March 24, 2009

If I Ran By The Names We Heard At The Zoo

Spring Break is upon us; pre-school Spring Break. As I try to wrap my head around the concept of a kid old enough to have a Spring Break, we also scrambled to patch together a string of playdates to keep some structure in the kid's day.

Yesterday, the kid, her little friend, K2 and I headed to the zoo for lunch. As we walked down the long, long hill to the Pizza Garden, we all noticed the same thing: there were an awful lot of crying kids around.

In addition, I found myself logging the toddler names being called out. Almost all the names felt Carefully Thought Out, if that makes sense, and they made me want to bring back the DT NameWatch. Or maybe it just means I'm not getting out enough, and this is what America's Playgrounds sound like at this point in history:

Beckett [2, boy and girl]
Ava
Harper
Charles Parker
Chet
Miles
Chuck [was probably 1yo]
Jimbo [same]
Rainbow Bright [or wow, was it Rainbow Brite?]

And not just Rainbow, either. They followed us up the hill, so we heard it for a good 15 minutes solid.

24 Comments

I have the same thoughts whenever I read the "Happy Birthday" shout-outs on ohdeedoh.

Last summer we encountered an Archimedes at the playground. I couldn't help but wonder how old he'll be when he asks to be called Archie.

The big one in Chicago seems to be Axl or Axel. Usually they're 4 yo. So I kind of wonder if the parents just liked the name and thought that Guns n' Roses wasn't gonna be an issue. Sadly for them, GnR issued their awful album Chinese Democracy last year and now their kids are probably called "Sweet child o' mine" all the time at the playground.

Gee, with Chet, Miles and a Charles Parker, you'd think they could get a combo together.

the faithful, hoping they could hurry up the release of CD by naming their kids

A whole day at the zoo and not a single Aiden or Sophie? I met two more Aidens and Sophies over the weekend, which I think brings the total of people I know who have named their kids Aiden or Sophie to at least 500 million.

Oh, and we've got an Orion in the neighborhood who can hang with Archimedes any time. And an Ella or two to join Miles, Chet and Bird.

Re: Axel.

Axel is the Scandinavian form of the biblical name Absalom. So Mr. Rose is not *necessarily* the inspiration for all the current little Axels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axel

Newest babe in our extended family = Desmond. It's growing on me.

Other new baby names of the past year from our crowd = Ulysses, Emy, Erin, Jack (will this ever end?), Georgina, August (a boy)...

chet!

I fully support any hipster who names his kid after any late-1970s/early-1980s black baseball player.*

*note: we briefly considered reggie.

We were at the Wheaton giant playground on Sunday and it was all aiden, payton, caden, jaden, braden. Ugh.

Wow, I really gotta get to the zoo to check out the kids names. Its funny I have my daughter (who turns 3 today)call me Papa so in a crowd I wouldn't have to respond to daddy. My brother who is 3 years older than I am is a grandfather and he now goes by papa also. Hmmm.

Chet makes me think of the older brother in "Weird Science".

I'm happy sticking with traditional names. Then again, my grandparents were Art and Lulu and they named their kids Vern, Clarine and LaVon . . .

It depends on the parents. If the parents suck and introduce me to their kid, 'Dash,' or 'Ava' I'll be, like, eew. But if the parents are cool and introduce me to 'Dash' or 'Ava,' I'll be, like, "Oh, Dash! Love it!" That kind of makes me an asshole.

you and me both, though I found myself unfairly judging kids by the suckitude of their nannies.

Our home computer's deeply buried name is Archimedes, whose complete works I have, but not in a First Edition, and our dog is Achilles, but my kids' names are a convenient Monty and Sarah. When will parents understand that kids are not their possessions or toys? Achilles has no idea of his namesake's eventual fate, so no harm done.

I get weird looks now because my kids have normal, easily spelled, gender-obvious names. James and Catherine. WE are the oddballs in a sea of Devons, Braedens, Paytons, and Ellas.

My son's name is Angus. In most parts of the world people think its nice. In America he's a hamburger from a bad fast food joint.

You can't win them all.

I know of a molecular biologist who recently named a son Lexin. Sounds very much like a protein. Or a supervillain. He wanted an X in the name. Which reminds of a 4 year old I know named Xenon. And a 2 year old boy named Shayne, whose mother insisted on the embedded y to match her own.

As long as I don't start seeing Renesme's running around I think I'll be okay, but Rainbow Bright is pretty horrible.

My own two girls have Turkish first names and classic English middle names. Yes I have to explain things every single time but we generally get positive responses.

I still think they had it right in Freakonomics!!! Your name relects on your future!!

Speaking of dashes...my latest favorite: La-a

Pronounced: La-Dash-a

I'm completely serious.

Rainbow Bright/Brite - can't tell if the parents were being ironic or just dumb. But at least its.....original?
Love the name discussions - nice to keep up on the trends, since here in Seattle it takes a yr for the NY trends to hit us....good to know the '-aidens' are on the way out....

Greg, I came across this from the freakonomics blag in the NY Times.
http://nameoftheyear.blogspot.com/

My sister teaches a Le-a whose mother was upset the teachers mistakenly called her Lea. Since when do we pronounce punctuation? My sister also came across a boy named Notorious.

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