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Choosing a name for one's offspring can be incredibly difficult. You don't want them to be the ninth Jaxon in class, but you also don't want them to be bullied mercilessly for the rest of their lives. Even so, parents are increasingly pulling appellations out of their arses, in some cases to give their child a "unique" …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You could do the reverse, I suppose

    Give your child the name of some sue-happy, lawyered-up corporate giant to ensure your children never get named on social media. Or maybe one based on legally or culturally prohibited slogans. "Disney, Heil, Prophet squeeze together for a photo, we'll see if Facebook will accept this one"

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: You could do the reverse, I suppose

      I foretell someone naming their child "Oracle" ;-)

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Devil

        Re: You could do the reverse, I suppose

        I foretell someone naming their child "Oracle"

        Yea verrily, in the year of the rending of the 2nd Roman empire - and the re-election of the one who's name is like unto the breaking of wind - it shall come to pass that a child will be born unto the world. And his name should have been Damien, but the dark powers found that this was now too obvious. And so they shall name him Oracle. And his primary key shall be 666.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You could do the reverse, I suppose

          Surely Oracle's was a girl's name in the '80s. Remember those ads featuring "Paige, the Oracle"?

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: You could do the reverse, I suppose

        naming their child "Oracle"

        One hopes that they have sufficient charisma to do their job..

        (Yeah, yeah, Pathfinder-based jokes are so passe.. so sue me.)

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Won't anyone think of the Children?

    This

    2 per cent even "made up" a name with the express purpose of their kid being easily found on social media

    Poor sods. That should be grounds for and sprog to divorce their parents.

    The sooner that people realise that being easily found on Social Media is not that desirable in the long run.

    What happens when the 'influencer' bubble bursts eh?

    You won't find me on any social media platform. Just not going there.

    Grumpy of Edenbridge.

    1. The First Dave

      Re: Won't anyone think of the Children?

      ... apart from this one.

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Won't anyone think of the Children?

        El Reg is more "Back of the social media bike sheds", rather than a social media platform.

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Won't anyone think of the Children?

          Stand still MrDamage.

  3. big_D Silver badge

    Ministry of names...

    In Germany the Ministry actually has a list of valid names that parents can use.

    Made up names cannot be used to register your child. You can apply for the name to be accepted, but it is basically there to ensure parents aren't complete muppets and name their kids Gonzo or the like.

    1. Flak

      Re: Ministry of names...

      There is a way to get around this issue - a bit elaborate, but done with our children - one German parent, one British parent, children born and registered in the UK.

      Getting the children a German passport based on official UK birth certificate - no arguments about names, spelling, etc.

      AC, because too much personal information...

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Ministry of names...

        Erm, not AC! :-D

        Yes, having dual nationality has its advantages.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Ministry of names...

      In Germany the Ministry actually has a list of valid names that parents can use.

      I think France requires names to be those of Christian saints or national heroes. I wonder if Asterix counts?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Ministry of names...

        I think France requires names to be those of Christian saints or national heroes.

        There used to be an approved list, but that was dropped in the early 90s. French parents can now use any name that isn't considered to be prejudicial to the child. Even so, some names can be blocked. Last year a town hall took parents to court to prevent them calling their child Jihad, and another family were prevented from calling their daughter Nutella...

        1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: Ministry of names...

          There was also the case of the Renaud family who won a court case to be allowed to name their daughter Mégane.

          1. SW10
            Happy

            Re: Ministry of names...

            the Renaud family who won a court case to be allowed to name their daughter Mégane.

            I have worked with an actual RENAULT Mégane (to use the French convention) who was born months before the car was launched.

            1. Benson's Cycle

              Re: Ministry of names...

              Similarly with Mercedes Jellinek.

              (It has long amused me that Nazi top brass used to be driven in cars with the name of a Jewish girl on them.)

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Ministry of names...

                I worked with a Maurice Travailler some years ago.

                1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: Ministry of names...

                  Maurice Travailler

                  Did he suffer from woodworm and dry rot too?

