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Home > Media

Squinty of Simpleton & Co.

by Jarvis Hargis

20 February 2004

She loved her son too much. Is that a crime? A poor German lady wanted the world to know how much she treasured her infant son, by naming him: Chenekwahow Tecumseh Migiskau Kioma Ernesto Inti Prithibi Pathar Chajara Majim Henriko Alessandro.

But the German courts said no:

“The state has the duty to protect a child's fundamental rights against an irresponsible choice of names by parents.”

Quite right. An Anglican priest well known to The Friday Thing performed a similar veto when asked to baptise a child “Rambo.”

Children shouldn't be called things like Rambo. Or Chenekwahow Tecumseh Migiskau Kioma Ernesto Inti Prithibi Pathar Chajara Majim Henriko Alessandro. It's horrible and wrong. And the reason it’s so horribly wrong is that to give a child a ‘fancy’ name is an act of the most profound vanity. It is to curse a child with a parent’s self-gratifying whim. A whim which we have previously discussed here.

Really, if someone really wants to give their child a stupid name, then they should remove their own vain coinages from the equation, and use one of the wonderful ways the Internet can help with the job. For example, they might want to burden their child with a Hobbit Name.

According to this online name generator, Tony Blair’s hobbit name is the slightly porny ‘Sancho Burrows’, and George Bush’s is the wonderful: ‘Squinty of Simpleton’ (rigged? who cares?)

Of course, systems like this, and the similar yet very different Prison Bitch Name Generator, require you to submit a name in the first place. Not ideal for the baptizer.

No such problems with the so-called 'random' name generators out there, like the Fantasy Name Generator – ideal if you’ve ever wanted to know what to baptize an orc.

Perhaps our favourite is the simpler, but no less effective, Muppetfire 3-name generator. Perfectly acceptable to German law.

It has renamed this TFT writer 'Jarvis Calvin Hargis'.

And so I shall remain.

For the rest of the day, at least.

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

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