Friday 27 September 2013

Extreme Baby Naming: Because Unique Names Are For Pussies

Unique baby names are all the rage lately.  They are everywhere!  There are so many "unique" names out there that having a unique name isn't unique anymore.  And if doing all that work to dream up a special name that is tailor made for your baby and your baby alone wasn't hard enough, you also have to be on the lookout for nefarious name-stealers!

You really think that no one would be shitty enough to steal a name from an innocent baby?  Think again!  Just ask Brinkley's parents who had not one but three former clients steal their daughter's name for their own babies.  And then poor Serenity Grace whose "unique name that NOBODY out here has" was stolen by haters, copiers and "little groupies"!  It's such a phenomenon that Beyonce and Jay-Z tried (unsuccessfully) to have their baby's name trademarked.

What's the average (but distinctively avant-garde) person to do if even the Carters can't get a trademark on their baby name?

You want your baby to really be an original?

You want your baby's name to accurately reflect the awesomeness of his or her unique but yet to be determined personality?

Then it's time to nut up or shut up!  Anyone can give their baby a unique name.  It takes a real, no-compromises, balls-to-the-wall kind of parent to give their baby an Extreme Name!  

Here's how:

1.  Convert Regular Everyday Words Into Names.  Lots of forward thinking parents have opted to toss away the baby name-dictionary and just get a dictionary-dictionary from which to choose their baby's name.  We've seen "Blanket", "Apple", "Pilot", "Scout".  Boring!  And those names are all so easy to steal!

If you want an extreme baby name why limit yourself to random words from the English language?  There is a whole globe full of interesting languages from which to choose your random words! You could really give a dead or dying language a much needed shot in the arm by picking from one of them.  Double points of you can't actually speak that language.  Triple points if the meaning of the word is something embarrassing.

eg.)  Tisch - German for "table"
        Koilara - Basque for "spoon"
        Cico - Esperanto for "nipple"

2.  Portmanteau Names.  This is that thing where you take two different names and fuse them together into a brand new name.  Think "Renesmee" from Twilight.  Only don't think Renesmee from Twilight because why mash up only two names when you could mash up like four or five?  If you have a short list of names you love why go through the agony of having to choose only one or two?  You can have them aaallll!!!

eg.)  Sophemmabellinanie, Benjacophersontiansen

3. Use Unusual Letters.  There has been an upsurge of unique baby names using cool letters like "x", "z" and "q" (eg. Zack, Xack, Zaq, Xaq).  These letters are all the rage in baby names lately but like, anybody can count the points on Scrabble tiles to find the rarest letters.  Instead why not throw a few Greek letters in there to show how much you enjoy the classics?  Embrace your Jewish roots with some Hebrew characters.  I've always thought Cyrilic has some pretty cool looking letters:

"Mommy Rotten" in Russian
It may be impossible to type but it is guaranteed to deter potential name-stealers!

4. Unique Punctuation.  Another popular method of making a name extra special is to play with punctuation.  Adding an umlaut or accent over the vowels gives a nice European feel (eg. Mömmÿ Röttèn) where a few artfully placed apostrophes can sound royal or exotic (M'ommy Rot'ten).  But this is such a popular way to make a name more unique that it's not unique anymore.

Try exploring some of the less tried punctuation marks.  Go for a semi-colon for an intellectual looking name (eg. Mommy; Rotten).   Exclamation points can give real sense of power and ruggedness (eg. Mom!my!  Rotten!).  Or you could try my personal favourite: the inverted question mark.  I think it adds a hint of mystery and excitement:

                                                    ¿Mommy Rotten¿

5.  "Diffrint" Spellings.  Personally, I don't think it takes a hell of a lot of creativity to take "Jackson" and turn it into "Jaxon".  Too easily done.  No, if you are serious about playing with the spelling to make it unlike any other baby name you are going to have to try a little harder (but not too hard, am I right?).  Have you ever tried to read Gaelic?  Now there's some interesting spelling for you!  Whole blocks of consonants are simply not pronounced.  It is amazing what kinds of spellings you can dream up if you borrow language rules from wherever!

eg.)  "Timothy" becomes "Dtimno'thidhe"

6. Use Place Names.  Place names are like, so on trend right now: Brooklynn, Paris, London, Siena, Rio.  Babies are being named after places from all over the world!  So in order to make sure your baby's place-inspired name stands out you've got to get creative.

Re-think what society thinks of as "places".  Anyone can name their kid after a famous city but who would think to name their baby something like "Downtown", "Union Station" or "Provincial Park"?

7.  Create An Opportunity To Show Off Your Love Of Literature.  Lots of people like the idea of naming their baby after a fictional character they love.  But they forget that sometimes authors pick rather boring names.  David Copperfield?  Jane Eyre?  Don Quixote?  I mean, how will people know you are like, totally into books if you give your baby those names?  People would just assume you're boring without ever thinking to ask how you came up with it.

Rather than pick a name from a book , try picking a random word from a book.  I knew someone who once named their cat like this and it worked out great for them!  Cat got an original name and the dude got to never STFU about it every time someone asked him "Hey, Why the hell is your cat's name 'Somewhat'?"

Just take a book from your shelf, close your eyes, open a page, point and you have yourself a name!  Then every time you introduce your kid to someone you will have this very annoying story to tell.  Extra points if the book is particularly pretentious (anything by Ayn Rand, Herman Hesse or Gwyneth Paltrow should fit that bill nicely.)

Deciding to go with an extreme name is not for everyone.  It is for those bold enough to challenge what is conventional.  It is for those brave enough to go beyond what is merely "unique".  It is for those daring enough, who will stop at nothing, to pick a name for their baby that other parents (ie. haters and copiers) wouldn't have the guts to steal!

1 comment:

  1. LOL! Well, your advice should yield some interesting baby names in the future! I've heard some memorable names myself... when I student taught, a teacher I worked with said she once had two boys who were twins, named Lemongelo and Orangelo (pronounced very similarly to Lemon Jello and Orange Jello!) Another person I knew had a student whose name was pronounced like Ashley but spelled Asshole. And then there is the newly popular name, Abcde, pronounced Absidy." (Kinda glad for my simple, boring name, now!)