I had accepted a grade 1/2 assignment for today due to the trouble I had earlier in the week getting jobs. It’s slightly below my comfort zone because of the 1st grade students. However, had I not taken it I wouldn’t have this to write about! Well, it’s not much of a topic, but it is a little different. Not much really goes into naming kids these days in Western culture. We choose a name usually because we had a relative with that name, there was a role model with that name (such as in the Bible) or we just like the sound of it. Once upon a time, and still in some cultures names carry meaning. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s also not about people who try to change names for special recognition.
What it’s about is why some parents choose to give their kids names that, well, just don’t fit… I once read a story about new guardians who would go to court to get kids’ names changed because their parents cursed them with ridiculous names, like the drug-shot parents who named their daughter Cocaina (guess which was their drug of choice?) or the parents who tried to name their child Friday. The name itself may not be ridiculous, but rather given to the wrong gender. I mean, do such parents regret having the “wrong sex” and give them the name they picked out anyway- like the parents who really wanted a boy so when they had a girl they dressed her up like a boy until she was to start school (and were mystified when she refused to put on a dress for her first day of school)? Of course there are some names that go both ways, at least the shortened version like Chris, Alex, Terry, etc. And I am still getting used to Leslie and Cameron being both male and female names. However, some just don’t work. Can you imagine a girl named Matt or Mike? Or a boy named Elizabeth or Jessica? Well, you may have to have some Hispanic blood to understand this one, but a boy in the class I was in today was named Guadalupe. That’s right. Named after Mary in the Bible as Our Lady of Guadalupe (well, an apparition of Mary, but I won’t split hairs). Apparently a very popular name for girls (click the name for more information). Why?? This is just setting up this boy for future problems with schoolmates. I predict that by the time he is in Junior High he will be going by his middle name, whatever it is, assuming that it too isn’t a girl’s name. I really hope it isn’t for his sake.
Not enough links for you in the above post? Try out these unusual names on Wikipedia. I had forgotten that Nicholas Cage had named his son Kal-El (you know, Superman)!