Thursday, 21 March 2013

The name game

The name game
20 March 2013

I think that as a parent, it is rather important to put a lot of thought into selecting a name for your child.  They’re stuck with it for life after all.  It kind of sets both the scene and the tone for what is to follow.  Perhaps in some small measure at least, it could even determine their life.  I mean, really!  If Abraham Lincoln’s name had been Anass Afadass ( I googled worst names ever and this little gem came up), would anyone have taken him seriously?  Or if our beloved Derek Watts’ name had been Kim Yoo Suk (a South Korean pole vaulter who competed in the 2004 Olympics), I just bet Carte Blanche wouldn’t have touched him with a barge pole.  Pole – get it?  As in pole vaulter.  Ha-ha-ha!  Sorry!  I simply could not resist. 

The fact is this – naming your child in a very weighted responsibility.  So, do it with care.

And if you’re lucky enough to be blessed with more than one child, I think it is equally important, to take care that your children’s names sort of match.  You know exactly what I mean.

For instance, you can’t have two sons and call the one, Jonathan and the other Johannes.  At least make sure that both names come from the same language.  It makes logical sense.  Or at least, it does to me. 

But, sometimes, this very trend, is taken too far.  And we see this quite often, when it comes to the naming of twins.  In fact, then things can get ever so slightly tricky.  And if those same twins are identical, then the bizarrity, is able to get exponentially worse.

Quite often, the names are so similar sounding because they are so very similar.  Often, only one letter differentiates them.  There are so many examples.  Like Jayden and Kayden.  Or Haylee and Kaylee.  Jason and Mason.  Zain and Cain.  Do you really want to spend the rest of your life calling just one of your kids and have both of them come running, because their names sound so alike?

Another naming catastrophe, in most cases, happens when parents use a combination of their names, to create a whole new name.  Or a combination of any two names for that matter.  Now, this is not always bad.  Sometimes, it really works and it can work quite well.  For instance, an old friend of mine, wanted to name her daughter after both her mother, Cynthia, and her mother-in-law, Madelein.  And hence, she came up with Madicyn.  And though, not a conventional spelling of the name Madison, I really like the sound of it.  And the significance is rather special.  I’m talking about certain other naming disasters.  Like a guy called Nando, who married a lady called Charmaine.  And they named their poor daughter, Nache.  True story.  And that is just plain wrong.  And just think about it.  If Grant and I had indulged in this naming trend, we could have called Amber, Grelene instead.  Which just has such a truly horrendous ring to it.

Another dilemma is raised when you give your child a really quirky and unusual name.  These are always such fun.  But then, subsequent siblings also have to have quirky names too.  You can’t name one daughter Tickle for example.  And the next one, Megan.  It simply won’t do.  Both names are lovely.  They really are.  They simply don’t match.  Or name your one son, Finn (I love, love, love the name Finn), and the next boy Fred.

Many, many, many moons ago, I knew a young girl who came from a home where her mother was Italian and her father was Afrikaans, South African.  Her mother was the sweetest little lady.  She looked like a dead ringer for Sophia from the Golden Girls.  You remember Sophia right?  The grumpy and feisty old lady, who gave everyone lip.  My friend’s mother was petite!  And no, she wasn’t grumpy or feisty.  She just simply always reminded me of Sophia.  Furthermore, my friend was very much a “laatlammetjie” and so her mother was already rather advanced in years, when she was born.  Which means that by the time, I met her, when my friend was in her late teens/early twenties, her mother was rather ancient in my opinion.  She was so small, that she had to sit on a cushion, whilst driving, so as to enable her to see over the steering wheel.  And due to her height, she absolutely always grated the gears on her manual car, when she changed gears.  Her legs were simply not long enough.  Besides which, if she was able to change gears successful and fully engage her clutch, it would mean that she couldn’t see over her steering wheel.  It was an either-or situation.

Now this friend of mine’s name is Graziella.  A very, very Italian sounding name.  And Graziella, is one of five children.  And her parents, had a naming rule in their home.  Each parent, took a turn to name a child.  Rather peculiar, still it seemed to work for them.  As in, you name a child, I name a child, you name a child, etc.  And each parent, chose a name, which matched their culture and their language to a tee.  And hence, Graziella’s siblings are….. Eros, Mafalda.  And bringing up the rear?  Annatjie and Gertjie.  Too funny for words!  And I simply love it!

And let’s not forget the Native American naming tradition.  You know the one.  In certain tribes, a child is supposedly named after the first thing that is seen after the child’s birth, once the birthing tepee was left.  Now this tradition might have worked in bygone years, when the first thing to be seen was perhaps “Flowing Water”, or “Running Buck”.  Nowadays, it could lead to naming disasters, once the Hospital theatre was left.  Disasters ike “Linoleum Floor”, or “Exit Left”.

So, almost-to-be-parents.  Take your time.  Think this thing through. 
Your decision, will last a few lifetimes at least!

Poor guy! Though chances are the name is perfectly normal in his culture.  Just not in ours.
Another horrific name contender.  Bet he's the butt end of many a joke.  Yes, I know - my puns aren't very good.
This little gem comes from our local newspaper, The District Mail.  Just check at the names of some of these twins.  There's Eden and Aden.  Kuhle and Buhle.  Robin and Rubin.  As well as Rouzayne and Vouzayne.  Amazing!
Mom and Dad - have a heart!

1 comment:

  1. ek dink actually nache is 'n mooi naam...maar NANdo?? wat dan nou van STEERs?