            2. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Ministry of names...

              The name "Ford Prefect" is nicely inconspicuous...

        2. Psmo Bronze badge

          Re: Ministry of names...

          Unfortunately, Jihad is a perfectly normal name in Morocco.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ministry of names...

            Yeah. These laws are well intentioned. But I do wonder how quickly they get used for racism/bias/bigotry. :(

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ministry of names...

              A colleague of mine calls himself Gee now... when he came here as a student about 10 years ago he went by the name Jihad.

              There are more struggles in this life than just the internal struggle against temptation and wrongdoing.

    3. Mike Richards

      Re: Ministry of names...

      The same in Iceland. You can only have a name that uses letters in the Icelandic alphabet; it has to be able to accept the rules of Icelandic grammar which is terrifying and the product of far too many long winters' nights before the advent of electricity; *and* it shouldn't cause the child any embarrassment in the future.

      Sounds sensible to me - and the list of acceptable names contains some serious awesome suggestions - who wouldn't want to be a Ragnar, Aðalvíkingur or Mjölnir?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Ministry of names...

        It is impressive just how *old* some of the most common names are - in our office *everybody* except me has a name that goes back at least to biblical times. I think mine only goes back a thousand years or so, to the Norse.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Ministry of names...

          mine only goes back a thousand years or so, to the Norse

          Both my given names are based on Greek names. (much Anglicised). Two of my brothers have names derived from Greek or Hebrew names with their second names being of Germanic origin.

          Our cats have various names - the oldest two are TP-inspired, the rest are Cornish or Welsh in origin.

          I think the habit of slapping names together to produce 'new' names is something that has come across from the US - over my namy years of watching the NFL I've seen the names of the players gradully convert over to this pattern - firstly the black players, layer the white ones. So it's not a new thing and, like with most things, we slavishly follow the US, about 10 years behind.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Ministry of names...

        I think if you named your (presumably son) Mjölnir, he may get teased for being a tool...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Ministry of names...

          I feel sorry for Bracken Deckard.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Ministry of names...

            I feel sorry for Bracken Deckard

            Or the famous undead Blood Bowl player, Bavid Deckham..

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Brigham?

    It looks to me it was made up long ago.... isn't there a whole Mormon university named after one?

    PS: my nick has nothing to do with Mormons....

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Brigham?

      Yes, "Brigham" is hardly of recent coinage. The same can be said of Charleston and Cedar, though those two are less commonly seen as given names.

      Brigham Young was born in 1801, and presumably named not long after. A quick Google ngrams search didn't turn up an earlier use of "Brigham" as a given name, though of course it's been a surname and place name in English for quite some time.

      One site claims "Charleston" has been in use as a given name since the start of the twentieth century, based on US SSA data. It looks like the SSA website doesn't support searching for less-common names via the interactive interface (presumably the other site is using a web API, which I can't be bothered to ferret out), so I haven't confirmed that. In any case, it seems to have picked up in the 1970s, so for the US, at least, it's not novel either.

      I couldn't bear the thought of any further investigation into the question.

  5. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Brigham?

    I would just point out that Brigham Young was the second leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, otherwise Mormons, and led them from Illinois to Utah. Brigham Young University is said to be an excellent school. I have to imagine that Utah has more than a few young Brighams.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brigham Young University is said to be an excellent school

      I can't speak for their excellency, but whenever I got in touch with their librarians, a good few years back, they were well, just great. Unlike a few monkeys in the British Library, who affirm the truth in the good old saing: if you pay peanuts...

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Brigham?

      Ah yes, my old retailing entrepreneur pal, Brigham Bysell.

  6. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Terminator

    "My name is Inigo Montoya."

    You know the rest. Even Alexa knows it...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      I was thinking of calling my son Alfredo.

      Signed

      Mr Garcia

    2. Ordinary Donkey

      "You cast a man named Mandy as me..."

  7. Aaiieeee
    Holmes

    Vanity names?

