Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • A Little Salt: Selecting the right name

  • According to Courier-Post columnist Danny Henley there are any number of sources from which baby names can come.
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  • It’s been over 18 years since my wife, Nancy, and I shouldered the responsibility of having to come up with a name for a baby. For some, it proves far more challenging (and a lot less fun) than conceiving a new life.
    Naming a child is far different than choosing a moniker for a dog. You can bestow the most hideous or profane name on a canine and it will still love you unconditionally, provided you give it a little food and water daily, and an occasional scratch behind the ear.
    When pondering what name to give an offspring, one must stop and remember this soul you might be considering giving a “clever” name to may one day have a significant say in where you spend your “silver years.” It’s worth remembering.
    Some people embrace odd names far better than others. My daughter-in-law, Whitney, shared the story of an acquaintance whose first name was: Marijuana. Makes one wonder if mom and dad could have passed a urine test when it came time to pick their baby’s name, doesn’t it?
    At any rate, rather than cursing the stars, or her parents, for the unusual name, the young woman went by “Marijuana,” rather than choosing to use some sort of adaptation, such as maybe “Mary Jane,” “Cheeba,” “Peyote” or “Kali.”
    I always find it fascinating to see what the latest trends are in baby names. According to the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular American baby names, Noah and Sophia led the way in 2013.
    According to a story by The Associated Press, a little more than 18,000 newborns were named Noah last year while about 21,000 newborns were christened Sophia in 2013.
    Noah eclipsed Jacob to claim the top spot for boys, ending Jacob’s 14-year reign. Sophia was No. 1 for the third straight year in the SSA’s name list.
    Noah was followed by Liam, Jacob, Mason and William. Behind Sophia came Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava.
    The Social Security also charts the fastest-rising names each year. These names may not be near the top of the list in terms of total volume, but they did move up more spots than any other in the past year.
    For girls, the winner was Daleyza, which jumped 3,130 spots, to No. 585. Among the other top risers for girls were Marjorie, Lennon and Jurnee.
    For boys, the fastest rising name was Jayceon, which leaped 845 spots, to No. 206. Among the other top risers for boys are Milan, Atlas, Jayse and Duke.
    There are any number of sources today for baby names – family tradition, books, movies, television (Daleyza is the name of the young daughter of Larry Hernandez, a singer who stars in a Spanish-language reality TV show called “Larrymania”) and the music industry (two hip hop artists are named Jayceon). One family turned to the internet for help in naming their baby.
    Page 2 of 2 - I happened upon a story recently about an expectant father in British Columbia, who earlier this year started a website NameMyDaughter.com where anyone on the Internet could suggest and vote on potential names for his forthcoming baby girl.
    As one might expect, some crazy suggestions were received. According to the dad, names for sexually transmitted infections were proposed as names along with terms for a “couple of sexual positions.” They were deleted from consideration.
    The winning name? “Cthulhu All-Spark.” (“Cthulhu” reportedly won the vote for first name, and “All-Spark” was the most popular middle name.)
    In case you’re like me and don’t know what a Cthulhu is, I learned it’s a fictional deity (a demon or god, depending on where you look) created by writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was introduced in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928.
    As for an All-Spark, it’s the soul of a Transformer. What’s a Transformer? Ask your kids (or grandkids), they’ll know.
    So is there a baby somewhere in Canada named Cthulhu All-Spark? Thankfully no. Cthulhu was rejected in favor of the second-place name, Amelia.
    Maybe there’s hope for some parents after all.
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