Once I met a woman with a beautiful newborn girl. "What's her name?" I asked. "Murray," said her mother happily. "Murray Olivia." Thank God for middle names. But "Murray" did not make the list of most-regretted girl's names. What did?
There are some goofy names out there. Sure, I'm probably in the belly of the beast in brownstone Brooklyn, but sometimes it seems like sensible monikers have gone the way of the dodo. (I don't recuse my own; playgroups are apparently rife with little Sadies and Pearls and Maxes and generally read like the sign-in list for a Miami water-aerobics class.) On the up-side, there should be a definite downturn in playground name-teasing; who's going to bother taunting another kid's handle when everyone's named after a 19th century theologian, a Brutalist architest or an obscure European cartoon character...nevermind the fact that "Django" doesn't rhyme with anything.
And yet, the names that make up the "most-regretted" list seem pretty, well, tame. (Possibly because the sorts of people who go in for the really peculiar ones are either defiant or...in Hollywood?) Granted, this is a British list (courtesy of the Sun) and the trends vary - and maybe I'm defensive because my brother and father's names, respectively, take up positions 8 and 9 on the male list. But "William?" "Jessica?" "Grace?" Anyway, here's the list of "Regrettable Baby Names" (and check out the pained, disillusioned expression of the baby in the accompanying picture):
Yes, maybe "Harry" evokes boy witches. And maybe Charlotte's mom will get over SATC fever. But aren't there monikers out there more likely to cause a child psychic distress? Even so, there are options and solutions later in life — more than one scion of flower-children saw fit to re-christen himself as soon as he became sentient. Nor are parents tied to one bad decision: My grandfather famously came home one day and announced that my teen mother and her grown siblings were to be re-named "Tamasin," "Meigs" and "Return." (They failed to respond to the new names and eventually, like many of his schemes, it was forgotten.) And what if a child finds his name too dull? Well, that's what the courts are for. 19 years ago, one man may have been christened "George Garratt," but now that teenager is legally "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined." He says he wanted to be unique. Hopefully Murray will agree.
Revealed: Baby Name Regrets [SunUK]
Teenager changes name To Captain Fantastic [Telegraph]