Welcome to the United States of a Mary. I mean Lisa-ca. Jennifer-essica? Wait, Emily. Ashley?! No. Fuck that. The U.S. of Em. Isabellica? Never mind. Okay. Here we go. The United Sophias of America. Just like Columbus originally planned it.
People name their kids names they used to name their pets.
This makes sense because a lot of parents I think just want the functionality of a pet from their kid. Marginal time commitment, slavish adoration, go to Christmas card photo subject.
Dax Shepard is cool. Kristen Bell is cool. And I’m sure their daughter Lincoln is going to be cool too. The name Lincoln? Uh… yeah.
Now is it terrible in the grand scheme of celebrity baby names? God no. But that’s a little like being valedictorian of your special ed class.
What concerns me here isn’t so much the choice itself, but the possible inspiration or, more accurately, the lack of inspiration. Lincoln seems to fit into the disturbing trend in name sourcing these days: patent obviousness.
This trend is no better epitomized than by the recent rumors that the Kanye-Kim offspring would be named North. Get it? See it’s a play on the fact that Kayne’s last name is West and that he and KIm both have their heads up their asses.
Maybe Dax and Kristen have a relative named Lincoln. Maybe they got pregnant in the back of a large American car. Maybe they both just love logs. It’s possible there’s an inspiration for the name Lincoln that isn’t the high profile Hollywood movie Lincoln that they heard so much about during awards season. Possible but not likely.
But Dax and Kristen are celebrities — not bullshit celebrities but bona fide, talent having celebrities — so they can pull this off without any harm done to little Lincoln.
Most of us, however, are not celebrities and our children will not grow up in the nurturing womb of Beverly Hills High with Blanket, Denim and Bear Blu. So when we take inspiration from the obvious — I’m talking to you parents of actual children with the names Google, Yoga and Espn — there will be consequences.
Irish names are always popular in the USA. Not actual Irish names, of course, because actual Irish names are either (a) not nearly “Irish” enough like, say, James or Emily or (b) way too frickin’ Irish for any American to pronounce properly like, say, Siobhán or Concobhar.
That’s how we end up with shite faux Irish-ish abominations like Brady, Mackenzie and, the sparkly plastic bowler hat of fake Irish names, Riley, which is equally dooming for boys, girls and dogs.
That’s why Badass Baby Names is doing you a solid this St. Patrick’s Day with a list of Irish-derived names guaranteed to give your child the fearsome reputation he or she will need to survive both plagues and pre-school in the coming century.
A variety of Irish potato that connotes survival, brotherhood and brutal retribution.
What says “F—- with me and you’re dead meat” better than to be named after the location of an Irish abbatoir?
Ireland’s famed “fighting stick” makes a delightful girl’s name that gently reminds any future suitors that severe blunt force trauma awaits should they step out of line.
Considered by many to be most important word in the Irish vocabulary. Feck is a name that screams Irish in large part because it’s often screamed by the Irish.
Forum Post Summary: Mother-to-be in midwest has son named Hunter and believes, despite universal discouragement from friends, “Arrow” is a fantastic name for new baby daughter.
Badass Baby Name Response: Maybe you should name her Narrow after your limited scope of possibilities. Here’s my unsolicited advice as a professional writer who has named thousands of characters and one real life baby: broaden your horizons.
Read a book without a hunky pirate on the cover, go to an art house movie (ie not Hunger Games), scan a copy of The Economist, look at a menu from an Indian restaurant— anything can serve as inspiration. Don’t do it for yourself or your friends that, rightfully, tell you Arrow is a crappy name. Do it for the unborn child you will be saddling with your limited imagination. I mean, do you really want to give your kid a reason to be embarrassed of her parents before she’s even out of the womb?
On it’s own, Arrow is a lousy choice for a name because it isn’t a name. One sister’s cousin’s cousin’s brother’s niece named Arrow juts means there is at least one more misguided parent to be in the world. Good names in the real world, even rare names, need some history as a name to feel like a proper name and I guarantee you Arrow has as much history as Projectile.
The Hunter-Arrow thing is what really dooms this idea. Just because two words are easily associated doesn’t mean they work together, especially as names of siblings. And it certainly doesn’t mean they are cool or creative. Hey, why not Hunter-Hunted? Hunter-Gatherer? Hunter-S.Thompson? Those are all easy associations too and at least you’d be going into crazy-but-ballsy territory.
One last thing, and this is for anyone else reading here, just because famous people give their kids wacky, weird and usually moronic names is hardly justification for ruining your kid’s life with one. I’m pretty sure since you live in Kansas you aren’t Beyonce. Your child will likely not be born into American entertainment royalty and attend $250K a year pre-schools with other kids with dumb names and famous parents. Your child, like 99.9% of the rest of our children, will go to regular school with regular kids and be subject to the regular torment that is part of growing up. In other words, don’t give the little jerks they’ll meet in life any extra ammo. (And no, Ammo is not a good name either.)
What’s more precious than your child? Not a damn thing. So why would anyone give their child a “status” name guaranteed to depreciate like Mercedes, Lexus or Tebow? If you really want your kid’s name to say “1%”, invest in a name that’s sure to hold its value, like Coltan, Keratin or Wheelright.*
*Post apocalyptic value will skyrocket
From the “Good offense is the best defense” category: Bash, Mattock, Harm and, for all you Irish mugs, Shillelagh.
Dads can rest easy on prom night when they give their daughter a name that is both mellifluous and cautionary. Examples: Pillory, Guantanamo.
(Photo: Worth1000 - Bad Medicine)