Baby Names

I’ve reached the age range where my Facebook newsfeed and general announcement stream from friends and acquaintances of about my age tier is made up of weddings, new homes, and baby popping. Not necessarily in that order, but definitely more frequently now than a couple of years ago.

‘Tis a sure sign that we’re growing up, or getting older, and it’s all exciting, happy, joyous stuff to be ecstatic about. Seeing your close friends have family sub-units of their own, do well in some aspect of life, and in the case of this blog post, have children.

So why fuck it up and set your kids down a path of endless misery, pain, and torture for their whole lives by naming them something stupid?! Why!?

The (Generic) Issue

images-1 More often that I’d like to see, I get wind of some contact of mine naming their new born baby something awfully, awfully awful. I think I kind of know the generic base logic behind it, so I feel even sorrier for the poor child.

These poor kids come into this world bearing names that are, most of the time, not real names and/or are too hard to pronounce. Alright, to be fair, I’ve been guilty of naming custom RPG characters rubbish names while attempting to make them sound cool, but god damn it, this is your kid’s name we’re talking about, not some pixelated sprite in a game you’re playing!

I’m not going to name any of the kids’ names I’ve been cringing and sighing at recently, because, I’m sure the parents love them very much still and took the effort to name them something unique, but.. sigh, can do a better job or not..?

Something Unique, Cool, Atas

images-3The main social stereotype of the culprit of such crimes would be people who are more fluent in their mother-tongue than English and want to give their kids a name that is what they deem to be in “English”, is cool sounding, is unique, and so darn special.

Given the profile of the sort of person I’ve just described, you see how this is going to go wrong – not fluent in English, but want to give an awesome English name. It’s like.. it’s like if I tried to give my kids a strong, meaningful, good sounding Chinese name. Anyone who knows me will laugh hard, scoff at my attempts, and tell me to give up, because all my forms of Chinese is terrible.

So I’m not being snobby here, I’m saying these folks aren’t exactly fit to give their kids such special “English” names like how I’m not fit to name a Greek baby, or a Spanish baby, or give my own kid her/his Chinese name. Hell, I know to not even bother thinking of my future kid’s Chinese name at all.

What’s wrong with a name like James (Jimmy), Alexander (Alex), Debbie (Deborah), Cathy (Catherine)? Sure they’re not exactly unique, but they’re real names with real actual meanings that may be uncommon in your circles or era. Like mine, John, is a pretty generic name, but turns out, I don’t know that many other dudes named John my age.

Wanna be unique and tricky with your kid’s name? At least do some research and pick a real name! The most chim I’ve heard to date is Siobhan. That’s a real bloody name, no joke. And it’s not pronounced Sio Bun, but I imagine it’ll cause a lot of confusion when introductions are in order, but at least it is a real and definitely unique name. Not something you made up with the least used letters of the alphabet!

That name sounds cool, let’s use that!

No, no, no, no, no! This is a rubbish excuse too! Well, at least it’s better than creating a rubbish name out of thin air for your child, but still, some research is in order please!

A couple of times I’ve seen my contact’s new born babies be named after some ancient foreign surname that sounded cool. No, I don’t mean like your surname is Michaels and then the kid is name Michael. I mean like.. ok, for example, take Duke and Duchess’ new baby’s name, George Alexander Louis of House Windsor, k? So let’s take it simply that Windsor is their surname.

So, what, you think Windsor sounds cool and you name your kid that ah!? It does not even sound like it would work as a first name at all leh! Windsor Tan.. WTF is that!? Imagine if the new prince’s name was not George and was instead Lim, Tan, Cai, Wong, Ang, or Leong Alexander Louis of House Windsor.. Stupid anot? That’s how your kid’s name is if you use this method to come up with a name.

Even if the name you pick is a surname some where else, if it works well enough as a first name I think that’s fine too. Like Lee. Lee is an asian surname, but it’s a first name that some other folks have. I’ve got a friend called Lovell, which apparently is a pretty old English (as in England) surname, but I think it works fine as a first name. So it can work, but if you’re putting in effort to find your kid a special name.. at least have it sound fine can?

It's important to have your name and surname work well together too..

It’s important to have your name and surname work well together too..

I like (insert thing here), so I’ll call my kid that!

In all my whinings above, at least the parents in question name their kids with some effort and some amounts of thought. What’s worse is when parents name their kids on a whim because of a fancy, or a craving, or a preference for a sort of food.

I’ve heard of people naming their kids some pretty rubbish names, but the one that takes the cake is naming a kid after something you felt like eating at the time of delivery. That’s zero effort lor! No thought, no meaning, nothing. You could say that names needn’t be such an ordeal to decide on and all, but eh, people’s name leh. It’s what your kid will be called for the rest of their lives, assuming they don’t go to court to change it lah. (Aiyo, don’t get me started on people who change their own names the same way these people name their kids.. that’s like suicide.)

How can you name your kid on a whim!? That is a horrible thing to do, it’s like you don’t even care at all lor..

For goodness sake, let’s please not give babies rubbish names can? I would’ve hated to be called Tiger Cai (because of my zodiac). Can you imagine some X-Men fan calling her daughter Jubilee Tan? Or if your surname is Lee, you call your son Lee Lee?? Wolverine Wong!?!?

Your child leh! Not some cartoon character ok.. Spongebob Swee!? Zordon Lim!?!?


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Hello there

I'm John. This is my blog, which I'll update occasionally with my thoughts.



September 2013



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