to tradition & culture, so russians get russian names, indians get indian names, etc. etc.

it's not that we're completely adverse to an indian/jewish name, but to be honest it's hard to think of any that we like. most of them sound just as boring as anglo-saxon names.

i'd write down my list of ideas thus far, but i fear some of them are laughable. better vet w/ the missus first. i had to talk her out of "berlin."

the other idea i have is the name of an acquaintance from burning man. we're not really good friends, but we know each other. anyway i always thought his name (of nordic extraction) sounded really cool. it's pretty high on my list, except, will people who know him and us think it's weird that we seemingly named our kid after him? it's not that, it's just i like the name! i guess the circle of people who would care is pretty small, and anyway if one of your acquaintances liked your name so much that they chose it for their son, that would be cool right? you wouldn't necessarily conclude anything beyond 'they liked my name.'

all i know is, i want a name that's not boring but also not some hippie-dippie bullshit or made-up nonsense. dav and mia picked a good name for their daughter: "tesla." that's the gold standard of non-ethnic non-traditional names, i think. (i tried making different last names into first names-- gauss, rushdie, etc-- but none of them sound right)

and the winner is...


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