I met a woman last week at a Meet-up dancing event. I asked her her name. It was Candy. Her last name is Kane. No joke. My older sister went to school with a girl named Candy Barr, and another girl named Sarah Darrah.
Seriously? What were their parents thinking? Names are eve so important for every stage of life. I personally, have changed my first name twice. I started out as Susie, had my Sue phase, but thanks to Johnny Cash, I abandoned Sue for Susan when I settled in California. You remember A Boy Named Sue, right?
The names of yesteryear were Carol, Betty, Gladys, Alice, Edith, Edna, Emily and the like. Boys were named Wilmer, Wendell, David, Daniel, Robert, William, John, Tom, Dick, and Harry.
Then came the fifties babies. You had your Kathy, Barbara, Judy, Nancy, Susan, Debbie, Patty and Vicky. The boys were David, Daniel, Robert, William, Michael, Greg, Kevin, and Kurt.
There was the Tiffany, Heather, Julie, and Janet phase, which gave way to Jennifer, Jenny, and Jennifer.
Nowadays little girls are named Madison, Grayson, Linden, Morgan, London, Brooklyn, Ella, Bella, Emma, Emmie and Emily. Little boys are named Sage, Benji, Luke, Carver, Silas (my great-nephews’ names), also Noah, Lincoln, Grayson, Lincoln, Carson, Frankin, Drake, Derek, Cooper and Crew.
You can make up your own name for your child. You can translate from your parents’ home country. You can dig way back in modern history or pick a name from the Bible. The possibilities are endless.
Just don’t name your kid something you’d also name a pet, like Daisy, Pepper, Bo, or Duke. It’s bad enough when you call them by the dog’s name, so give them a human name, please.
A friend of mine got divorced and changed her last name to London. Another friend got married and took her husband’s name, happy to get rid of her ex-husband’s name, which she had kept to match her kids’ last name. The kids are gown now, so she became a Perko.
I have two last names, which is a problem since I didn’t hyphenate them. The IRS only recognizes me with both names and no hyphen. The hospital thinks I am two different patients. One of my publishers put one name on my spine for one book of mine they published and put the other name on the spine for another one they published.
Names are important, so if you are expecting or adopting, please think twice before you name your kid Candy Kane or Dick Wadsworth. Think of the teasing they will endure. Think of how the name will haunt them forever.
Be nice. Try on the name for size. Say it out loud, over and over. Think of how your kindergartener will have to write it on his or her homework for thirteen years. Think of how it rhymes with dirty or swear words. Body parts! Does it rhyme with one? If so, don’t use it.
Think of all these things before you saddle your baby with a nasty or silly name. A rose is a rose is a rose. A Dick is a Dick is a Dick. A Lily is a Lily is a Lily.
Think about it.