    My peers who are expecting talk about possible names seemingly endessly but not having a child myself I don't really get it. Chose something sane and easy to pronounce and move on. Ideally chose a name that is 'normal' for the culture they are likely to be living in.

    Some friends who are from the continent living here in the UK named their child something that is a common here and their home country so the child would fit in either place subject to where they want to live.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Vanity names?

      Even trickier here on the rather more diverse west coast.

      Making up a name acceptable, and pronounceable, to sets of dutch/Japanese or Chinese/sikh grandparents isn't easy.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Vanity names?

      When our sprog was percolating, lo, these many years ago, She Who Must be Obeyed and I decided to pick one "normal" name and one more unusual one -- not totally weird, mind you, but something classical or mythological or some such that may have been common in the past but was currently out of favor. We figured that that way, when the said offspring got old enough, s/he could choose the arrangement that best suited his/her desires. It happens that, in the end, she chose the mythological over the mundane and preferentially uses it to this day, but she still has all of the options available, should she change her mind.

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: Vanity names?

        "she chose the mythological over the mundane"

        I bet nobody looks twice at your daughter "Medusa". ;-)

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Vanity names?

        Nobody's going to pick a fight with a girl named Hephaestus. A bit like the opposite of a Boy Named Sue...

        1. Hero Protagonist
          Trollface

          Re: Vanity names?

          “the opposite of a Boy Named Sue”

          A Sue named Boy?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Vanity names?

            A Sioux?

      3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Vanity names?

        Granddaughter required a name which worked in Portuguese, German, English, and Hebrew. Complicated. She ended up with at least one Icelandic name... (Until she was born, she was just plain Sophie Charlotte).

        My wife has a family name containing letters which just don't exist in the script of the country where she was born.

        My Navajo uncle gets by on his initials; he claims his name can't be written down at all (and I've never heard it!)

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Vanity names?

          name which worked in Portuguese, German, English, and Hebrew

          Friend of mine is English and married to an Italian - so when they came to name their daughter, they wanted something that worked in both languages. They ended up chosing Matilda.

          (We did suggest Boudicca but that suggestion wasn't well received :-) )

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Vanity names?

      In UK in 2017 over 63K unique baby names regsitered

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/babynamesenglandandwales/2017

      kudos to "house of games" this week for mentioning that stat so it was fresh in my mind

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Robert'); DROP TABLE students;--

    The traditional names are the best.

    1. IceC0ld Silver badge

      Re: Robert'); DROP TABLE students;--

      you really SHOULD add in the compulsory XKCD link too ya know :o)

      as not everyone will be au fait with the details

      https://www.xkcd.com/327/

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Robert'); DROP TABLE students;--

        If you're going to insist on a link, at least make it an actual link.

        https://www.xkcd.com/327/

        1. MrDamage

          Re: Robert'); DROP TABLE students;--

          This is El Reg. We'll blindly trust, and click on, the link you provide, right after you buy us enough pints to make clicking on random links seem like a good idea.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Robert'); DROP TABLE students;--

          Shirly you meant this link!

          https://www.xkcd.com/327/

  9. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    I am Spartacus

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      NO! I'm Spart... Oh forget it.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        I'm part asparagus...

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          I'm part asparagus..

          You mean that you only partially make peoples' pee smell funny?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Dicks lick sick. Yes.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I'm bloody not!

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        I'm bloody not!

        Methinks the lady^W Roman gladiator doth protest too much..

    3. Huw D Silver badge

      and so's my wife!

    4. FrogsAndChips Silver badge
      Pint

      I'm really missing the R.I.P. icon. Here's to Kirk Douglas ->

  10. IGotOut

    I dug into the details...

    it turns out 99.9% of those parents answered as following to a further question.

    "Name your top three TV shows of all time"

    The results were.

    1. Made in Chelsea

    2. Love Island

    3. The Kardashians

    1. Aussie Doc
      Facepalm

      Re: I dug into the details...

      I loved the Kardashian's work in Deep Space Nine.

      Oh, wait.

  11. OGShakes

    A rose by any other name...

    I know someone who was given silly name by his parents, his kids all got dull names that their mum abbreviated to be cute.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: A rose by any other name...

      You react against what your parents did I guess.

      Mum is still bitter and twisted that her older sister got a middle name, and she didn't. Such that when she set up a new email address ten years ago, even though her name is unusual enough that she could have had it on Gmail, she still had firstname+invented_by_herself_middle_name@gmail.com.

      Also when I was born, being the 4th boy, Mum and Dad had run out of all the names they could agree on. But she refused to allow me to suffer for lack of middle name, so recycled one of my older brother's middle names.

      Mum is over 80, and should have got over it by now...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A rose by any other name...

        Mums never get over it. "Your brothers will never forgive you" meanwhile we get on fine. Her on the other hand...

  12. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Due diligence

    Before settling on a name, think about what it sounds like together with the surname (both spoken as name, surname and surname, name). Something that the parents of "Wayne Kerr" and "Justin Thyme" forgot to consider. Also when spoken as initial, surname and surname, initial.

    Then ensure that the initials do not spell something meaningful. Your child will regret you naming them "Andrew Sebastian Smith" or "Doreen Olive Grant"

    With girls it's even harder, because her surname could change to almost anything after she marries.

    1. IceC0ld Silver badge

      Re: Due diligence

      Dave Gorman's TV show, he had a name generator website as part of a gag for one of his crew

      guys surname was Fidler, he and his wife were looking for names for their soon to arrive son

      the website threw out Adil as an option ........................

      now say it out loud, and repeat until it clicks

      Adil Fidler - Adil Fidler - Adil Fidler

      got a tuetonic swing to it :o)

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Due diligence

        In Australia, one of our radio stations (ABC) has a host by the name of Richard Fidler.

        At least with Adil, people will need to mull it over a time or two before they get it. No such luck for poor Richard.

        1. Glenturret Single Malt

          Re: Due diligence

          Another story from the distant past seen in the Sunday Post (a Scottish newspaper) concerned a shopowner whose shop had the name A Swindler in front. When asked why he didn't put his full name to avoid confusion, he said that his name was Adam.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Due diligence

      Had an acquaintance in college -- Jack N. Box. (Nice fellow -- a little jumpy, but who wouldn't be...?). When people commiserated with him over his parents' naming proclivities, he pointed out that at least they'd had the decency not to hyphenate their surnames when they married. His mother's maiden name was Hatt, you see.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Due diligence

        decency not to hyphenate their surnames

        We briefly considered this when we got married until we realised that this would further complicate signing our names since my surname is already pretty long and didn't fit into most signature boxes and hyphenating our names would only make it worse..

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ensure that the initials do not spell something meaningful.

      ... although (e.g.) Tobias Oliver Michael, i.e. "Tom", might be moderately amusing - you get four names for the price of three!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ensure that the initials do not spell something meaningful.

        We have someone in the family who did this. Problem being, it spelt out the first name. So they wasted that opportunity.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: ensure that the initials do not spell something meaningful.

          Problem being, it spelt out the first name

          My parents, upon deciding what to call me, realised that my initials spelled out the name of a well-known tinned dog food. So they changed the order of the first and middle names.

          The problem was that now my initials were the sames as my dads. Which lead to all sorts of awkward silences when he opened by post while I still lived with then post-college..

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Due diligence

      "With girls it's even harder, because her surname could change to almost anything after she marries."

      And if it turns into something embarrassing or hilarious, she has only herself to blame for marrying someone with the "wrong" name, not her parents :-)

      1. Diogenes Silver badge

        Re: Due diligence

        No 1 son called HIS second Barnabas Arthur M.... (surname starts with M), so he is know in the family as BAMBAM. The D-i-L's family all have nicknames, ie one of the girls is known as Tiiki . Another is Kunny (I kid you not - "Cute as a Bunny") and it makes my skin crawl to hear favourite No 1 grandson, age 3, call his aunt "Kunny"

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Due diligence

          Mavis "Titty" (Altounyan) Guzelian said in at least one interview1 that she wasn't too happy about Ransome immortalizing that nickname, which she acquired as a child for her love of "Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse".

          Alas, she died some 18 years before the BBC decided to change the character's name, so we don't know what she might have thought of that controversy.

          But then the relationship between "Uncle Arthur" and the Altounyans was complicated in a number of ways.

          1Alas, I don't have my references at this house to find and cite it precisely.

          1. Is It Me Bronze badge

            Re: Due diligence

            Thanks for this, I didn't realise that they Swallows were based on a family like that.

    5. Glenturret Single Malt

      Re: Due diligence

      An old story that I may have dug out before but I once saw an article in The Times about an engaged couple called Tracy ........ and Mr ....... Tracey.

    6. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Due diligence

      With girls it's even harder, because her surname could change to almost anything after she marries.

      Or, you know, it might not, because these days, when a woman marries, she doesn't become her husband's chattels.

      I know of at least one man who took his wife's surname, and when I married, my wife kept her name (which she had previously changed to her mother's maiden name for other reasons).

      But hey, let people do whatever they want to do. However, the expectation that a woman should take her husband's name when she marries is a relic of a cultural attitude towards women that doesn't have a place in modern society. Well, shouldn't, anyway.

  13. ma1010 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    It's even worse if it's political

    Here in the USA there was this neo-Nazi couple whose last name I don't remember, so I'm going to say "Smith." They named their son "Adolf Hitler Smith" and their daughter "Aryan Nation Smith."

    Imaging growing up with those monikers. Poor kids.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's even worse if it's political

      In Soviet-era Mongolia, a patriotic couple, who presumably wanted the authorities to be sure of their loyalty, named one of their children Melscho, for Marx Engels Lenin Stalin Choibalsan.

    2. Boo Radley

      Re: It's even worse if it's political

      Years ago here in Texas there was a man with the last name Hogg. He named his daughter Ima. Poor kid.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It's even worse if it's political

        That's marginally better than naming her "Boss".

  14. ma1010 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Another horror story

    In the small town in Louisiana where my mother grew up, about 100 years ago, there was a man named Pigg (don't know his first name). A magnificent human being, while his wife was in the hospital maternity ward, he was drinking in a bar. Someone came in and told everyone that his wife had just delivered twin girls. One other bar patron bet Mr. Pigg that he wouldn't name his daughters "Ima" and "Ura" (pronounced your-ah). Mr. Pigg won the bet.

    Some names should be considered child abuse.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Another horror story

      Fook-Mi and Fook-Yu?

  15. Alien Doctor 1.1
    Joke

    I was going to name my son amanfrommarsv2 but then realised I could grep our illustrious commentard and would not understand my son for several years. He's now known as "Lucky."

  16. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    What happened to the old British tradition …

    of naming your newborn daughter after the entire squad of your favourite football team?

    I occasionally wonder whether those kids changed their names as soon as they could, if only to fit on official forms.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile in Kosova/Kosovo

    There's a wave of young men named Bleri, after Tony Blair, who is even more popular there than he is here.

  18. John Savard Silver badge

    Oh, dear

    Whatever is wrong with good sensible names like (for boys) Andrew, Charles, Edward, Michael, David, Robert, Anthony... they still seem to be good enough for the Royal Family, after all.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Oh, dear

      @John Savard "good enough for the Royal Family, after all."

      Yet "John" isn't :-)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Oh, dear

        There was a King John. Although he didn't like the name Robin.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, dear

          And it's because of him that there has never been another royal child called John.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Oh, dear

            never been another royal child called John

            And Prince Charles is proposing to take a different regnal names if/when he becomes king since the first two King Charles didn't exactly have a good time..

            (One had his head chopped off and the other died childless. Not brilliant role models to follow)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    72 per cent believe a unique name will help their child "stand out in life"

    that would, more or less, coincide with my "ballpoint" estimate about humanity's average level of stupidity ;)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Choosing baby names seems easy until the moment your child is born. Even some of the sanest and most normal parents seem to have a meltdown and come up with something idiotic.

    There used to be a very long and hilarious thread on usenet about it. I think it was called alt.babynames.faq or something like that but I can't find it any more. It was basically parents asking what people thought about particular names, and everyone would take the piss out of them mercilessly. I remember somebody wanted to call their son "Scatman" (cue diarrhoea jokes) and another person wanted to call their daughter "BJ" (she'll be a popular with the boys).

  21. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

    Mixing names

    Actually worked for our son. We couldn't agree on a name, no one like the other's choice. One day we jokingly started mixing both names, after a few variations we ended up with a conventional (although rare) name that we both immediately loved!

    1. Anonymous Cowtard
      Joke

      Re: Mixing names

      Frogmella is a girls name!

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: Mixing names

        Yeah I didn't mean mixing our names, but mixing our choices for the kid's name!

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Mixing names

      For some reason I find it hilarious that this has garnered three downvotes (so far). "How dare you describe a procedure you followed to select a given name for your child, sir?!! This is an outrage! Cancel my subscription immediately!"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As someone that has to spell out both my first and last name I can relate. The problem was my ex-wife had a penchant for everyone to have 5 letter names this means both my daughters will also have to spell out both their first and last names. Her 3 children also have to spell out their first names as well as her. She also is a fan of Love Island and all the other trash on TV how I ended up with her in the first place is still a mystery. Such is life.

    1. Keven E
      Pint

      ... like Sven

      Mom and Dad thought it made a point of not being Irish.

      ... and now try it without stressing the *ven.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      means both my daughters will also have to spell out both their first and last names

      As I do with my surname. Unusually for a British name, it's spelt exactly as it sounds..

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      As someone that has to spell out both my first and last name I can relate

      Who doesn't? "Michael" was one of the most common given names for boys in the year I was born, and has remained popular, yet half the mail I get is addressed to "Micheal".

      And while it's a bit more of a stretch, "Wojcik" is so common in the area around the Stately Manor that I can reasonably expect to see it in our local paper at least once a month. And an Internet search for "Michael Wojcik" returns a great many hits. (I am a former Chicago alderman known for my appearance on "Dancing with the Stars", don'cha know.) Yet most people I have to spell it for act baffled, like it's an inconceivable string of letters the contemplation of which invites a Lovecraftian descent into madness.

  23. quattroprorocked

    Obligatory XKCD - Little Bobby Tables

    https://xkcd.com/327/

  24. WolfFan Silver badge

    Feh

    I went to school with a guy named Armour of God. One of his sisters was Shield of Faith. Seriously. We called them Armie and Faith. Neither of them have set foot in a church since escaping their parents. Armie changed his name to Arnold George, to keep the initials, and Faith changed to Susan Faith, same reason. A brother was named Sword of God. He changed his name to Sayf Allah, the same thing in Arabic. For some reason the parents haven’t spoken to any of them in years.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Feh

      Not a single Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery? Not trying hard enough.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Feh

        Pulsifer isn't the worst first name.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Feh

      guy named Armour of God

      The old Quakers (and other radical Protestant groups in the 15th and 16th centuries) were really keen to name their kids after biblical attributes - names like Charity, Endeavour, Faith etc etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Feh

        Leave Quakers out of this.

        For one thing, they didn't start till the 17th. century. For another, the ones with the funny names weren't, generally, real Quakers but evangelical Protestants who called themselves Quakers. In the US, Quakers when they were not being persecuted were infiltrated and taken over to the extent that barely 11% of the people who call themselves Quakers today practice anything resembling original Quakerism.

        Original Quakers were not strictly Protestant in that they were not a reaction to Catholic abuses but an attempt to return to New Testament practice.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Feh

      I'd have named the sister "Police Story 3: Supercop". I mean, if you're going with the Jacky Chan theme, you might as well pick one with a strong female lead for a girl's name.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Diogenes Silver badge

    On Khaleesi ...

    I am told that in 3 years I will have the honour of teaching a 'Karleasy', pronounced "Khaleesi"

  27. Aussie Doc
    Pint

    At all, at all...

    Here in Oz my Irish parents spoke Gaelic at home and my name is difficult for most Aussies to pronounce so I gained the name 'Doc' for my troubles.

    Was always handy if pulled over by the local constabulary. "What's your name, sport? Oh, really? Spell it for me." It would need to be spelled out complete with several of the síneadh fada ('accent' marks) that marks the lingo.

    Usually too hard for plod, so only a warning the two times I used it in my life.

    Guinness, of course ---->

  28. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Joke

    Sounds familiar...

    "... Tessadora, Wrenlow, Faelina and Graylen"

    My sister-in-law lives in Stroud, and I'm sure I've heard her mention these names before...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Sounds familiar...

      sister-in-law lives in Stroud

      I'm sorry for their pain..

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What were his parents thinking...

    Isambard Kingdom

    Ruined his life I expect

  30. The Nazz Silver badge

    Tip of the iceberg.

    Notice the growing trend of double-barrelled surnames? Even in instances where only one parent is evident.

    I'm looking forward ( not really ) to what happens when such as Tessadora Underbrow-Pocklington* breeds with Wrenlow Thompson-Smythe

    Who knows : Timothy Ian Thompson-Smythe-Underbrow-Pocklington could make an appearance one day.

    * Obviously, all names made up for illustrative purposes.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Tip of the iceberg.

      There is a Grace-Groundling-Marchpole in one of Evelyn Waugh's books.

      The double barreled names are simply a way of retaining the surnames of both parents. In the past it was a way, when Mr. Smith married above him, to keep in with the in-laws by naming yourself Frefflyporsh-Smith, and ignore the plebeian Smith. But today that isn't the reason.

      Incidentally, you are going to be hearing from the Underbrow-Pocklington's solicitors. Neither Tess nor her sister Dora are amused.

  31. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "All names are "made up" in one way or another"

    Yes and no. Names, like other words traditionally had origins. Some personal names related to personal appearance or other personal attributes, some came from religious sources, some came from foreign sources, but in almost every case, although (often hugely) distorted in transit, they can be traced back to their origins, which is interesting if nothing else, and they all therefore at least originally meant something. But Wendy (invented for the Wizard of Oz) had no origins at all, it was just a noise thought up by a Hollywood executive. And the names suggested here suffer from the same problem - meaninglessness. This is not a very good basis for either their permanence or their utility.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "All names are "made up" in one way or another"

      Sony, likewise. Made up because it just sounded right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "All names are "made up" in one way or another"

      Err, Wendy is a character in Peter Pan - the name was made up by JM Barrie, very much not a Hollywood executive

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: "All names are "made up" in one way or another"

      Wendy (invented for the Wizard of Oz) had no origins at all

      Au contraire - J.M. Barry (writer of Peter Pan) made that one up after the noises made by a little girl with a speech impediment and used it for his female lead character in Peter Pan.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I scoff, but...

    My brother was named at my suggestion (and the toss of a coin) on the way to the registry office, after a character from Knightrider, my daughter is named after a Dungeons & Dragons character, and my son's name is a portmanteau-style corruption of an old Gaelic name with its English translation. Oh, and my children's surnames *are* double barrelled, even though neither mine nor their mother's is.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I scoff, but...

      named after a Dungeons & Dragons character

      Our first two cats were named after features of Dartmoor.. Our first dog was named after one of my wifes' D&D characters..

      Our latest cat is *almost* named after an LOTR character with just enough changed (Anwen rather than Arwen) - Anwen happens to be a Welsh name (my mum was half-Welsh).

  33. mjflory

    Remarkable names

    My great-aunt's family realized too late that "Iva Price" had certain connotations in the late 19th century, so Iva Elizabeth was thereafter known as Beth or, sometimes, Babe (long before Babe Ruth or the famous pig). I've always thought her name was worthy of inclusion in "John Train's Most Remarkable Names" or "Remarkable Names of Real People" (also by John Train).

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