What’s in a name?

Does anyone else like to take the quizzes on Facebook? I do! It’s a kind of guilty pleasure because – let’s face it – they are ridiculous and therefore, pretty much a waste of time.

What classic rock band best matches your personality? I got Led Zeppelin. Nothing against that very talented band, but that’s not a good match. What Hollywood star do you most look like? I got Halle Berry. Thank you oh-so-much and IF ONLY!

I got "Charlotte's Web"
I got “Charlotte’s Web.” Click on the picture to play the game!

But one that cracked me up recently was “What would your old lady name be?”

Well, first of all, I kind of AM an old lady. If you ask my 10-year-old neighbor Kaylee, she’d probably think so. Ask my mom, and I’m still a kid. Everything is relative.

So, my “old lady name” came up as Myrtle. I guess that would qualify as a name that is out of fashion, unless maybe Julia Roberts is planning on having more kids. She named her daughter Hazel and in my book, that is definitely an old lady name, right up there with Myrtle, Ethel, Gladys and Maude, to name just a few.

Names certainly come in and go out of fashion, and it occurred to me that if this game pops up again in, say, 20 years – what would the old lady names be then?

Since I’m estimating that a cool and popular name morphs into an “old lady name” around the 80 year mark or so, it looks like my generation is up soon. If you were born in the 1950s, the names repeated most often in your high school year book probably included Debbie, Karen and Patty. And do you know anyone naming their little 21st century darlings Donna, Kathy, Brenda or Carol?

Nope. These are definitely the old lady names on the not-too-distant horizon.

Fast forward to the year 2060 and they’ll be making fun of the names associated with the current generation of hotties born in the 80’s and 90’s. Think Brandi, Amber, Brittany and Tiffany.

“Can you imagine being named TIFFANY?!” one teen might shriek to the other. “Eeeuw!”

(For the record, I kind of agree. For whatever reason, parents in the 80’s were inclined to label their sweet baby girls with names I think they pulled from the marquees on “gentlemen’s clubs.”)

And by 2090? I suppose people will laugh at Emily and Madison, Kaitlyn, Taylor and Brianna.

You might think you’re safe with a biblical name, like Hannah or Sarah or Mary, but really? I’m not sure there are any “safe” names, if safe is even a consideration for naming that little bun in the oven.

Maybe you should just go ahead and choose something totally off the rails, like a movie or rock star might. Take a page from Frank Zappa’s book. It seems to me a kid will need to have famous parents and lots of money to even begin to stand up to the ridicule in elementary school if you’re named something like  Dweezil, Diva Muffin or Moon Unit.

Or how about David Bowie’s son, Zowie? Will Zowie Bowie please report to the principal’s office immediately? Hahaahahahahahahhahaa!

Then Paula Yates and Bob Geldof (whoever they are) named their babies Fifi-Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Little Trixie. With a name like Fifi-Trixibelle you’re just asking to get your ass kicked. Poor kid.

However, another couple (that I have never heard of), Dan Cortese and Dee Dee Hemby, take the prize for the worst baby name ever.  Like Yates and Geldof, they were on one list of famous people who gave their child an odd name, so maybe you know them – ?

Anyway, these two geniuses named their child (male or female?) Tabooger. That’s right. Tabooger. Are you kidding me? That’s just plain cruel, in my opinion. By comparison, Gwyneth Paltrow naming her child Apple is sweet and almost traditional-sounding.

What’s in a name? Plenty, I think! But I guess it also depends on the decade when you look at it . . . .

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