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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Child Abuse

No worries. I'm not gonna talk about beating kids or feeding them broken glass. I'm talking names.

I ran an errand on a lunch break earlier and in the store I saw the cutest little girl - maybe six or seven, pig tails, etc. Like so many kids her age her mother was trying to get her attention, and the girl wasn't listening. So finally, frustrated, mom yelled out the little girl's name: Chardonnay! ChAR-DON-NAY!

Quit naming your kids after alcohol (and cars), people. It's cruel and unusual.

I don't want any hate mail. I'm not dogging ethnic names or names rooted in family heritage. Remember, where the latter is concerned, I'm James H. The 3rd. So I can't hate. If Cletus was your beloved grandfather's name, then fine. Name your kid Cletus. Otherwise, you're setting him up for grief. I knew twins when I was younger nicknamed Mark and Luke. Their formal names? I kid you not, Lucian and Marcian.

Children can be cruel - often taught unwittingly by adults in their lives to be that way. And if you think your kid named Space Cadet or Moon Beam or Tequila isn't getting hassled by their peers you're nuts.

And what's gonna happen when they're of working age and they're going for that job interview. In a perfect world only their qualifications would be considered. But we all know that won't happen. And unless Kahlua is a genius and has designed a better mouse trap and built a safer space shuttle, someone is going to hold the name against her.

Peace, and hair grease. I'm out 'till tomorrow.


  • Even "Merlot" has a better ring to it!

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 11:48 PM  

  • And wouldn't it help if the more common names were respelled to be cute. Tym is still Tim, Caryn is still Karen and those poor kids will have their names mis-spelled for their entire lives.

    By Blogger Curious, at 8:00 AM  

  • Just makes you wonder about the parent's spelling skills.

    It has come to my attention, and I'm not saying it's "wrong," but that in the last few years, there has been a trend for Hispanics in Miami to give their children really GRINGO first names. So you wind up being someone like Briana Rodriguez, Gareth Gonzalez, Tiffany Bustamante, William Garcia ... (the latter especially funny since it's hard to pronounce an English "W" in Spanish.) I find this very curious ... a means to blend in? Let their children get ahead in America? A fashionable trend?

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 2:22 PM  

  • My cousin has 4 boys and two names between them. She thinks because she capitalized different letters, the names are different. I kid you not, this is the big joke in our family.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 PM  

  • And what about Cubans who give their kids names that are either made-up (Drakelis), a combination of their own names (Pedro + Maria = Mardo), or one that they pick from whatever American entity they may encounter (Usnavy = US Navy; Usmail = US Mail; Levis = Levi's - the jeans)???

    Actually, I'm very interested in this. Cubans used to be named according to whichever saint's day they happened to be born on (or some other Christian-related thing). Then, after Castro came aboard and he became the Soviet Union's bitch, Russian names became the trend (lots of Vladimir's and Natascha's). And once Cuba was both Godless and Russian-less, the made-up names took over.

    I love my people for being creative, but seriously - so many current names are just awful.

    By Anonymous MM, at 12:38 PM  

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