2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Culture and Society

Names: stop the madness!

Too many silly names with too many silly spellings, thinks John Camm

31 October 2003

Yesterday saw the birth of Beatrice Millie McCartney, the offspring of ex-Wings frontman Paul McCartney and his imaginative wife Heather.

Beatrice Millie can count herself relatively lucky: she got away with only slightly absurd names. Condemning a person to a lifetime of being called "Beatrice Millie" is fairly cruel (and has all the hallmarks of Heather's sad ambitiousness: the royal first name; her own surname mirrored in "Millie"), but it is nothing like as cruel as calling her Piper Maru - which is what Gillian Anderson's daugher is called. (Is it an alien name?)

Celebs are notorious perpetrators of wrongful naming. Apart from obvious ones like Moon Unit Zappa, try these horrible celeb namings:

Toni Braxton: children called Diezel and Denim. (Perhaps future sprogs will be called Gap and Doctor Martenís Industrial Workwear)

Elle Macpherson: son called Aurelius. (Why not go the whole hog and call him Caligula?)

Christie Brinkley: daughter called Sailor (can you imagine people saying "Hello Sailor" to you EVERY SINGLE DAY for the REST OF YOUR LIFE?)

Alex Kingston: daughter called Salome. (Quite a lot to live up to, there).

Sean Penn: son called Hopper. (If nominative determinism is true, Sean should be booking Hopper a place at the Betty Ford clinic right now).

The trend isn't restricted to celebrities. Itís increasingly common to come across people with weird names, which appears to be a trend that originates in the US. Like all the best things. Try these names compiled by a US newspaper from news stories and birth certificates:

Jesyca
Traiscey
Aireol
Exevior
Imajine
Any
Kaytlinne
Brittini
Britanee
Brytanni
Aron
Aren
Suzin
Scharron
Alizabeth

"Not only don't parents necessarily care whether they get their baby's name spelled "right"... they often seek to get it wrong. In so doing, they hope to bestow a fillip of uniqueness on their child," comments Natalie Angier of the University of Tampere in an article in the New York Times. (So when Chevy Chase named his daughter Cydney, he was ahead of the game. In this as in so little else).

Three processes appear to be at work here: mangling an existing name, making one up, and misappropriating an existing name of someone or something famous. In this spirit, we present the TFT Approved List of Childrenís Names:

DraQula
Kevyinn
K8
Moyles
Port Vale FC
Neo
Grayumn
Warrington Runcorn
Nokia
Espadrille
Waynker



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

© The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved