Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What's In A Name?

We put a lot of time and thought into naming our children. We had the theme of using biblical names, but we also wanted the names to match the children. We even changed our mind on a name for one of our children after they were born because the name we chose just didn't fit the face.
I think most people that make their mark in life do it with their accomplishments or their personality. You're not going to make your child's way in life by naming them something unusual. In fact, you're probably going to hinder them just a little bit. Case in point: the Hollywood crowd that all seem to choose names like "Apple" or "Coco" for their children. Who's going to take them seriously? They're not a food; they're a person.
I know some people stick with one first letter as a first initial. I also know a family of twelve that had a hard time coming up with enough "j" names to fit. When you're having to make up names to fit your pattern, or when you're taking regular names and adding a "j" to them, you've gone too far. Not to mention, how boring is that? If you're calling all your children do you really want to hear the "j" sound repeated so many times? I like a little variety when I'm yelling at my kids.
Some parents try to make their children unique by using unusual spellings. All they have really done is consign their children to a lifetime of correcting people. You're not overly creative and you certainly haven't marked your child as a genius by changing an "i" to a "y" or turning a single consonant into a double. Extra vowels don't really impress either. You make it look like you were old enough to have a child, but still had no idea when it came to spelling correctly.
Then you've got the parents with a misguided sense of humor. You know, like the ones who name their kid "Harry Toews" (Toes) or "Ima Hogg". That's the stuff serial killers are made of.
With all that in mind, you can imagine my reaction not long ago when my waitress at a restaurant announced that her name was Tabby. We did a double take when she said it, and we were really thrown for a loop by the fact that she squinted her eyes and wrinkled her nose in a very feline manner while she said it. One of the people I was with suggested that we should check our food for shedding hair. Another said that it was short for Tabitha from that old show, "Bewitched". I suppose we were probably safe as long as she didn't put her finger to her nose to twitch it. In the end I guess her name didn't matter as long as the service was (in my daughter's words) purrrfect.

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